Reimagining Child Protection: Towards humane social work with families

Posted on Thursday 10th October 2013

Reimagining child protection: Towards humane social work with familiesIn an article published recently in The Guardian 'For our children's sake, the social worker's role must be reinvented', it stated that more young people will die at the hands of their parents unless child protection teams are taught to be proactive. This follows more high profile child deaths at the hands of their mothers.

Social Policy academic Professor Sue White, together with colleagues Professor Brid Featherstone and Kate Morris will next year publish 'Reimagining Child Protection: Towards Humane Social Work with Families'.

Drawing on years of experience, they argue that the current dominant model of social work geared to crisis intervention, hampered by bureaucracy and form filling and with a continuous turnover of staff, won't do. What they propose is teams of social workers embedded in local communities who are more proactive, working with the dynamics of the whole family, not just a mother or a child in isolation. This approach requires professionals with a different ethos who are trained to work with families, over time, tackling difficult and complex questions – for instance, about the impact of domestic violence; the role of fathers and what the horrendous scapegoating of one child, a terrible repeat pattern, says about maternal ambivalence and how it may be countered.

Read the full article in The Guardian 'For our children's sake, the social worker's role must be reinvented'.