First published in 1999, this book is based on an extensive research study of the experiences of eighty-three families and the range of professionals involved in initial child protection conferences, this book explores the opportunities and difficulties of working in partnership in child protection within the context of rights, justice and empowerment. The research identifies what families find helpful and unhelpful in the intervention, as well as analysing the difficulties faced by practitioners. In exploring the families experience, the author provides a concrete base for a much-needed clarification of the nature of and limitations on partnership practice within child protection. Equally, the analysis of professional perspectives on current procedures and the agency structures in place to support them provides insight into key intra and inter agency issues, including training. The Identification of the conflicts and ambiguities which are inherent in the particular system, and with which the professional struggle is of particular interest to social work practioners and their managers, as well as to academics and other researchers in the field. The book, therefore, contributes to the debate about what constitutes good practice in this complex field and, while affirming some of the strengths of the existing system, suggests some ways in which both the families and professionals who work with them can be better supported.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. The Issues: Relativity, Ambiguity and Power. 3. Research Methods and Design. 4. The Conferences and the Participants. 5. The Professionals: Their Attitudes and Training. 6. The Professionals: Their Experiences of the conferences. 7. The Parents: Their Experience of the Child Protection Process. 8. The Investigating Social Workers: Their Experiences and practice. 9. Conclusion: Social Policing or Social Welfare?