Hearing the Voices of Children provides a fresh perspective on social policy. At the heart of the book is the emergence of 'children's voices' and the implications of this for social policy. The authors argue that children's voices should be heard much more strongly in the process of policy formation at all levels. Although there is growing support for this idea, it is not without opposition, and the authors themselves make many critical points about the current attempts to put it into practice.
The book is divided into four main themes: hearing children's voices; discourses of childhood; children and services; and resources for children. Childhood experts from the UK, Scandinavia, Germany and Australia, examine how assumptions and models about childhood and discuss ways in which children's voices might become more influential in shaping policy. There are many obstacles to overcome, but the contributors to this volume show that children's participation is possible, and needed, if services are to be improved.
This book is essential reading for students and academics in the field of childhood studies, sociology, social policy and education. It will also be of interest to practitioners in the social, child and youth services.
Christine Hallett is Professor of Social Policy in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Stirling.
Alan Pront is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. He is also Director of the ESRC 'Children 5-16' Research Programme.
'It is a stimulating and challenging read and does much to promote participation agendas for children and young people. It would be of particular interest to academics, social policy-makers and child rights advocates.' - Mary Kellett, International Journal of Research and Method in Education
'This is an excellent book, which deals in a critical but constructive way with fundamental changes in the way in which children appear in the policy process.' - Tess Ridge, Social Policy