Workforce development: a pathway to reforming child protection systems in Australia

Lonne, Bob, Harries, Maria and Lantz, Sarah (2013) Workforce development: a pathway to reforming child protection systems in Australia. British Journal of Social Work, 43 8: 1630-1648. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcs064

Author Lonne, Bob
Harries, Maria
Lantz, Sarah
Title Workforce development: a pathway to reforming child protection systems in Australia
Journal name British Journal of Social Work   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-3102
Publication date 2013-12-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/bjsw/bcs064
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 43
Issue 8
Start page 1630
End page 1648
Total pages 19
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 3306 Health (social science)
3301 Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Abstract The Australian child protection system is struggling to successfully address voluminous child protection notifications, increasing numbers of children in state care, decreasing foster-carers and chronic workforce issues. In this paper, we argue that the capacity of statutory child protection agencies to achieve their social policy objectives is severely hampered by their failure to acknowledge or challenge the competing ideologies that underpin contemporary child protection practices. This failure means that the individuals who work in this area experience contradictory demands that compromise their capacity to work effectively and often render their work conditions intolerable, amidst the ongoing threat of media criticism that they are failing. Meanwhile, children and families in need experience risk assessment and interventions often reported to be debilitating and traumatising. This paper highlights many of the problems experienced by people working in and for child protection services in Australia and advocates for urgent reform. To build more sustainable and high-quality child protection services, we argue, workforce development must be central to institutional and organisational reform. In order to achieve necessary change, improve workforce retention and the quality of work, we posit that workforce development strategies must include the reconceptualisation of underpinning ideologies and current approaches practice.
Keyword Child protection
Child welfare
Social policy
Workforce development
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 22 May 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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