Recent Submissions

  • Safeguarding adult reviews: informing and enriching policy and practice on self-neglect

    Preston-Shoot, Michael; (Emerald, 2020-04-25)
    Purpose – One purpose is to update the core dataset of self-neglect safeguarding adult reviews and accompanying thematic analysis. A second purpose is to explore the degree to which safeguarding adult reviews draw upon available research and learning from other completed reviews. Design/methodology/approach – Further published reviews are added to the core dataset, mainly drawn from the web sites of Safeguarding Adults Boards. Thematic analysis is updated using the four domains employed previously. The four domains and the thematic analysis are rounded in the evidence-based model of good practice, reported in this journal previously. Multiple exclusion homelessness and alcohol misuse are prominent in this sample of reviews. Findings – Familiar findings emerge from the thematic analysis and reinforce the evidence-base of good practice with individuals who self-neglect and for policies and procedures with which to support those practitioners working with such cases. Multiple exclusion homelessness emerges as a subset within this sample, demonstrating that SABs are engaging in reviews of people who die on the streets or in temporary accommodation.   Research limitations/implications – The national database of reviews commissioned by SABs remains incomplete and does not contain many of the safeguarding adult reviews reported in this evolving dataset. The Care Act 2014 does not require publication of reports but only a summary of findings and recommendations in SAB annual reports. NHS Digital annual datasets do not enable identification of reviews by types of abuse and neglect. It is possible, therefore, that this dataset is also incomplete. Drawing together the findings from the reviews nonetheless builds on what is known about the components of effective practice, and effective policy and organisational arrangements for practice. Practical implications – Answering the question “why” remains a significant challenge for safeguarding adult reviews. The findings confirm the relevance of the evidence-base for effective practice but SARs are limited in their analysis of what enables and what obstructs the components of best practice. Greater explicit use of research and other published SARs might assist with answering the “why” question, drawing attention where appropriate to policies being pursued by central government that undermine any initiative to end rough sleeping. Originality/value – The paper extends the thematic analysis of available reviews that focus on work with adults who self-neglect, further reinforcing the evidence base for practice. The evidence-base also supports practice with individuals who experience multiple exclusion homelessness. Policy-makers and practitioners have an approach to follow in this complex, challenging and demanding area of practice.   Keywords: Safeguarding adult reviews, evidence, self-neglect, research, multiple exclusion homelessness, alcohol misuse
  • Two roads, one destination: community and organisational mechanisms for contextualising child abuse prevention in Australia and the UK

    Firmin, Carlene Emma; Rayment-McHugh, S.; (Springer, 2020-05-04)
    Calls for a contextual approach to abuse prevention highlight a need to better understand how contextual frameworks may be operationalized.  Using a dual-case study design, this research compares two contrasting pilot projects underpinned by contextual theories of abuse prevention.  One was implemented in a small remote Indigenous community in Australia, and aimed to reduce the extent of youth-perpetrated sexual abuse.  The other occurred in a densely populated urban area in London (United Kingdom) and involved the co-creation and testing of a contextual child protection response to peer-to-peer abuse.  Despite their divergent approaches to developing contextual practice, a comparison of the two projects identified shared features of implementation. Both involved: context-specific community buy-in and ownership of a response to peer-to-peer abuse; solutions that were co-created between professionals and communities, and; the enhancement of community guardianship, pro-social use of space and changes to the physical design of areas to increase safety. Consequentially both projects demanded a radical transformation in the way health and social care professionals viewed the target of their interventions – the what- and the approach to achieving change – the how. Comparing these two case studies provides a unique opportunity to extend knowledge on the practical application of contextual theoretical approaches to abuse prevention. 
  • Child sexual exploitation: why theory matters

