The state is increasingly experienced as both intrusive and neglectful, particularly by those living in poverty, leading to loss of trust and widespread feelings of alienation and disconnection.
Against this tense background, this innovative book argues that child protection policies and practices have become part of the problem, rather than ensuring children’s well-being and safety.
Building on the ideas in the best-selling Re-imagining child protection and drawing together a wide range of social theorists and disciplines, the book:
•Challenges existing notions of child protection, revealing their limits;
•Ensures that the harms children and families experience are explored in a way that acknowledges the social and economic contexts in which they live;
•Explains how the protective capacities within families and communities can be mobilised and practices of co-production adopted;
•Places ethics and human rights at the centre of everyday conversations and practices.
“Protecting Children provides an incisive critique of the current system and compelling case examples of the mistreatment of families. The book documents and champions alternative approaches so that families’ lived experience and perspective frame the discussion and interventions. The book is a useful tool for students, practitioners and policy pros.” David Tobis, Maestral International
"This ought to be one of the most important contemporary social work texts. It deserves—it needs—to have influence and impact. Social work with children and families has in so many ways lost its way. This book helps us all to reflect and to re-route for the future." The British Journal of Social Work
"This is an excellent book that relates well to practice and addresses contemporary issues of risk, inequality, shame and neoliberalism. It also addresses the relational and strengths-based turn in a sophisticated way." Jameel Hadi, University of Salford
"This insightful and timely contribution to thinking about how we 'do' child protection invites us toward a new 'social model' approach to keeping children safe within families and communities." Joe Smeeton, Director of Social Work Education, University of Salford
"Written with a combination of sharp analysis, thorough research and compassion for children, their families and professionals, this book will take you on a revealing tour to the deep roots of our society's care of its most vulnerable citizens." Professor Michal Krumer-Nevo, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
"If you have felt the social justice footprint has been disappearing in the sand of child protection in recent years, this is the book you have been waiting for. In a refreshing challenge to the growing orthodoxy of pathologised casework the authors firmly root child welfare in the social inequalities that shape family life and urge practitioners to rediscover community development and social activism as appropriate responses to child welfare concerns." Sean Holland, Chief Social Worker, Northern Ireland
Brid Featherstone is Professor of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield.
Anna Gupta is Professor of Social Work at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Kate Morris is Professor of Social Work at the University of Sheffield.
Sue White is Professor of Social Work at the University of Sheffield.
Trouble ahead? Contending discourses in child protection
Building better people: policy aspirations and family life
Family experiences of care and protection services: the good, the bad and the hopeful
A social model for protecting children: changing our thinking?
A social model: experiences in practice
Domestic abuse: a case study
Crafting different stories: changing minds and hearts