Social Perspectives in Child Abuse
Social work intervention to protect children from harm and abuse in England and Wales is governed by the legal framework of the Children Act 1989. The Act came into operation on 14 October 1991, and made wide-ranging changes to the law relating to the upbringing, care and protection of children. The aims of the new Act, according to the guidance issued by the Department of Health (DH), are ‘to strike a new balance between the rights of children to express their views on decisions made about their lives, the rights of parents to exercise their responsibilities towards the child and the duty of the state to intervene when the child’s welfare requires it’ (DH, 1991a, p. 1). In this chapter we examine the ways that the Act seeks to achieve these balances, and the ways in which these are reflected in the day-to-day practice of social work with children and families.
KeywordsLocal Authority Parental Responsibility Child Protection Criminal Proceeding Parental Participation
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