Focus 1: Participation of children and young people in care decisions and care settings
‘User participation and professional practice in child protection services’ is an action research project run in cooperation with two child protection services in Norway looking at how to strengthen the participation of young people in decisions about their care. It uses a dialogue-based participation group for young people in child protection and a group for parents who have lost custody of their children.
The initiative for young people resulted in changes in the practice of the child protection centre so that young people were now fully involved in meetings that would make decisions about their future care. The parents group provided the parents with the opportunity to influence child protection services by enabling parents to develop greater consciousness concerning possibilities for taking effective action in relation to care decisions affecting their own children.
The experience from this project suggests that there is a need to support the development of models of collective user participation in order to provide service users with the power to influence service delivery.
For more information see: Seim, S. and Siettebo, T. (2011). Collective participation in child protection services: partnership or tokenism? European Journal of Social Work, 14(4), 497-512. DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2010.500477