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Constructions of child and youth advocacy: Emerging issues in advocacy practice

Dalrymple, Jane


Jane Dalrymple


The development of child and youth advocacy has been informed by varying theoretical perspectives and in the last decade has been increasingly incorporated into policy and legislation for young people in receipt of welfare services. Through examining the varying perspectives of young people, advocates and commissioners of advocacy services it can be seen that although there is some consensus about how advocacy should be provided, the construction of advocacy by adults may have a significant impact on how it is experienced by young people. This paper draws on material from five advocacy projects to examine how advocacy is constructed by those involved in the provision and receipt of services. It argues that there is a danger that the construction of advocacy in an adult proceduralised way is likely to compromise its potential to challenge the structures that deny young people opportunities to participate in decision making about their lives. Copyright ©2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Dalrymple, J. (2005). Constructions of child and youth advocacy: Emerging issues in advocacy practice. Children & Society, 19(1), 3-15.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Journal Children and Society
Print ISSN 0951-0605
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 3-15
Keywords child, youth, advocacy
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This paper draws on the work of five evaluation case studies to examine how child and youth advocacy is constructed by the users and providers of services. The paper therefore challenges the development of pro-active advocacy approaches, where dominant discourses maintaining the status of children and young people as a marginalised group minimise the impact of advocacy in promoting change. Through the studies it can be seen that the skills of advocates have to go beyond an ability to communicate with children and young people, or manage systems, to find strategies for challenging discourses of childhood.