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Children, young people and social inclusion

Children, young people and social inclusion: Participation for what?

E. Kay M. Tisdall
John M. Davis
Alan Prout
Malcolm Hill
Copyright Date: 2006
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  • Book Info
    Children, young people and social inclusion
    Book Description:

    This book asks how far and in what way social inclusion policies are meeting the needs and rights of children and young people. Leading authors write from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines including social policy, education, geography and sociology. The book critically examines the concepts of participation and social inclusion and their links with children and childhoods and considers the geography of social inclusion and exclusion. It explores young people's own conceptualisations of social inclusion and exclusion; and examines how these concepts have been expressed in policy at various levels. The book concludes with an agenda for progressing participation and social inclusion, both for and with children and young people. Children, young people and social inclusion will be of interest to academics, students and policy makers, as well as to a wide range of practitioners including teachers, youth workers, participation workers and those working in interagency settings.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-170-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. v-v)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  5. Notes on contributors
    (pp. vii-xii)
  6. Part One: Children and poverty

    • TWO Childhood poverty: a barrier to social participation and inclusion
      (pp. 23-38)
      Tess Ridge

      Participation is a fundamental principle of social inclusion, and ‘fitting in’ and

      ‘joining in’ with the everyday activities and expectations of peers is a driving force in children’s lives. Without satisfactory opportunities for participation, children’s social lives can be disrupted and restricted. For children who are poor, gaining access to adequate resources and opportunities for social participation is a significant concern. Poverty can have a profound impact on participation, excluding children from social experiences available to other more affluent children, and encroaching on their capacity to develop and maintain satisfactory social relationships.

      The voices of children who are poor are...

    • THREE Children’s perspectives on social exclusion and resilience in disadvantaged urban communities
      (pp. 39-56)
      Malcolm Hill, Katrina Turner, Moira Walker, Anne Stafford and Peter Seaman

      For politicians, campaigners and academics alike, the conjunction of the words

      ‘children’ and ‘poverty’ (or social exclusion) tends to be associated with a discourse of victimhood. There is a plethora of evidence about the harm caused to children who grow up in poverty in the UK, let alone worldwide (Bradshaw and Mayhew,2005). It is undoubtedly important that poverty should be tackled, because of the effects on children’s current well-being, as well as their future life chances. Children brought up in poverty tend to have poorer than average health and educational achievements. They are less likely to receive regular pocket money,...

    • FOUR Children and the local economy: another way to achieve social inclusion
      (pp. 57-72)
      Rosie Edwards

      Here is an opportunity to view the world differently. This chapter sets three challenges to those seeking to tackle child poverty and social exclusion. The first is that the local economy can have an impact on child poverty. The second is that an asset-and solution-based focus on child poverty can have a more positive and sustainable impact. The third is that children and young people should be seen as positive agents for change in their communities, who can also have an impact on both child poverty and social inclusion. I shall start with the perceived picture as it stands, and...

  7. Part Two: Participation:: politics and policy

    • FIVE Reconnecting and extending the research agenda on children’s participation: mutual incentives and the participation chain
      (pp. 75-102)
      Alan Prout, Richard Simmons and Johnston Birchall

      During the past two decades, many societies have seen an accelerating movement towards the idea that children should participate in public affairs and have a voice in relation to decisions that affect them. Enshrined in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), this notion has gathered both general support and efforts at practical implementation. Indeed, it has become part of the rhetorical orthodoxy, even among those such as the current English government, which has been a generally unenthusiastic proponent of children’s rights. For example, five years ago the Children and Young People’s Unit...

    • SIX Included in governance? Children’s participation in ‘public’ decision making
      (pp. 103-120)
      E. Kay M. Tisdall and Robert Bell

      Peters (1996) comments: ‘... the very people who may have the most to gain from participation may be the same people who are least likely actually to participate in the policy process’ (p 121). This comment is particularly true for children¹. Children are subject to intense state and public intervention and are some of the highest users of public services but, until recently, they have been officially excluded from the policy process.

      Now, children’s participationison the national policy agenda in the UK. Overviews of activities across the UK (Carnegie Young People Initiative,2001; Cutler and Taylor,2003) point to a...

