Wednesday 17 April 2013

Being valued - workshop update - Part 1

Today is workshop 4 - the last in the series of “Getting It Right for Looked after Disabled Children and Young People”.

Mike Stein, University of York, presented “Care Less Lives” in England about the history of the young people’s rights movement in care. The chronological rights movements show the changes in how young people’s experiences have been included. Leeds Ad-lib group (1973), “Who cares?” (1975-1978), The National Association of Young People in Care (1979-1994), “Black and in Care” (1984-1985), “A National Voice” (1999-today) explore different campaign and strategies of looked after children.  While there has been change, certain themes continue to reoccur. There is an ongoing issue in disabled young people’s inclusion in these movements.

Jan Siska, Charles University in Prague, conducted research “Children’s Rights for All” to analyse implementation of the UNCRC in EU Member States from the perspective of children with intellectual disabilities during 2009 to 2011. The project includes national experts in 22 countries. The study focuses on statistical data, education, protection against violence and abuse, healthcare, encouraging participation and combatting discrimination, and family support and living in the community. The result shows that health is the best implemented right within the themes, education comes the second, followed by family support and living in the community. Abuse is the least recognised in implementation from the research finding.  Protection against violence and abuse shows the absence of policy or strategy. There is little information available about the forms of abuse suffered, and the assumption that preventive and reporting measures in case of abuse apply equally to all children

After the speakers’ presentation, there was group discussion about approaches to valuing looked after children’s experience, opinions of the development the of rights movement and insight from international perspectives. Participants suggested the importance of listening to children’s life stories and their opinions of education. The strategies and policies in different countries change from time to time as people’s recognition of the issue may change overtime. Nonetheless, children’s opinions should always be the core of considering any issues related to them.


Being valued - is the fourth and last in a series workshops looking at ‘Getting it right for looked after disabled children and young people’ (read about the 1st,  2nd and 3rd workshops on the blog.)

The workshops bring together academics, policy makers, service practitioners, third sector organisations, service user organisations to discuss and debate the key issues with the aim of generating an impetus for research, policy and practice that will ultimately improve the lives of looked after disabled children and young people.

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