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Children's agency, children's welfareA dialogical approach to child development, policy and practice$
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Carolus van Nijnatten

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424891

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424891.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Children's agency, children's welfare

Carolus van Nijnatten

Policy Press

Child welfare gets involved when children and families manifestly have serious trouble in organising their lives. The concepts of children's and parents' agency and child welfare agency are interrelated. This book investigates the dynamics of child (development), welfare and agency in the various different contexts in which they appear. It is addressed to those professionals in child welfare who think their agency is under threat, and who are convinced of the relevance of their work without it being demonstrable by means of randomised clinical trials. It specifically introduces Jennifer, who looks much like a child welfare client. In addition, it hopes to make clear that the quality of child welfare problems lies in the realm of narrative and is dialogical. To elucidate the dialogical nature of personhood in child development, Lacan's linguistic interpretation of psychoanalytical theory is relied.

Keywords:   child welfare, child development, child agency, parental agency, Jennifer, psychoanalytical theory, Lacan

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