Families & Friendships

For children and young people, perhaps more than for other groups, relationships with others play a central role in their lives.  Children are raised within families (whether their biological family or other carers) and these relationships often have lifelong significance.  Peer relationships also shape and influence children’s every day experiences and development.  This theme brings together those who research children within these group settings.
  • Family forms and relationships
  • The legal regulation of children’s family lives
  • Children in the care of the state
  • Peer relationships, including sub-cultures

Example of Activities

The London Foundling Hospital: Impact and Legacy, 1750-1850

Professor Helen Berry is working on a two-year project examining the impact and legacy of the Foundling Hospital in London during the first one hundred years of its existence. The London Foundling Hospital was the 'darling project' of an irascible West Country philanthropist, Captain Thomas Coram and emerged as a response to the social problems that developed during the rapid changes of the 18th century (new attitudes to money-making with the growth of the city of London's global financial institutions such banks and the stock market, at the same time as high-density housing, over-crowding, disease and population growth, and an ever-growing number of London's urban poor, raised huge contemporary concerns).  Professor Berry’s research charts how the original vision of the Foundling Hospital's founder, governors and benefactors was taken over, and nearly derailed, by direct intervention and funding through parliament as a result of the Seven Years' War (1756-63). Unlike previous studies, it considers in detail the fate of London's foundlings after they left the Hospital.