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Working with Children and Young People

Ethical Debates and Practices Across Disciplines and Continents


Edited By Anne Campbell and Pat Broadhead

This book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on working with young people, focusing on education, health and social work, and draws on projects and perspectives from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. The volume highlights the ethical challenges and dilemmas as these and other services are integrated and addresses how ethical practices are confronted and shared across disciplines.
The first section looks at professional practice; the second foregrounds children’s and young people’s voices and is especially concerned with children and young people as co-researchers. Subjects addressed within the text include sex education, health education, custodial care, confidentiality and gaining consent, ethical issues around ICT and researching with vulnerable populations.
The book is intended for both scholars and practitioners. It places examples in clearly articulated theoretical frameworks as well as considering professional principles and practice.


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Emma Ramsden and Phil Jones 10 Children as active agents in gaining and giving assent: Involving children as co-researchers 179


Emma Ramsden and Phil Jones 10 Children as active agents in gaining and giving assent: Involving children as co-researchers This chapter presents an approach to recognizing and supporting children’s competence in giving assent within research. It examines the tensions and opportunities within current approaches to child consent and assent, draw- ing on an ongoing research project involving therapy with children with social, emotional and behavioural dif ficulties. Areas considered include: how the terms ‘consent’ and ‘assent’ are defined and used in practice; the power dynamics at work between adults and children involved in research together and the challenges of fered by the new sociology of childhood to traditional approaches to permission-giving and to ways of viewing chil- dren’s competency and decision-making. Vignettes from research with children involved in therapy within a school setting illustrate aspects of the process of negotiating assent, and are used to examine practices that involve children as active decision-makers in giving assent. Ethics, permission, consent and assent in research with children Informed consent in relation to participating in research has been defined as an authorization given, voluntarily, by an individual who has the capacity to understand the aims and nature of the research and to decide whether to participate (Fader et al. 1986). A core element of consenting rests on the premise that any ‘prospective research participants should be given as much information as might be needed to make an informed decision about 180 Emma Ramsden and Phil Jones whether or not they wish to participate...

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