Skip to main content

Center for Childhood and Youth Studies

Center for Childhood and Youth Studies Program Information

The Center for Childhood and Youth Studies values promote:

  • The importance of each and every child to shape the world of today and tomorrow
  • That all children are entitled to human rights that ensure their provision (access to education, healthcare, food, housing, social services, etc), the protection from all types of violence and abuse, and their right to participate in society and make contributions to it.
  • The integrity of all children and youth, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, or social position
  • The scholarly abilities of the faculty at Salem State to promote child wellbeing
  • The importance of civic engagement to make the world a better place, so that all children can have greater possibilities for contributing to its wellbeing, peace, and justice
  • The social obligation of communities to provide educational, health, economic, housing, social service, recreational services that children need in order to grow into strong and contributing members of society
  • The importance of the family as the child’s main support system
  • The role of major social institutions at the political, economic, governmental, legislative, and policy levels and their responsibility to support the wellbeing of all children
  • To encourage tolerance and the appreciation of diversity among children
  • To facilitate healthful behaviors in the behaviors of children and creativity and joy in the minds of children so they can make positive contributions to the world
  • To protect children from violence, abuse and maltreatment of children at every level of society
  • To promote the goals of citizenship and social responsibility in children.
  • The CCYS seeks to develop partners at the university, community, state, national, and international levels. Let us know your ideas about how we can work together!

The Center for Childhood and Youth Studies was created in 1999 and activities currently include:

  • Undergraduate and continuing education instructional opportunities
  • A 15 credit certificate in child studies
  • Specialized human rights materials that are free and available for educators from K-12 through higher education, with our new partnership with The World As It Could Be
  • Research activities
  • Policy and leadership initiatives
  • Community partnerships, civic engagement and service learning 
  • A Child and Youth University and Community Consortium

We want to work with anyone who is interested in writing a grant with the CCYS.  We are working with the Essex County Community Foundation and have the desire to collaborate with others in creative and helpful endeavors. Contact Yvonne Vissing to meet and discuss possibilities.

The Center for Child Studies at Salem State can serve the larger community in the following ways:

  • Annual conferences and workshops about important issues that impact children, families, and communities.  These have included trauma, resilience, sport, child abuse, criminal justice, global citizenship, race, gender, sexuality, mental health, COVID, physical health, (dis)abilities, belonging, JEDI, and many other topics.
  • Provide free educational materials and resources for teachers and others who want to promote children's wellbeing
  • Provide guest speakers
  • Provide consultation about child issues
  • Provide organizational development to those seeking to serve children
  • Provide research on child issues, including needs assessments and program evaluations
  • Collaboration with other international, national, state, and city, and other organizations to develop programs to better serve children
  • We now are partners with The World As It Could Be, an amazing set of human rights educational resources funded by the Rex Foundation (of the Grateful Dead) and Sandra Sohcot of San Francisco.  Visit the site to access materials or to work with us to help develop innovative programs with young people -
  • We are part of the Hope for Children CRC Policy Center in Cyprus, which is a group of international scholars who study children's rights and wellbeing.
  • We are partners with the Children and Childhood Network at the University of Nottingham in England
  • Human Rights Educators USA ( has signed a MOU with us and we partner together on the development of conferences, trainings, podcasts, research, and support for anyone who is doing human rights education work.
  • We are partners with the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People at Swansea University 
  • We are members of the Universities Network of Scholars Supporting Children in Armed Conflict, which conducts research and training programs to advocate for children's safety in areas where there is violence -
  •  We are part of a network of international sports and recreation experts who are promoting safe sport and children's protections when they play. 
  • We are part of an international network of human rights educators, which provide free webinars to the public as well as research,  publications, workshops, networking, and conferences 

Do you want to have an internship in child rights with the United Nations? Every year they select a few students to work with them. Learn more about these opportunities.

Yvonne Vissing has been a judge at every Moot Court Competition in Child Rights at the University of Leiden since 2017, where student teams from around the world acted as lawyers in a child rights case.

The CCYS seeks to develop partners at the university, community, state, national, and international levels. Let us know your ideas about how we can work together! Please contact Yvonne Vissing to discuss possibilities.



Back to top