Re-visioning child protection management embedded in family empowerment

Khan, Abul Kalam (2016) Re-visioning child protection management embedded in family empowerment. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

The study explores the key question whether child protection practice management requires a re-visioning embedded in family empowerment. The principle objectives of the research were to promote our understanding of the views and experiences of families with the public child protection system by using empowerment framework as a lens for deeper exploration and mapping of the key themes of findings in articulating way forwards informed by the families. The concept has been examined within a qualitative framework through in-depth interviewing of a cohort of families about their individual experiences and expectations of the public child protection services. The project has progressed in two phases: Phase 1 was conducted through in-depth interviewing of the families. A critical social theoretical framework was developed to analyse the primary data. Phase 2 focused on a meta-synthesis of diverse empowerment approaches from a range of disciplines and developed a theoretical model/lens (lntegrated Construct of Empowerment Theories-lCET). This theoretical model/lens is later utilised to map and interpret the key themes emerged from the primary data and then reported on the outcomes. The research identified a number of concerns around frontline practice management, issues around consistency and coordination in leaderships in the system and resultant struggles and alienation of families from the services. The findings highlight the experiential stress and disempowerment of the families at all levels of child protection interventions, which were complicated by the images of the frontline workers as powerful and able to support and make decisions. However, in reality they were not always able, and at times over reactive, invalidating, coercive and inconsistent in communication amidst further struggles due to frequent changes in the work force. The families' difficulties to engage with the service were compounded due to lack of trust on the system and associated uncertainty about what's going on or going to happen in the significant areas like out of home care, assessment, interventions and legal processes. These findings are also reinforced by the research in the last 10 years in the Anglophone countries, which recommended for a relationally based practice approach and the process should be directed by experiences of the families. Building on previous work, the theoretical mapping process has indicated an association between the processes of empowerment of the families and the development of the child protection system. The outcome also outlines an integrated stage process, in individual (professional), group, and systemic domains, as a potential scope for rebuilding child protection services as a pathway for improved service outcomes and empowerment of families. The study suggests a need for further research to develop a broader understanding of the experiences of the families in building the discussion for family empowerment focused service as a vision for child protection management.

Item ID: 49797
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: bio-psychosocial, child protection, eco-social, empowerment, family, participation, partnership, rights, social attitude, social capability, social justice, social rights, stigma
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2017 23:49
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940105 Childrens/Youth Services and Childcare @ 100%
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