Prof Cath Larkins innovates in participation, activism and knowledge exchange with children and young people, and their allies, across the UK and Europe. She conducts co-research, particularly with marginalised children and young people which is focused on challenging discrimination and improving policy and practice. Working with a wide range of child and adult colleagues, she co-authors guidance to inspire social change. Her scholarship advance theories and methodologies for participation and citizenship. Her collaborative work with children and young people has led to impact on policy and practice internationally.
Cath has published widely in the fields of Childhood Studies, Child and Family Social Work, Youth and Justice. Her writing combines social theory and cocreated empirical research with children and young people to critique dominant understandings of children, childhood and childhood policy and practice. This work has been funded by the AHRC, the European Union and Council of Europe, UK Governments and charitable foundations. She is currently leading a Learning Partnership for the Youth Endowment Fund Peer Research and Social Action Network and an Open Society Foundation funded Europe wide project to research and promote marginalised children's participation in public decision-making. She co-leads an arts-based AHRC funded project exploring young people's perspectives on landscapes decision-making. She supports and mentors staff involved in a wide range of participatory research and evaluation activities. Cath also supervises PhD, Prof Doc and Masters students and contributes to teaching on the MA Social Work and the MA Professional Practice with Children and Young People.
Cath has conducted collaborative research with children and young people since 1997, working with a national and international children focused organisations . She started work at UCLan in 2011 and since then has also provided advisory roles for national and international governments in relation to children's participation and children's rights focused policy and practice. This has included work in Mongolia on behalf of an EU diplomatic mission and supporting the development of inclusive and impactful participatory processes at European levels.
Cath is Co-Conveynor of the European Sociological Association Sociology of Children and Childhood Research Network and an editorial board member of Sozialwissenschaftlichen Literatur Rundschau (SLR)