Childhood and Youth Studies
Publication Year: 2012
Subject: Childhood & Youth Studies
This book introduces the inter-disciplinary study of childhood and youth and the multi-agency practice of professionals who serve the needs of children, young people and their families. Exploring key theories and central ideas, research methodology, policy and practice, it takes a holistic, contextual approach that values difference and diversity. It examines concepts such as identity, representation, creativity and discourse and issues such as ethnicity, gender and the ‘childhood in crisis’ thesis. Furthermore, it challenges opinion by exploring complex and controversial modern-day issues, and by engaging with a range of perspectives to highlight debates within the field.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
Part 1: Social and Cultural Perspectives of Childhood and Youth
- Chapter 1: Social Constructions of Childhood
- Chapter 2: Living and Learning in Different Communities: Cross-Cultural Comparisons
- Chapter 3: Childhood in Crisis?
- Chapter 4: Children and Risk
Part 2: Childhood and Youth Development
- Chapter 5: The Origins of Human Behaviour
- Chapter 6: Social and Emotional Development
- Chapter 7: Cognitive Development
- Chapter 8: Adolescence
Part 3: Difference, Diversity and Multidisciplinary Perspectives
- Chapter 9: Children with Special Educational Needs
- Chapter 10: Entitlement and Potential—Overcoming Barriers to Achievement
- Chapter 11: Policy into Practice—Working with Children in Need of Protection
Part 4: Researching Childhood and Youth
[Page ii]This book is dedicated to Coleman Everett Myers and our two children, Jonathan and Rosanna, from whom I have received both unrequited love and inspiration - to each, my gratitude and admiration.
© 2007 Learning Matters Ltd
First published in 2007 by Learning Matters Ltd Reprinted in 2012
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to the publishers.
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The substantive content of this text reflects many components of the BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies degree programme offered at the University of Bedfordshire that aims to provide a sound knowledge and understanding of both the scholarly inter-disciplinary study of childhood and youth and, the multi-agency practice of professionals who serve the needs of children and their families such as teachers, social workers and health visitors. These broad aims have been translated into the following strands of approaches to childhood and youth for the purpose of structuring this text:
- Social and cultural perspectives of childhood and youth;
- Childhood and youth development;
- Difference, diversity and multi-disciplinary perspectives;
- Researching childhood and youth.
Learning objectives and a summary of key points are featured at the beginning and end of each chapter, respectively, which enable you to identify the key concepts and themes incorporated within each. A range of approaches to teaching and learning about childhood and youth are embedded throughout this text as each chapter invites you to undertake focused, reflective activities that support the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings introduced. This enables you to practise, develop and acquire a number of cognitive abilities and practical skills which include: interpreting and evaluating evidence, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of rival theories and explanations, making informed and reasoned argument, perceiving the complex nature of diverse childhood and youth situations, accessing and synthesising information from different sources and being able to reflect upon and articulate your own learning experiences in order to become a more effective practitioner. Questions are raised to challenge your thinking and encourage you to enter into discussion and debate with colleagues, tutors and professionals working in a range of fields so that different views and perspectives can both be voiced and heard.
Multi-agency working is at the heart of the government's ten-year strategy to re-design children and young people's services. In 2004, the Children's National Service Framework (NSF) was introduced to tackle child poverty and inequality in order to improve the lives of all children and families. The tragic and untimely death of Victoria Climbié (http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk) served as the catalyst for a radical shift in thinking about children's health and social care services and, of how services could be better designed and delivered around the needs of the child in an holistic way, as opposed to focusing more on the needs of organisations themselves. To reduce inequality and ensure that all children and young people gain access to the services they need, the government expects that by 2014, the education, health and social care services will have successfully addressed the standards embedded within the NSF, as detailed below. The eleven standards are grouped into three categories: Part I encompasses standards one to five that focus on the achievement of high quality service provision to all children and young people, their parents and carers; Part II encompasses standards six to ten that focus on children and young people, their parents and carers who have particular needs; Part III encompasses standard eleven that focuses on the particular needs and choices of women and their babies before or during pregnancy, throughout birth and during the first three months of parenthood.
