Meaghan Vosz has twenty years’ experience in community work, including working with young people with experience in out-of-home care experiencing homelessness. An inclusive facilitator, she is now teaching university students and researching the practices of giving due weight to the views of children and young people in out-of-home care policy making. She has a keen interest in relational accountability and how a focus on practice can shed light on the complexities of policy development.
Giving due weight to children and young people’s views: improving placement stability in out-of-home care (Policy Think Space)
Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child includes an obligation to assure children’s rights to express their views, and to ‘give due weight’ to their views in all matters affecting them, in accordance with their age and maturity. What happens on the other side of voice, and what are the practices of giving due weight in policy making? How do policy actors talk and act when addressing the complex challenges of placement stability in ways that give due weight to children’s and young people’s views? How do policy actors relate when giving due weight to the views of children and young people, to other stakeholders, and to the systems in which we work, to improve placement stability?
Co-facilitated by a young person and a community-worker-now-researcher, this Think Space will use practice-oriented approaches to:
• identify the practices associated with giving due weight to children’s and young people’s views in stabilising placements and permanency planning
• discuss what enables and constrains the practices of giving due weight, and
• explore ideas about how the practices of giving due weight can be improved.
This is a respectful space for critical reflection and discussion, offering an opportunity to consider the practices of policy work that occur within the complex political, economic and social context of out-of-home care. Using tools from practice theory, participants are invited to collaborate in discussion to better understand how giving due weight to the views of children and young people can be mobilised to improve placement stability.