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Social work on trialThe Colwell Inquiry and the state of welfare$
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Ian Butler

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428684

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428684.001.0001

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The trial continues …

The trial continues …

(p.193) seven The trial continues …
Social work on trial

Ian Butler

Mark Drakeford

Policy Press

The case of Maria Colwell provided a ready point of reference for the future reporting of child abuse. This chapter shows that there is a clear line of sight between the key elements that comprise the Colwell case and contemporary debates about social work, ‘problem families’ and how the state orders the relationship between the two. In general, the book has shown the role played by two social workers, Diana Lees and Daphne Josephine Kirby, in the case of Maria Colwell. It has also highlighted the need for a larger, more ambitious and aligned form of social work that respects the complexity of human and social organisation and which is predicated on a commitment to achieve a similar form of social justice that motivated the original architects of the welfare state.

Keywords:   Maria Colwell, social work, child abuse, problem families, United Kingdom, Diana Lees, Daphne Josephine Kirby, social justice, welfare state

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