chapter  11
Children’s rights, social justice and family support
Developing inclusive, socially just and participatory practice
ByJohn M. Davis, Mary Smith
Pages 14

This chapter argues that when approaching family support with too narrow a focus on the family unit, professionals may overlook the inner complexities, relationships and power dynamics that create such a unit. It demonstrates that such dynamics cannot be underestimated, as it is this very combination of relationships that creates the individual family circumstance with which a family support professional will come into contact. The chapter critically differentiates between effort based on 'need', child 'well-being' and 'rights/social justice' and encourages family support professionals to be more honest about their capacity to deliver support that children actually want. It evolves a participatory perspective on family support and poses questions about how children and young people are involved as active family support service users. Children aspire to resolve a range of social justice issues including: recognition of their rights, access to local conflict resolution, removal of injustice enablement of stronger familial/local relationships and experience of more effective anti-discriminatory practice.