This chapter explores social constructions of social work with children and families including the children’s rights perspective as an alternative to the dominant social construction which sees children as extensions of their parents. Advocacy, listening to children and families and facilitating their participation, are used as examples of good practice. The murder of Jamie Bulger and the smacking debate illustrate the emergence of dominant social constructions around childhood and parenting. The chapter creates a theoretical and practice framework for working with young people before focusing upon gender-specific work with boys. The practice areas of underachievement by boys in the education system, working with gay youths and adolescent perpetrators are discussed.
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