    Pearce, Jenny J. (Policy Press, 2019-11-30)
    This book explores the contribution that different theoretical perspectives make to our understanding of child sexual exploitation (CSE). It addresses the ways that these theories can influence our practice with children and young people affected by CSE and offers scope to identify when and why particular approaches are adopted.  Each chapter identifies a particular theoretical approach, explains its meaning and then offers an understanding of how this can enhance our practice. Covering topics such as how structuration theory offers us  a way to move beyond simplistic binary oppositions such as ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’;  how discourse  analysis can illustrate how and why our understanding of CSE as a form of abuse has changed over time; how contextual safeguarding helps us to explore the importance of relationships, places and spaces outside of the home environment; how laisse-faire approaches to internet providers impact on their engagement with managing abuse on line; how lifespan development theories place adolescence in context with emotional maturation and  brain development; how psychodynamic understandings and trauma informed understandings help us to address the impact of abuse; how we can enhance ‘empathy’ through understanding its relationship with ecology and social support structures;  and how our understanding of the impact of racism, gender and disability can help understand situations faced by children affected by CSE  as well as our role in advocating for change. This work aims to ‘bring theory home’ into our everyday practice and encourages individuals, teams and agencies to consider how their work with children affected by CSE is informed and developed.
  • Child protection and contexts of recognition

    Firmin, Carlene Emma; (Wiley, 2020-04-06)
    The papers in this edition of Child Abuse Review cover a broad range of topics relevant to the protection of children and the prevention of abuse. From child safety in sporting contexts, the identification of children with early adverse experiences, and supporting young children within foster care settings; through to routes for disclosing child sexual abuse (CSA) and the educational experiences of young people living in domestic abuse refuges – the papers selected cover a diverse ground. Yet collectively they tell a shared story about the contexts of child abuse – and importantly the contexts in which child abuse can be recognised, and thereby prevented or disrupted.
  • Is there a shared social work signature pedagogy cross-nationally? Using a case study methodology to explore signature pedagogy in England, Israel, Finland, Spain and Sweden

    Thomas, Roma; Wallengren Lynch, Michael; Chen, Henglien Lisa; Muurinen, Heidi; Segev, Einav; Carrasco, Marta Blanco; Hollertz, Katarina; Bengtsson, Anna Ryan; University of Sussex; Sapir College, Israel; et al. (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-24)
    While there is an international definition of social work as a profession, little is known about whether there is also a shared pedagogy in social work cross-nationally. To our knowledge, this paper is the first empirical study which aims to fill this gap by applying the concept of signature pedagogy in social work education to explore the commonality of social work pedagogy across countries. The study uses a multi-site case study (six universities in five European countries) through applying a ‘critical teacher-researcher’ approach in generating the data, followed by a two-phased thematic analysis. The study evidenced a shared principle of social work pedagogy which nurtures social work student to think and perform like a social worker and develop the professional self through developing relationships and dialogue, professional practice, group work, self-reflection and critical thinking. It is argued from, this exploratory study, that even between countries which have different welfare ideology as well as social work history and education systems, there is some common ground in social work pedagogy where one can learn from another through the use of ‘teacher as researcher’ methodologically.
  • Language, trust and transformation: exploring theatre as a research method with migrant youth

    Opfermann, Lena S.; Durham University (Taylor and Francis, 2019-07-29)
    This article explores the challenges and benefits of using theatre as a research method. It questions certain claims and assumptions underlying Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and more recent literature on theatre-based research. In particular, it investigates the notion that theatre enables participants to address issues of oppression and create socio-political change. Based on a case study with migrant youth in South Africa, the article firstly argues that certain challenges specific to working with migrants such as differing language skills and a lack of trust may impede genuine dialogic exchange as envisioned by Boal. Secondly, it shows how these challenges can be overcome by incorporating writing exercises, video recordings and embodied communication. Finally, the article argues that theatre-based research can indeed create individual transformations in the form of increased displays of ownership, confidence and hope. These insights contribute to the growing literature on theatre-based research and will be useful for others using similar arts-based approaches.
  • 'If you can't beat them, be them!' - everyday experiences and 'performative agency' among undocumented migrant youth in South Africa

    Opfermann, Lena S.; Durham University (Taylor and Francis, 2019-07-22)
    This article explores the challenges and coping strategies of undocumented migrant youth in Cape Town, South Africa. Drawing on a theatre-based case study conducted with a core group of 10 participants the article shows firstly that participants’ lives are affected by emotional, legal and practical challenges such as loneliness, discrimination and fear. Secondly, the article develops the concept of ‘performative agency’ to illustrate how participants cope with and contest their challenges. Specifically, the article shows that the young people's theatrical performances draw on stereotypical notions of vulnerability and victimhood as a means to denounce the discrimination and oppression they experience. In public interactions with others, by contrast, the young migrants use performative agency to emphasise their strengths and positive attributes, thereby enhancing their integration in a hostile environment. The insights provided by this study can help strengthen policy responses to better support undocumented migrant youth in South Africa and elsewhere.
  • Testing the “triple imperative”: A drama-based exploration of migrant children’s views

