Social Policy and Society


Discourses of Children's Participation: Professionals, Policies and Practices

Sharon Pinkneya1

a1 Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University E-mail:


This article explores the dynamic field of children's participation and provides fresh insight into its construction within professional frameworks as well as within the social policy process. Protectionism, developmentalism, rights and managerialism are identified as significant discourses and this article explores their articulation and negotiation through policies. The argument is that the settlement reached represents a new configuration within policy frameworks relating to children where a version of children's rights is appropriated and mainstreamed. The interaction between children's rights, managerialism and professional discourses are illustrated with reference to policy and legislation.

(Online publication June 01 2011)