In this article we use qualitative data drawn from a sample of child protection cases 10 demonstrate holV the process of al1ributing blame to parents and carers for child maltreatment is a sign!ficanr influence 011 decisionmaking, sometimes to the detriment of assessing the flltllre safety of children. We foctls on two cases which both demonstrate how the process of apportioning blame can lead to decisions which might not be considered 10 be in the best interests of the children concerned. We conceptualise blame as an 'ideology' with its roots in the discourse of the 'risk society', pelpetuated and sustained by the technology of risk assessment. The concept of blame ideology is offered as an addition to theOlY which seeks 10 explain the influences on decision making in child protection practice.
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