This article describes a research project designed to explore the ways in which young people with experience of the care system in Ireland understand ‘family’, family relationships and connections. We chose Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT) as the conceptual and analytical framework for the research as it focuses on privileging the voice of research participants and raises our awareness of our own personal biases/preconceptions. In this article, we reflect on the actions of researchers in the co-production of knowledge. As the study described in this paper is ongoing, we do not report on findings at this stage. Instead, we clearly describe the rationale informing our choice of CGT for this research. We also outline what we have learned so far through our experiences of CGT as a research methodology. The steps adopted throughout this research project to enhance reflexivity and to address ethics in the researcher/ participant dynamic also feature in this article. As there is more than one way to raise the voices of young people, we propose CGT as one way of designing and implementing research to explicitly promote the young person participant as an active co-producer of knowledge about family and care systems.