Dr. Cath Larkins

Dr. Cath Larkins

Reader in Children’s Citizenship

School of Social Work, Care and Community

Harrington Building, HA310

+44 (0) 1772 89 3407

Cath seeks to develop new understandings of children’s aspirations and experiences. She does this by working with marginalised children and with the adults who support them. She supports children in their goals for positive change by: Influencing practice, policy and academic audiences, producing research outputs in a variety of accessible formats, encouraging policy makers and practitioners to adopt participatory and rights based approaches and developing theories of children's citizenship.

Cath is the Co-Director of the Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation. She is also a member of the Children, Young People and Families Research Group.

Full Profile

Cath specialises in theories and practices of participatory research and children’s lived and social citizenship. This focus crosses the boundaries of practice engagement and theory building, supporting children and young people (particularly those in contact with health and social care services). That bring about positive changes in their lives whilst furthering theoretical understanding in the field of childhood studies and linking local experiences to European contexts.

Within all of her research, Cath works alongside children and young people to support them taking on roles as researchers, advisors and co-creators of knowledge. Whilst developing a wide variety of creative techniques for conducting and disseminating engaging research findings to other young people, local decision makers, national government ministers and international academic audiences.

Cath’s career as a researcher, participation consultant, advocate and children's rights activist has spanned 20 years, mostly taking place in Wales. Cath has worked for Save the Children, The Children’s Society, Action for Children, Forest School Wales, Local Authorities and the Welsh government. More recently her research and consultancy activities have expanded to include working for the UK government and with academics, NGOs and young people in France, Finland, Spain, Cyprus and Romania.

Teaching Activities 

Cath has limited teaching responsibilities related to theories of childhood, participation and social pedagogy. She takes a leading role on the following courses:
MA in Contemporary Practice with Children and Young People

PG Certificate: Safeguarding Children


2015-2018 Stories to Connect, AHRC

2015-2017 PEER: Participation and Empowerment for Experiences for Roma (GRT) youth, EU

2014-2015 Evaluation of a Leaving Care Service, Cabinet Office

2013-2015 Evaluation of the Reporters’ Academy Aiming Higher Project, Paul Hamlyn Foundation

2012-2013 The Impact of Poverty on the Rights of Disabled Children, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

2012-2014 Safeguarding Teenage Intimate Relationships research in the UK, Cyprus, Italy, Norway and Bulgaria, EU Daphne

2012-2014 RESPONDS- improving primary health care response to domestic violence and child safeguarding, NIHR

2013-2014 Mapping domestic violence service provision in Wales, Welsh Government

2012-2013 What helps reduce Youth Offending, A North West Local Authority

2011-2012 National Evaluation of Social Work Practices, DfE


Larkins, C., Drinkwater, J., Hester, M., Stanley,N., Szilassy, E. and Feder, G. (2015) General practice clinicians’ perspectives on involving and supporting children and adult perpetrators in families experiencing domestic violence and abuse Family Practice first published online September 10, 2015 doi:10.1093/fampra/cmv070

Larkins,C. Thomas, N. Carter, B. Farrelly, N., Judd, D and Lloyd, J. (2015) ‘Intergenerational support for children’s protagonism: methodological moves towards critical children rights research framed from below’ International Journal of Children’s Rights Spring 2015

Stanley, N., Larkins, C., Austerberry, H., Farrelly, N., Manthorpe, J. and Ridley, J. (2015), Rethinking place and the social work office in the delivery of children's social work services. Health & Social Care in the Community. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12192

More publications


European Sociological Association RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood

Eurochild Reference Group on Participation methods for the Inclusion of All Children

CUIDAR (Cultures of Disaster Resilience Among Children and Young People): Lancaster University led EU funded Participatory Research Consortium