We have argued throughout this book that face-to-face work with children should be an ordinary part of social work and not merely a specialist therapeutic activity reserved for particular children or special cases. This is not only for reasons of fairness and natural justice, but also for effectiveness. In ‘outcome-driven’ practice, it is important to remember that social work intervention with young people is unlikely to be successful unless someone is able to engage actively with the child and relate to them in a meaningful way (Sinclair et al . 1995). It is not productive to give higher priority to decision-making and resource management than to working alongside a child.
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