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Children, Cheezels and Champions - Lessons learned from children and young people about research and their involvement Tim Moore Vicky Saunders.

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Presentation on theme: "Children, Cheezels and Champions - Lessons learned from children and young people about research and their involvement Tim Moore Vicky Saunders."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children, Cheezels and Champions - Lessons learned from children and young people about research and their involvement Tim Moore Vicky Saunders

2 Not seen and not heard T he sociology of childhood and children’s rights movements have challenged social researchers to reflect on how they conceptualise children and engage them in research about their lives.

3 Kids should be asked about stuff that’s got to do with them…they can tell you stuff you would never think of – cos you’re not a kid… (girl aged 7)

4 Participation : beyond tokenism Participatory approaches to research are not about just including personal quotes in an otherwise unchanged research report or adding ‘subjective’ feelings to the ‘objective’ findings of the researcher. They are about people with direct experience… having more voice in the research process-from defining the issues to working out solutions (Bennett and Roberts 1999).

5 Participation Case Study: Children’s Experiences of Homelessness Respected and worked with families Children’s Reference Group Ongoing feedback (circular)

6 Learning from children

7 Gatekeepers The danger of relying upon others to define who should and should not be involved in research can have an impact on what voices we listen to (France 2004)

8 Kids wanna make things better for kids, we wanna talk…Let them know that they’ll be helping and they’ll do it (boy aged 11)

9 Methodology Researchers need to consider how to elicit competence rather than being influenced by their own and others notions of what children can and can’t do (Langston, Abbot, Lewis and Kellet 2004)

10 Real difficulties “We were pretty much too scared to say anything to anyone because we knew there were aggressive consequences if we said pretty much anything to anyone…We would be told that if we talked to people we wouldn’t be allowed out, we wouldn’t be allowed to see our friends, see nanna…She [Mum] was very, very intimidating” (Young man, 15yrs- AOD project)

11 Culturally responsive Partnership Games and group work Hip-hop and rhyming Engaging Young People Case Study: Aboriginal YP in care Strengths-based and solutions focussed

12 Listening and responding It was wicked cos people were listening. It’s the first time anyone’s asked about what we think. Our stories are too hard, you’ve got to laugh about it or you’re just gonna cry… But you gotta talk about it. And people’ve gotta listen… and do something about it!

13 The challenge: It is clear that listening to children, hearing children and acting on what children say are three very different activities… There have always been people who have listened, sometimes there have been people who have heard, and perhaps less often, those who have acted wisely on what children have had to say. (Roberts 2000, p227)

14 More information? Vicky Saunders Institute of Child Protection Studies Tim Moore Institute of Child Protection Studies


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