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Making Sense of the Child’s Lived Experience in Child Protection Conferences for Neglect

Making Sense of the Child’s Lived Experience in Child Protection Conferences for Neglect

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Making Sense of the Child’s Lived Experience in Child Protection Conferences for Neglect

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  1. Making Sense of the Child’s Lived Experience in Child Protection Conferences for Neglect Helen Richardson Foster

  2. Today I will talk about: • Background to the research • Research questions & methodology • Sample characteristics • The type of data presented in conference • How does data presented relate to the child’s daily lived experience?

  3. The Rationale for the Research: • ESRC Case Studentship • “…failure to see through the eyes of the child” (Lord Laming, 2009) • Why neglect? • Why child protection conferences?

  4. The Working Together Definition of Neglect “…the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.” (HM Government, 2013 p86)

  5. Research Questions 1) Who shares what information about a child and their family at a child protection conference? 2) To what extent is information about parenting capacity, context and issues explored in relation to the impact on the developmental needs of the child? 3) How has information been obtained and presented about the child’s experiences, wishes and feelings? 5) To what extent do conference members provide information about a day in the life of the child? 6) What difference is there to the quality of information about individual children and their lived experience if more than one child in the family is discussed at the conference? 7) What information is used to inform the content of the child protection plan? 8) What promoters and inhibitors do the workforce identify in relation to maintaining a child focus?

  6. Methodology and Sample Stage 3: Focus Groups Stage 1: Conference Data Stage 2: Interviews with Conference Staff Exploration of Stage 1 findings with staff from all agencies who attend conferences Face to face with conference chairs & their managers; andminute takers & their managers. Audio recording and documentary analysis. Where neglect main presenting concern or category of harm. 14: 3 ICPCS, 11 reviews 26: 9 chairs, 13 minute takers, 2 managers & 2 supervisors 6: 3 in each area In 1 LA / LSCB In 2 LAs/ LSCBs In 2 LA /LSCBs

  7. The Conference Data – Characteristics 1 11 reviews, 3 initial conferencesReviews: 3- 24 months, average of 9.5 months 6 ‘baby only’ conferences 5 large families of 4+ children Family attendance: 12 mothers, 5 fathers, 3 teenage children Practitioners 2 to 13, 10 average 35 mins to 2 hours 8 mins, average 1hr17 mins

  8. The Conference Data – Characteristics 2 All previously known to Children’s Social Care Predominantly white British Domestic violence Alcohol and drug use Parents: learning difficulties; mental health; physical healthChildren: Autistism; offending

  9. What information is shared in conferences? • Analysis methods • Purpose and structure of conference

  10. Least discussion of the Child’s Daily Lived Experience • Baby only conferences • Historical concerns I’ve got no concerns over the care that’s being provided to {Child 1} at the moment. Routines are all in place he’s feeding well. (Social Worker, Conference Two) • Resistant parents …when I’ve visited her I’ve not picked up that there’s been any smell of alcohol or she’s not appeared intoxicated or anything but I’m only seeing her for a fraction of the time and what she’s doing outside of that time is quite difficult to really get a true picture (Social Worker, Conference Three)

  11. Most discussion of the Child’s Daily Lived Experience • Older children • Education workers (with good knowledge of family ….that but there are points where {Child 2} has come into school and he’s not taken his tablet for whatever reason and there was the issue where the tablets had run out, and I’d rang up and spoke to {father} and said that that really needed, they needed a back-up plan, we need {child 2} to have his medication in the morning because that can then impact in school (Teacher, Conference Four)

  12. Most discussion of the Child’s Daily Lived Experience • Intensive work with the family… he is engaged in sort of positive activities when he’s at home, he’s not sort of left to his own devices or anything like that and I think that might encourage his motor skills (FIP Worker, Conference Four) • Parents attending the conference well I’m not being funny, the food’s there for the children to eat, they have their dinner and to me if they want, they can have something in between, I’m not going to stop them I mean apparently in the report they complain of being hungry and that. Well they’re allowed to help themselves if they want, but I’m not being funny, it’s not like the cupboards are full of biscuits or sweets. (Mother, Conference Nine)

  13. Most discussion of the Child’s Daily Lived Experience • Concerns about anti-social behaviour • Concerns about safetySo he spends most of the time with you then by the sound of things, if he’s there in the morning, takes them to school collects them from school afterwards , brings them back and he visits three or four times to see {Child 1} in addition to that, or you go out together (Chair, Conference 11)

  14. Thank you for your time.Any questions? H.Richardson-foster@sheffield.ac.uk