Project to transform the protection of minors completed

© NFP 76

After the protection of minors had long been based on paternalistic structures, today participative approaches are being implemented. This is due not least of all to the growing recognition of children’s rights.

The protection afforded to minors has changed significantly since the 1960s. The working relationships between authorities and courts, as well as with the young people concerned, have undergone a fundamental transformation. The results of this study show that the necessary conditions are increasingly being created to involve minors and their family members in decisions about prescribed measures. However, not everyone is benefiting equally from this development. The success of the participation varies depending on economic, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural resources. This could engender new social inequalities.

A protection system which offers consultations, support and involvement through dialogue is a welcome development. Yet it cannot be assumed that the parties affected by prescribed measures are likely to participate in decisions to any great extent, as the balance of power remains strongly asymmetric.