'They Didn't Tell Me Anything; They Just Sent Me Home': Children's Participation in the Return Home.
Mateos, Ainoa. Vaquero, Eduard. Balsell, M. Angels. Ponce, Carmen.
Published: May 2017
Child and Family Social Work
Vol. 22, No. 2 , p. 871-880
John Wiley & Sons
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
The reality of child protection systems typically demonstrates a lack of attention to the voices of children. There are studies that confirm this fact and offer evidence of the benefits of participation, but gaps remain regarding the elements and processes that favour it. This qualitative study attempts to contribute to knowledge in this area through a detailed analysis of the perspectives of the actors involved and the role that children play in the return home.This article analyses the elements involved in the participation of the children when a return home is proposed after a period of family or residential foster care. As part of the study, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted and 22 discussion groups were created with a total of 135 participants (63 child protection services workers, 42 parents and 30 children and adolescents). The data were analysed using a content analysis process and underwent a peer review process in Atlas.ti. The results indicate that the participation of children and adolescents in the return home centres around (i) understanding the return home, (ii) strategies and emotional processes and (iii) social support. (Author abstract)
child engagement; child protection; child welfare services; family reunification; childs attitudes; foster children