Journal Article

The Influence of Child Protection Orientation on Child Welfare Practice

Trevor Spratt

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 31, issue 6, pages 933-954
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
The Influence of Child Protection Orientation on Child Welfare Practice

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This article reports the findings of the second part of a two‐part research project examining the potential for social workers to make changes in their work with families and children. Whilst social workers in the United Kingdom have been encouraged to shift from a child protection to a child welfare orientation in their practice, such changes have been hampered by professional and organizational concern to manage risk. The research explores the influence of a child protection orientation on practice in child welfare cases. The findings, from two file analyses and interviews with 26 social workers, indicate that such an influence is indeed apparent. This is evidenced in two ways; first patterns of practice in child welfare cases are similar to those in child protection cases. Secondly, while the majority of social workers express an attitudinal desire to move towards a child welfare orientation, they still prioritize the management of risk in their practice. It is argued that social workers need permission from their employing organizations to make changes in their practice. This, in turn, requires such organizations to state clear goals in line with a child welfare orientation and develop holistic strategies to achieve these.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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