Journal Article

Decision making in Child Protection: The Use of Theoretical, Empirical and Procedural Knowledge by Novices and Experts and Implications for Fieldwork Placement

JULIE DRURY-HUDSON

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 29, issue 1, pages 147-169
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a011423
Decision making in Child Protection: The Use of Theoretical, Empirical and Procedural Knowledge by Novices and Experts and Implications for Fieldwork Placement

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This paper is concerned with the process of decision making in child protection, particularly as it relates to the decision whether or not to remove a child from home. The study compared a group of novice social workers with expert practitioners, placing a particular focus on the types of knowledge that novices draw upon when making such decisions.

A three-stage, qualitative methodology was employed to investigate child protection decision making. All parts of the study utilized a case vignette of a neglect scenario. This paper reports on some of the findings in respect of the use of theoretical, empirical and procedural knowledge.

The findings suggest that novices tend to lack a clear understanding of the factors that are associated with child maltreatment. While they have a superficial awareness of the concept of risk assessment, they have an inability to weigh factors appropriately and to apply this to their practice.

The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to field education.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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