Challenges for Policy and Practice. Sue White Professor of Social Work (Children and Families) University of Birmingham. What went wrong? First, the system!. Real Problems (which persist, internationally). Social work is politically charged and this creates the problem of hubris.....
Challenges for Policy and Practice
Professor of Social Work (Children and Families)
University of Birmingham
What went wrong?
First, the system!
Social work is politically charged and this creates the problem of hubris.....
Strong but wrong solutions – BLAME
The overall effectiveness of local authority arrangements for the protection of children is inadequate. In February 2009, the Secretary of State issued an improvement notice to Birmingham City Council due to poor performance in safeguarding children and young people. A further improvement notice was issued in September 2010 and during 2011, a major restructure and overhaul of children’s services was undertaken with the oversight of the Improvement Board’. Since the first improvement notice, Ofsted has undertaken a Safeguarding and Looked After Children inspection and two unannounced inspections of the council’s contact, referral and assessment arrangements for children and young people. Concerns with regards to the quality of practice in protecting children have been raised in all three inspection reports (Ofsted, 2012:16) Did you hear we became inadequate? We have been in a grief cycle since then. I got a bit of perspective back when my Dad died. Ofsted has left us running round like headless chickens - we are now going to rush into a restructure. We have not heard much from Munro. I’m fearing that it is going to go into a black hole with Ofsted challenging all the way. I don't feel inadequate, but maybe I am? (personal correspondence, 2013 Senior Manager, previously high performing authority)
So that’s the system.... What about the moral context of child welfare?
Selecting ‘evidence’ is political and moral
...“evidence” for policy making is not sitting in journals ready to be harvested... Rather, it is dynamically created through the human interaction around the policy making table – and, probably more significantly, the lobbying, campaigning and interpersonal influencing going on in the back rooms and corridors leading up to official policy making meetings. (Greenhalgh and Russell, 2006: 36-37).
Blinded by neuroscience: social policy, the family and the infant brain - Dave Wastell and Sue White , Families, Relationships and Society, 2012.
No. care proceedings has doubled to over 10,000 in last 3 yrs
Due to better understanding of the effect of neglectful parenting and the physical damage it can do to the brains of very young children
Parents who are neglectful or who are drunk, drugged or violent, will have impaired capacity to provide this social and emotional stability, and will create the likelihood that adverse experiences might have a negative impact on their children’s development … the worst and deepest damage is done to children when their brains are being formed during their earliest months and years.