Barns delaktighet i vårdnads-, boende- och umgängesutredningar
Children’s participation in assessing custody, residence and access
Social work researchers have found custody, residence and access proceedings to be negligent regarding children’s participation and in considering their opinions. This study, with its phenomenological design, aimed at disclosing how children’s participation (as a phenomenon) appears in Swedish custody assessments as seen from the professional context of the social worker. The findings show that the meaning of children’s participation is constituted within a social context, i.e., as the background of the overall assessment and not based on a specific view in terms of outcome as expressed by the child. Three specific themes were discovered: 1) informing and respecting the child, 2) attempting to understand the child, and 3) integrating the perspective of the child within the overall assessment. The findings also suggest the necessity of clarifying concepts within the social work profession.