[Page viii] The Children's National Service Framework (NSF) Standards Standard Description of criteria Part I 1 Promoting Health and Well-being, Identifying Needs and Intervening Early: The health and well-being of all children and young people is promoted and delivered through a co-ordinated programme of action, including prevention and early intervention wherever possible, to ensure long term gain, led by the NHS in partnership with local authorities. 2 Supporting Parenting: Parents or carers are enabled to receive the information, services and support which will help them to care for their children and equip them with the skills they need to ensure that their children have optimum life chances and are healthy and safe. 3 Child, Young Person and Family-Centred Services: Children and young people and families receive high quality services that are co-ordinated around their individual and family needs and take account of their views. 4 Growing up into Adulthood: All young people have access to age-appropriate services that are responsive to their specific needs as they grow into adulthood. 5 Safeguarding and Promoting the We/fare of Children and Young People: All agencies work to prevent children suffering harm and to promote their welfare, provide them with the services they require to address their identified needs and safeguard children who are being or who are likely to be harmed. Part II 6 Children and Young People who are III: All children and young people who are ill, or thought to be ill, or injured will have timely access to appropriate advice and to effective services which address their health, social, educational and emotional needs throughout the period of their illness. 7 Children and Young People in Hospital: Children and young people receive high quality, evidence-based hospital care, developed through clinical governance and delivered in appropriate settings. 8 Disabled Children and Young People and Those with Complex Health Needs: Children and young people who are disabled or who have complex health needs receive co-ordinated, high quality child and family-centred services which are based on assessed needs, which promote social inclusion and, where possible, which enable them and their families to live ordinary lives. 9 The Mental Health and Psychological Well-being of Children and Young People: All children and young people, from birth to their eighteenth birthday, who have mental health problems and disorders have access to timely, integrated, high quality, multi disciplinary mental health services to ensure effective assessment, treatment and support, for them, and their families. 10 Medicines for Children and Young People: Children, young people, their parents or carers, and health care professionals in all settings make decisions about medicines based on sound information about risk and benefit. They have access to safe and effective medicines that are prescribed on the basis of the best available evidence. Part III 11 Maternity Services: Women have easy access to supportive, high quality maternity services, designed around their individual needs and those of their babies.(adapted from DfES/DoH (2004) National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services: Executive Summary, DfES/DoH, pp 6–7) - for more information visit: http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/HealthAndSocialCareTopics/ChildrenServices/fs/en
[Page ix]The Children's NSF necessarily has implications for those of you preparing to work within the Children's Workforce. Following a period of consultation in 2004 the government introduced a Common Core framework of knowledge and skills that all professionals within the Children's Workforce should be able to demonstrate if they are to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams with children, young people and their families. Appendix 1 identifies and positions the six areas of the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge.
- Effective communication and engagement with children, young people and families.
- Child and young person development.
- Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child.
- Supporting transitions.
- Multi-agency working.
- Sharing information.
alongside the government's Every Child Matters and Youth Matters Outcomes Framework of:
- being healthy;
- staying safe;
- enjoying and achieving;
- making a positive contribution;
- achieving economic well-being.
to guide you toward relevant source material that informs you of some expectations placed upon you as you prepare to work in a range of professional fields and services within the Children's Workforce.
The Common Core of Skills and Knowledge and the Every Child Matters and Youth Matters Outcomes Framework are embedded within the qualification structure for all those seeking to work with children, young people and their families e.g. Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) effective from September 2007 (http://www.tda.gov.uk) have been revised to embrace the government's ten year strategy and vision. To ensure that you remain abreast of developments it is imperative that you adopt an approach of continuous professional development to your work by monitoring changes and initiatives to national and local policy and practice, on a regular basis via such websites as http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk; http://www.info4local.gov.uk and those related more specifically to your own profession.Paula Zwozdiak-Myers
Neil Burton - MA Education programme leader at the University of Bedfordshire - has written several texts focusing on Educational Management and Leadership issues for Paul Chapman, Sage and Peter Francis publishers. He also edits Science Teacher Education, a journal aimed at those working in initial teacher education, for the Association for Science Education. Most recently he has written papers on inclusion in secondary schools in Tel-Aviv; the role of teaching assistants in both primary and secondary schools; training non-teachers for school headship; and the use of ICT to support trainee primary teachers in gaining a better understanding of science.
