Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Who is being helped? : the challenge of including adolescents in child protection
Authors: Lätsch, David Cyrill
Tausendfreund, Tim
Brink, Ida Ofelia
et. al: No
Published in: Enhancing and sustaining social inclusion through social work research
Conference details: 11th European Conference for Social Work Research (ECSWR) : Enhancing and sustaining social inclusion through social work research, Amsterdam, 6-8 April 2022
Issue Date: 7-Apr-2022
Language: English
Subjects: Guardianship; Best interest of the child; Child agency; Child protection mandate; Child support; Child deputyship
Subject (DDC): 362.7: Youth services
Abstract: Background: In the Swiss child protection system, when child well-being is endangered, social workers are often assigned to the family both to assist the family in improving the situation and to monitor the best interests of the child. We examined how caregivers and adolescents perceived these “child guardianships” in terms of participation, fairness, and impact. Methods: A client survey was combined with in-depth case studies. The survey included 213 caregivers (31 % fathers) and 86 adolescents (51 % girls). In the case studies, 19 caregivers and 10 adolescents were interviewed. Findings: A minority of caregivers had strong reservations about the fairness and efficacy of the guardianships. Fathers and German native-speaking caregivers perceived the guardian-ships as significantly less fair than did mothers and non-native speakers, respectively. More than half of adolescents reported they did not fully understand the objectives of the guardianship, and a majority said the support was not generally effective in improving their own situation or their family’s. In the interviews, adolescents often seemed to trust the social worker to be assisting the parent in some way, but they rarely saw the social worker as any help to themselves. Conclusions: The study examines a key challenge to child protection practice: how to directly include children and adolescents in support processes that are occasioned by perceived problems in the parents’ actions towards their children. Our findings reveal that under present circumstances in Switzerland, adolescents often feel detached. We conclude by considering cases that seemed to defy that rule.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Social Work
Organisational Unit: Institute of Childhood, Youth and Family (IKJF)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Familiäre Ressourcen in der Krise?
Appears in collections:Publikationen Soziale Arbeit

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