Putting the child at the center of inter-professional cooperation in out-of-home care

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Abstract

A large part of most children’s childhood is about taking part in educational and leisure-time activities together with other children across various contexts. However, children in out-of-home care do not always have easy access to these possibilities for participation. In general, parents coordinate their children´s everyday lives, but in the case of children in out-of-home care, the responsibility of care is distributed between several professionals and institutions. Research often recommends that inter-professional cooperation should put the child at the center and be more child-focused. But what does that mean? The article investigates theoretical understandings of ‘child centeredness’ in inter-professional cooperation. It also includes an empirical example taken from a research project that followed four children in their everyday lives in two residential homes in Denmark. The research explored how professionals work together across contexts in order to support children to take part in school and leisure-time activities. The overall reasoning leads to the point that for children in out-of-home care, the possibility of exercising personal agency in their everyday life constitutes a difficult but vital issue. How children in out-of-home care learn how to conduct their everyday lives, is closely related to the ways professionals cooperate across contexts. It points to the need for close inter-professional cooperation in order to encourage and support children´s initiatives and engagements in activities in communities with other children.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftChild & Family Social Work
ISSN1356-7500
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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