Journal Article

Degrees of Involvement: The Interaction of Focus and Commitment in Area Child Protection Committees


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 27, issue 6, pages 871-892
Published in print December 1997 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 1997 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Degrees of Involvement: The Interaction of Focus and Commitment in Area Child Protection Committees

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As part of a review of the role and effectiveness of Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs), the authors examined a number of aspects of the involvement of member agencies in the process of joint development of child protection policies. Interviews with agency representatives and analysis of documents were used to explore ACPC composition, attendance at meetings, agenda-setting, effectiveness of representation, and perceived inter-agency relationships. Substantial differences were found in the extent to which agencies were involved in the ‘ownership’ of the child protection system, with some agencies which could make important contributions very much on the periphery of the process. It is suggested that this helps to perpetuate the current emphasis on investigation and registration despite research findings which strongly challenge the effectiveness of such an approach. The article looks at two factors that may influence agencies' involvement: decentralization of decision making, and the mismatch between the dominant ACPC agenda and policy priorities within agencies other than social services and police. They conclude that basic principles underpinning child protection services, for example the policy emphasis on investigation of all allegations, the development of child protection as a service apart from mainstream child welfare, and the role of social services as the lead agency should be examined to achieve the effective involvement of all ACPC member agencies.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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