Caring for Vulnerable Children

Graham McPheat, John Paul Fitzpatrick

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This session concerns what happens when it is assessed that children and young people are so vulnerable and at risk that they can’t continue to stay in their family home. We will engage with the following questions:

What alternative forms of care exist (kinship care, foster care, residential child care, adoption) and what do they consist of?
What is the Children’s Hearings System?
What happens at a Children’s Hearing?
What sort of decisions can be made by a Children’s Hearing?

We will introduce the Children’s Hearings System and the sorts of interventions that may be implemented when children and young people can no longer stay in the family home. We consider different forms of intervention, the Children’s Hearings System and the demands and challenges of being a young carer. By doing this we reflect upon the different possible responses that can be enacted when caring for vulnerable children.

We also consider the future and the challenges involved in continuing to deliver high quality services for vulnerable children and young people and their families in the current political climate of financial austerity. We consider the following questions:

How can we see political and social discourse impact upon the formation of social policy and services for vulnerable children?
What are some of the outcomes for vulnerable children?
How can we begin to challenge the policy and discourse that repeatedly places children and young people and their families in positions of vulnerability?

We will consider dominant discourses of care and the reality of looking after vulnerable children. Within this we think about the politics of caring for vulnerable children, consider case studies and think further about the relationship between poverty, vulnerability and risk. By doing this we will be able to reflect upon the different ways of thinking about how we take forward services for vulnerable children and the role we can play in this personally.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSan Bruno, California
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • poverty
  • vulnerable children
  • austerity
  • child poverty


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