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e-book From Childrens Services to Childrens Spaces: Public Policy, Children and Childhood

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The topic of children and social policy has been explored in many different ways. Historically, children have tended to be hidden within the family and rarely seen as individuals in their own right. Since the late 20th century a change has occurred in the ways in which children have been understood and conceptualized within policy. This trend has included, in part, a significant theoretical contribution toward our understanding of contemporary childhood from the new sociology of childhood, which positions children as active social agents with their own needs and concerns. This approach informs many of the general texts, including Qvortrup, et al.

Informed by impact of social class and socioeconomic structures on childhood, the authors take a more critical stance in relation to insights from the new sociology of childhood. Prout provides a valuable critical review of the governance of childhood at the turn of the 21st century, highlighting key tensions in the recognition of rights and agency and the increasing institutional control of childhood through policy and practice.

Both Wells and Montgomery and Kellet engage with the shaping of childhood and policy and practice on a local and a global level.

AJEM Child Friendly Spaces: protecting and supporting children in emergency response and recovery

Children, Welfare and the State. Notes the tensions inherent in welfare discourse in relation to how children are to be conceptualized. James, Alison, and Adrian L. Theory, Policy, Social Practice. A sociological review of children and policy drawing on the cultural politics of childhood to examine the role of adults in shaping childhood policy.

The authors argue that how social policies for children are shaped is informed by particular discourses of childhood, ideological stances, and responses to social events, which can combine to create very particular constructions of childhood. Montgomery, Heather, and Mary Kellet. Developing Frameworks for Integrated Practice.

Linking the local and the global, the authors engage with a wide range of welfare issues and practices. Social Theory, Practice and Politics. A seminal text that brings new sociological insights to our understanding of childhood, welfare, and the intergenerational contract. They are low cost and can be adapted to support children of all ages Save the Children a.

They can be quickly and easily set up in evacuation centres and have also been set up in tents and temporary shelters. A child friendly space should be a clearly defined space for children and, depending on the situation and available resources, may be as simple as an area demarcated by a row of chairs within an evacuation centre. However the spaces can also be more sophisticated and can be supported with other resources.

For example Save the Children can provide mobile play buses and mobile youth buses if it is logistically possible to make them available during an emergency response. When a child friendly space is operated by Save the Children all children are welcomed and staff actively seek to engage with those who may be marginalised for example children with disabilities and homeless young people. Materials to establish a child friendly space can vary depending on culture and context, however some key considerations are:.

This is achieved through the active participation of the community in its own relief and recovery and is relevant in the Australian context. The needs of children, resources available, and local solutions that reflect local options will help to determine the transition or exit strategy of a child friendly space. Child friendly spaces have been increasingly incorporated into emergency management response in the Australian context. The establishment of child friendly spaces has occurred due to the increasing recognition that children are vulnerable in the aftermath of emergencies.

Addressing the needs of children also assists families and those who work in emergency relief and recovery. The needs of children are not currently addressed in emergency management planning in a systematic way in Australia, however planning for and establishing child friendly spaces is one key activity that can be incorporated into standard emergency management planning in the Australian context Davie Feedback to staff in child friendly spaces established in evacuation and recovery centres in the Blue Mountains in October includes the following:.

These comments help to illustrate the benefit of child friendly spaces to both children and parents. However, there are benefits to all who attend evacuation centres. Evacuation centre staff have described their relief at seeing children distracted from the trauma of the event. The needs of children are largely silent in emergency management planning in the Australian context Davie This is a gap that can go some way to being addressed by the inclusion of child friendly spaces in emergency management plans to provide a focus on the unique vulnerabilities of children in emergencies.

In recent years child friendly spaces have been established following fires and floods in several Australian states by Save the Children and others in collaboration with Red Cross, local and state governments. Child friendly spaces provide a number of benefits for children, parents and those who work in emergency relief and recovery. Despite this, the inclusion of child friendly spaces into emergency management plans is not currently routine practice.

Expertise with child friendly spaces exists in the non-government sector in Australia as staff from organisations like Save the Children have worked to establish child friendly spaces in evacuation and recovery centres following bushfires and floods. This experience could be harnessed either directly or by seeking technical advice to ensure that child friendly spaces become standard practice to safeguard children when they are affected by emergencies and disasters in Australia. A structured Review of the Current Evidence Base. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, November - December International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 23, pp.

