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Re-imagining child protectionTowards humane social work with families$
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Brid Featherstone, Sue White, and Kate Morris

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447308027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447308027.001.0001

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(p.147) Nine Conclusions
Re-imagining child protection

Brid Featherstone

Sue White

Kate Morris

Policy Press

In the conclusion it is argued that the current settlements about child protection need dismantling not because children have ceased to need protection, but because the orthodoxies are masking complexity and ironically making them less safe. Children are often uniquely vulnerable, but this does not mean they can be seen as separate from kin and community. If they are turned into sacred objects of concern, their lives are made poorer. The chapter also argues that the role of family and community engagement and development in supporting change for children and those they love and are connected to through blood, history and a multitude of ties must be recognised and supported. Further that there is a need to use approaches that fulfil responsibilities to intervene where there is harm without risk becoming the dominant paradigm. The chapter suggests that risk is a wider concept than the pathologising of individuals and groups. It is a product of multiple influences and is situational. Finally the chapter states that social workers must attend to furthering their understandings of the particular family and individuals immediately before them, rather than glossing them into spurious universals and institutional categories. This requires both rigour and humility.

Keywords:   social workers rigour, social workers humility, understanding family, community in child protection, relationships

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