Journal Article

Parental Participation in Child Protection Work: Rethinking the Rhetoric


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 26, issue 4, pages 475-492
Published in print August 1996 | ISSN: 0045-3102
e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Parental Participation in Child Protection Work: Rethinking the Rhetoric

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Parental participation and, to a lesser extent, that of children at child protection conferences is seen as an important element in resolving some of the conflicts that beset child protection work. Using data from a study of participation in one metropolitan borough, those outcomes that are generally regarded as positive in this respect are critically examined. Our findings suggest that the optimism of advocates of participation is not wholly justified. While at a basic level, parents are better informed than before, their involvement in all aspects of the decision-making process remains very limited. We conclude by arguing that there is a need for more realism about the extent to which all parents can be actively involved in making decisions about the future protection of their children. We point to the need for greater recognition of conflicts of interests between parents, professionals and children and to the need for changes in the child protection conference system in order to ensure more ethical and effective participation.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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