Policy Press

Children, family and the state

Decision-making and child participation

By Nigel Thomas


Oct 11, 2002

Page count

256 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Children, family and the state

What part should children take in decisions about their lives? Does their need to be involved in decisions conflict with adult responsibility for their welfare? In its search for answers to these questions, Children, family and the state examines different theories of childhood, children's rights and the relationship between children, parents and the state. Focusing on children who are looked after by the state, it reviews the changing objectives of the care system and the extent to which children have been involved in decisions about their care.

"Neatly combining succinct overviews of theory and policy with methodological innovation and original findings, this book should prove immensely useful for anyone conducting research with children." SRA News

"This very interesting, thoughtful and readable book ... is a reflective and reflexive account of a research project that I would strongly recommend to beginning and experienced researchers alike." International Social Work

"... ideal for those working with looked after children or students of social work." ChildRight

"... of interest to everyone involved in working with children." Adoption & Fostering

"This book makes a welcome contribution to our understanding of looked after children's experiences of participation in decision-making. The author's findings contain important messages for social workers, managers and policy makers ... It should be essential reading on all courses for those working with looked after children at both undergraduate and postqualifying level. It is a must for anyone committed to understanding and promoting children's rights." Social Work Education

"There are powerful messages her for policy makers, for social work practitioners and academic researchers." Journal of Social Policy

"... a stimulating, readable and accessible book." Child and Family Social Work

"... belongs on the reading list of any qualifying or post-qualifying professional course which aims to address the present rather than the past." Community Care

"... essential reading for professionals who work with children in care settings." Family Matters

"In this timely and insightful new book, Nigel Thomas ... forces a radical rethink of child-adult relations and raises pertinent questions for practice. Highly accessible, yet theoretically grounded, this book … provides a valuable interdisciplinary platform from which to engage with the relationship between pure and applied work within childhood studies." Allison James, School of Comparative and Applied Social Sciences, University of Hull

"Specialist and general readers alike should find much to enjoy and learn ... This is a welcome addition to the small but growing body of publications that illuminate children's worlds from the inside as well as the outside." From the foreword by Malcolm Hill, Centre for the Child and Society, University of Glasgow

Nigel Thomas is Professor of Childhood and Youth Research at the University of Central Lancashire. He was a social work practitioner and manager for many years before taking up an academic career.

Contents: Foreword by Malcolm Hill; Introduction; Theories of childhood; Psychology of childhood; Rights of childhood; Children, parents and the state; Children looked after by the state; Doing research with children; Patterns of participation; Children's views; Adults' views; Making sense of the research; Children's decisions and children's place.