    Opfermann, Lena S.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-10-16)
    In an effort to address challenges associated with unaccompanied and undocumented migrant children in South Africa, civil society and academics have been using a rights-based approach that largely overlooks the children’s own perspectives. In response to this shortcoming, this study explored the views of migrant children living in Cape Town. By applying a drama-based methodology, the study aimed to follow calls for a “triple imperative” in forced migration studies. This imperative demands that research with so-called vulnerable groups should comply with enhanced ethics standards in order to produce policy relevant academic knowledge. The article develops two main arguments. First, the study has shown that many migrant children lack a stable reference person and therefore see themselves in charge of their own lives, yet that the lack of a legal document hinders them from fulfilling their responsibilities and pursue their goals. Following from this I argue that documenting migrant children not only fulfills the purpose of providing a legal right to stay, but also constitutes a form of stability and recognition of the children’s dig- nity. Secondly, I propose that drama-based research fulfills enhanced ethics standards, as it results in a form of “social reciprocity” that contributes to participants’ wellbe- ing. Since drama-based research also produces policy relevant results, I conclude that this methodology meets the “triple imperative.”
  • Surviving incarceration: the pathways of looked after and non-looked after children into, through and out of custody

    Day, Anne-Marie; Bateman, Timothy; Pitts, John; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-04-03)
    Report describing the findings of a two year study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, on the relationship between care and child imprisonment 
  • Watching over or working with? understanding social work innovation in response to extra-familial harm

    Wroe, Lauren; Lloyd, Jenny; University of Bedfordshire (Social Sciences, 2020-04-01)
    This paper critically reflects on the role of surveillance and trusted relationships in social work in England and Wales. It explores the characteristics of relationships of trust and relationships of surveillance and asks how these approaches apply to emerging policy and practices responses to extra-familial forms of harm (EFH). Five bodies of research that explore safeguarding responses across a range of public bodies are drawn on to present an analytical framework that explores elements of safeguarding responses, constituting relationships of trust or relationships of surveillance and control. This analytic framework is applied to two case studies, each of which detail a recent practice innovation in response to EFH studied by the authors, as part of a larger body of work under the Contextual Safeguarding programme. The application of this framework signals a number of critical issues related to the focus/rationale, methods and impact of interventions into EFH that should be considered in future work to address EFH, to ensure young people’s rights to privacy and participation are upheld.
  • The punitive transition in youth justice: reconstructing the child as offender

    Case, S; Bateman, Tim (Wiley, 2020-03-30)
    The transition from ‘child’ to ‘offender’ status can be fasttracked when offending is formally recognised through formal disposal, with children treated increasing punitively as they progress through the Youth Justice System. The status and ‘offenderising’ transitions of children who offend is socio-historically contingent, not only on their behaviour, but on political, socio-economic, societal, systemic and demography. We support this perspective through a periodised re-examination of four socio-historical trajectories in the construction of the ‘youth offender’: conflict, ambivalence and bifurcation (1908-1979); depenalising diversion and back to justice (1980-1992), fast-tracking the child to offender transition (1993-2007) and tentative depenalisation (2008 to present).
  • Keeping children safe? Advancing social care assessments to address harmful sexual behaviour in schools

    Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; Firmin, Carlene Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2020-03-05)
    International evidence suggests that schools are locations where systems, practices and cultures can enable harmful sexual behaviours. However, in England, welfare assessments primarily used by statutory social services largely target young people and their families, with limited capacity to assess environments beyond the home. Where young people display harmful sexual behaviours within educational settings, social care systems are yet to assess the factors within schools which may accelerate risks associated with harmful sexual behaviours. This exploratory article presents evidence on the opportunities for school assessment using cumulative learning from two studies. The first investigated enablers and barriers to addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools. The second employed the learning from the first through an action research study to develop school context assessments within a child protection system. Both studies employed a mixed-methods approach including observations, case review, focus groups, surveys and policy reviews to access data. Synthesised findings highlight: the value of exploring school contexts when assessing the nature of extra-familial abuse; the opportunities and challenges of utilising research methods for assessing school environments; and the role new assessment frameworks could play in supporting the inclusion of school contexts, and research methods, into welfare assessments of extra-familial abuse.
  • What do we know about transgender parenting?: findings from a systematic review

