Children and young people's right to participate in decisions affecting their lives has received considerable attention in recent years; however, there is no fixed definition of what their involvement means in practice and there is no consensus regarding how to determine the level of involvement. The purpose of this study was to use a questionnaire-based approach to quantitatively investigate the involvement of vulnerable young people in their own case processing.
Based on quantitative measures of young people's relationships to their caseworkers, how well informed they feel and how much influence they seem to have, we analysed how involved young people feel in their own case processing and we show significant differences in involvement using a combination of survey and administrative data. We found considerable co-existence of poor well-being and poor involvement.
The results from our analysis indicate that the picture of child involvement is more diverse than previously reported. For instance we find that a relatively large proportion of young people experience some, or even a high, degree of involvement whereas most previous studies – based on other methodological approaches – typically report lower degrees of involvement. Consequently, we argue that questionnaire-based surveys can help nuance our understanding of involvement challenges.
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Published inChild & Family Social Work