Imaging the future: theatre and change within the child protection system

Trevor Spratt, Stanley Houston, T. Magill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The use of social pedagogy as a paradigm for critically appraising developments within child and family social work has been largely neglected. This paper outlines the work of Augusto Boal and his adoption of social pedagogy as a method for empowering oppres-sed social groups in Brazil. It is argued that Boal’s approach can be adapted by using action research techniques to analyse and effect change in situations where child care professionals face daily contradictions in their attempts to both protect children and support families. To demonstrate its relevance to child care practice, a description is provided of how the approach was used with two groups of social work students – one undertaking qualifying training, the other post-qualifying training. The results of this application suggest a new theoretical framework for practice which aims to establish communicative consensus around the needs of children and a mutual appreciation of roles and responsibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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