Shared responsibility for children in care

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktFormidling


The responsibility of children in care is shared by a number of professionals placed in different contexts. Parents are responsible for the “big issues” in these children’s lives, while many professionals are involved in the children´s everyday life across home, residential home, schools and institutions. These groups of professionals contribute to the children’s everyday lives according to historically developed divisions of responsibility. It is a daily challenge to professionals, how they jointly support children in care so the children can be part of children´s communities in the places where they live.
Children in care are among the most disadvantaged groups in our society and currently there is much concern for how these children can achieve the same “life chances” as other kids. Studies have revealed that children in care as adults do not achieve the same educational and social possibilities as other kids. These differences are often explained by pointing at individual or family inheritance. This paper takes the perspective that social exclusion is multi-dimensional, and the cross-professional structuring of children´s everyday life plays an important role. Processes of social exclusion or inclusion is analysed as a part of the distribution of responsibility situated in the interplay between professionals across institutions and municipal authorities. The professionals who possess the highest authority in children´s lives are for example furthest away from the children´s everyday life. Professional´s across contexts creates conditions for each other’s work and they contribute from different positions to the common possibilities of action.
The paper applies the critical psychological notions of inter-subjectivity, situated learning and the conduct of everyday life across contexts (Dreier 2008, Holzkamp 1998). Conflicts between professionals, lack of coordination and difficulties in exchanging of knowledge all contribute to the construction of problems in the field of caring for these children. The paper discusses how professionals in different contexts need to do something differently and work flexible in order to contribute to the support of these children´s participation in communities. The paper discusses how to understand cooperation across professional practices as in the same time situated, flexible and goal-orientated.
StatusUdgivet - 2014


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