ALL CHILDREN ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS: MINORITIZATION, STRUCTURAL INEQUITIES, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE PRAXIS IN RESIDENTIAL CARE

Sandrina deFinney, Mackenzie Dean, Elicia Loiselle, Johanne Saraceno

Abstract


This article draws on our practice and research experience in diverse residential settings to examine structural inequities facing children and youth in residential care. Our overall goal is to conceptualize residential care as a site for radical advocacy and social change. We track the impact of minoritization by exploring links between historical structural inequities and the positioning of minoritized groups as being in need of professional intervention. Drawing on queer, anti-racist, Indigenous, postcolonial, and feminist theories, we explore how interplaying processes of racialization, gendering, classing, and sexualization (among others) produce unequal circumstances for some groups of children and youth in residential care. We situate our critique in an analysis of two important structural forces that shape contemporary social services in the West: neoliberalism and neocolonialism. We propose that employing a critical social justice analysis in our engagement with children, youth, families, and communities – and with the systems in which they and we are embedded – can open alternative possibilities for residential care praxis.


Keywords


child and youth care, residential care, social justice/injustice, child welfare, diversity

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

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