November 10, 2023 — Goethe University Frankfurt and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) announced a significant step in their ongoing scientific collaboration in the field of childhood studies. The two prestigious universities signed a cooperation agreement to establish ‘The Center for Childhood and Child Welfare in Context.’
This collaboration builds upon a long-standing partnership between Goethe University and Hebrew University, which has been characterized by extensive research, support for early career researchers, and excellence in university teaching. Notable joint initiatives include the International Study of Children’s Well Being, the activities of the International Society for Child Indicators, and research on child sexual abuse inquiries in both Germany and Israel. Furthermore, an annual German-Israeli master’s seminar has been conducted since 2016.
The primary purpose of this research cooperation is to deepen and expand their academic and scientific collaboration in childhood research and social science research. The new Center for Childhood and Child Welfare will focus on a range of critical topics, including children’s well-being, children’s rights, children’s welfare, vulnerability, violence, abuse, and neglect. In addition, it will explore questions related to professionalization, quality, digitality, digitalization, global warming, biodiversity, and the environment. The Center aims to give children a voice, address issues of precarity and vulnerability, and examine age as a social category.
The Center will involve academic researchers from various disciplines, such as childhood research, family research, educational science, pedagogy, migration research, social work, and healthcare from both universities. The ultimate goal is to become an integral part of the international childhood studies community and enhance global networking in this field.
Professor Asher Ben-Arieh, Dean of the School of Social Work and Social Welfare from the Hebrew University emphasized the significance of this collaboration, stating: “This collaboration between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Goethe University Frankfurt is a testament to our shared commitment to advancing research in childhood studies. By joining forces, we aim to provide a brighter and more secure future for children worldwide. Through our combined expertise and dedication, we can make a real difference in understanding and improving the lives of children and families.”
Goethe University President Prof. Enrico Schleiff: “I am delighted to see our two universities pool their respective strengths and potential even more in the field of childhood research, which is so important to our society. The Center for Childhood and Child Welfare in Context further intensifies and expands our existing close cooperation. I would like to thank everyone involved at both universities, first and foremost among them Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh and Prof. Sabine Andresen, for their great commitment to making this future-oriented international cooperation possible.”
Prof. Sabine Andresen, Professor of Educational Science at Goethe University Frankfurt, with a focus on social pedagogy and family research: “Our experiences with the master’s seminars especially, in which students from Frankfurt and Jerusalem not only learn together, but also discuss and compare what it was like to grow up in both countries, have led us to deepen the cooperation. For students who will later work in youth welfare offices or as child protection specialists for example, this exchange about both systems, about tailor-made services or barriers to the protection of children and adolescents is game-changing. We also found that a lot of friendships have emerged from these seminars.”
The research cooperation places a strong emphasis on academic advisory boards, data protection, research data management, and confidentiality to ensure the ethical and secure conduct of research activities.