We have a long track record of conducting research with children and young people across a range of policy areas, including sensitive topics such as teenage pregnancy, risk behaviours and crime. We are particularly skilled at researching some of the hardest to reach in society, such as socially excluded children and young people.
Conducting research among this audience requires an understanding of the ethical and practical considerations that need to be taken into account. Particular care needs to be taken to ensure the language is unambiguous, relevant and not patronising. The location also needs to be considered: for instance, school, home or a neutral location. Work with children and young people often demands a different approach to that used for adults. In some projects, a mixed mode data collection strategy is needed and we have a wealth of experience in designing effective mixed mode techniques. Our experience with this age group means we are able to devise methodologies that can best address our clients’ research aims and objectives.
Amongst our body of work, our surveys include the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), the largest and most challenging study of young people that the Department for Education has ever commissioned, and the Youth Cohort Study (YCS). Both LSYPE and YCS aim to track young people through education and the period following this, in order to identify the main factors influencing these transitions. We also produced the ground breaking national segmentation of parents, carers, children and young people for the DCSF in 2008.