Human development is about the growth of agency, which is developed in interaction with their parents and families but if parental agency is insufficient, agency in the form of child welfare will be required to fill the gaps.
This book provides an holistic view of how children develop agency, combining social, psychological and child development aspects, as well as examining child welfare structures and the roles of social workers. This focus will make a contribution to current debates about child welfare and child protection and the book will therefore be essential reading for academics and researchers in social work, childhood studies, children's policy and social policy.
"This is a wide-ranging exploration of child welfare, based in psychology but drawing ideas from across the human sciences. It provides a strong argument for the centrality of dialogic, narrative and language approaches to understanding children, families and their interactions with child welfare professionals." Christopher Hall, School of Medicine and Health and Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University
"A very useful framework for critical and innovative analysis of policy and practice. Moreover, it is a good read: interesting, original, clear and well structured." International Journal of Social Welfare
"This book offers a lively and well-developed analysis of the multi-level concept of agency in child welfare, and explores in an original manner the importance of dialogical and narrative approaches in social work practices. This is useful reading for anyone involved in these practices." Kirsi Juhila, Professor of Social Work, University of Tampere, Finland
"Children's agency, children's welfare is an important and challenging book. It demonstrates the importance of the nature and quality of interactions for influencing child development and that these are central issues for the way child welfare workers and agencies operate and are organised." Nigel Parton, NSPCC Professor in Applied Childhood Studies, University of Huddersfield, England
"An excellent reflective resource for professionals practising in the field, as well as a very useful text for academics, researchers and postgraduate students in social work and childhood studies." British Journal of Social Work
Carol van Nijnatten is a developmental psychologist and professor social studies of child welfare at the University of Utrecht. From 2004-2009 he was also professor of social work at Radboud University, Nijmegen. His current field of research is interactional analysis of professional interventions in child health care and child welfare. He published books and articles on child welfare; children of detained parents, psychodynamic developmental psychology, dialogical self theory and institutional communication.
Introduction; Child, welfare, agency; The development of individual agency; Social interaction and interactive agency; Social agency and social context; Diagnosis and dialogue; Change and co-construction; Dialogical management; Dialogical child welfare: conclusion.