Journal Article

Children’s Voices: The Views of Vulnerable Children on Their Service Providers and the Relevance of Services They Receive

Carol Aubrey and Sarah Dahl

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 1, pages 21-39
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch249
Children’s Voices: The Views of Vulnerable Children on Their Service Providers and the Relevance of Services They Receive

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This paper describes and analyses the views of vulnerable children of eleven years and under on the relevance of services they received. The two research questions posed were, first, what are effective practices for engaging with vulnerable children; and, second, how can the voices of vulnerable children be used to influence the development of policy? The first question was addressed through a systematic review of existing literature on effective strategies for interviewing vulnerable children and revealed that few studies that focus on interviewing young children are designed to address effectiveness. As yet, not all young children are asked for their views by those making decisions about their lives, though their involvement increases with age. The second question was addressed through focus groups and interviews which revealed that children hold many valid views related to their roles and relationships with service providers and decisions being made concerning their lives. It was concluded that whilst children’s lived experience of services they receive could contribute to the creation of more democratic communities in which children and their families participate, it remains to be seen whether the new Green Paper, Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003), increases their sense of autonomy or merely extends the degree to which they are controlled.

Keywords: children’s views of service providers; listening to children; voices of vulnerable children.

Journal Article.  8490 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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