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Promoting children's rights through the use of relationship

Bell, M. (2002) Promoting children's rights through the use of relationship. Child & Family Social Work, 7 (1). pp. 1-11. ISSN 1356-7500

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Abstract

This paper reports on a research study exploring the views of 27 children and young people on their involvement in a child protection investigation. Their perspectives on the personal and professional qualities of the professionals involved and on the choice, influence and representation they experienced and prefer are discussed. One of the most striking findings is that most of the children and young people had experienced a positive relationship with a social worker. Overall, many reported improvements at home, at school and in their health and behaviour. Their responses to different aspects of the intervention are discussed within the context of their rights to participation, choice and representation. It is acknowledged that children lack agency in promoting these rights in child protection work and concluded that these are best promoted through the development and maintenance of a relationship of trust, offered by a key professional in their network. Drawing upon Heard & Lake's (1997) work on attachment theory, it is suggested, further, that relationships and processes which embody supportive and companionable interactions are more likely to offer opportunities for representation and participation than those which are dominant and submissive. Finally, it is argued that children's services should be based on a human rights perspective, the discourse of which has more in common with the values of respect and honesty than with cost effectiveness and business management.

Item Type: Article
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2009 15:34
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2009 15:34
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2206.2002.00225.X
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Identification Number: 10.1046/j.1365-2206.2002.00225.X
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5843

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