Violations of Trust: How Social and Welfare Institutions Fail Children and Young People, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Violations of Trust

How Social and Welfare Institutions Fail Children and Young People, 1st Edition

By Richard Hil

Edited by Judith Bessant


180 pages

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pub: 2016-11-15
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The past few decades have brought to light increasing evidence of systemic and repeated institutional abuse of children and young people in many western nations. Government enquiries, research studies and media reports have begun to highlight the widespread nature of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of vulnerable children and young people. However, while public attention has focused on 'episodic-dramatic' representations of institutional abuse, comparatively little emphasis has been given to the more mundane, routinized and systemic nature of abuse that has occurred. This book documents comprehensively a full range of abuse occurring in 'caring' and 'protective' institutions, with particular reference to the Australian case. The dominant theme is 'betrayal' and in particular the ways in which agencies charged with the care and protection of children and young people become the sites of abusive practices. The authors draw on a range of theoretical frameworks to explore issues of trust and betrayal in the context of the professional and ethical obligations which workers have to those in their charge. The authors argue that it is not sufficient merely to report on accounts of institutional abuse or the consequences of particular practices; rather it is necessary to locate the prevalence of institutional abuse in the wider context of institutional practices as they relate to the 'governance' of particular sections of the population.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Government, trust and institutional harm, Judith Bessant, Richard Hil and Rob Watts; Power and knowledge: the making and managing of the 'unfit', Susanne Davis; Dangerousness, surveillance and the institutionalised mistrust of youth, Peter Kelly; Trust, liberal governance and civilisation: the stolen generations, Robert Van Krieken; Trust us: indigenous children and the state, Ruth Webber and Sharon Lacy; 'White Australia' and the Third Reich: the history of child welfare, trust and racial government, 1930-1945, Rob Watts; The abuse of young people in Australia and the conditions for restoring public trust, Judith Bessant and Richard Hil; The lost children: child refugees, Moira Rayner; The myth of ADHD: psychiatric oppression of children, Bob Jacobs; Postscript: 'so how can we live together…?', Uschi Bay; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Judith Bessant is Professor in the School of Social Science and Planning at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia. She teaches and researches in the areas of youth studies, social policy, history and sociology, and is the author of a number of books and many articles in national and international journals. Richard Hil is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia. Rob Watts is Professor of Social Policy in the School of Social Science and Planning, at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia. He is the author/co-author of Foundations of the National Welfare State (1987), Arguing About the Welfare State (1992), Sociology Australia (2003), and Talking Policy (2006).

About the Series

Welfare and Society

Welfare and Society
The focus of this series is on all aspects of social welfare including research, history, theory and practice. Characterised by a contemporary perspective on social welfare issues, published work has emanated from a wide range of subjects, including criminal justice, child welfare, community care, and social policy. The series is aimed at both an academic and professional readership.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy