A Guide to Participatory Practice
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.