Parents' perceptions of their participation in mandated family group meetings
In many developed countries, the right of parents involved in child protection to participate in decision-making is becoming incorporated into legislation and policy. In this article, we report findings from semi-structured interviews with 10 parents (5 mothers and 5 fathers) who participated in formal child welfare decision-making forums (Family Group Meetings) in Brisbane, Australia. The interviews focused on parents' experiences of the meetings, including factors that promote or inhibit participation. The themes of feeling respected by professionals, feeling that one's opinions were heard, and being supported at the meeting were all associated positive experiences of participation, and conversely, those parents who reported overall negative experiences spoke of not feeling respected, not having their opinions heard and not being supported during the meeting. Overall, parents demonstrated a relatively sophisticated understanding of the process; these findings suggest that parents have the capacity to participate meaningfully in child welfare decision-making forums, especially when given adequate support.
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- Darlington, Yvonne & Healy, Karen & Feeney, Judith A., 2010. "Challenges in implementing participatory practice in child protection: A contingency approach," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1020-1027, July.
- Darlington, Yvonne & Healy, Karen & Feeney, Judith A., 2010. "Approaches to assessment and intervention across four types of child and family welfare services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 356-364, March.
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