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Rethinking child protection strategy: Progress and next steps

Devine, Lauren

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Abstract

This keynote paper presents a summary of the research underpinning the ESRC funded project 'Rethinking Child Protection Strategy', progress on the project and the proposed next steps. The paper focusses on the impact of s.11 Children Act 2004 and related statutory guidance. Taken together these measures introduced a form of mandatory reporting of any child exhibiting 'signs' in their behaviour, interpreted to mean that they may require state interventions. The paper critiques this approach and presents data to indicate that a consequence of this policy has been to increase the number of referrals to Children's Social Care Departments without a corresponding increase in the amount of child abuse detected. The concept of the 'ideal social work client' is introduced, with explanation of the outliers which exist at opposite ends of the social work spectrum. The outliers are the false positive referrals and the most extreme cases of concealed, but properly referred child abuse. The legal and social consequences of current policy are explored together with a brief explanation of the author's forthcoming book 'The Limits of State Powers and Private Rights: Exploring Child Protection & Safeguarding Referrals & Assessments' (Routledge, forthcoming 2016). The paper concludes by suggesting next steps in terms of (a) research; and (b) formation of a national network to advance ideas for change.

Presentation Conference Type Keynote
Start Date Jun 3, 2016
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Devine, L. (2016, June). Rethinking child protection strategy: Progress and next steps. Presented at Transparency Project Conference: Where do we go from here?
Keywords rethinking child protection strategy, safeguarding, mandatory reporting
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Transparency Project Conference: Where do we go from here?

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