‘Parental Separation and Divorce’ Videos by Youth Researchers

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Actor Cillian Murphy who introduces the videos

NUI Galway will launch two new videos, produced by children and young people, which focus on parental separation and divorce.

Dr Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, will attend the launch of the videos ‘It’s OK’ and ‘Dear Parents, Dear Friends’ at NUI Galway’s Institute of Lifecourse and Society, on Saturday February 4, from 12-2pm.

Acclaimed Irish actor and Patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, Cillian Murphy, has given his support to this project by introducing each of the videos, which resulted from work undertaken by a group of youth researchers aged 9 to 19 years.

The young researchers, from various parts of Ireland, have, since 2014, been involved in research about how children and young people in Ireland experience parental separation, divorce, and resulting changes in family life.

The youth researchers considered that it was important to highlight the research findings to a wider audience. Over a six month period, they, along with Dr Ann O’Kelly, a researcher from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, worked together, in association with Foróige, Ireland’s national youth development organisation, and a Creative Youth Education Programme, TechSpace, to develop their ideas, write scripts and produce two videos.

‘It’s OK’ is aimed at primary school teachers and children and highlights the need for the subject of parental separation and divorce to be discussed openly with young children in school.

In the video ‘Dear Parents; Dear Friends’ the youth researchers identify the difficult aspects of parental separation and divorce and provide positive suggestions, especially for parents, to help children and young people overcome these challenges. They also highlight the importance of having support from their friends when difficulties arise.

“We are delighted to have the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon attend this event which will celebrate the work of the young researchers” said Dr Ann O’Kelly, of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre.

The launch will include a discussion with the youth researchers, the video makers, and presentations by Professor Pat Dolan of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway; Dr Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children; and the project’s researcher, Dr Ann O’Kelly.

The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre supports young people to lead on and collaborate in research projects, believing that it positively contributes to their development, enhances their skill set, empowers them to investigate issues, and have their voice heard on matters of relevance to their lives.

Details of the Centre’s youth as researchers programme are available at

www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/youthasresearchers.

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