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«How we see this» – The perspective of children in residential care

A study on participation in the residential setting

At a glance


Evidences from current research and practice indicate clearly: even today, young people are only marginally involved in the decision-making processes that affect them. However, the legal and professional claim to participation is undisputed and thus nearly always an explicit part of formal mission statements and concepts. Research findings also show that successful participation has a major influence on protection of young people in care from abuses, on the development of self-efficacy among those affected and on the outcome of care in general.

Therefore, in the running Swiss study we aska) what dimensions of significance participation has for young people in residential care andb) how participation can be implemented bindingly together with young people and relevant actors.

MethodsBeaside an international Litrature review, the projects starting point is provided by demands formulated jointly by 18 young people from three different residential care institutions in Switzerland. They have brought together their views of participation at a unique Youth Conference in September 2019.Chosen demands is then negotiated and implemented together with social workers in internal development projects. After completion of the development projects, young people as well as social workers and care managers are asked about their project’s impact. In Addition, the views of young people on participation are analyzed with group discussions and standardized questionnaires. Outcomes of the project will be published in 2021.


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