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The social problems of marginalised child asylum seekers

  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a human rights framework in the context of multi-level governance child protection policies central to social work education and practice (United Nations, 1989). In line with this statement, children’s rights-based education introduces undergraduate social work students to the principles of the CRC, namely participation, protection, harm prevention and provision, to facilitate knowledge acquisition by building core competencies for critical practice (IFSW, 2002). It equips social workers with analytical and advocacy skills that foster critical thinking and creativity in the juxtaposition between child protection, autonomy and self-determination. This chapter provides insights for social work education to locate and analyse the underlying casualties of social problems using a problem and resource framework, the w-questions (Geiser, 2015). The framework is used to develop theory driven social work interventions as illustrated against the backdrop the anonymised case study, Amira, an accompanied child asylum seeker in Austria (Fritsche, Glawischnig, & Wolfsegg, 2019). Correspondingly, CRC is addressed along a continuum between human needs fulfilment and human right entitlements (Obrecht, 2009; IFSW, 2002; Ife, 2012). The concept of need is understood as tension in our concrete biological and psychological bio-values and states (Obrecht, 2009, p. 27). The assertion is that when children lack support or are obstructed from achieving their equal right to education due to social, cultural or economic barriers, this exacerbates social marginalisation because it deprives them of membership in the school social system. Social marginalisation thwarts the fulfilment of needs and weakens social cohesion by causing alienation and anomie (Mayrhofer, 2015). The tentative conclusion is that knowledge and practice models that link human needs and children’s rights equip social workers with the expertise to reduce children’s vulnerability whilst strengthening their protection, autonomy and self-determination.

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Author:Sharon du Plessis-SchneiderORCiD
Parent Title (English):Social work, human rights and intercultural relations
Subtitle (English):Advancing critical reflection on children's rights in undergraduate social work education
Publisher:Universidade Catolica Editora
Place of publication:Palma de Cima, Lisboa
Editor:Andre Graca, Jesus Antonela
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of publication:2020
Release Date:2021/02/17
Tag:Accompanied child asylum seekers; Children’s rights; Human needs; Scientific realism; Social work education
First Page:52
Last Page:74
Organisationseinheit:Soziales & Gesundheit
DDC classes:300 Sozialwissenschaften
JEL-Classification:I Health, Education, and Welfare
Open Access?:ja
Peer review:wiss. Beitrag, peer-reviewed
Publicationlist:du Plessis-Schneider, Sharon
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - International - Attribution- Namensnennung 4.0