“The shadow falls”: Understanding the factors involved in decision-making in local authority children’s services

Harvey, Anna (2017) “The shadow falls”: Understanding the factors involved in decision-making in local authority children’s services. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Full text available

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Abstract/Book Review

This research explores outcomes for 31 children in 17 families, from parenting assessment work undertaken by the author in her role as an independent social worker, for a local authority between 2006 and 2008. The data collected in the course of the work was used in order to identify themes and patterns across cases, to form an understanding of the common difficulties faced by families in complex child protection cases. The assessments were followed up with interviews with the social workers to find out what had happened to the child or family. The themes arising from these two sets of data are presented as case studies, highlighting common themes about the psychodynamic factors affecting decision making in child protection work and the emotional impact of the work. The study describes a process whereby the social worker can lose sight of the child’s needs due to the overwhelming needs of the parents. The findings advocate a process of containment through a model of reflective supervision, which takes account of the emotional impact of the work, bringing the child back into focus whilst not losing sight of the parent’s needs. A process of reconnection with the tragedy behind the cases is also described. This study demonstrates how difficult it is for one lone social worker to keep the parent and child’s needs in mind and therefore advocates for a team approach to complex child protection work.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: This thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of a Professional Doctorate in Social Work awarded by the University of East London in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Social Work, D60,
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Protection
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Children and Families - Social Work
Social Welfare > Social Welfare Personnel
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 14:02
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2017 14:02
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1584

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