New Database of Irish Family Research Launched

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The Family Support Agency (FSA) today (12/1/10) announced the launch of the Family Research Database - an online database which, for the first time, brings together family-related research in Ireland over the last ten years.

The database contains details of over 340 Irish research papers from academic, voluntary and governmental organisations and is hosted on the Family Support Agency’s re-developed website – ''

In welcoming the database, Mary Hanafin T.D., Minister for Social and Family Affairs, emphasised the importance of research to inform evidence-led decision making. Minister Hanafin said "this new database ensures that our accumulated knowledge of Irish family research is accessible to all, including policy makers, future researchers, advocacy groups as well as families in all their forms. The wealth of research produced over the past decade captures a wide range of valuable information which can now be readily accessed in one location."

Features of the data base include a facility to search for family research using a specific key word. It also allows users to look for papers using a number of criteria including a range of 54 family issues such as parenting, family formation, housing, etc. and by themes such as family law, family policy, etc. Criteria such as author, title of report, etc. can also be used. The full text of documents is provided where available. Where a full text is not available, the database provides an abstract of the paper or details of where the research can be located.

The Family Support Agency compiled the data base, in conjunction with Frontier Economics and the Centre for Social and Educational Research, as part of an ongoing project to develop a family research strategy which will identify the gaps in existing Irish family research and, in the context of best international practise, create greater efficiencies and economies for future research. The strategy is designed to guide family-related research in Ireland, including that funded by the Agency.

The database is an additional valuable service on the FSA website. The enhanced FSA website strives to ensure that information on nationwide services supported by the FSA is easily available and accessible to everyone.

In announcing the launch of the Family Research Database, Chairperson of the Family Support Agency, Mr Michael O’Kennedy SC said “The database is a valuable new resource for policy-makers, Government Departments, academics, voluntary organisations and the general public. It offers the potential to maximise awareness of issues that may impact on families while ensuring that research on family related topics are not duplicated. In addition this database will ensure the optimal use of existing family research.”


For further information, contact:

Oonagh Duffy – 087 2549683

Niamh Fitzgerald – 087 2547232

The Family Support Agency funds research on family issues related to its direct functions. The Minister for Social & Family Affairs may also request the Agency to undertake or commission research.

The Family Support Agency, under the aegis of the Department of Social & Family Affairs, provides a direct, nationwide family mediation service and supports, promotes and develops the provision of marriage/ relationship, bereavement and child counselling services and the Family and Community Services Resource Centre Programme. Further details available on

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Last modified:14/01/2010