Beyond the Rhetoric
Based on a qualitative study of child protection practices this book takes a detailed look at what professionals actually 'do', contrasting the relatively straightforward process illustrated in procedural guidance with the uncertainty of the 'real world' of child protection work. Having observed case discussions and child protection conferences and interviewed professionals involved in child protection work, Helen Buckley sets out to clarify the factors that influence decision making in this field.Exploring the practice frameworks and sense-making techniques employed by child care professionals she demonstrates the importance of the cultural, political and organisational context in which the work is carried out. The processing of reported child protection concerns is followed from the earliest stages of identification to assessment, conferencing and long-term monitoring. In addition, data from interviews with parents who have been involved in child protection investigations provides a vitally important perspective for professionals.Emphasising that practice is a dynamic process requiring constant reflection and review, this book looks beyond procedural guidelines to help professionals, academics and policy makers involved with child assessment and protection to gain a deeper understanding of their work.