Will Coster received his DPhil in History from the University of York in 1993. He has published extensively on the history of religion and childhood, including Family and Kinship in England 1450–1750 (2001) and Baptism and Spiritual Kinship in Early Modern England (2002). He is particularly interested in changing attitudes to children and disability since the medieval period. He is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bedfordshire.
Paul Gardner is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bedfordshire, formerly De Montfort University (Bedford). He has worked in a variety of educational contexts during a career spanning 30 years and has published several books. His areas of interest are multicultural education and inclusion, drama, film and English. Paul is a core member of the teaching team on a BA in Childhood and Youth at the University of Bedfordshire.
Tina Harris graduated from Brunei University, formerly West London Institute of Higher Education, with a BEd Hons degree in Special Education. She has worked across a range of settings including the primary and secondary sector for pupils with severe and moderate learning difficulties, including complex communication difficulties. Tina was Special Needs Officer in Hillingdon and gained valuable insights into the statutory and multi-agency facets of working with families with additional needs. Tina currently leads the County Inclusive Resource based at Beacon Hill School, Suffolk that provides a county-wide service for mainstream pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, acknowledged by Ofsted as: Outstanding in providing a very successful outreach service. The school is part of the government's Leading Edge Partnership, placing it at the forefront of the new role for special schools.
Andrew Hope is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. His current research interests include the sociology of risk and surveillance, social aspects of the internet and educational cultures. He co-edited the book Risk, Education and Culture (Ashgate Publishing) in 2005 and more recently has published articles on risk and the internet in the British Journal of Sociology of Education, the British Educational Research Journal and Discourse.
Andrea Raiker has followed a varied career in teaching, the Civil Service, business administration and designing/manufacturing, and joined De Montfort University as a tutor in mathematics and ICT. Her experiences as Project Director for the Midlands Consortium, an organisation delivering training in ICT to practising teachers led to a role introducing and developing e-Learning within the university. Recently, Andrea has developed a BA Honours/Foundation Degree for Teaching Assistants and other educational paraprofessionals. She now works in the fields of student personal development planning and increasing student employability as a Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire.
Ian Roberts has a BEd in Physical Education and an MA in Education. Having been Head of Physical Education in a large Hertfordshire secondary school, he is now Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at the University of Bedfordshire. His principal academic interests concern strategies used in schools to support students in serious danger of permanent exclusion and coaching processes used to empower athletes in elite track and field athletics.
David Stewart graduated with a BEd in Human Movement Studies from Bedford College of Higher Education in 1981. He was recently awarded an honorary MEd for his work in Special Education [Page xi]Needs. David is currently Executive Headteacher of Beacon Hill School (Moderate Learning Difficulties) and the Suffolk County Inclusive Resource, an outreach service for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Previously David worked in a mainstream high school in the field of Physical Education and then moved into SEN PE and Leadership. Beacon Hill School and the Outreach Service were awarded ‘Leading Edge Status’ in 2003.
Geoff Tookey works as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire and following the completion of an MA in Social Work had a protected caseload with a childcare team to develop preventive group work. He has worked in juvenile justice and education social work, for a large child protection charity and directly with families where the children's names were on the child protection register, and has chaired child protection conferences for over nine years. He has also been a senior childcare trainer in a local authority and a freelance trainer in child protection.
Rob Toplis joined the School of Sport and Education at Brunei University in 2005, having previously worked as a PGCE Science Tutor at De Montfort University and the Open University. He taught secondary science in inner-city, rural and suburban secondary schools in Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, Devon and Buckinghamshire for over 25 years. His research interests include practical work in science education, modelling in chemistry and ICT use in science education. He serves on the Research Committee of the Association for Science Education and is an editorial associate for School Science Review.
