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Subversive citizensPower, agency and resistance in public services$
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Marian Barnes and David Prior

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422088

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422088.001.0001

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Family decision making: new spaces for participation and resistance

Family decision making: new spaces for participation and resistance

(p.119) Eight Family decision making: new spaces for participation and resistance
Subversive citizens

Kate Morris

Gale Burford

Policy Press

This chapter considers worker resistance and family counter-resistance to practices intended to enable families to come up with solutions to childcare problems. It uses the implementation of an innovative participatory approach to child welfare decision making in England and the United States to consider the processes by which professionals and families can seemingly subvert or resist the intended outcomes of a new practice development. Since the mid-1990s, the practice of family engagement remains at best on the margins, with relatively few families having access to these family-led decision-making forums. The chapter suggests the experience of introducing family decision making to be a complex process: professionals are argued to have sought to colonise the model so as to limit family power, and families to have reacted in turn against this process with their own resistance to the professional desire to control family decision making.

Keywords:   child welfare, childcare, England, United States, family engagement, family decision making

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