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Protecting ChildrenA Social Model$
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Brid Featherstone, Anna Gupta, Kate Morris, and Sue White

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447332732

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447332732.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 06 December 2021



(p.1) One Introduction
Protecting Children

Brid Featherstone

Anna Gupta

Kate Morris

Sue White

Policy Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of child protection and its intersection with wider social policies and social trends. The modern child protection system emerged in the 1960s, rooted in a concern to stop babies dying or being ‘battered’ by parents who were considered to be suffering from a lack of empathic mothering in their own lives. Poverty, bad housing, and other social factors were screened out as holding helpful explanatory value in relation to why some babies were seriously harmed by their carers. From those beginnings, rooted in care for babies who were powerless and voiceless, and compassion for emotionally deprived parents, the system has expanded enormously in terms of remit, research base, influence, and power within a complex and changing society. The chapter then considers the core aspects and assumptions behind the welfare state and the emergence of a discourse around individual responsibility and risk that encompasses cause, consequence, and attribution.

Keywords:   child protection, social policies, social trends, child protection system, empathic mothering, poverty, emotionally deprived parents, welfare state, individual responsibility

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