Children’s rights, social justice and family support: developing inclusive, intersectional and participatory practice

John M. Davis, Mary Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Good, affective family support offers a wealth of benefits both to children and adults alike. It can provide for the growth of agency and contribute to positive personal development and transition into adulthood. However, and indeed not uniquely to this area, a variety of aims, ideas and practices have emerged in the literature on family support. This is not in itself an inherent malady, however we might pause to consider if any combination of such approaches have succeeded in meaningfully incorporating children’s own perspectives of social justice, their own rights and their place in traditional constructs of the family? If such a question raises concern, which we argue it should, then we might pause further to reflect on whether some ideal of ‘the family’ ought to be the base measurement against which family support is pitched. This, understandably might seem somewhat counter intuitive, however this chapter argues that when approaching family support with a too narrow focus on the family unit, professionals may overlook the inner complexities, relationships and power dynamics that create such a unit.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare
EditorsPat Dolan, Nick Frost
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


  • children's rights
  • social justice
  • family support

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