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Reassessing Attachment Theory in Child Welfare$
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Sue White, Matthew Gibson, David Wastell, and Patricia Walsh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336914

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336914.001.0001

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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: 05 August 2021

Coda: love reawakened?

Coda: love reawakened?

(p.123) Coda: love reawakened?
Reassessing Attachment Theory in Child Welfare

Sue White

Matthew Gibson

David Wastell

Patricia Walsh

Policy Press

This coda summarises the main arguments of this book. It calls for the ethical use of attachment theory. All theories are tools, and tools need to be used in the right way, addressing the thing they were designed to explain or improve. There are parts of attachment theory that were designed to understand love and relationships, and parts that were designed to change policy and practice to create a more humane system of public services. These aspects provide a good fit for child welfare practice and some of the ideas of attachment theory were developed within, and inspired by, child welfare practice. If attachment theory is to be used ethically in policy and practice, practitioners need to properly understand the theory, its origins and original intentions. The book has also outlined the need to place attachment theory into a wider context for practice. Professional ethics necessarily involve respecting familial relational networks, seeking to develop, strengthen, and deepen those relationships that provide connection and belonging. Without these central values, attachment theory can result in the opposite.

Keywords:   attachment theory, love, relationships, policy, public services, child welfare, child welfare practice, professional ethics, familial relational networks

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