    Hafford-Letchfield, Trish; Cocker, Christine; Rutter, Deborah; Tinarwo, Moreblessing; McCormack, Keira; Manning, Rebecca; Middlesex University; University of East Anglia; University of Bedfordshire; Gender Essence & Essence Arts, Belfast; et al. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019-04-14)
    Transgender issues are under-explored and marginalised within mainstream social work and social care professional practice. The experience of gender transition has a profound impact on the individuals who have diverse gender identities and their family members. We present findings from a systematic review of studies concerning the experiences of transgender parenting conducted during January–September 2017. We took a life course approach, examining the research studies that investigated the experience of people identifying as transgender, who were already parents at the time of their transition or who wished to be parents following transition. The review evaluated existing findings from empirical research on transgender parenting and grandparenting to establish how trans people negotiate their relationships with children following transition, and sought to consider the implications for professional practice with trans people in relation to how best to support them with their family caring roles. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method. Empirical studies published from 1 January 1990 to 31 April 2017 in the English language, and which had transgender parenting as a significant focus, were included in the review. Twenty-six studies met the criteria. Key themes reported are: how trans people negotiate their relationships with children following disclosure and transition; the impact of parental transitioning on children; relationships with wider families; trans people's desires to be parents; and the role of professional practice to support trans families. We discuss how the material from the review can inform social work education and practice, including to help identify future research, education and practice priorities in this area.
  • ‘Sometimes the whole map is red’: applying geographical assessment methods to safeguard adolescents from harm in communities

    Lloyd, Jenny; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2019-12-16)
    Purpose: To explore the opportunities of geographical child protection assessment methods for adolescents victimised in extra-familial contexts. Design: Presenting empirical evidence from an action research study within one child protection service in the UK, the study draws upon qualitative data from practice observations, case review, training and five context assessments. Findings: Safety mapping and neighbourhood observations provide options to assess extra-familial contexts. Findings reveal that these methods support practitioners to build local knowledge of areas supporting interventions into community places rooted in principles of child protection.  Practical implications: The article highlights the need for further testing of contextual safeguarding approaches and policy guidance that outlines whose role it is to protect children in communities. Social implications: Geographical assessment methods provide a route to engage with young people’s lived experience of place. And develop interventions that target contexts and not just individuals affected by extra-familial harm. Originality: The article presents original research into the use of geographical assessment methods to be used within a child protection framework.
  • No further action: contextualising social care decisions for children victimised in extra-familial settings

    Lloyd, Jenny; Firmin, Carlene Emma (SAGE, 2019-12-19)
    England’s child protection system is intended to safeguard young people at risk of significant harm – physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. When young people are physically assaulted, stabbed or groomed into drugs trafficking they experience significant harm. To this extent they are entitled to support from statutory child protection services. Using findings from one component of a mixed method multi-site study, data from referrals and assessments into children’s social care is examined to identify the extent to which the right support and protection is realised. Such analysis indicates that despite being at risk of significant harm, young people abused in community or peer, rather than familial, settings will most likely receive a ‘no further action’ decision from social workers following referrals for support. This paper suggests that to a certain extent no-further-action decisions are aligned to the legal and cultural parameters of social work and child protection practice, thus raising questions about the sufficiency of such for safeguarding young people abused in extra-familial settings.  
  • Barriers children face complaining about social work practice: a study in one English local authority

    Diaz, Clive; Pert, Hayley; Hill, Lauren; Aylward, Tricia; Neill, Donna (Wiley, 2019-09-04)
    Despite the introduction of guidelines and procedures aimed at encouraging and supporting children and young people to complain about the services they receive, children in care still face barriers to doing so in practice. This paper explores what happens when children in care are dissatisfied with the services they receive. Specifically, this study examines the complaints procedure for children in care. The findings are based on semistructured interviews with children in care, social workers, senior managers, and independent reviewing officers from one English local authority. Thematic analysis of these data identified five emergent themes: (a) complaints by children in care are managed at the lowest possible level, (b) senior managers have an overly optimistic view about children in care being informed of complaint procedures and being encouraged to do so, (c) children in care are worried about complaining, which is recognized by professionals, (d) children's voices are often not heard, and (e) when issues are clearly defined, independent reviewing officers have some degree of success in resolving complaints from children in care.
  • 'Just another person in the room’: young people’s views on their participation in Child in Care Reviews

