Prof. Cath Larkins is Director of the Centre for Children’s and Young People’s Participation, University of Central Lancashire. She facilitates collaborative research and participatory inquiry with children and young people in the UK and internationally. This work focuses on challenging discrimination, improving services and changing policy and usually involves children in alternative care, disabled children, children experiencing violence or young Roma. She writes about citizenship, participation, rights and childhood sociology. Cath has been active in the field of children’s rights since 1997 when she ran a children’s rights advice line in Wales. She has conducted more than 30 research studies funded by research councils, national and international government bodies and charitable foundations.
These address aspects of rights and participation, including right based research on children’s experience of and wishes for social and welfare services, education, youth justice and mental health settings, relationships to place and environments and participation in public decision-making. She has authored peer reviewed articles, chapters, books and practitioner guides to taking participatory and child rights based approaches to improving children’s lives that are used internationally. She delivers consultancy internationally on participatory research. She established and led one of only two children’s rights Masters degrees in England. She is Co-convenor of the European Sociological Association Childhood Network, and advises national and international governments and NGOs on aspects of children’s rights and participation.