Research Abstracts: Children’s Participation

Title: Supporting the participation of disabled children and young people in decision making.
Publisher: York: University of York. Social Policy Research Unit, 2007. 4p.
Abstract This briefing reports on the findings of research that set out to explore factors which can support good practice in participation of disabled children. The research consisted of a national survey of social services departments in England and case studies in six local authorities who had involved children in decision making. The findings discussed include: the extent of disabled children’s participation professionals and parents views on participation facilitators and barriers and outcomes of participation.
Series: (Research Works January 2007, No.2007-01)

Title: Agency policy and the participation of children and young people in the child protection process.
Author: SANDERS Robert, MACE Sam
Reference: Child Abuse Review, March-April 2006, pp.89-109.
Abstract: This article explores agency policy in relation to children’s participation in the child protection process. This was done by examining policy documents and conference minutes and by interviewing social workers and conference chairs working in child protection in Wales. Issues about the participation of children and young people iare identified and examined. The lack of children’s direct participation was noted, but many agencies were taking action to inform themselves of children’s views indirectly. Advocacy was being more frequently used, and valued where it was available, but did raise some role dilemmas. The child-unfriendly nature of child protection processes was identified as a barrier to promoting children’s voices. The contradiction of trying to promote children’s direct participation in a process that is not geared towards their direct involvement was noted. The lack of children’s input into service planning for child protection services was seen as significant.

Title: My turn to talk: a guide to help children in care aged 11 or younger have a say about how they are looked after
Author: LANYON Claire, SINCLAIR Ruth
Publisher: London: National Children’s Bureau, 2005. 21p.
Abstract This guide offers practical tips and advice to looked-after children about how they can have more say in their care. The guide includes: a description of the care planning process, advice on how they can have more say in decisions about their care, what to do if they are unhappy, and where to go for extra help.

Title: Listening to young children: experts in their own lives.
Author: CLARK Alison, STATHAM June
Reference: Adoption and Fostering, 29(1), Spring 2005, pp.45-56.
Abstract: Few studies have considered the views and experiences of young children (under five years old). One of the barriers to this work has been uncertainty about “how to listen” to children at this age. This article explores the Mosaic approach, which brings together verbal and visual tools to reveal young children’s perspectives. Examples are given from two research studies that illustrate how young children used cameras and participatory activities such as tours and map-making to highlight important people, places and events and to share views with adults. The discussion focuses on the applications of this approach for young children who experience fostering and adoption, including the potential for young children to document and to communicate the important details of their present as well as past lives.


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