Advancing child protection through respecting children's rights: A shifting emphasis for school psychology

Christina M. Fiorvanti, Maria R. Brassard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The moral imperative of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, backed by robust empirical findings, leads to the conclusion that the protection of children from violence and neglect and the promotion of their well-being should be major priorities in every society. This article argues that School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice III should be reorganized around a child rights framework. We lay out the scientific foundation for why this change is imperative and describe what is needed to ensure children's protection, empowerment (right to participate and be heard), and freedom from violence. The proposed framework includes efforts to (a) educate all in the school community about child rights; (b) build a mechanism for the discussion of child rights and resolution of rights violations within schools; (c) guarantee children the right to express their views and to participate fully in matters that affect them; (d) impart all school community members with the skills to build positive relationships with one another and teach students how to protect themselves from child abuse and interpersonal violence; (e) ensure that each child has a committed relationship at school to monitor his or her progress and provide support when indicated; and (f) build a positive climate through needs assessments, rights-promoting school policies, and continuous evaluation and improvement. A wide variety of resources for implementing the model are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-366
Number of pages18
JournalSchool Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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