Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Childhood and Youth Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021) | Viewed by 20145

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Social Work Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Interests: child protection; child welfare

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Guest Editor
School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
Interests: social problems and social welfare; child protection and child welfare; social work; social policy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The idea of child-centrism has become increasingly prevalent in science, social policies, civil society, families, schools, health services, social work, and child welfare services. However, its meanings, interpretations, and practical implications are numerous and vary in different contexts and systems.

Child-centered policies have different expressions, but have in common that the perspective of the child or children’s perspectives and often also children’s rights are heavily promoted. This turn towards more child-centered societies impacts the everyday lives of children and families, parenting and caring practices, how societies organize schools and kindergartens, and the provision of universal and need-based services such as health services, economic support and child protection services. For example, child protection systems in many Western countries seem to have moved forward into a broader mandate, and their development reflects social policies focusing on social investments in children. In this context, child protection may have changed its reference from saving children from harm and serious abuse (protection) to concern about risk of “failing” lives and lifestyles. Child-centered policies and societies have undoubtedly improved the lives of many children. At the same time, the child-centered society has implications that have received less attention.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to invite papers that explore and investigate the idea of child centrism in different contexts and from various perspectives. We welcome contributions from all the social sciences including social work, social policy, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy, psychology, history, philosophy, and law, together with interdisciplinary papers. Articles might have theoretically and methodologically diverse approaches, and can cover the idea of child centrism from conceptual, empirical, policy and/or practice perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Bente Heggem Kojan
Prof. Dr. Nigel Parton
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • child centrism
  • child and family welfare
  • social investment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Producing Child-Centered Interventions: Social Network Factors Related to the Quality of Professional Development for Teachers of Autistic Students
by Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Jessica Suhrheinrich, Patricia Schetter, Allison Nahmias, Melina Melgarejo, Jennica Li, Jonas Ventimiglia, Yue Yu and Aubyn Stahmer
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(12), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10120453 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 3618
Abstract
Autistic students benefit from child-centered goals that align with evidence-based practices (EBPs) that meet their individualized needs, however, most teachers are not trained in how to implement autism-specific EBPs. The challenges do not lie with teachers alone. Professional development (PD) providers, such as [...] Read more.
Autistic students benefit from child-centered goals that align with evidence-based practices (EBPs) that meet their individualized needs, however, most teachers are not trained in how to implement autism-specific EBPs. The challenges do not lie with teachers alone. Professional development (PD) providers, such as district or regional autism experts who train and coach teachers on how to implement autism-specific EBPs, face barriers accessing the needed supports to conduct high-quality PD and lack experience with individualizing their methods for training and coaching teachers. When PD providers have networks of professional support, they can potentially gain access to resources to provide successful individualized coaching for teachers. No research has measured the impact of the social networks of PD providers on their performance as coaches in classrooms for teachers of autistic students. To test the hypothesis that social network resources can impact the performance of PD providers who coach teachers how to use EBPs for their autistic students, we conducted social network analysis with PD providers. Findings suggest that network factors were associated with the self-reported performance for PD providers. PD providers who have more people in their networks who were autism EBP experts, as well as more people in their networks who supported them with how to individualize their PD efforts to specific teachers or districts, had higher performance as teacher coaches. We discuss future research about how to support network development for PD providers and policy implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
13 pages, 514 KiB  
Article
The Participation of Children and Adolescents in the Protection System: The Case of the Spanish Legislation
by Anna Massons-Ribas, M. Àngels Balsells and Neus Cortada
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(7), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10070268 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2963
Abstract
Children’s right to participation is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), specifically in Article 12; however, the participation of children in the protection system continues to be a challenge. There is a need for a paradigm shift, in [...] Read more.
Children’s right to participation is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), specifically in Article 12; however, the participation of children in the protection system continues to be a challenge. There is a need for a paradigm shift, in which children and adolescents (CA) are considered as active subjects of rights in all areas of their lives, and that means allowing them to participate in decisions that concern them. The study analysed 20 Spanish laws, both national and autonomous, that regulate child protection and the rights of CA in the protection system. It focuses on examining the participation of children in the protection system, divided into its three dimensions: the right to be informed, the right to be heard and the right to be involved. There is complexity in the different regulations. All of them are consistent with the CRC and provide for participation, but not all to the same extent. There is a lack of harmonisation between the legislation of autonomous communities, leading to practical difficulties for the professionals who have to implement the legislation on a daily basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
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24 pages, 4435 KiB  
Article
A Critical Review of Standards to Examine the Parameters of Child-Friendly Environment (CFE) in Parks and Open Space of Planned Neighborhoods: A Case of Lucknow City, India
by Mohit Kumar Agarwal, Vandana Sehgal and Aurobindo Ogra
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060199 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5733
Abstract
The creation of cities has been one of the most phenomenal achievements of human endeavor. Adults are the major stakeholders for such achievements but the children are helpless and representationless. The current research paper aims at understanding the issues faced by the children [...] Read more.
The creation of cities has been one of the most phenomenal achievements of human endeavor. Adults are the major stakeholders for such achievements but the children are helpless and representationless. The current research paper aims at understanding the issues faced by the children in the rapidly urbanized world where the lack of child-friendly environments/open spaces for their outdoor activities is cause for concern. The research paper looked at various national and international norms, standards, and practices of parks and open spaces to identify various child-friendly environmental parameters. The research adopted the Delphi method as a tool for the validation of child-friendly environment parameters. It also used children’s drawings and essays to understand children’s perceptions about the child-friendly environment. It is observed that present government norms and policies do not adhere to those parameters. The research found that Lucknow city does not meet the defined quantitative norms and standards as laid out by the national norms and standards for open spaces and parks. The quality dimensions for planning a child-friendly environment are weakly addressed by cities and neighborhoods. The city neighborhoods lack the physical, cognitive, perceptional, emotional, and social dimensions of a child-friendly environment. There is a need to adopt suitable norms and standards with measurable parameters as part of various dimensions and implement these in creating a child-friendly environment in planned neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
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Review

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15 pages, 360 KiB  
Review
The What, Why and How of Child Participation—A Review of the Conceptualization of “Child Participation” in Child Welfare
by Berit Skauge, Anita Skårstad Storhaug and Edgar Marthinsen
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020054 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5929
Abstract
This review explores the conceptualization of “child participation” in a child welfare context. The analyses are based on the theories, models and concepts researchers apply when framing their studies. Central to the authors’ conceptualizing is the understanding of why children should participate. Children’s [...] Read more.
This review explores the conceptualization of “child participation” in a child welfare context. The analyses are based on the theories, models and concepts researchers apply when framing their studies. Central to the authors’ conceptualizing is the understanding of why children should participate. Children’s rights are a common starting point for many authors, but they differ on whether children should participate out of consideration for children’s intrinsic value (e.g., concern for their well-being) or for the instrumental value of the participation itself (e.g., service outcome). The analysis also focuses on how authors measure participation level. The analysis showed that most authors presented a limited rights-focused goal for the collaboration with children, while a minority group problematized the concept. Although several researchers emphasize that participation requires a process, few authors see the meaning-making process as the main purpose of child participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
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