Journal Article

Social Support Use as a Parental Coping Strategy: Its Impact on Outcome of Child and Parenting Problems—A Six-Month Follow-Up

Michael Sheppard

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 8, pages 1427-1446
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn084
Social Support Use as a Parental Coping Strategy: Its Impact on Outcome of Child and Parenting Problems—A Six-Month Follow-Up

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Long standing policy and practice interest in Prevention and Family Support has been reiterated in recent years in the Every Child Matters programme. At the same time, however, official concerns have been expressed about the high thresholds operated by mainstream Children's Services, whose focus is, to a considerable degree, on safeguarding children. This concern emanates from a recognition that many applicants who do not receive a service because of the thresholds operated, have considerable needs. Without access to services, it is thought, there is a danger that they will end up being re-referred with greater problems and higher risks to the children. This paper focuses on this issue by carrying out a longitudinal comparative study on outcomes for families who, while having child and parenting problems, did not qualify for a service because of the high thresholds operating. In particular it focuses on the relationship between their social support and outcomes at six months. The findings show a significant relationship between the adequacy of some forms of support and positive outcomes. The significance of this for policy and practice is explored, including recognition of the importance of informal support to outcomes.

Keywords: Children and families; child care; social support; parenting; children in need

Journal Article.  7937 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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