Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 22nd Jan 2022, 01:30:40pm EET

Session Overview
Keynote Speech 3: Participatory Approaches with Children in Child Protective Services: Tokenistic Presence or Not? Prof Karmen Toros
Friday, 18/June/2021:
9:45am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Merike Sisask

Session Abstract

Although participatory approaches have gained considerable popularity in discussions regarding child protection internationally, it remains a complex area of practice ― research indicates that children’s voices are only partially visible during assessment and decision-making. Nevertheless, previous research suggests that children in child protection system want to be more heard and understood, with their opinions being taken into account. In order to identify the child’s needs and to act in the child’s best interests, the child’s views of the situation and his/her opinions and wishes are crucial. It is believed that children are given a central position, not as objects for decisions but as subjects and experts in relation to knowledge of their lives, including needs and therefore, children needing to be acknowledged and treated as experts on matters involving their lives. It stresses that children are competent social actors with valuable views on their daily life. Furthermore, the importance of the participation of children in terms of the beneficial outcomes of the intervention-related decisions, impacting their lives. However, practitioners tend to underestimate children’s capacity to participate and make meaning of their needs This presentation focuses on several questions: Are children competent enough to know what they want? Is engaging children in participation protecting children or causing harm? Where do we go from here?

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