The objectives of the Institute are to:

  • conduct research that characterises the situation of children in South Africa and identifies gaps and opportunities to strengthen law, policy and practice;
  • make academic research accessible to government and civil society;
  • engage in dialogue and evidence-based advocacy to promote effective policy design and service delivery;
  • contribute to discourses on children and childhoods; and
  • provide education and training to ensure that children's rights are respected in professional practice.

We aim to reach these objectives by fulfilling the following functions:

1. Research and scholarship:

  • Defining research questions in specific child policy areas
  • Conducting quality policy research and clarification
  • Stimulating interdisciplinary research
  • Collating and analysing secondary research and datasets
  • Promoting socially responsive research and debate on policy issues pertinent to children's wellbeing

2. Education and training:

  • Conducting policy research training for graduate students from different disciplines
  • Contributing child policy modules to existing programmes
  • Delivering short courses and other appropriate training to child practitioners and policymakers

3. Technical assistance and support:

  • Providing technical assistance to policymakers and practitioners
  • Supporting child policy role-players with information, training and practice guidelines

4. Advocacy:

  • Communicating with government decision-makers
  • Producing publications directed at the policy, service provider, academic and popular fields
  • Disseminating information on children's rights and their situation in South Africa
  • Participating in and supporting social movements that prioritise and promote children's well-being
  • Increasing the cadre of practitioners, scholars and researchers versed in evidence-based approaches to child-focused policies and practices