Children and Families' Involvement in Social Work Decision Making

Michael Gallagher, Mark Smith (Lead / Corresponding author), Mark Hardy, Heather Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This review summarises the research literature on childrens and parents involvement in social work decision making, which is regarded, in policy terms, as increasingly important. In practice, however, it tends to be messy, difficult and compromised. Different individuals or groups may have different understandings of participation and related concepts, while differences of age and disability also mediate effective user engagement. The literature highlights common themes in effective participatory practice with both children and their parents. Central to this are the establishment of relationships of trust and respect, clear communication and information and appropriate support to participate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages12
JournalChildren & Society
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • children and families
  • Decision Making
  • participation
  • relationships
  • Social Work
  • user involvement


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