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06. Børn og unge med særlige behov - english abstract

Children and Youths with Special Needs


By Frank Ebsen, Research Manager, Cand. Merc., Metropol University College, Denmark
63 pages * ISBN 978-87-7684-236-9 * Published: 2008

Danish legislation on children and youths with special needs offers only very few precise descriptive definitions of this group of children and young. For approximately a decade social inheritance was used as the overall concept for the governmental research in this area; however, in 2003 analyses left the definition very broad and imprecise and has been left more or less out of successive analyses. The imprecise definition places great demands on the independence and self-orientation of social educators and pedagogical practitioners.
 A number of research publications do, however, present central advices and directions for the professionals and their work with identifying and supporting the socially endangered children and youths. One of the dominating providers of research publications in this field is the Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI). One reason is that the SFI research explicitly forms the basis for the legislation on the field and hence something all employees working with social pedagogy must relate to. For the same reason, the research is often referred to and discussed in specialist journals, at educational institutions and in various fora for social workers. Moreover, it is rarely challenged as no other research environments, e.g. at institutions for further education, do research on this area.  Consequently, this area is characteristic of a very limited critical research mass.
 This working paper offers an overview of a number of surveys from SFI and the aim is to examine how they define/describe children and young in need of special support.