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Liberty and respect in child protection

Holland, Sally ORCID: and Scourfield, Jonathan Bryn ORCID: 2004. Liberty and respect in child protection. British Journal of Social Work 34 (1) , pp. 21-36. 10.1093/bjsw/bch003

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The paper begins by introducing Isaiah Berlin’s concepts of positive and negative liberty and the application of these concepts to child protection. There is discussion of some recent debates on the social and political context of state social work and child protection in particular. The authors then consider, in turn, the experience of children, parents and social workers in the child protection system. There is also a consideration of partnership and rights. The conclusion is that opportunities for statutory child protection to be liberating are limited, but that there is more potential than the most pessimistic accounts might allow. Rather than libertarian child protection, social workers can aim for child protection practice that is respectful. The paper concludes with some principles for respectful practice, based on the ideas of Richard Sennett. Most importantly, Sennett’s ideas recognise the importance of relationships in social welfare and acknowledge the context of inequality within which social work takes place.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1468-263X
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 16:07

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