One of the key lessons learnt in the UK from the Laming Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié was the importance of social workers developing consistent and long-term relationships with young children in whose lives they are involved. This issue is now informing policy developments, including the proposed Social Work Practices which, based on a similar model to General Practitioner practices, aim to provide a lead professional to act as a parental figure and an advocate for every child in care. This paper begins by confirming the importance of developing relationships between social workers and young children, but questions the ability of the new policy developments to facilitate these. Drawing upon data from research involving interviews with social workers, the paper outlines the factors which hinder social workers' relationships with young children and argues that while the new proposals address some of the more surface structural and organizational factors, they do not address the deeper factors regarding attitudes, values and emotional competence which are crucial if social workers are to successfully build relationships with young children in care.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Child and Family Social Work|
|Early online date||05 Oct 2009|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|