Grounded in research with children and young people

The iCAN website is based on research led by Dr Jeanette Cossar and Professor Marian Brandon, carried out at the Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) at the University of East Anglia.


The research was funded by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, who were concerned that children and young people suffering abuse and neglect may remain invisible if the adults working with them do not notice them and offer support. At the heart of the research are the voices of young people who took part in focus groups in schools, in interviews and were part of the research team. We also talked to groups of professionals and parents about the challenges of dealing with abuse and neglect.

On the website you can find a framework which helps teachers and other school and college staff be alert to children and young people who may be experiencing abuse or neglect. It will help you to better understand:

  • To what extent children and young people recognise maltreatment and how they decide whether to tell
  • How children and young people may signal their distress, even when they can’t talk about it
  • What children and young people think about the help they receive

The Research Team