Children's Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service
The overarching goal, intellectual ideal and proposed methodology of the center is to bring about a more adequate and knowledge-based representation of children and youth in society by way of a new pedagogy, research, policy and community involvement.
In February 1997, the Children’s Studies Center at Brooklyn College was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees with special help and solid support of then Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds. The center was established to lay the foundations for a new and integrated Child and Youth Studies pedagogy by synthesizing the knowledge from child and youth-related research and policy areas in the Arts and Sciences and making it available by means of curriculum and faculty development to students in the Children’s Studies Program. The center’s intent was to set an example and provide a new prototype in the understanding of (and research and teaching about) children and youth, and in so doing, take the lead on a national level.
The center concentrates on pedagogy, research, advocacy, and public service to the community. It serves as a think tank and catalyst for change that advocates for the human rights of children through knowledge-based representation. It has a long history of participation in local, national, and international research, and provides assistance to governmental and advocacy agencies, stakeholders, policymakers, and community-based organizations in their work on behalf of children and young people.
In addition to the program’s cutting-edge course work, the center has made significant contributions in the areas of child policy research by bringing attention to children’s justice and diversity issues through conferences, symposia, and fora that focus on a children’s rights perspective. Children’s Studies has helped connect leaders and key stakeholders in business, government, education, and non-profit sectors to assist in their policy work through the Child Policy Forum of New York series; a legislative initiative to establish an independent Office of the Child Advocate for New York; and more recently, a National Consultation: Social Justice for Children: To End Child Abuse and Violence Against Children. Other activities of the center have been to establish student researcher training, conduct grant-funded research initiatives and to institute classroom enrichment through guest lectures and career exploration internships.
Children’s Studies has grown by leaps and bounds since its founding and has attracted students in greater and greater numbers over the years. By 2013, the Children’s Studies Program and Center became two separate entities, but continues to work together in synergy. The Program and the Center are now known as the Children and Youth Studies Program, and the Children’s Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service.