How resilient do we want our children and young people to be?

dogbod2017, blog

As a social worker I was fortunate to meet a number of children and young people who I would describe as ‘resilient’. The work of Gilligan (2001) was highly influential on my practice and I considered ways in which I might foster resilience in the children I worked with, particularly those children to whom we owed corporate parenting responsibilities… Read More »

Bringing girls’ gender identities into children’s rights

dogbod2018, blog

Whilst attending the UN Day of General Discussion in Geneva, I was part of a panel discussion of adults and young people sharing the platform equally, which in itself signified much more than dialogue at the UN level; it was a milestone reflecting a substantial change on the way that children and young people can be positioned in public decision-making.… Read More »

What does ‘home’ mean for children whose parents have separated?

dogbod2018, blog

Home is a familiar yet complex idea. Its meaning extends beyond a physical dwelling to include a feeling of comfort, a sense of control over space, connections with family and other important people, and a site in which rituals and routines create feelings of belonging. A sense of home can be important in helping people build their identity, psychological wellbeing and trust in… Read More »

In a search for competence? Children’s participation in family law proceedings

dogbod2018, blog

I have been on a journey for the few past months, in terms of exploring the underlying reasons why we find it so challenging to involve children and young people in decisions that affect them. Involving children and young people is required by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and is frequently promoted by policy, institutional leaders and key practitioners… Read More »

Children’s Participation in Decision-Making: Questioning Competence and Competencies

dogbod2018, blog

Children’s participation rights remain highly dependent on adults, who in one way or another, hold powerful positions such as legal guardians, administrative or political decision-makers, or front-line professionals. The attitudes of such adults towards children and childhood strongly influence whether or not the adults recognise, facilitate and support children’s participation… Read More »

Resilience in early years—continuing the conversation

dogbod2018, blog

by Dr Caralyn Blaisdell Dr Caralyn Blaisdell continues our discussion on the theme of resilience and how this term is being used. “We like to think of childhood as a time of joy and innocence—for many of us it’s just not true.” …so opens the trailer for the Resilience documentary, an American film currently touring through the children’s sector in Scotland. The film is a public service announcement dealing with the “biology of stress and the science of hope”. It explores the ways that exposure to trauma, particularly during childhood, affects a person’s whole being, and looks at associations with future health outcomes. Research suggests that prolonged stress is associated with poorer health outcomes in childhood and adulthood. The film specifically focuses on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study but resonates with a wider body of research—for example, hypotheses about the ‘weathering’ effects on health of chronic stressors such as racism. The tagline for the film is ‘the biology of stress and the science of hope’. It is perhaps the ‘hope’ elements of the documentary that are particularly important to interrogate. The film is from a US context and – perhaps unsurprisingly, given its origin – focuses largely on individualised remedies. … Read More

Resilience – continuing the conversation

dogbod2017, blog

It’s not a surprise that our seminar, ‘The Troubling Concept of Resilience’, received such interest. In recent years, fostering resilience has become a central dimension not only of early years, education and youth policy, but wider social policy and practice. The concept has, arguably, come from a sensible place: research that has sought to understand why, and in… Read More »

Making rights real for children. What a welcome strapline for Scottish Government’s children’s policy and service reform

dogbod2017, blog

As recognised in the recent seminar series on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in Scotland, Scotland has made considerable progress in realising children’s rights. But we still have much further to go: for example, in comprehensively recognising all of children’s human rights and in ensuring children and young people’s participation is meaningful… Read More »

Supporting children and families in early childhood: When does community action let the Government off the hook?

dogbod2017, blog

In Tanzania too many people live hand to mouth, as deep and shallow poverty exist side by side. The prevailing belief is that children unite a family, but that they should defer to adults. Until recently young children have been considered by the Government to be the responsibility of the family and not a group that warrants any services beyond health care.… Read More »