    Diaz, Clive; Pert, Hayley; Thomas, Nigel (SAGE, 2018-12-11)
    This article discusses a key meeting for children in care – the Child in Care Review – and examines the extent to which children and young people are able to participate and exert a level of control over their lives. The research, conducted in England, formed part of a wider exploration of the views and experiences of all those involved in such reviews, namely Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs), social workers, senior managers and – the focus of this article – the young people concerned. Most of the children interviewed said that they found their reviews frustrating and stressful, often attributing this to poor relationships with social workers and scepticism about the value of the review process. However, they recognised the workload pressures facing social workers and the bureaucratic constraints affecting the service they received. The article argues for the continuing importance of the IRO role, given the consistency it provides for children in care. It also shows that while it provides an opportunity for children’s participation in discussions about their future, the Child in Care Review is underperforming. The developing practice of children chairing their own reviews offers one way forward and the article calls for this to be developed and for other creative methods to be introduced to enable young people to play a meaningful part in meetings that affect them.
  • A study on senior managers’ views of participation in one local authority a case of wilful blindness?

    Diaz, Clive; Aylward, Tricia (Oxford University Press, 2019-11-16)
    Children in care are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society and senior managers should be committed towards improving their well-being. Empowerment through participation can contribute to this. This study considered the extent to which young people in care were encouraged to participate in decision making, particularly in their review meetings. The paper explores the views of seven senior managers in one local authority in this regard. It formed part of a wider study in which social workers, independent reviewing officers and young people in care were also interviewed. Findings indicate a disconnect between senior managers’ views and other participants. Senior managers were unaware of the challenges that the social workers and independent reviewing officers said they faced. Their understanding of meaningful participation appeared to be limited, their curiosity subdued and their willingness to challenge limited. Senior managers informed that care plans were not up-to-date or considered at the review and were unsure about what opportunities children had to participate and how management could support this. Senior managers reflected that little seemed to have changed in relation to children’s participation in their reviews over the last twenty-five years.
  • Managing and normalising emotions and behaviour: a conversation analytic study of ADHD coaching

    Bradley, Louise; Butler, Carly W. (Palgrave, 2015-11-20)
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed disorder in childhood with worldwide prevalence estimated around 5% (Polanczyk, de Lima, Horta, Biederman, & Rohde, 2007). Those that are given a diagnosis of ADHD often present with emotional and social difficulties, including poor emotional regulation and a greater excessive emotional expression, especially for anger and aggression (Wehmeier, Schacht, & Barkley, 2010). Such difficulties impact on self-esteem and self-concept, although this impact has rarely been addressed in research (Ryan & McDougall, 2009; Wehmeier et al., 2010). Instead, research has focused on assessment, diagnosis, and treatment (Barkley, 2006), or behaviour management for parents or carers to reduce and manage undesirable behaviour (Gavita & Joyce, 2008).
  • An interactional analysis of one-to-one pastoral care delivery within a primary school

    Bradley, Louise; Butler, Carly W.; Coventry University (Routledge, 2016-10-20)
    Despite an interactional analysis being able to offer valuable insight into the institutional workings of pastoral care practice, pastoral care delivery remains largely unstudied. This paper will contribute new knowledge to the field of counselling and education by offering an interactional analysis of one-to-one pastoral care provision within a primary school. Much pastoral care practice is informed by theory, often accompanied by guidelines about how to deliver pastoral care activities effectively. The pastoral carer needs to convert these guidelines into talk in order to deliver the intervention as an interactional encounter. However useful these guidelines are, they cannot show what the actual delivery of those pastoral care activities might look like in real life. Using conversation analysis, we examine video recordings of pastoral care delivery to reveal the ways in which a pastoral carer supports a child’s behaviour, social and emotional well-being. The significance of the findings is that those who provide pastoral care can see in close detail what delivery might look like as a real-life encounter, imparting valuable knowledge that can then be applied alongside theory and guidelines to enhance professional practice. Of further significance is that the findings can also show how an interactional analysis of pastoral care work can be used to demonstrate social and emotional learning and that the work being done effectively supports children.

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