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Reforming Child Protection [Paperback]

Bob Lonne , Nigel Parton , Jane Thomson , Maria Harries
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 3 2008 0415429064 978-0415429061 1

Child protection is one of the most high profile and challenging areas of social work, as well as one where children’s lives and family life are seen to be at stake. Vital as child protection work is, this book argues that there is a pressing need for change in the understanding and consequent organization of child protection in many English speaking countries.

The authors present compelling evidence from around the globe demonstrating that systems across the Western world are failing children, families and social workers. They then set out a radical plan for reform:

  • Providing an overview of contemporary child protection policies and practices across the English speaking world
  • Presenting a clear and innovative theoretical framework for understanding the problems in the child protection system
  • Developing an alternative, ethical framework which locates child protection in the broader context of effective and comprehensive support for children, young people and families at the neighbourhood and community levels

Grounded in the recent and contemporary literature, research and scholarly inquiry, this book capitalises on the experiences and voices of children, young people, families and workers who are the most significant stakeholders in child protection. It will be an essential read for those who work, research, teach or study in the area.

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‘…exceptionally well evidenced and explained so that the overall argument makes a compelling case for paradigm change…this is an excellent book, making a compelling case for the need for a radical change in the way society supports and polices families.’Eileen Munro, Child and Family Social Work

'Reforming Child Protection is an important step in building the intellectual foundation for transformation of the systems most directly responsible for children's safety.'Gary B. Melton, Clemson University, USA

About the Author

Bob Lonne is a senior lecturer at the School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia.

Nigel Parton is NSPCC Professor in Applied Childhood Studies in the Centre of Applied Childhood Studies at the University of Huddersfield, UK.

Jane Thomson is Head of the School of Social Work and Community Welfare at James Cook University, Australia, and the North Queensland Director on the National Board of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Maria Harries is Associate Professor in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia, Australia.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valid, Important but is it practical Jan. 20 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The authors review in very useful detail the underpinnings and failings of the child proetction systems in the Anglophone world. They very rightly raise a number of arguments about what is wrong even to the point of suggesting that the system may be broken. The carefully develop their perspective showing how children are not safer; risk aversion has become the systemic mantra as opposed to real protection; the definitions of who needs protection are widening so much that the systems are overburdened and unable to effectively meet the needs. They also suggest that this expansion of who should be served by child proetction may be clogging the systems in a way that means that those who truly do need the help are lost in the volume of cases.They also put forward the case that the system is forensic in its approach that it is no longer there to really help families. They suggest that outcomes are getting poorer.
This is an impotrant debate that they are putting forward and one that policy makers, service deliverers, politicians and other stakeholders need to have. There is just too much research that shows children and familes are not coming out of the system better off; families are fragmented; the disenfranchised and powerless are too over represented and prevention is ineffective when it is being tried.
Their proposals for change seem impractical and idealistic at some levels. Many practitioners will struggle to see how their changes will not simply be a wave of changes once again engulfing them in efforts that are only a port in an ever changing sea.
This should not stop the potential reader. Indeed, their proposals are a valid starting point in this urgent debate.
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