Challenging dominant notions of participation and protection through a co-led disabled young researcher study

Brady, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-3431-6543 and Franklin, A., 2019. Challenging dominant notions of participation and protection through a co-led disabled young researcher study. Journal of Children's Services, 14 (3), pp. 174-185. ISSN 1746-6660

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In the UK, the Children and Families Act (2014) aims to create one assessment process for children with special educational needs or disability, through Education, Health and Care Plans. It also aims for greater participation from children and young people in decisions about their own lives. Current evidence suggests that children’s needs and desires across education, health and social care are not being fully met, partly because adult agendas drive policy, practice and standards of care. Furthermore, little attention is paid to the way in which disabled children and young people are included either within decisions about their own support or within research processes. This article presents a research process designed to address these issues. In this project six disabled young people co-led research in which, for the first time, disabled young people had the opportunity define a research agenda which spoke to what ‘quality’ might look like in planning for their own future and that of other disabled children and young people. This paper presents findings from this process, addressing important ethical issues relevant for policy, practice and research, identified through this rights-based, collaborative way of working in partnership. Three key issues were identified and are explored here. They include firstly, tensions between young people becoming leaders and dominant ideas about safeguarding and child protection; secondly, being empowered through engagement within the project yet restricted in other areas of personal life and, finally, the emotional impact on new researchers of gathering evidence of a continuing lack of autonomy for disabled children and young people. We argue that challenging dominant notions concerning the participation and protection of disabled children is required in order to ensure they access their right to be decision-makers in their own lives, and to being empowered within research processes.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Children's Services
Creators: Brady, G. and Franklin, A.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 5 September 2019
Volume: 14
Number: 3
ISSN: 1746-6660
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 28 Oct 2019 16:06
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2019 16:06

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