Early Years and Childhood Studies - Journal Articles

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    Towards a more comprehensive understanding of fostering connections: The trauma-informed foster care programme: a mixed methods approach with data integration
    (University of Victoria, 2022-04-21) Lotty, Maria; Bantry-White, Eleanor; Dunn-Galvin, Audrey
    Foster carers require high-quality training to support them in caring for children with trauma-related difficulties. This paper describes a mixed methods approach that was applied to evaluate the complex intervention Fostering Connections: The Trauma-Informed Foster Care Programme, a recently developed trauma-informed psychoeducational intervention for foster carers in Ireland. A quantitative outcome evaluation and a qualitative process evaluation were integrated to capture a comprehensive understanding of the effects of this complex intervention. A convergent mixed methods model with data integration was used. Coding matrix methods were employed to integrate data. There was convergence among component studies for: programme acceptability, increased trauma-informed foster caring, improvement in child regulation and peer problems, and the need for ongoing support for foster carers. This research provides support for the intervention suggesting the importance of its implementation in Ireland. The integrative findings are discussed in relation to effects and future implementation.
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    The social care needs of unaccompanied minors: the Irish experience
    (Sage Publications, 2017-04) Horgan, Deirdre; Ní Raghallaigh, Muireann
    The practical and operational challenges of responding to disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes are well known. The recent decision by the UN Human Rights Council to commission research on best practices and challenges in the promotion and protection of human rights in post-disaster situations therefore reflects the increasing acknowledgement of the human rights implications of natural and human-made disasters. This article analyses the approach taken by existing international accountability mechanisms concerning humanitarian preparations for and responses to major natural disasters, before advancing proposals for more effective and systematic oversight of human rights protection in disasters. Such systemic approaches are intended to promote greater legal clarity for States and humanitarian actors confronted with the uncertainty and devastation resulting from major natural and human-made disasters, and as a means of spurring redress for those affected.
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    Child participatory research methods: attempts to go ‘deeper’
    (Sage Publications, 2016-05-17) Horgan, Deirdre; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences; University College Cork
    Along with the growth of child participatory research an increased focus on its complexity, specifically unaddressed power inequities in the research relationship and unreflexive use of methods, has developed. This article discusses a participatory research project with children in Ireland and reflects on attempts to achieve deeper participation through the use of children and youth advisory groups, mixed visual and discursive group methods. It argues that overly paternalistic frameworks adopted by ethical review bodies can hamper participatory research with children.
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    Consultations with children and young people and their impact on policy in Ireland
    (Cogitatio Press, 2017-09-26) Horgan, Deirdre
    This article will examine the participatory structures for consulting with children in Ireland. It provides a background with reference to the National Strategy on Children and Young People's Participation in Decision-making (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2015)-the first of its kind in Europe-its key objectives, and recent progress in meeting these. Examples of two consultations with children, on health and afterschool care, and their impact on policy, will be discussed. The potential for consultations of this kind to influence and child-proof policy will be reflected on; the argument in this article is that there are different levels of participation for different purposes. The author worked with colleagues on two national consultations in 2015 and 2016 involving children between 5 to 17 years of age utilising a variety of child-centred activities. The methods are strengths-based consultative approaches that allow children to identify and explore issues based on what they know and experience in their everyday lives. Initial reflections indicate that consultations with children can be an important and challenging tool in accessing their views on policy issues of importance to them which help to child-proof policy and ensure it is in the best interests of children.
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    Children's participation: moving from the performative to the social
    (Taylor & Francis, 2016-08-09) Horgan, Deirdre; Forde, Catherine; Martin, Shirley; Parkes, Aisling; University College Cork; Department of Children and Youth Affairs; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences
    The body of work on children’s participation has been valuable in asserting its importance. Nonetheless, participation is a contested concept and key challenges arise relating to its emphasis on age and voice, its focus on socialising the participative responsible citizen, and its failure to sufficiently recognise the range of participatory activities of children in their everyday lives. This article presents findings of a study on children’s experiences of participation in their homes, schools, and communities including the importance of the relational context, how everyday interactions rather than ‘performative’ formal structures for participation are valued by children and how their participation is limited by adult processes based on notions of competence and voice. It concludes with an argument for recognising and facilitating children’s informal and social participation as well as new forms of democratic processes being developed by children to address the possibility of governance and over-responsibilisation of children.