Martin Ward Fletcher is a teacher at the University of Bedfordshire. He specialises in the social psychology of education and has a particular interest in disability and special needs education. He has previously worked in mainstream secondary and all-age special schools. His MEd dissertation explored the experience of disabled children in an inclusive environment.
Amanda Wawryn has worked within the social care profession for Bedfordshire County Council for almost 20 years. Her varied roles include home carer for the elderly, community support worker for individuals with Alzheimer's and residential social worker for children and adults with spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Amanda completed her BA Honours degree in Health in 2002 and is nearing completion of a further honours degree in Social Work. She admires the bravery and resilience shown by those she has supported and considers that effective working relationships must be based upon mutual respect and trust.
Paula Zwozdiak-Myers is programme leader for the BA Honours degree in Childhood and Youth Studies at the University of Bedfordshire, having led the development, writing and validation through to its launch in September 2005. She has particular interests in the psychosocial aspects of human behaviour and development, movement studies, communication and qualitative approaches to research. Paula also leads the professional studies component of an ITT programme for secondary students preparing them for entry into the teaching profession. She values difference and diversity, promotes potential and entitlement, and wholeheartedly supports the inclusive agenda.[Page xii]
Appendix 1: Five Priority Outcomes: Improvement for Children's Services[Page 169]
The Green Paper, Every Child Matters, proposed the introduction of a national common assessment framework as an important part of a strategy for helping children, young people and their families to achieve the five priority outcomes to:
- Be Healthy - This means babies, children and young people are physically healthy, mentally and emotionally healthy, sexually healthy, living healthy lifestyles, and choosing not to take illegal drugs. We also want to help parents, carers and families to promote healthy choices.
- Stay Safe - This means babies, children and young people are safe from maltreatment, neglect, violence and sexual exploitation, safe from accidental injury and death, safe from bullying and discrimination, safe from crime and anti-social behaviour in and out of school, and have security, stability and are cared for. We also want to help parents, carers and families to provide safe homes and stability, to support learning and to develop independent living skills for their children.
- Enjoy and Achieve - This means young children are ready for school, school-age children attend and enjoy school, children achieve stretching national educational standards at primary school, children and young people achieve personal and social development and enjoy recreation, and children and young people achieve stretching national educational standards at secondary school. We also want to help parents, carers and families to support learning.
- Make a Positive Contribution - This means children and young people engage in decision-making and support the community and environment, engage in law-abiding and positive behaviour in and out of school, develop positive relationships and choose not to bully or discriminate, develop self-confidence and successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges and develop enterprising behaviour. We also want to help parents, carers and families to promote positive behaviour.
- Achieve Economic Well-being - This means young people engage in further education, employment or training on leaving school, young people are ready for employment, children and young people live in decent homes and sustainable communities, children and young people have access to transport and material goods, and children and young people live in households free from low income. We also want to help parents, carers and families to be economically active.
The common assessment framework fits into Every Child Matters, Youth Matters and the Children's National Service Framework and is underpinned by two broad aspects of the Every Child Matters integrated working strategy:
- Workforce reform - includes the introduction of the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce to ensure all professionals have the knowledge and skills to work effectively with children and their families, and access to training when relevant. The skills and knowledge are described under six main headings:
- Effective communication and engagement with children, young people and families;
- Child and young person development;
- Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child;[Page 170]
- Supporting transitions;
- Multi-agency working;
- Sharing information.
- Search the websites http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/deliveringservices/commoncore and http://www.ecm.gov.uk/workforcereform for further details.
- Multi-agency working - involves bringing professionals from different agencies together to meet the needs of children and families and to jointly agree the delivery of the actions arising from a common or specialist assessment. Information on different service models and a toolkit for practitioners are presented as the multi-agency resource online at http://www.ecm.gov.uk/multiagencyworking.
