Parents' Views on Social Work Interventions in Child Welfare Cases

Trevor Spratt, J. Callan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports the findings of the third part of a three-part research project examining the potential for social workers to shift from a child protection to a child welfare orientation in their practice. Whilst social workers in the United Kingdom have been encouraged to make such changes they have been hampered by concerns to manage risk. Findings from the first two parts of the project had indicated that there was potential for a substantial proportion of child protection work to be redesignated as child welfare work, but that were this was achieved in practice there was evidence of continued influence of child protection processes as social workers sought to manage the risks inherent in child welfare cases. The study reported here sets out to ascertain the views of parents who were subject to child welfare interventions. The findings indicate that while parents feel apprehension with regard to contact with social workers, in the majority of cases successful relationships are formed. It is argued that social workers display considerable skill in monitoring potential risks whilst engaging with families and that the subtleties involved in such activity are not captured by official measures of governance which concentrate on more abstract indicators of performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-224
Number of pages26
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume34 (2)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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