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Re-imagining child protection
Towards humane social work with families

Brid Featherstone, Susan White, Kate Morris
Hardback, 192 pages, 234 x 156 mm
Other formats available
14 Apr 2014


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North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

"Marvellous, challenging and engaging."
Professor the Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough University
"This book provides a very welcome oasis in the current desert of punitive and unhelpful public and professional rhetoric about the ends and means of child protection. For practitioners, policy makers and academics this honest and informed discussion of key issues should prove a source of support and intellectual stimulus."
Professor Jane Tunstill, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, Kings College London
"An indispensable analysis delivered with great intellectual rigour and passion that shows how three decades of child protection have isolated the child, turned parents into the invisible enemy and side-lined the rich assets to be found in relationships that can and should be mended."
Yvonne Roberts, Chief Leader Writer, The Observer
"This timely text’s erudite and compelling analysis challenges us to rethink our protective approaches and practice. Its conceptual and ethical framework is essential for those seeking to reform child protection."
Bob Lonne, Professor of Social Work, Queensland University of Technology

About This Book

Why has the language of the child and of child protection become so hegemonic? What is lost and gained by such language? Who is being protected, and from what, in a risk society? Given that the focus is overwhelmingly on those families who are multiply deprived, do services reinforce or ameliorate such deprivations? And is it ethical to remove children from their parents in a society riven by inequalities? This timely book challenges a child protection culture that has become mired in muscular authoritarianism towards multiply deprived families. It calls for family-minded humane practice where children are understood as relational beings, parents are recognized as people with needs and hopes and families as carrying extraordinary capacities for care and protection. The authors, who have over three decades of experience as social workers, managers, educators and researchers in England, also identify the key ingredients of just organizational cultures where learning is celebrated. This important book will be required reading for students on qualifying and post-qualifying courses in child protection, social workers, managers, academics and policy makers.

Author Biography

Brid Featherstone is Professor of Social Care at the Open University and has extensive experience of researching gender issues in child protection. Sue White is Professor of Social Work (Children and Families) at the University of Birmingham and undertakes research on systems design in child protection. Kate Morris is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Nottingham and studies family minded practices in child protection


Re-imagining child protection in the context of re-imagining welfare
We need to talk about ethics
Developing research mindedness in learning cultures
Towards a Just Culture: Designing Humane Social Work Organisations
Getting on and getting by: living with poverty
Thinking afresh about relationships: Men, women, parents and services
Tainted love: how dangerous families became troubled


Customers in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei must order from their local distributor

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