Question adult fears, not childhood

29th September 2006 at 01:00
"Has childhood vanished?" (Opinion, TES September 22). Of course it hasn't.

It has just changed as our world has changed and will continue to do so. I never thought my mother would carry sweets in her handbag to give to her grandchildren, but she did.

What worries me more about Sue Palmer's position is the language used in her response. Statements such as: "as a nation we need to provide parents"; "since parents are terrified by media hysteria"; "as a profession"; "and do what we, as professionals, know is best for children"; and "they also need information about the real dangers from which children should be protected"

are all very worrying when in the article there is not one statement about discussions with children, young people and families. So, what are the views of children, young people and families?

The Every Child Matters agenda has required a multi-agency engagement with children, young people and families in a way which has not been done before, and not just about child protection issues. This, for many local authorities, has been a salutory lesson in how to and how not to provide front-line services. The ability to talk is essential, but only after listening.

Richard Carter

Redruth, Cornwall

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