Sustainability | Free Full-Text | Path toward a Child-Centered Approach in the Czech Social and Legal Protection of Children


Child protection was traditionally based on a presumption that the mother best knows what is in the best interest of her child. The discourse began to be questioned in the Czech Republic in the 1990s, followed by efforts to bring interests and needs of children into focus, as well as the ways in which they can be taken into account in the assessment process as a basis for intervention. This paper aimed to identify key features of the child-centered approach in the professional discourse of the Czech child protection and to analyze the conditions of its application. The goal was achieved through qualitative thematic analysis of professional texts in the area of social and legal protection of children since 1990 and also of legislative and methodological materials regulating child protection. This paper shows the changing of the paradigm in the social and legal protection of children and points out the shortcomings in social work practice. The reason for optimism may be the fact that an umbrella body of state administration for child protection is aware of shortcomings and, in the form of projects focusing on various topics of social work with families, works to improve competences and knowledge.
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