The University of Groningen is an internationally oriented university with a rich academic tradition. Since its establishment in 1614, the university has brought forward striving academics, like the first female university student in the Netherlands: Aletta Jacobs. Internationalization is one of the main focus points on the strategic policy agenda of the University of Groningen, and an important instrument in the improvement of quality, innovation and diversity. More than 120 nationalities currently study or work at the University. The Nieuwenhuis Institute encompasses all research in the field of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences. This relates to research in the domains of pedagogics, special needs education and care, education, and adult education.

Mónica López López is Associate Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen. For the last 15 years, Mónica has been actively seeking a way of improving child protection systems through research on decision-making, with a special interest in assessments and decisions of out-of-home placement and reunification, decisions of matching children with foster families, and participation of children and families in decision-making. In her research, Mónica focuses on the voice of the service users, children and families, as a powerful instrument to improve welfare services.

Carla van Os is Assistant Professor at the Study Centre for Children and Law of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Carla studied orthopedagogy, law and journalism. For the last 25 years, Carla has worked for improving the respect for refugees’ human rights, with a special focus on children. Her research and teaching focus on the cross fields of refugee children, pedagogy, ethics and law. Her Doctoral dissertation “Best Interests of the Child-Assessments with recently arrived children” aimed at enabling decision-makers to take the refugee child’s best interests as a primary consideration in migration decisions. 

Mijntje ten Brummelaar is a project manager at Cornerstones Jeugdzorg. The focus of her current work is on the implementation and evaluation of policy and practice. During her work as a postdoc researcher at the University of Groningen she has developed Audre project on the needs and experiences of LGBTQIA+ youth in care. Her current research interests include participation in decision-making, participatory research practices and out-of-home care.

Elianne Zijlstra is working as assistant professor at the Centre for Children, Migration and Law at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She finished her PhD in 2012 on the Best Interests of the Child in decision making in migration law. During her PhD research, she worked as a behavioral scientist at a youth care organisation and she obtained her post master degree for diagnostics and treatment of children and families.