Children, young people and service user involvement – a feasibility study of professionals’ understandings

Project Manager: Bente Hasle

Co-researchers: Betina Haug Olson, Juni Raak Høiseth, Aida Tesfai, Rigmor Dyrnes and Christina Kildal

This is a research project in collaboration with Associate Professor of Social Sciences Bente Hasle of the Institute of Social Sciences at Høgskulen i Volda and Mental Helse Ungdom [A Mental Health Organization for young people].

We wish to enlighten different understandings and practices regarding children’s and young people’s rights to service user involvement when receiving support from child protective services, mental health care services or health services from their schools.

The main goal is to develop a practice where the right to service user involvement is realized to a larger degree. Several service user organizations have contributed to developing the project due to their interest in children and young people’s rights being strengthened.

The project is divided into three parts. In the first subproject “professionals’ understandings”, focus group interviews have been conducted with employees within mental health care for children and young people, child protective services and health services within schools. The interviews focused on the professionals’ understanding of user involvement for children and youth.

KBT will continue to have a central position in the project, and will contribute to the analysis of the material and writing an article about the project. The findings will result in two articles, one of them to be published in Fontene Forskning [a Norwegian journal] in 2019. In the second subproject “Youth with ADHD advise helpers”, 19 youths have contributed with advice about prerequisites for realizing the right to user involvement. This is the base for an interview guide to be used in the main part of the project. The interview guide is further developed with four of the youths and young project team members with lived experience from KBT.

We are also planning the main project “Good conversations with children”, where we are going to investigate what happens when professionals think that they bring forward the child’s perspective and realize the right to user involvement, through analysis of recordings of conversations with children. After the recordings, Juni and Christina will conduct interviews with the children to bring forth their own perspective.