Parents who neglect children present considerable challenges to child welfare professionals, and are often resistant to change. This book addresses an urgent need to ensure that social care interventions provide better long term outcomes for neglected children across services.
Based on a substantial research study into social care provision for children, it provides a rare insight into the experiences of neglected children over a period of five years, examining the responsiveness of parents and children to social care support and their progress. Close-focus study of the decisions made on either side of services - by the children, the parents, the caregivers and related social and healthcare professionals - shows what works and what doesn't, in the long term. This important book highlights gaps in provision for neglected children after the initial referral stage, the risks and potential for professional interventions and how well the child protection system and the courts protect children. It suggests ways that local authorities and other professionals can meet the complex needs of the children most likely to fall through the safety net, the factors related to good outcomes for them and how to improve safeguarding strategies within and beyond children's services.
Providing a critical account of policy, systems and practice, this book is essential reading for anyone who needs the latest evidence about safeguarding children, including policymakers, social workers and professionals in health care and the family justice system.
This study offers practitioners a unique bird's-eye view... taking time to read this book would be a good investment, helping practitioners to step outside of their day-to-day difficulties and focus on the long-term impact of neglect on the child.
– Children and Young People Now, Kate Mulley, head of policy and research, Action for Children
... the book takes the reader logically through what is currently known about neglect and the aims of the study. It then progresses through topics such as the children's early experiences, services and interventions and case management. Particularly interesting chapters include the exploration of social worker's views and those views obtained from the children and families... It is clear that there is more that professionals can do to improve outcomes for neglected children and young people, particularly for those over the age of six, and the authors make recommendations for changes in policy and practice which they suggest have the potential to achieve this.
To conclude, whilst this book focuses on work carried out by social workers with neglected children and young people, it makes for thought-provoking and informative read for any practitioner working with this vulnerable group.
This is a substantial book that will help Social Services professionals understand issues of child neglect and it provides clear indications of approaches that may be taken... The book is based on a major research study that followed a cohort of neglected children who had been looked after in the care system before being eventually reunified with a parent... The book is well structured and logically laid-out, with each chapter examining in detail the methodology and findings, and it is well illustrated throughout with case examples... In conclusion... there is much value in looking at this research as a clear way of ensuring that effort is made in recognising the seriousness of neglect, in taking direct action, and in making the legal process work for the children who are at risk of neglect.
– Child and Adolescent Mental Health
The authors discuss definitions of neglect; the backgrounds of the children exposed to neglect and the issues that present in social work cases of neglect... The book highlights that some professionals are doing an excellent job but it remains keenly evident from the text that there are a lack of services available to address some issues.
– Professional Social Work
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