The voice of the child in child protection decision-making: A cross-country comparison of policy and practice in England, Germany, and the Netherlands

Susanne Witte, Monica Lopez Lopez, Helen Baldwin

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


Children’s participation in all matters that concern them, particularly child protection
decision-making, have many positive effects on children. It is also their right granted by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, in child protection practice there are many obstacles to including children in decision-making processes. First, the articles reviews the policy and public discourse in England, Germany, and the Netherlands regarding children’s participation in investigations into suspected child maltreatment. Second, an analysis of 1,207 case files of investigations into suspected child maltreatment unfoldes the extent of children’s participation and factors associated with participation within the three countries. Although all three countries grant the right to participate in decision-making to children, documented participation in child protection decision-making is very low even when older children are considered. Children’s participation in decsion-making is closely linked to caretakers’ participation in decision-making. Thus, children are almost never included in decision-making when their caretaker is not. Children’s participation is associated with a higher likelihood for individual support for children in the Netherlands and Germany. The results point to the need for research on barriers of children’s participation as well as the need to provide more ressources for case workers to be able to facilitate children’s participation.
Originele taal-2English
TitelDecision Making and Judgement in Child Welfare and Protection
SubtitelTheory, Research, and Practice
RedacteurenJohn Fluke, Mónica López López, Rami Benbenishty, Erik J Knorth, Donald Baumann
Plaats van productieNew York
UitgeverijOxford University Press
StatusAccepted/In press - jun-2020

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