Book Chapter

Creating Spaces to Care: Children's Rights and Food Practices in Residential Care



McIntosh I, Punch S & Emond R (2016) Creating Spaces to Care: Children's Rights and Food Practices in Residential Care. In: Kallio K, Mills S & Skelton T (eds.) Politics, Citizenship and Rights. Geographies of Children and Young People, 7. Singapore: Springer, pp. 39-53.

The children’s rights agenda has dominated discourses around state care for children. Over recent years, a number of scandals relating to the abuse and maltreatment of looked-after children have highlighted the need for a robust and comprehensive monitoring of the day-to-day care experiences that such children receive. However, the application of rights is a complex process in which children themselves play a central role. In this chapter, we argue that by looking at how food and the practices around it are managed and experienced, insight can be gained to the lived process of “doing” right. It is suggested that food offers a window into the everyday enactment, denial, and negotiation of rights and the role that adults and children play in this. Residential care offers an interesting example of the multiple spaces that children move through and how these spaces can change in their meaning and impact. We consider how food is managed in such spaces and the ways in which such management is linked with understandings of children’s rights.

Young people; Residential care; Rights; Food practices; Family-like; Spaces

Title of seriesGeographies of Children and Young People
Number in series7
Publication date31/12/2016
Publisher URL…981-4585-57-6_16
Place of publicationSingapore

People (3)


Dr Ruth Emond
Dr Ruth Emond

Associate Professor, Social Work

Dr Ian McIntosh
Dr Ian McIntosh

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Professor Samantha Punch
Professor Samantha Punch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology