Stakeholder’s Experiences of the Forensic Child Protection Paradigm

  • Helen BuckleyEmail author
  • Morag McArthur
  • Tim Moore
  • Erica Russ
  • Tania Withington
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 9)


This chapter, drawing on recent international empirical research, illustrates the perspectives of key stakeholders in the child welfare and protection services: Children, caregivers and practitioners. It shows that while there is an awareness of what children and families require in order to lead supported and healthy lives, the current system is challenged in its attempts to adequately address their needs due to its forensic and highly regulated orientation. Although reforms have been proposed, parallel developments such as mandatory reporting and the imposition of a bureaucratic regulatory framework, have presented obstacles to their establishment. The experiences of children and young people are reported, illustrating their ambivalent view of the services on offer, the way that the system can sometimes compound their negative self-images and the type of supports that they identify as positive. Although the importance of the helping alliance as an effective child protection intervention is well recognised, the chapter shows that caregivers, who include foster carers, experience the current system in ways that are sometimes perceived as unsupportive, unreliable and almost punitive. Finally, the chapter focuses on practitioners in child protection and illustrates that although many workers are highly skilled and resilient, the stability of the workforce is undermined at times by the pressures imposed by the risk-focused nature of the system. The chapter makes the case for a new paradigm, which is well informed, therapeutic and ecological in its orientation.


Child in Care Child protection Child welfare Foster carer Out-of-home care Paradigm Service user 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Buckley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Morag McArthur
    • 2
  • Tim Moore
    • 3
  • Erica Russ
    • 4
  • Tania Withington
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social Work and Social PolicyTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Institute of Child Protection StudiesAustralian Catholic UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Centre for Child ProtectionUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.School of HealthUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  5. 5.Children’s Health Queensland, Hospital and Health Service, Child and Youth Mental Health ServiceQueensland HealthBrisbaneAustralia

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