Competing Understandings of Children’s Services

  • Sharon Pinkney


This chapter examines competing understandings of child welfare. The discourses outlined are developmentalism, protectionism, children’s rights and managerialism. They are discussed in turn in relation to social work practice. The argument is made for co-production of protection plan, building on children’s understanding of the problem and working collaboratively and actively with trusted professionals and adults. This leads to a focus on capabilities and a risk-sensible approach based on relationship-based social work practice. Policy analysis includes examination of Every Child Matters (2003) and Care Matters: Time for Change (2007) and the Munro Review (2011b). Life story work is offered as a positive example of work with children. Finally the problems of social work in a period of austerity are discussed.


Discourses Developmentalism Protectionism Children’s rights Managerialism Competence Risk-sensible approach Co-production Capabilities Every Child Matters Munro Relationship-based social work practice Life story books Austerity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon Pinkney
    • 1
  1. 1.Carnegie School of EducationLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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