About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6480-6486
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1557

Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain

MEANINGS AND STRATEGIES OF CHILD PARTICIPATION IN RESIDENTIAL CARE CENTERS: A THEORETICAL REFLECTION

C.C. Montà, E. Biffi

Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca (ITALY)
This paper aims at offering a theoretical reflection on child participation’s meanings and strategies in Residential Care Centers (hereafter RCC).

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development intends on investing in children, viewing them as contributors to the construction of a more just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world. The UN manifesto also emphasizes the need to strive for a nurturing environment in which children can fully realize their rights and capabilities (SDG’s Declaration, para.25). Hence, it is vital to reflect on the meanings and strategies of child participation in alternative care settings ( UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, 2012), where children are more vulnerable by definition and often precluded from contributing to the decisions concerning their lives (Heimer, Näsman, & Palme, 2018; Vis & Thomas, 2009), although mechanisms to ensure their participation have been implemented (CoE, 2011).

Ensuring children’s participation, especially younger children’s participation, in the child protection system is challenging for practitioners, as it requires balancing their institutional mandate as adults in charge of protecting the child (which entails dynamics of power and authority) with the need to competently foster the child’s own participation as a key form of intervention against violence, also institutional violence (Foucault, 1975; Goffman, 1961), and as a form of prevention of, and a strategy for coping with, adverse childhood experiences.
Hence, RCC practitioners require specific professional competence if they are to understand the meanings and value of child participation and encourage its practice, especially when dealing with younger children, in their educational relationship with the child.

Thus, there is a need to identify forms and strategies of participation, sustainable both for practitioners (taking into account their institutional mandate and the associated constraints) and for children (in light of their particular stage of development and their specific life stories).
The paper will present a reflection on the international policy framework on child participation, with a specific focus on participation in RCCs. At the heart of the paper a reflection on meanings, forms and strategies of child participation in RCCS.

References:
[1] Council of Europe. (2011). Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)12 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on children’s rights and social services friendly to children and families.
[2] Foucault, M. (1975). Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison. Gallimard.
[3] Goffman, E. (1961). Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patrients and Other Innates. Dubledzay.
[4] Heimer, M., Näsman, E., & Palme, J. (2018). Vulnerable children's rights to participation, protection, and provision: The process of defining the problem in Swedish child and family welfare. Child & Family Social Work, 23(2), 316-323.
[5] UN General Assembly. (2010). Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children: resolution/adopted by the General Assembly. A/RES/64/142.
[6] UN General Assembly. (2015). Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A/RES/70/1.
[7] Vis, S. A., & Thomas, N. (2009). Beyond talking–children's participation in Norwegian care and protection cases: Ikke bare snakk–barns deltakelse i Norske barnevernssaker. European Journal of Social Work, 12(2), 155-168.
@InProceedings{MONTA2019MEA,
author = {Montà, C.C. and Biffi, E.},
title = {MEANINGS AND STRATEGIES OF CHILD PARTICIPATION IN RESIDENTIAL CARE CENTERS: A THEORETICAL REFLECTION},
series = {12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2019 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-14755-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2019.1557},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2019.1557},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {11-13 November, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {6480-6486}}
TY - CONF
AU - C.C. Montà AU - E. Biffi
TI - MEANINGS AND STRATEGIES OF CHILD PARTICIPATION IN RESIDENTIAL CARE CENTERS: A THEORETICAL REFLECTION
SN - 978-84-09-14755-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2019.1557
PY - 2019
Y1 - 11-13 November, 2019
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2019 Proceedings
SP - 6480
EP - 6486
ER -
C.C. Montà, E. Biffi (2019) MEANINGS AND STRATEGIES OF CHILD PARTICIPATION IN RESIDENTIAL CARE CENTERS: A THEORETICAL REFLECTION, ICERI2019 Proceedings, pp. 6480-6486.
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