This article reports findings from a study which sought to offer primacy to the voice of the child, using narrative approaches to encourage children and young people to share their lived experiences of neglect. Using a constructivist approach, this paper explores the relationship between the voice of the child and their narrative of neglect. Drawing on the notion of ‘family narrative’, the discussion examines how children's views are constructed and reconstructed through the process of telling. This research documents that whilst practitioners seek to present the authentic voice of the child, our understanding of ‘voice’ should be problematized to take account of the fact that it is mediated through a number of filters and lenses. By attending to the voice of the child in the context of their narrative, practitioners may move closer to understanding the lived experience of the individual by exploring feelings, motivations and the myriad of factors which may influence how and for what purpose voice is shared. Engagement with the voice of their child in the context of their narrative, facilitates the development of a social work meta-narrative to inform effective intervention.
Revell, L. (2022). Narratives of Neglect in Social Work with Children and Families: The Relationship between Voice and Narrative. Child Abuse Review, Article e2780. https://doi.org/10.1002/car.2780