Chapter

Child, welfare, agency

Carolus van Nijnatten

in Children's agency, children's welfare

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9781847424891
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301837 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424891.003.0002
Child, welfare, agency

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This chapter introduces the case of Jennifer, who has been living in children's homes and foster families since the age of two. She has a history of neglect and abuse. Throughout her young life, Jennifer was shuttled between family and agency. Ellen is Jennifer's mentor during her current stay in sheltered lodgings. Ellen works in a non-dialogical environment in which she is barely able to express her observations and concerns about Jennifer in her own words. When she was admitted to child welfare, the professionals involved were not able to repair the damage done, partly because child welfare policy is disciplinary rather than dialogical. She also lacks a solid awareness of continuity, being unable to trust herself as someone capable of being relying on in different situations. In line with this, this book is an imperfect contribution to an imperfect child welfare practice.

Keywords: Jennifer; child welfare; child agency; non-dialogical environment; child welfare policy; continuity

Chapter.  5430 words. 

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