Research Projects


Our aim 

PANDA is a community comprising academics and professionals from eight partners in four nations that seeks to educate and support social workers in their collaboration with young children to enhance children’s participation rights. The PANDA team seeks to help children to find their voices in their most challenging times.

The overarching aim of this project is to promote the participation rights of young children (aged 12 years and under) in decision making. Progress in social work law, policy and practice notwithstanding, the participation rights of young children (aged 12 and under) known to and/or in the care of social services remains an ongoing concern across Europe because professionals experience shared difficulties and barriers regarding implementation.


Our objectives

  • Help to create the collaborative conditions for participatory social work with young children
  • Increase the competence of social workers/ professionals
  • Support the implementation of a  participatory approach to social work
  • Provide trainers with post initial training to teach new tools and methods

Our project

PANDA (Participation and Collaboration for Action), is a KA202 EU Project funded as part of the Erasmus+ Programme in which social workers, policy makers, managers from eight partners in four countries (Belgium, Spain, Norway and Northern Ireland) are working together. The project runs from September 2020 to until August 2023 and is underpinned by the UNCRC and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which contain a specific focus on shared decision-making for all groups.

Our work will take place in a transnational context through strengthening professionals' collaboration with young children known to social services, especially in child welfare and child protection.

Our target groups are social workers, managers, policy officers, academics and trainers.

Our project is supported by:

  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals focusing on shared decision-making for all groups, with the aim of creating ‘responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels’ (SDG-target 16.7).
  • The UNCRC in which all rights are indivisible and that assures the child participation rights through provisions contained in the four underlying principles (articles 2, 3, 6 and 12) and also through associated articles including articles 5, 13, 14, 15 and 17.  
  • The global definition of Social Work that notes that human rights principles are central to the profession.