Peer research is increasingly being used in research with children and young people. As a result there is a growing understanding of both the benefits and challenges of involving young peer researchers in qualitative research. This article aims to add to that understanding by providing a detailed account and reflection of the involvement of care leavers as peer researchers in the qualitative case study phase of a three year, mixed method study of the transitions of young people leaving care in Northern Ireland. It is one of only a few studies on leaving care in which peer research is central to the design. Particular attention is given to the benefits and challenges for all of the stakeholders involved in the research study: the participants, peer researchers, academic researchers and supporting partner organisation. Key learning points are identified and it is concluded that, despite the considerable challenges, peer research should become a routine consideration as a fruitful means of co-production in the design of care leaver research.
- peer research; co-production; young people; leaving care