Improving child protection services: Australian parents' and grandparents' perspectives on what needs to change

D'Cruz, Heather and Gillingham, Philip (2014) Improving child protection services: Australian parents' and grandparents' perspectives on what needs to change. Practice: Social Work in Action, 26 4: 239-257. doi:10.1080/09503153.2014.934797

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Author D'Cruz, Heather
Gillingham, Philip
Title Improving child protection services: Australian parents' and grandparents' perspectives on what needs to change
Journal name Practice: Social Work in Action   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-3153
1742-4909
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09503153.2014.934797
Open Access Status
Volume 26
Issue 4
Start page 239
End page 257
Total pages 19
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract This exploratory, small-scale research aimed to understand parents’ and grandparents’ experiences and expectations of child protection investigations. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with nine participants. The central theme, captured as ‘a domino effect’, crystallises the participants’ views of why it is important to improve child protection services: that there were significant practical and relationship repercussions in families’ lives beyond the immediate investigation. The sub-themes that emerged — support within systemic complexity, policies in practice, intervention processes and practices, and ‘it’s just a job to them’ — suggested how child protection services contributed to ‘the domino effect’ in their lives. A final sub-theme indicated participants’ awareness of the complexity and difficulty of child protection as a job, notwithstanding their expressed frustrations. We have made practical recommendations based on participants’ perspectives about ‘what needs to change?’, and suggestions for improvements to practise that centralise social work as a profession which values the professional relationship with service users. We also suggest that the professional relationship should extend beyond the interpersonal to guiding service users within the legal complexities in contemporary child protection. Being exploratory, this study and its recommendations guide future research to contribute to improving child protection services.
Keyword Improving child protection
Child protection policy
Child protection practice
Service users' experiences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 15 Jul 2014, 13:41:52 EST by Philip Gillingham on behalf of School of Social Work and Human Services