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Social work child protection practice and the home visit: Interaction within context

Furey, Rosemary (2018) Social work child protection practice and the home visit: Interaction within context. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Social work with children and families includes responding to concerns about child maltreatment within the family, and taking protective action where necessary to safeguard the child. Social work is therefore concerned with protecting children from harmful parenting environments with the home as a significant parenting environment. Social workers engaged in child protection practice typically undertake home visits which include interviews with parents, together which inform assessments of parenting. The communicative interactions that take place within the home visit are therefore a significant element of social work child protection practice. Research studies that have focussed on the communicative skills of social workers are suggestive of difficulties in addressing child protection issues in ways that remain empathetic to parental concerns. However, few research studies take place in the situated context of the home visit. This study addresses the communicative encounters that take place between social workers and parents in the context of home visits where children have been identified as at risk of maltreatment. The research also focusses on social workers’ accounts of home visits in order to capture how these reflections shape and reflexively influence the practice of home visits. The research included accompanying social workers on home visits as well as interviews and questionnaires with social workers. A social constructivist approach was adopted that included a hybrid analytic that integrated conversation analysis and discourse analysis, in order to maintain a focus on the interactive encounter, and the context that shaped such encounters. The thesis contributes to understandings of child protection social work as an essentially communicative practice, with the home visits as a significant context that shapes interaction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Sociological Studies (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.752620
Depositing User: Rosemary Furey
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2018 09:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:56
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21371

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