Personal profile

Research interests

Annemiek Harder is professor by special appointment in the Horizon-chair ‘Evidence-based youth care and education’ at the Clinical Child and Family Studies section of the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Before that, she worked as an associate professor at the Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care of the University of Groningen. In terms of research and education, she focuses on the quality and effectiveness of treatment for young people with serious emotional, behavioral and/or family problems.

In 2020, the book ‘Out-of-home care for youth: Keys to success in treatment and education' was published in which she, together with co-editors Erik Knorth and Chris Kuiper and various experts from practice and science, offers an overview of 'what works' in treatment and education to the approximately 45,000 young people in the Netherlands who are placed in out of home care every year.

Annemiek obtained her doctorate cum laude at the University of Groningen in 2011 with a PhD thesis about the (quality and effectiveness of) care in secure residential youth care. In 2011, Annemiek also contributed to the Samson Committee research project into sexual abuse in residential youth care and foster care. One of the research projects she is currently working on focuses on the development and evaluation of Up2U: a treatment module for motivational mentor/coach conversations between professionals and young people in residential youth care.

Since 2016, Annemiek has been a board member of the European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF). She is also a member of the International Work Group on Therapeutic Residential Care and the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC). In addition, she is editorial board member of the journal Residential Treatment for Children and Youth.

Her expertise and areas of interest are:

  • Behavioral problems, antisocial or delinquent behaviour, risk and protective factors
  • Adolescents, young adults, families with serious and multiple problems
  • Out-of-home placement
  • Residential youth care, 24-hour youth care, family homes, secure residential care facilities (JeugdzorgPlus), Juvenile Detention Centers (JJIs), forensic treatment
  • Motivation for behavior change, therapeutic alliance, treatment relationships, program integrity interventions
  • Professionalization and training of social workers in youth care
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI), Up2U treatment program
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods: effect studies, longitudinal follow-up studies, interview and observational studies



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