Undertaking a common assessment has a strong emphasis on consent and you should explain to the child and/or their parent how the information in the assessment could, or will, be shared, and seek their consent. The Information Sharing: Practitioners’ Guide should be consulted for guidance and is available online at
A series of documents entitled Every Child Matters: Change for Children explain how the Children Act 2004 forms the basis of a long-term programme of change. You can download these documents from http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk or
http://www.teacher.net.gov.uk/publications to learn more about the National Services Framework (NSF) for the different services and professions within which you plan to work:
- Every Child Matters: Change for Children (Ref: DfES/1081/2004).
- Every Child Matters: Change for Children in Schools (Ref: DfES/1089/2004).
- Every Child Matters: Change for Children in Social Services (Ref: DfES/1090/2004).
- Every Child Matters: Change for Children in Health Services (Ref: DoH/1091/2004).
- Every Child Matters: Change for Children in the Criminal Justice System (Ref: DfES/1092/2004).
- National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services - Executive Summary (Ref: DoH/40496/2004; also online at:
Appendix 2: Dealing with Disclosures[Page 171]Receive
- Listen to the child.
- If you are shocked by what they are saying, try not to show it.
- Take what they say seriously.
- Accept what the child says.
- Do not ask for (other) information.
- Stay calm and reassure the child that they have done the right thing in talking to you.
- Be honest with the child so do not make promises you cannot keep.
- Do not promise confidentiality - you have a duty to refer a child who is at risk.
- Acknowledge how hard it must have been for the child to tell you what happened.
- React to the child only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but do not interrogate him/her for full details.
- Do not ask leading questions.
- Explain what you have to do next and to whom you have to talk.
- Make some brief notes at the time and write them up more fully as soon as possible.
- Take care to record timing, setting and personnel as well as what was said.
- Be objective in your recording - include statements and observable things rather than your interpretations or assumptions.
- The child will need support through the process of investigation and afterwards.
- You will need support.
- All staff have a responsibility to recognise child abuse, ensure an appropriate referral is undertaken and co-operate with child protection procedures while working within the parameters of your own professional Code of Conduct.
- At any stage - you can consult with a duty social worker (add local numbers):
- All agencies have signed up to LCSB/ACPC procedures that say you must follow agency procedures which include phoning the duty social worker.
Appendix 3: The Challenge of Partnership in Child Protection[Page 172]
- Treat all family members as you would wish to be treated, with dignity and respect.
- Ensure family members know the child's safety and welfare must be given priority but that they have a right to courteous, caring and professionally competent service.
- Take care not to infringe privacy any more than is necessary to safeguard the welfare of the child.
- Be clear with yourself and with family members about your power to intervene and the purpose of your professional involvement at each stage.
- Be aware of the effects on family members of the power you have as a professional and the impact and implications of what you say and do.
- Respect the confidentiality of family members and your observations about them, unless they give permission for information to be passed on to others or if it is essential to do so to protect the child.
- Listen to the concerns of children and their families and take care to learn about their understanding, fears and wishes before arriving at your own explanations and plans.
- Learn about and consider children within their family relationships and communities, including their cultural and religious contexts and their place within their own family.
- Consider the strengths and potential of family members, as well as weaknesses, problems and limitations.
- Ensure children, families and other carers know their responsibilities and rights, including those to services and the right to refuse services and any consequences of doing so.
- Use jargon-free language appropriate to the age and culture of each person. Explain unavoidable technical and professional terms.
- Be open and honest about your concerns and responsibilities, plans and limitations, without being defensive.
- Allow children and families time to take in and understand concerns and processes. A balance needs to be found between appropriate speed and the needs of people who may need extra time in which to communicate.
- Take care to distinguish between personal feelings, values, prejudices and beliefs and professional roles and responsibilities and ensure that you have good supervision to check that you are doing so.
- If a mistake or misinterpretation has been made, or you are unable to keep to an agreement, provide an explanation. Always acknowledge any distress experienced by adults and children and do all you can to keep it to a minimum.