Aims and Views


The overall aim of the activities of the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS) is the promotion of the well-being of children living in vulnerable situations. We hereby focus on children living in countries in the South.​

This overall aim is striven for via different specific goals:
             First, the development and execution of scientific research, driven by questions and findings coming from concrete practices. Moreover, each study needs to be linked up again with the practitioners’ field, as research needs to support practitioners – and thus indirectly the children and adolescents they are working with. This involves that CCVS pays special attention to the translation of its research findings into concrete recommendations for practice and policies, and to the accessibility of the research results (via, amongst other things, the organisation of conferences with the presentation of study findings in the countries where the studies were executed). Finally, the centre pays special attention in her research activities to supporting the development of local research expertise and capacities in Southern countries, through, amongst others, support of local master and PhD students.              
             Second, CCVS wants to be an expertise, documentation and training centre regarding psychosocial well-being of children in vulnerable situations in the South. This entails, firstly, the above mentioned aim, in essence building knowledge and competencies through scientific research. Next to this, this aim will be striven for through starting up some own pilot projects in countries in the South. These pilot projects serve following aims: support of further capacity building, realisation of a counselling offer for children and adolescents living in vulnerable situations, and the organisation of diverse sensitization and training initiatives for supporters (out of the formal and informal network) of these children and adolescents. 


CCVS wants to represent some clear views into all of its activities and initiatives. This is based on three central principles:

Socio-ecological model
CCVS views psychosocial well-being of children as not only influenced by the children’s own experiences, strengths and vulnerabilities (the so-called micro-level), but also as strongly determined through their environment, and both their direct environment (family, extended family, school, community) (meso-level), and their large, more indirect context (policy, national and international community) (macro-level) (Bronfenbrenner’s socio-ecological model, 1979). Moreover, these three levels are mutually influencing each other, with as a consequence that interventions aiming at the support of children need to be focussed at these three levels.

Emancipating view
CCVS is convinced that children and adolescents do have themselves the most valuable information to determining which elements are helpful to support them in their living situation, if any. As a consequence, if we want to create and study types of support and care for children in vulnerable situations, it is essential to listen carefully to these children and adolescents themselves, of course without forgetting their direct and indirect context.

CCVS starts from a perspective trying to avoid stigmatisation, as being convinced that all children and adolescents, notwithstanding their vulnerabilities, still dispose of a large range of strengths and competencies (coping and resilience). Support and research within the framework of promoting the psychosocial well-being of children and adolescents in vulnerable living situations thus need to take into account both needs and strengths.