Special Issue "Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Children and Youth Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Bente Heggem Kojan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Social Work Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Interests: child protection; child welfare
Emeritus Prof. Nigel Parton
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
Interests: social problems and social welfare; child protection and child welfare; social work; social policy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The idea of child-centrism has become increasingly prevalent in science, social policies, civil society, families, schools, health services, social work, and child welfare services. However, its meanings, interpretations, and practical implications are numerous and vary in different contexts and systems.

Child-centered policies have different expressions, but have in common that the perspective of the child or children’s perspectives and often also children’s rights are heavily promoted. This turn towards more child-centered societies impacts the everyday lives of children and families, parenting and caring practices, how societies organize schools and kindergartens, and the provision of universal and need-based services such as health services, economic support and child protection services. For example, child protection systems in many Western countries seem to have moved forward into a broader mandate, and their development reflects social policies focusing on social investments in children. In this context, child protection may have changed its reference from saving children from harm and serious abuse (protection) to concern about risk of “failing” lives and lifestyles. Child-centered policies and societies have undoubtedly improved the lives of many children. At the same time, the child-centered society has implications that have received less attention.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to invite papers that explore and investigate the idea of child centrism in different contexts and from various perspectives. We welcome contributions from all the social sciences including social work, social policy, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy, psychology, history, philosophy, and law, together with interdisciplinary papers. Articles might have theoretically and methodologically diverse approaches, and can cover the idea of child centrism from conceptual, empirical, policy and/or practice perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Bente Heggem Kojan
Prof. Dr. Nigel Parton
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • child centrism
  • child and family welfare
  • social investment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Critical Review of Standards to Examine the Parameters of Child-Friendly Environment (CFE) in Parks and Open Space of Planned Neighborhoods: A Case of Lucknow City, India
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060199 - 29 May 2021
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Abstract
The creation of cities has been one of the most phenomenal achievements of human endeavor. Adults are the major stakeholders for such achievements but the children are helpless and representationless. The current research paper aims at understanding the issues faced by the children [...] Read more.
The creation of cities has been one of the most phenomenal achievements of human endeavor. Adults are the major stakeholders for such achievements but the children are helpless and representationless. The current research paper aims at understanding the issues faced by the children in the rapidly urbanized world where the lack of child-friendly environments/open spaces for their outdoor activities is cause for concern. The research paper looked at various national and international norms, standards, and practices of parks and open spaces to identify various child-friendly environmental parameters. The research adopted the Delphi method as a tool for the validation of child-friendly environment parameters. It also used children’s drawings and essays to understand children’s perceptions about the child-friendly environment. It is observed that present government norms and policies do not adhere to those parameters. The research found that Lucknow city does not meet the defined quantitative norms and standards as laid out by the national norms and standards for open spaces and parks. The quality dimensions for planning a child-friendly environment are weakly addressed by cities and neighborhoods. The city neighborhoods lack the physical, cognitive, perceptional, emotional, and social dimensions of a child-friendly environment. There is a need to adopt suitable norms and standards with measurable parameters as part of various dimensions and implement these in creating a child-friendly environment in planned neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
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Review

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Review
The What, Why and How of Child Participation—A Review of the Conceptualization of “Child Participation” in Child Welfare
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020054 - 03 Feb 2021
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Abstract
This review explores the conceptualization of “child participation” in a child welfare context. The analyses are based on the theories, models and concepts researchers apply when framing their studies. Central to the authors’ conceptualizing is the understanding of why children should participate. Children’s [...] Read more.
This review explores the conceptualization of “child participation” in a child welfare context. The analyses are based on the theories, models and concepts researchers apply when framing their studies. Central to the authors’ conceptualizing is the understanding of why children should participate. Children’s rights are a common starting point for many authors, but they differ on whether children should participate out of consideration for children’s intrinsic value (e.g., concern for their well-being) or for the instrumental value of the participation itself (e.g., service outcome). The analysis also focuses on how authors measure participation level. The analysis showed that most authors presented a limited rights-focused goal for the collaboration with children, while a minority group problematized the concept. Although several researchers emphasize that participation requires a process, few authors see the meaning-making process as the main purpose of child participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
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