CHIU, WAN-YU (2014) CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES IN TAIWAN. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
There are approximately 2000 children living in residential care homes in Taiwan, the result of child abuse, neglect and youth offending. Available literature on residential care in Taiwan focuses on the role of professional workers, and little is known about the experiences of Taiwanese children in residential care. Despite falling outside the family of the United Nations, the notion of children’s rights is articulated in Taiwanese legislation and public policy on child welfare. This offers a strong rationale to explore experiences of children’s rights in Taiwanese children’s homes.
An ethnographic approach involving i) participant observation, ii) participatory group activities and iii) semi structured interviews with 50 children was adopted in one public and one private children’s home. Drawing on theoretical and conceptual frameworks of children’s rights, happiness and resilience, the use of mixed methods facilitated a rich understanding of children’s experiences of life in residential care and their understandings and experiences of children’s rights.
The findings reveal that while children’s basic survival rights are met, a reality of strict routine and punitive discipline led the children to express their need for supportive companionship (expressed by some children as ‘love’), privacy and freedom to pursue individual interests. The tension between children’s expressed needs and the institutional regimes within which they experienced daily life reflected the cultural values of Confucian familism with expectations of unquestioning obedience to adults. The research also revealed that the children were not only capable of, but also showed enthusiasm for articulating their understanding and experiences of children’s rights and in doing so demonstrated their potential to contribute to the development of social policy and social work practice in Taiwan.
This research contributes to the field of social work relating to the nature and development of resilience in children living in residential care homes, and to ongoing debates on the value and reality of children’s rights to be heard and participate in all matters that affect their lives.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||Children's Rights, Children's Experiences, Residential Care Homes, Taiwan.|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||10 Jun 2014 09:18|