Psychological first aid [Online]. A critical review of the literature.


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  • International Journal of Special Education, 26, pp. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, 2, pp. Protecting children in Australian disasters and emergncies. Government report card on emergency mangement planning.

    Key principles of child friendly spaces

    International Breastfeeding Journal, 6. Building Resiliency in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Australain and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 33, pp. Columbia University and World Vision. Parkinson, D , The way he tells it. Relationships after Black Saturday: Peek, L , Children and Disasters: Children, Youth and Environments, 18, pp. A Handbook for Save the Children Staff. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 21, pp. Susan Davie works as a senior policy advisor — domestic emergencies for Save the Children. She is currently completing a PhD at Monash University. She is part of a team that ensures the delivery of regional Victorian Department of Human Services responsibilities relating to emergency planning, preparedness, response, relief and recovery.

    Marie has been a member of national, state wide and regional committees specific to Infant Mental Health, Early Childhood and Child Protection. Being involved in a number of domestic emergency response operations, Marie participated in the development of the Child Friendly Space Manual and now delivers training to Save the Children staff nationally.

    She is responsible for internal child protection safeguarding, including policy development, child protection risk management, and providing child protection technical advice to all departments and programs within Australia and internationally. Fiona has 20 years experience in family and juvenile justice law and international child protection. Volume 29 Issue 1, Child Friendly Spaces: Abstract The needs of children and young people are easily overlooked in the chaos that follows an emergency or disaster event, when families have many competing priorities including sourcing food and shelter and accessing relief and recovery services.

    Article Introduction The unique vulnerabilities of children in disasters has been documented by many authors Allen et al. Key principles of child friendly spaces The establishment of child friendly spaces in emergencies helps to protect children from physical harm and psychosocial distress. Child safeguarding and identifying threats or risks to children When operating a child friendly space in an evacuation centre, child safeguarding measures are implemented to minimise the risk of harm occurring to children. Some of the key child safeguarding factors to promote safety and wellbeing of children and young people are: Pre-screening of all staff and volunteers includes a police check and current Working with Children check, if applicable to the jurisdiction.

    All staff are specifically trained in the operation of a child friendly space as well as being trained and experienced in working with children. All staff and volunteers know how to raise or report a concern for the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person. All staff and volunteers know how to raise concerns or to report any people who are displaying potentially suspicious or unsafe behaviour.

    All staff and volunteers wear identity badges or tabards. Child Safe Officers or staff who act as Focal Points are easily identifiable. These personnel are the main contact point for children, young people, parents, staff and volunteers if they have a concern about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person. All staff sign a Code of Conduct for working safely with children. All staff and volunteers are trained to respond appropriately to bullying, targeting or scapegoating.

    Child Friendly Spaces: protecting and supporting children in emergency response and recovery

    All staff are systemically appointed there is inherent risk associated with unsolicited volunteering. While it is understood many people wish to assist and are well-meaning, it is not a risk that should be tolerated and spontaneous volunteers are invited to use established systems to register their interest. This includes local statutory mechanisms.

    Tour & Tips for Visiting Families

    Child Protection and Health and Safety risk analysis is conducted on the child friendly space and evacuation centre. All contracts, agreements or MOUs include an agreement on child safeguarding principles and procedures. Psychosocial support Child friendly spaces provide a space where children can receive psychosocial support amid the chaos that can ensue following a disaster. Inclusive of all children A key principle of child friendly spaces is that they are inclusive of all children regardless of age, mental or physical ability, health issues, race and ethnicity or gender.

    Unaccompanied children and young people It is an important priority for those working in emergency management that children are reunited with their families as soon as possible should separation occur. Setting up child friendly spaces A child friendly space provides an ideal place for children to be cared for by trained staff who have the capacity to care, protect and provide psychosocial support to them while the appropriate authorities undertake the task of locating carers and resolving complex issues.

    Materials to establish a child friendly space can vary depending on culture and context, however some key considerations are: Closing down the child friendly space by a stated time and distributing materials locally.