The rights of the child enabling community development to contribute to a valid social work practice with children at risk

Susan Young, M. Mckenzie, L. Schjelderup, C. Omre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a way of thinking about and doing child protection work using community development (CD) principles to guide practice. It suggests that a useful addition to CD can be found within the rights of the child provisions in Human Rights conventions. Using examples from the authors' three countries to illustrate the work that practitioners do in their work with children at risk, we argue that social work practice can be enhanced by the inclusion of these principles and practices which are essentially core generic social work practice. However, much of social work with the protection of children is bound by ‘risk’ perceptions which result in investigatory approaches being used as a first action, often to the exclusion of preventive approaches. This article demonstrates that in very different situations from different environments, CD in concert with the principles of the rights of the child can assist good outcomes with children at risk. A model is presented for unifying the worldview of human/children's rights with social work's core concern, the protection of children, using generic social work skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-184
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work: the forum for the social work professional
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Cite this