From an ethical point of view, the inclusion of children and young people in research is problematic due to their inability to give informed consent and meaningfully express their…
From an ethical point of view, the inclusion of children and young people in research is problematic due to their inability to give informed consent and meaningfully express their views. The ethical aspects of research are multiplied if the research participant might have experienced child abuse, neglect, exploitation, or other forms of violence or assisted in such acts. Talking about victimization might be difficult and generate a sense of betrayal of attachment figures. On the other hand, the usual ethical procedure of asking parents or other caretakers to give consent for their children to discuss issues of maltreatment gives them the power to act as gatekeepers to stop children from participating in research. Therefore, researchers should contemplate if parental consent should be waived and how research can be developed to mobilise children's agency and ensure their meaningful cooperation in researching different aspects of violence that affect them. This chapter presents and critically analyses different research examples and discusses their ethical dimensions from a children's rights perspective. The research questions start with discussing the utility of consulting children in research on maltreatment; the gatekeeping role of caregivers; the distress and harm eventually caused to children and young people by participation in research and the benefits of participation for children. The survey examples discussed lead to the conclusions that research on maltreatment might sometimes cause distress; caregivers' power to refuse consent for their children's participation in research on maltreatment can alter epidemiologic data and impede children's right to express their opinion on issues that are central to their lives and therefore, it should be waived; consulting children is essential for collecting data on and improving responses to child maltreatment; and children's contribution to research on maltreatment depends on the adopted methodologies of the research, more advanced forms of participation, and training children to express their opinions, thus enriching scientific knowledge and promoting change.
The objective of the chapter is to provide an integrative appraisal of recent participatory research projects with children on violence and maltreatment conducted by members of…
The objective of the chapter is to provide an integrative appraisal of recent participatory research projects with children on violence and maltreatment conducted by members of the COST Action CA 19106 working group on children's participation (WG3) and their colleagues to identify what is working well and what needs to change in future research. The evaluation of research examples clustered around four key questions: Why, when, how and how much do children participate in research? Data were collected using a unified tool designed to characterise participatory research, which was distributed among WG3 members. In addition, chapters of the current book were another source of data about participatory research. Overall, data on 19 studies involving 46,761 children were collected and analysed using Shier's matrix. Findings show that most studies (n = 10) engaged children as consultants to adults in data collection, whereas a few studies (n = 5) demonstrated a more children-led research approach. The analysis uncovered specific areas where more progress is required, including engaging children in decisions about the research topic, involving young children, utilising methods that are more natural and familiar to children, and gaining children's reflective accounts about their participation experience. The authors encourage scholars to publish their work to advance evidence-based knowledge and skills in participatory research with children about sensitive topics.
The topic of parent migration and its effects on the family environment has become a focus of moral dilemmas in East Europe for the last three decades. Children have been…
The topic of parent migration and its effects on the family environment has become a focus of moral dilemmas in East Europe for the last three decades. Children have been portrayed as social orphans and parents working abroad as neglectful parents. Today, with more evidence from research and experience, the impact of parental migration is much more comprehensive and nuanced, recognising its noxious or even harmful but also possibly empowering effects. This chapter reflects on the involvement of left-behind adolescents as co-researchers in a study of transnational families. It acknowledges the agentic role of children (often automatically labelled as victims of neglect), amplifies their voices to inform existing data on the impact of parents' departure to work abroad and identifies directions for intervention that might strengthen families.
The research is an integral part of CASTLE – Children Left Behind by Labour Migration, an ongoing project (June 2021–December 2023). 1 This chapter presents the research collaboration experience with 12 co-researcher adolescents with previous left-behind experiences, originating from Moldova and currently residing in Romania. The co-researchers participated in all stages of the research process: training, design of data collection, recruitment of research participants, data analysis and dissemination of results. Taking co-researcher roles had an empowering effect on adolescents, who learnt how to express their views on the topic, voiced their experiences about the emotional costs of being left behind by their parents and reflected on sensitive issues like separation of family members and violence in the family.
The neighbourhoods surrounding social housing are often characterised by poverty, high rates of unemployment, community violence and other social stress factors that are often…
The neighbourhoods surrounding social housing are often characterised by poverty, high rates of unemployment, community violence and other social stress factors that are often linked with adverse childhood experiences, including diverse forms of family, community and institutional violence against children. Based on the sociology of childhood, which considers children as active subjects with rights and promotes a critical understanding of their participation in matters that concern them, this chapter reviews participatory research with children, highlighting the importance of hearing their voices, to sustain their key role in building knowledge about them and the contexts in which they live. In this case, children participated in research to provide a deeper understanding of their needs in their neighbourhood, the role of their families and communities and what they needed to improve the quality of their lives.
