Children have a right enshrined within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to participate in decisions that affect them, and their participation in social care services can have a positive impact on their own self-esteem and confidence, but also the quality of service and decisions made by the social care professionals working with them.
Everyone seems to agree on the idea that children have to be heard, but not on how, where and when they can participate, or the organisational cultures needed to facilitate it. Promoting Children's Rights in Social Work and Social Care addresses these questions. Margaret Bell looks at the reality of children's life experiences, examines the variety of definitions of participation and highlights creative initiatives for children's involvement which have proven successful. Four research studies on children's participation in the UK are presented, which draw on interviews with children aged 6-19 and cover children's views on decision-making and recording processes, their opinions on the social work help they have received, how involved they feel, and the responses of the agencies involved.
This book will be essential reading for any social work or social care professional working with children, as well as students and academics in the social work and social care fields. It will also be invaluable to those involved in promoting children's rights and child participation.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Series editor's foreword. Mary John, University of Exeter, UK. Introduction. Part 1. 1. What is Participation? Definitions, Arenas and Outcomes. 2. What is Participation? Different Methods. 3. The Policy and Background to Participatory Practice. 4. The Theoretical Underpinnings of Participatory Practice. 5. What Gets in the Way? Adult Attitudes, the World in Which Children Live and Organisational Culture and Values. Part 2. Introduction: Research Studies on Children's Experiences of Participation. 6. The Involvement of Children in Family Group Conferences. 7. The Participation of Children in Initial Child Protection Investigations. 8. The Participation of Children in Social Work Electronic Records. 9. Children's Views on their Involvement in Service Evaluation and Design: the RUBeing Heard Project. 10. Implications for Practice. 11. Conclusion. References. Author Index. Subject Index.