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Child Protection & Emotional Intelligence. Pauline Green & Fran Fuller. Happy Social Work Day!.

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Child Protection & Emotional Intelligence

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Child protection emotional intelligence l.jpg

Child Protection &Emotional Intelligence

Pauline Green


Fran Fuller

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Happy Social Work Day!

  • The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work (IFSW 2010)

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An historical context

  • Social Services was established in 1971 in the UK

  • The death of Maria Colwell in 1973 bought child abuse in England into the public domain in a significant way

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  • Since then we have had several child death enquiries and serious case reviews which have considered the role of social workers and other professionals who work with vulnerable children

  • In 1991 we saw the enactment of the 1989 Children Act which was to transform the way in which professional worked together and investigated child abuse.

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  • 1989 Children Act- This mandated all professionals to have a responsibility to child protection

  • 2003- Every Child Matters- A paper which emerged from the death of Victoria Climbié in 2000. The paper was published by Lord Lamming who had carried out the enquiry of Victoria’s death.

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  • 2003 saw the introduction of the new social work degree which sought to professionalise and safeguard the status of Social Work by increasing the study time and to apply 200 days of practice as a requirement to meet the learning outcomes of the degree.

  • There was also a consideration within the report regarding the ‘emotional resilience’ of social workers

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Outcomes of the enquiries.

  • In 2008 another tragic death occurred and a further enquiry was conducted by Lord Lamming. The death of Peter Connolly prompted a social work taskforce to be set up.

  • This task force reported back last year with 15 strong recommendations.

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  • Some of the focus was on the training and preparation of social work students and many questions were asked as to whether students were ‘fit for practice’ ?

  • There was also a consideration within the report regarding the ‘emotional resilience’ of social workers

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The Emerging Landscape!

  • As a profession we are encouraged by the proposed recommendations which our current government has accepted.

  • The HEI’s will be charged with considering the directives given to them by further reports one of which is due to be published tomorrow.

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  • Emotional intelligence (EI)will be a consideration alongside emotional resilience.

  • EI…… What is it? What place does it have within the social work profession?

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Emotional Intelligence is

“a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”

(Mayer and Salovey,1990 cited in Cherniss, 2000, p4)

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Emotional Intelligence Paradigm(Morrison, 2007)

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Emotional Intelligence and Social Work

The Social Worker who is emotionally intelligent is more than halfway to being an effective Social Worker”

(Howe, 2008, p7)

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Links with Social Work

  • Profession deals with emotionally charged activities/situations

  • Social Work requirements and standards relating to the new Degree indicate that Social Workers should be emotionally intelligent

  • Social Workers need to be able to interpret human thoughts, feelings and behaviour

  • Aspects of job such as interviewing, working on an inter professional basis, assessing etc require emotional intelligence.

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“relationships between Social Workers and their clients change from interpersonal to economics, from therapeutic to transactional, from nurturing and supportive to contractual and service orientated”

( Howe, 1996, p92)

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The EI Test

  • 15 scenarios – testing different areas of emotional intelligence

  • Choose only one option from a choice of responses a, b, c or d.

  • Add up your scores using the answer sheet

  • What is your score?

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  • M.A Education – Dissertation

    “ Can Social Work education and training increase a Social Work student’s emotional intelligence?

    All three year groups took part.

    Tested in Oct 2007 and again in May 2008

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Why the increase in EI?

  • Experiential learning ie placement – Goleman 1998

  • Taught modules – Preparation for Social Work Practice, Human Growth and Development, Communication Skills etc

  • Work experience whilst training

  • Opportunity to train with a wide ranging student cohort of differing ages, gender, culture, experience etc

  • Time – development of experience, knowledge, values and skills

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Future Implications/Considerations

  • Testing – What is the best way to test? Who should be involved in testing eg Personal Tutor, peers, Practice Assessor

  • Interview/ Selection/ Recruitment

  • Further research regarding staff awareness of curriculum and EI

  • Personal Professional Development

  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment methods

  • Inclusion in curriculum

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To Conclude

Goleman (1995) claimed that emotional intelligence can be

‘as powerful and at times more powerful than IQ”

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Where to Get More Information

Goleman, D (1995) “Emotional Intelligence” London: Bantam Books

Howe, D (2008) “The Emotionally Intelligent Social Worker” Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

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  • Cherniss, C (2000) “Emotional Intelligence: What it is and Why it Matters”

  • Cherniss, C and Goleman, D (2001) “The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace” San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

  • Gardner, H (1983) “ Frames of Mind:The Theory of Multiple Intelligences” New York: Basic

  • Goleman, D (1998) “Working with Emotional Intelligence” London: Bloomsbury Publishing

  • Lishman, J (2007) ”Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care” London: Jessica Kingsley Publications

  • Morrison, T (2007) “Emotional Intelligence, Emotion and Social Work: Contexts, Characteristics, Complications and Contribution” British Journal of Social Work Vol 37 pp 245-263

  • Parton, N (1996) “Social Theory, Social Change and Social Work” New York: Routledge

  • Thompson, N (2009) “Practising Social Work” Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

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Any Questions?

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Thank you

Many thanks for your valuable contribution


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