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A Critical Interpretive Synthesis of the Ways Children's Needs and Capacities are Represented in the Homelessness and Family Violence Literature

  • Rebecca Fairchild (a1), Katrina Skewes McFerran (a1) and Grace Thompson (a1)


This paper describes a critical interpretive synthesis (critical review of the literature) exploring the ways children are described and represented in the homelessness and family violence literature regarding programmes. Authors' descriptions of children and their perceived needs are considered from individual, interpersonal and systemic positions, with an inherent focus on the influence of academic language and power in representing children. The articles reviewed here contained an abundance of negative descriptions of children's poor health, educational and developmental outcomes, but very little acknowledgement of children's personal resources and capacities in times of adversity. The programme goals and strengths-based therapeutic intentions described by the authors of these articles were not always congruent with the ways children were being represented in the early stages of the articles. We argue for a better balance in representing children's strengths alongside their challenges when describing their presentation and participation in programmes and research.


Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Rebecca Fairchild, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne, Building 862, 234 St Kilda Road, Southbank Melbourne, Victoria 3006, Australia. E-mail:


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A Critical Interpretive Synthesis of the Ways Children's Needs and Capacities are Represented in the Homelessness and Family Violence Literature

  • Rebecca Fairchild (a1), Katrina Skewes McFerran (a1) and Grace Thompson (a1)


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