Since the reforms started in the Romanian child protection, and in spite of adopting children’s rights, and investing in the professionalization of the child protection staff…
Since the reforms started in the Romanian child protection, and in spite of adopting children’s rights, and investing in the professionalization of the child protection staff, research has indicated that children continue to suffer violence in care settings.
This chapter contributes to the literature that documents children’s rights violations in Romanian residential care, before and after the political shift in 1989, including the period after the accession to the EU, by presenting and discussing interview data of 48 adults who spent parts of their childhoods in child protection settings.
The conceptual framework of this analysis is based on the human rights perspective and the transitional justice. The main body of the article presents the testimonials of adults who grew up in institutional care in Romania, as collected in the framework of the SASCA project, funded by the European Union. 1
Swedish society has systematically worked to improve children's health and well-being since the early twentieth century and is considered a leading figure globally in battling…
Swedish society has systematically worked to improve children's health and well-being since the early twentieth century and is considered a leading figure globally in battling violence against children. Awareness of violence against children and its detrimental effects on development and health is generally high in Sweden. Violence is also broadly recognised as a violation of human rights. A ban on corporal punishment was enacted in 1948 in social childcare institutions, in 1958 in schools, and in 1979 at home. The more recent landmark was the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, established as law on 1 January 2020. In line with convention's Article 12, stating that a child has the right to express their views in all matters affecting them, more attention to child participation has been paid since 2020. This chapter provides several recent examples of strategic measures that have been used to enhance child participation in governmental assignments and enquiries and state-funded research. We discuss the examples considering the United Nations convention and child participation methods and pinpoint opportunities and obstacles to further develop and consolidate child participation as a norm in publicly funded societal activities.
Increased emphasis is being placed on developing creative approaches when working with children in research settings, especially with sensitive research topics like violence…
Increased emphasis is being placed on developing creative approaches when working with children in research settings, especially with sensitive research topics like violence against children. Community art is a social form of art that gives artists the opportunity to work in collaboration with the public, with the aim of highlighting and addressing specific social issues. This chapter reflects on an art exhibition organised in Reykjavík called Wishes of Icelandic Children. The project was a collaboration between artists and children. The aim of the chapter is to present how an art exhibition may put violence that children experience into focus and encourage attendees to reflect on the subject by looking at descriptive pictures and texts from the Convention on the Rights of the Child and then writing comments about their thoughts and feelings. The research questions are: How do children express themselves about sensitive topics such as abuse and violence? Can community art enable professionals to better support increased participation of children in discussions about abuse and violence? This study involved a qualitative thematic analysis of comments written by children after having seen the exhibition. Three students took part in the analysis process as co-researchers. The exhibition was successful in creating a platform where children could express themselves on topics concerning abuse and violence. Many comments expressed an ardent desire to end violence in society, especially emphasising bullying, which can limit young people's capacity to feel safe and express themselves.
This chapter focuses on ways of giving voice to the survivors of institutional abuse and how their contribution can be capitalised in raising community awareness of this…
This chapter focuses on ways of giving voice to the survivors of institutional abuse and how their contribution can be capitalised in raising community awareness of this phenomenon. The collection of testimonies demonstrates that institutional abuse is a common and widespread phenomenon that in most cases remains unrevealed throughout the life course. The participatory research process we describe is part of an important social and clinical intervention developed in the framework of two projects. The chapter illustrates outputs and outcomes related to disclosure of institutional abuse and its long-term consequences, as well as the meaning and implications of collective trauma. Results confirm the need to promote the voice of survivors to build a new professional and community culture and sensitisation towards children's right to be heard as an essential instrument to prevent and detect institutional ill treatment. Participatory processes can overcome the resistance of individuals, professional communities and politicians to recognising the phenomenon, emphasising institutional responsibilities and the specific effects of a serious form of maltreatment that requires extraordinary and specific interventions in terms of intensity and flexibility. This chapter describes a fieldwork and research experience made possible thanks to a strong alliance with survivors who engaged in a process of reflection and theoretical elaboration that generated both social and clinical impacts.