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HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


JOHANNISEN, Jessica C.; YATES, Hannelie  y  VAN WYK, Carlien. Multidisciplinary meetings: Listening to the experiences of children in a child and youth care centre. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2019, vol.75, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2072-8050.

Adults for good reason agree that children should be protected at all times. However, in their attempts to help children who are vulnerable, adults should be cautious of cultivating a one-sided and reduced view of children and of their needs and rights. In the context of child protection, such a one-sided perspective limits the capabilities of the children's agency. They are positioned as the passive receivers of expressions of pity and compassion, governmental and non-governmental services, and church and community outreach projects, which in many cases limit engagement with children in their true and full humanity. In attempts to engage with children in contexts of research and practices about them, efforts are made to study the experiences of children as seriously as possible. This article explores and presents the voices of children regarding how they experience their participation in multidisciplinary meetings at a child and youth care centre. The findings reveal four themes with regard to children: (1) their experiences of interactions and relationships at multidisciplinary meetings, (2) their internal and external characteristics and resources, (3) the enabling environment of the multidisciplinary meeting and (4) the process of multidisciplinary meetings. This exercise of listening to children and their voices highlights the complexity of the challenges children in child protection environments face. These challenges will not be sufficiently understood or addressed by the perspectives and methodologies of one particular discipline.

Palabras clave : Children's participation; Children's agency; Listening to children's experiences; Child and youth care centre; Multidisciplinary meetings.

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