    • SEVEN The Irish National Children’s Strategy: lessons for promoting the social inclusion of children and young people
      (pp. 121-138)
      John Pinkerton

      The focus of this chapter is the Irish National Children’s Strategy published in 2000 (NCO,2000). The strategy is a high mark in central government policy making with regard to Irish children. It was an internationally innovative attempt to address, within a national jurisdiction, the global agenda of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), ratified by Ireland in 1992. The 10-year strategy commits to three overarching and interlinked goals:

      to give children a voice; to understand children’s lives better; and to provide children with quality support and services. This chapter describes the origins, development and contents...

    • EIGHT International developments in children’s participation: lessons and challenges
      (pp. 139-156)
      Gerison Lansdown

      The years since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989 have borne witness to an extraordinary proliferation of activity all over the world as professionals, academics, local activists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), politicians, policy makers and children have sought to grapple with the implications of the principle embodied in its Article 12, which recognises children’s right to express their views and be taken seriously in all matters affecting them. Understanding of what is meant by participation varies widely but, if it is to be meaningful, needs to be an ongoing process of...

  8. Part Three: Opening up theoretical spaces for inclusion and participation

    • NINE Spaces of participation and inclusion?
      (pp. 159-178)
      Michael Gallagher

      This chapter presents a series of reflections on children’s participation and inclusion from a geographical perspective. It begins by giving a brief overview of recent work on children’s spaces in human geography, going on to explore some of the key concepts the geographical imagination has to offer the theorisation of children’s participation and inclusion. With this conceptual framework in place, it then looks at research on children and their relationships to school spaces. It concludes by drawing out some problems that this literature raises for the creation of participatory and inclusive spaces. Throughout, the intention is not to provide a...

    • TEN From children’s services to children’s spaces
      (pp. 179-198)
      Peter Moss

      This chapter¹ is about ‘public provisions for children’. This term is used here to encompass a wide range of out-of-home settings where groups of children come together, from schooling, through a range of early childhood, play and out-of-school services as well as group residential settings, to lightly structured spaces for children’s outdoor, unsupervised play. It excludes, for the purposes of this chapter, a wide range of provisions working with children and young people on an individual basis, such as, for example, foster care, social work and counselling.

      The need to use this clumsy term arises because of the desire to...

    • ELEVEN Child–adult relations in social space
      (pp. 199-216)
      Berry Mayall

      This chapter frames children’s social relations with adults in the context of

      socio-political characteristics of child–adult relations in the UK. It argues that these characteristics help explain how children’s social relations differ, according to setting. Broadly, children have more chance of respectful relations with adults in the ‘private domain’ of the home than they do with professionals in the ‘public domain’. However, this is a complicated and mixed picture, as the chapter suggests. And the picture is a shifting one, which intersects with changing representations of children.

      Chapter One briefly reviewed the development of social exclusion/inclusion policies in the...

    • TWELVE Participation with purpose
      (pp. 217-234)
      Liam Cairns

      The past 20 years have seen a change in the language and the rhetorical framework within which the debate about social policy for children and young people is conducted. There is a growing acceptance, in principle at least, that children and young people are not simply objects of adult concern, but should be seen as citizens with rights. The most obvious manifestation of this change can be seen in the near-universal ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, endorsed by the UK Government in 1991).

      Many of the rights contained in the UNCRC are...

    • THIRTEEN Conclusion: social inclusion, the welfare state and understanding children’s participation
      (pp. 235-246)
      Alan Prout and E. Kay M. Tisdall

      This book is one of the fruits of a three-year-long, extremely rich and productive dialogue between scholars, practitioners and policy makers¹. Given the rich experience of this group, not to mention their personal commitments to extending and deepening children’s participation, it is to be expected that we want this book to make a contribution to those tasks. At the most basic level, the contributors have demonstrated a point fundamental to arguments in favour of children’s participation: that children are not simply empty containers, to be filled and moulded by adult knowledge. Ridge (Chapter Two), for instance, shows how children actively...

  9. Index
    (pp. 247-256)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 257-260)