Research abstracts: Participation of children

Author: Morris, Kate ; Burford, Gale
Title: Working with children’s existing networks – building better opportunities?
Reference: Social Policy and Society, 6(2), April 2007, pp.209-217

There is a considerable body of research that demonstrates the positive impact of involving children’s families and networks in designing and developing the services children need. This paper – using empirical evidence from evaluations conducted in the UK, USA and New Zealand – suggests professionals are struggling to promote participative practice. It explores this apparent resistance and raises some questions about the understandings held by professionals about children and families who take up child welfare services that enable traditional exclusive forms of practice to be sustained.

Author: Curt, Michael; Murtagh, Jane
Title: Participation of children and young people in research: competence, power and representation
Reference: British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(2), February 2007, pp.67-72

Over recent years, there has been a move away from researching “on” to researching “with” or “for” young people. This reflects the increasingly recognised right of young people to participate in research and to express their views and opinions. This has raised many issues that need to be considered when using research methodologies that aim to capture young people’s voices, perspectives, interests and rights. Perhaps the most pertinent of these issues are those of competence, power and representation. This article illustrates how each issue was dealt with in two research projects on young people who had a motor impairment and with the siblings of young people with a brain injury.

Author: Social Policy research Unit
Title: Supporting the participation of disabled children and young people in decision making
Publisher: York: University of York. Social Policy Research Unit, 2007. 4p

Although children’s participation in decision making is increasing, disabled children are less likely to be involved than non-disabled children and it is unclear to what extent children with complex needs or communication impairments are being included in participation activities. This briefing reports on the findings of research which set out to explore factors which can support good practice in participation of these 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.

Author: McLaughlin, Hugh
Title: Involving young service users as co-researchers: possibilities, benefits and costs
Reference: British Journal of Social Work, 36(8), December 2006, pp.1395-1410

This article seeks to contribute to the debate concerning the benefits and costs of involving young service users in research. The paper locates involvement within a continuum of consultation, collaboration and user-controlled research. The mandate for children and young people’s involvement is identified. In particular, the paper focuses on the benefits and costs in relation to: research and development research dissemination and service development service users and researchers. The article argues that the involvement of young service users as co-researchers is worthwhile, but that it should not be entered into lightly.

Related article
Participation of children in shaping services


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