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, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 239-257, doi: 10.1080/09503153.2014.934797.

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Title Improving child protection services: Australian parents' and grandparents' perspectives on what needs to change
Author(s) D'Cruz, Heather
Gillingham, Philip
Journal name Practice: social work in action
Volume number 26
Issue number 4
Start page 239
End page 257
Total pages 18
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014-08
ISSN 0950-3153
Keyword(s) improving child protection
child protection policy
child protection practice
service users
practice change
Summary 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 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 services users. We also suggest that the professional relationship should extend beyond the interpersonal to guiding services users within the legal complexities in contemporary child protection. Being exploratory, this study and its recommendations guide future research to contribute improving child protection services.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09503153.2014.934797
Field of Research 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920105 Digestive System Disorders
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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