socialCORE aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in the Social and Human Sciences and be at the forefront in the growth of evidence based practice within the Southeast. socialCORE also seeks to disseminate research, which will support the professionalisation of sectors such as Youth Work, Social Care and Early Childhood Education and Care, inform policy and drive social change. Research within socialCORE is practicebased/ applied in nature with a focus on impact, relevance and policy development in the areas of practice, disability, mental health and education. It is envisaged that socialCORE through its strong links with placement agencies and other IoT's and Universities, will be the Research Centre of Excellence in the Southeast and foster an environment of discovery and collaboration with agency partners to achieve the highest level of innovation, creativity and critical understanding of evidence based practice through flexible research designs and mixed methods approaches combining both qualitative and quantitative research designs.
Recent research topics has had implications for education, practice and the provision of care and services in the areas of Social Care, Youth and Early Childhood Education and Care including:
• Embedding children's rights in Early Childhood Education and Care practice.
• Assessing the role of Aistear (the National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Education) and Siolta (the National Quality Framework) in the development and support of outdoor play in early years' settings.
• An exploration of play as a means of enriching baby (birth - 18 months) - Adult interactions in Early Childhood settings in the South East.
• The role of Aistear and Siolta in the provision of Early Childhood services.
• The impact of vicarious trauma on Social Care workers and its implications for practice.
• The use of Social Media in providing care to Social Care clients and the development of policies around its use.
• The use of assistance/service dogs from a human rights and animal welfare perspective.
• An evaluation of the Housing First approach from clients & practitioners perspective.
• An investigation of the use of peer led support services for people experiencing mental health difficulties.
• Media representations of youth and young people in Ireland;
• An investigation into the experiences of professionally qualified youth workers employed in Social Care settings.
• Online discussion as assessment in Social Care education.
• The importance and development of emotional intelligence in education settings.
• Gaming as Youth Work: Exploring the Role of Gaming as a Creative Tool for Fostering Social and Emotional Learning among Socially Isolated Young People
• Education for Sustainable Development in the ECEC: A children's rights perspective
• The experience of young care leavers
• Professional regulation of Irish social care practitioners: the perspectives of social care students..
Institute of Technology Carlow are also working towards obtaining provision of the Social Science research programmes at NFQ Level 10, for which a formal application will be made in the academic session 2019/2020.