youth research


Young people have moved to the centre of government policy-making. Government is increasingly seeking to intervene to modify youth behaviour but with varying degrees of success.

Why we are important?

Problems that have not been effectively addressed by successive governments (such as youth crime, antisocial behaviour, obesity, diabetes, alcohol and drug consumption) contribute on an ongoing basis to individual, family and social deprivation. It can take generations to resolve. The costs associated with getting policies wrong are usually formidable.

In health, education, leisure, criminal justice and citizenship, it is clear that the formative periods in young people’s lives fall before they enter the worlds of work. It is essential that children and young people today are motivated to address the challenges they face in life in a constructive and socially beneficial manner.


What we are and what we do:

We provide actionable intelligence on child and youth issues plus opportunities to discuss and debate key issues through Forums, seminars and conferences. The London-based Youth Research Forum is a consortium of leading players in the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK concerned about issues affecting youth. It was founded in response to a need recognized in the private and public sectors for relevant and up-to-date research and informed debate on key issues facing young people today.


About the YRF >> History & Achievements
History & Achievements
The YRF was established in mid 2006 as a company limited by guarantee under the Directorship of Glen Smith, YRF Chairman and CEO, a noted authority on research among children and young people and its application to policy and strategic communications. The current management includes Emerita Professor Elizabeth Meehan, Deputy Chair and Nick Winkfield Strategic Advisor.

Michael Waterson (founder of World Advertising Research Center) is a Patron.

Review of activities (outputs) and achievements (impacts).

Membership Activities:

  • Full Membership Meetings take place 4 to 6 times per year and Working Parties are formed in relation to specific issues and projects.
  • Participating in senior Police Briefings related to knife crime hosted by the Metropolitan Police which related to motivations and exit routes, including role models.
  • Participating at Youth Justice Board Annual Conferences
  • Participating in relevant issue-related conferences and seminars hosted by Neil Stewart Associates (as above)
  • Participation in a series of events and courses hosted by the Foundation for Social Improvement
  • Participation in conferences based on the Nuffield Education Report.
  • Participation in the Young People’s Enterprise Forum in Yorkshire & Humber
  • Participation in Centre for Social Justice Conferences –Young people, behaviour and social responsibility.

  • Comprehensively updating the British Council by conducting a global study of how young opinion-formers use and interrogate new media. Obtaining relative ratings of importance of 26 social and political topics
  • Producing an all embracing research and development programme to deliver online solutions to the problems of child and youth obesity using behavioural modelling techniques and innovative training routines, together with a national directory of resources of sports, dance, art, film and drama clubs.
  • Developing opportunities for children and young people to learn to draw in association with the Metropolitan Police (in preparation).
  • Developing initiatives directed at Neets – to improve their educational prospects in line with government plans to increase the school leaving age.
  • Producing a unique specification for undertaking a Moral Compass study of children and young people – in negotiation.
  • Conducting two major Seminars hosted by Neil Stewart Associates to convey the main findings of an international literature review focusing on How to reach and sustain the interest of young BME respondents in relation to volunteering. Delivering feedback on the outcomes of a research programme with 100 Oxfam GB shop managers to the partner client. (2007)
  • Building links with other Forums of a similar nature in other countries and relationships established with Forum’s in Ireland, Australia and Asia. (2008)
  • A major Seminar hosted by the Forum via Neil Stewart Associates which featured the Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office, Matt Tee, who addressed the key question: How can government change Behaviour? This event was filmed by NSA’s Policy Review Television. (September 2009)
  • Providing research-led guidance to Oxfam GB and other voluntary  organisations regarding how to engage and maintain the interest of hard-to-reach young people in volunteering
  • Promoting Dance for one of our Members and developing relations with the DCSF (Curriculum Advisors) Home Office and Youth Justice Board to this end. Fielding Ambassadors to serve as judges for the national competition.
  • Networking with government departments and agencies, with a view to furthering the Forum’s agendas. These activities involve well developed relationships with the Cabinet Office, Home Office, DCSF, Youth Justice Board, Communities and Local Government.

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