Working with Families where there are Child Protection Concerns



Childcare policies since the late 1990s have been directed towards mitigating the consequences of poverty, particularly child poverty, and childcare professionals are expected to participate in the ‘major strategies to tackle the root causes of poverty and social exclusion, (DoH, DfEE, HO, 2000: 1 par. 1.1). Professionals working with children and their families where there are child protection concerns are required to assess a child’s needs from a holistic perspective, and consider the impact of poverty, recast as social exclusion, as a factor undermining parenting capacity (ibid., 2000). Current child protection policy and practice has been heavily influenced by research studies showing the correlation between poverty and concern about child maltreatment as significant numbers of poor families were found to have been involved in formal child protection investigations leading to no futher action (DoH, 1995). The message to childcare professionals was that the ‘child rescue’ approach, which dominated child protection activity in the 1980s and early 1990s, left many vulnerable children and their families without any services at all. This approach, it was suggested, focused on investigating the family care of children, considered ‘at risk’ to determine if the legal test of ‘significant harm’ (Part IV Children Act 1989 s.31(2)) had been met, to the exclusion of any other needs the child or family might have (DoH, 1995).


Child Abuse Child Sexual Abuse Child Protection Child Poverty Vulnerable Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adcock, M. and White, R. (1985) Good-Enough Parenting. London: British association for Adoption and Fostering.Google Scholar
  2. Axline, V. (1947) Play Therapy. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  3. Bentovim, A. (2002) ‘Work with Abusing Families’, in K. Wilson and A. James (eds), The Child Protection Handbook, 2nd edn. London: Balliere Tindall, pp. 456–80.Google Scholar
  4. Burden, T., Cooper, C. and Petrie, S. (2000) ‘ModernisingSocial Policy: Unravelling New Labour’s Welfare Reforms. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, B. (1988) Unofficial Secrets. Child Sexual Abuse: The Cleveland Case. London: Virago.Google Scholar
  6. Campbell, J. C. (1995) Assessing Dangerousness. Violence by Sexual offenders, Batterers and Child Abusers. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Children Act 1989. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  8. Corby, B. (2000) Child Abuse. Towards a Knowledge Base, 2nd edn. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  9. David, M. and Appell, G. (2001) Loczy. An Unusual Approach to Mothering. Budapest: Pikler-Loczy Institute for Young Children.Google Scholar
  10. Department of Health (DoH) (1991) Child Abuse. A Study of Inquiry Reports1980–1989. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  11. — (1995) Child Protection. Messages from Research. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  12. — (1998a) Modernising Health and Social Services: Promoting Independence, Improving Protection, Raising Standards. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  13. — (1998b) QualityProtectsCircular: TransformingChildren’sServices, Local Authority Circular LAC (98) 26. London: Department of Health.Google Scholar
  14. — (2000) Assessing Children in Need and their Families: Practice Guidance. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  15. — (2001) Studies informing the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  16. — (2002) Integrated Children’s System. Briefing paper no. 3,
  17. Department of Health, Department for Education and Employment, Home Office (2000) Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  18. Department of Health, Home Office, Department for Education and Employment (1999) Working Together to Safeguard and Promote the Health of Children. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  19. Department of Health/SSI (1995) The Challenge of Partnership in Child Protection: Practice Guide. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  20. Department of Health and Social Security (1985) Social Work Decisions in Child Care. Recent Research Findings and their Implications. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  21. Fahlberg, V. (1991) A Child’s Journey through Placement, UK edition. London: BAAF.Google Scholar
  22. Frost, N. and Stein, M. (1989) The Politics of Child Welfare: Inequality, Power and Change? New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  23. Farmer, E. and Boushel, M. (1999) ‘Child Protection Policy and Practice: Women in the Front Line’, in S. Watson and L. Doyal (eds), Engendering Social Policy. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Furniss, T. (1991) The Multi-Professional Handbook of Child Sexual Abuse. Integrated Management, Therapy and Legal Intervention. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Gerber, M. (ed.) (1997) The RIE Manual: For Parents and Professionals. Los Angeles: Resources for Infant Educarers.Google Scholar
  26. Gregg, P., Harkness, S. and Makin, S. (1999) Child Development and Family Income. York: JRF/YPS.Google Scholar
  27. Gordon, L. (1989) Heroes of their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence, Boston1880–1960. London: Virago.Google Scholar
  28. Guardian ‘Overstretched Child Care Service “Unravelled”’, 18 October 2001.,10939,576651,00.htm1 accessed March 2002.
  29. Guardian “Political Correctness” Puts Children at Risk’, 20 December 2001.,10939,623077,00.htm1 accessed May 2002.
  30. Howe, D., Brandon, M., Hinings, D. and Schofield, G. (1999) Attachment Theory, Child Maltreatment and Family Support Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan—Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Howe, D. (1995) Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice. Basingstoke: Macmillan—Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jones, C. and Novak, T. (1999) Poverty, Welfare and the Disciplinary State. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Kellmer-Pringle, M. (1986) The Needs of Children: A Personal Perspective. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  34. Marsh, P. and Crow, G. (1998) Family Group Conferences in Child Welfare. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  35. Novak, T., Owen, S., Petrie, S. and Sennett, H. (1997) Children’s Day Care and Welfare Markets. Hull: University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.Google Scholar
  36. NSPCC (2001) Out of Sight. NSPCC Report on Child Deaths from Abuse1973–2000, 2nd edn. London: NSPCC.Google Scholar
  37. Petrie, S. and Corby, B. (2001) ‘Partnership with Parents’, in K.Wilson and A. James (eds), The Child Protection Handbook. London: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  38. Petrie, S. and Wilson, K. (1999) ‘Towards the Disintegration of Child Welfare Services’, Journal of Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33(2), June, pp. 181–97.Google Scholar
  39. Ryan, V. and Wilson, K. (1996) Case Studies in Non-directive Play Therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  40. Sidebotham, P. (2001) ‘An Ecological Approach to Child Abuse: A Creative Use of Scientific Models in Research and Practice’, Child Abuse Review, vol. 10, pp. 97–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stace, S. and Tunstill, J. (1990) On Different Tracks. Inconsistencies between the Children Act and the Community Care Act. London: Voluntary Organisations Personal Social Services Group.Google Scholar
  42. Statham, J., Dillon, J. and Moss, P. (2001) Placed and Paid For. Supporting Families through Sponsored Day Care. London: The Stationery OfficeGoogle Scholar
  43. Staffordshire County Council (1991) The Pindown Experience and the Protection of Children: The Report of the Staffordshire Child Care Inquiry 1990. Google Scholar
  44. The Bridge Child Care Consultancy Service (1991) Sukina: An Evaluation Report of the Circumstances Leading to her Death. London: The Bridge Child Care Consultancy.Google Scholar
  45. Wilson, K., Kendrick, P. and Ryan, V. (1992) Play Therapy. A Non-Directive approach for Children and Adolescents. London: Balliere Tindall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephanie Petrie 2003

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations