University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Doing Advocacy and Negotiating Power within Child Protection Practice in Early Childhood Education and Care.

McLoone-Richards, Claire ORCID: (2021) Doing Advocacy and Negotiating Power within Child Protection Practice in Early Childhood Education and Care. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

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The Critical Overview provides a synthesis of six published outputs underpinned by feminist scholarship which taken together, critiqued the impact of organisationaI child safeguarding cultures within Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). The thesis argues for more enhanced and robust provision and facilitation for ECEC students’ education provision in developing their professional advocacy skills, to support the rights of children and protect their welfare. The six publications, which comprise one empirical research paper, one critical literature review paper and four book chapters, were collectively analysed and synthesised via a feminist narrative methodology. The publications’ synthesis developed a focus on the need for child protection education to promote a better understanding of the individual ECEC student’s professional disposition for advocacy in child protection practice. The themes of professional disposition and child advocacy were examined within contexts of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and teacher education within the empirical research paper as part of the research publications’ synthesis. The synthesis of the published outputs also developed an original concept model known as the Child Advocacy Reflective Framework (CARF). It is proposed that the framework can contribute to an innovative pedagogy to develop professional advocacy, that is to do advocacy and positively negotiate the inter-play of power dynamics in professional and multi-disciplinary contexts as part of competent child protection practice.
The CARF was informed by the selected publications which focused on the acquisition of advocacy skills in safeguarding children within ECEC and, the application of Bourdieu’s Social and Cultural Reproduction Theory. This theoretical application was particular to the conceptual triad of Habitus, Field and Capital while the concept of Habitus is a key component of the relational triad of Field and Capital. The synthesis of the combined works makes the case for more awareness and understanding of the significance of the student’s personal Habitus and what the research subsequently identified as the developing ECEC Habitus, within education and professional practice experiences. The agentic properties of the ECEC Habitus are highlighted within the CARF, in promoting self-advocacy and advocacy on behalf of children. The important aspect of the CARF is the synthesis of the domains of the individual’s personal history, combined with their educational (Capital) and professional (Field) experiences all of which may have an empowering impact on the student’s confidence and propensity for professional advocacy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the University’s requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Published Work. University of Worcester, 2021.

The PhD is by Publication and is the basis of my 6 published outputs:

McLoone-Richards, C. (2012) ‘Say Nothing! How Pathology within Catholicism created and sustained the Institutional Abuse of Children in 20th century Ireland’, in Child Abuse Review 21: 394-404. DOI:10.1002/car.2209.

Richards, C. (2015) Taking a holistic view: critically examining complex professional issues. In, Reed, M. & Walker, R. (eds.) A Critical Companion on Early Childhood Studies. London, Sage.

Richards, C.M. & Gallagher, S. (2017) Common Vigilance: A perspective of the role of the community in safeguarding children. In, Brown, Z. & Ward, S. (eds.) Contemporary Issues in Childhood. London, Sage.

Richards, C.M. (2019a) ‘Looking Back in Anger’ the impact of mother and child trauma experiences in the context of Domestic Violence and Abuse. In, Fleet, A. & Reed, M. (eds.) Thinking about Pedagogy in Early Education: Multiple Early Childhood Identities. London, Routledge.

Richards, C.M. (2019b) “Is it safe?”…Creating safe reflective spaces and places for practitioners in mentoring and supervision of safeguarding children. In, Gasper, M.& Walker, R. (eds) Mentoring, Coaching and Supervision in the Early Years: theory and practice. London, Bloomsbury.

McLoone-Richards, C. & Robinson, C. (2020) ‘I know I am just a student but…’: the challenges for educators in students to develop their advocacy skills in protecting children. Early Years: An International Research Journal, DOI:1080/09575146.2020.17409036

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: advocacy, power, child protection, habitus, early childhood, professional practice, reflection.
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Claire Richards
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2021 11:12
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2021 11:12

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