Child protection systems between professional cooperation and trustful relationships: A comparison of professional practical and ethical dilemmas in England/Wales, Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia

Meysen, Thomas and Kelly, Liz (2017) Child protection systems between professional cooperation and trustful relationships: A comparison of professional practical and ethical dilemmas in England/Wales, Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia. Child & Family Social Work, 23 (2). pp. 222-229. ISSN 1356-7500

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Abstract

This paper explores practical and ethical dilemmas for professionals when securing the protection of children in the complex non‐clinical setting of individual families. It is based on a cross‐country study on cultural encounters in interventions against child physical abuse and neglect in four countries (England/Wales, Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia). Drawing on national reports of legal‐organizational frameworks and socio‐cultural backgrounds of European child protection systems, it also presents the results of a series of focus groups with professionals. Data were analysed to identify implicit and explicit discursive constructions as well as normative representations and from this deriving the key ethical issues and dilemmas. Despite a shared normative framework across Europe, intervention cultures vary across the four countries and between the different stakeholder groups. Although each child protection system faced widespread mistrust, policy approaches differ, some relying on strong and detailed guidance whereas others stress professional skill and judgement. We conclude that despite a shared commitment to the protection of children, deliberations and perceived ethical dilemmas suggest interdependency between differences in system cultures and policy approaches that inform the character of professional interventions in the four countries.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router. ** Licence for VoR version of this article starting on 10-10-2017: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: child protection (policy and practice), ethical values/issues, Europe/international, policy/management, professional ethics/issues, risk in social work
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 10:54
Last Modified: 11 May 2018 10:54
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/1441

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