“Ooh is it far down”: voicing the child’s viewpoint during supported visitations between children placed in care and their birth parents

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


When children are placed in out-of-home care in Denmark, social services must work to maintain the child’s contact with parents, siblings, and other relatives in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 9. Thus, most children placed in care visit their parent(s) on a regular basis – usually every second weekend or one weekend a month. However, sometimes direct contact with the parent(s) involves a risk to the child’s physical or emotional safety. In such cases social services may decide to make the visit supervised and/or provide support to ensure the child’s well-being during the visit with the parent(s). The supervision and support are performed by professional staff called “visitation consultants” (usually trained social workers or pedagogues) and can take place in the parents’ home or at the local family centre.
During these supervised or supported visits the professional will mostly sit quietly and let the parent(s) interact with the child. However, occasionally professionals intervene in ways that are either oriented to ensure the child’s safety and well-being and/or to support or develop the relationship between the parent(s) and the child. In this paper I explore a small collection of such instances of intervention seemingly aimed at adjusting the parent’s behaviour in the situation by alerting them to a perceived inner state of the child. The data is from four videotaped visitations between three children from the age of 3-12 placed in foster care and their birth parent(s).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023
EventConversation Analysis and Social Work Conference - Online
Duration: 1 Jun 20231 Jun 2023
Conference number: 3


ConferenceConversation Analysis and Social Work Conference
Internet address


  • children and youth
  • social work and social conditions
  • research designs, theory and method

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