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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Child Protection Practice

ISBN 9780230242838
Publication Date May 2011
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

What happens when social workers leave their desks to carry out home visits? Harry Ferguson provides a rich and compelling insight into day-to-day child protecting practice. Capturing the sight, smell and feel of the home visit, he outlines the realities and complexities of face-to-face social work within this challenging field.

HARRY FERGUSON Chair in Social Work, School of Sociology & Social Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education, University of Nottingham, UK.

Knocking on the Door of History
The Development of Child Protection Policy and Practice
Streets, Housing Estates, Doorsteps: Getting to the Home
The Home Visit: Crossing the Threshold
Bedrooms, Kitchens and More intimate spaces
Relating to Children
The Importance of Touch in Protecting Children
The Car as a Space for Therapeutic Practice
Hospitals, Office Interviews and the Emotional Complexity of Practice
Working with Mothers
Working with Fathers
Working with Resistance, Good Authority and Involuntary Clients
Multi-Agency Working and Relationship-Based Practice
Spaces for Reflection and Organisational support
Intimate Child Protection Practice


Different, fresh and arresting. What Harry Ferguson does better than anyone else is capture the actualité of front-line child protection work. The book is so unlike any other in the busy market place of child protection books, it should have no difficulty sticking its head above the crowd. It is utterly distinct in terms of its willingness and ability to talk about the job in terms of how it looks, feels, smells and sounds as practitioners move between office, car and home.' - David Howe, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work and Psychology, University of East Anglia, UK
"I was very impressed by this book. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that it includes some of the most interesting and original writing about social work and child protection I have seen. It is a strength of the book that the author is prepared to set out his own position on the line. This makes it enjoyable, stimulating and challenging to read." - Chris Beckett, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of East Anglia, UK
"Harry Ferguson brings to life the embodied experience of child protection work. Combining historical research with contemporary accounts of frontline practice, Ferguson urges us to understand child protection work as a highly skilled and embodied practice, and offers powerful insights into the complex nature of authority, relationship building and decision-making. This book should be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the challenges facing child protection workers today, and what is needed to create the conditions for better child protection practice." - Karen Healy, Professor, School of Social Work and Human Services, The University of Queensland, Australia
"a 'must read'... This book offers a unique perspective on child protection that engages the reader in an immediate, honest and compelling fashion."- Gillian Ruch, Division of Social Work Studies, University of Southampton
'As might be expected from a leading social work academic and author, this book makes a significant contribution to the child protection literature. It should be read by all social work students as well as practitioners working in this challenging field and every social work office should have a copy.' -British Journal of Social Work
'Compelling' - Child and Family Social Work
'The book is well written and thought-provoking, sympathetically capturing the essence of front-line child protection work...This highly original and stimulating book is a breath of fresh air, recommended not just for front-line practitioners but for all those who manage, train, support and appraise them.' - Catherine Webley, Nagalro-Children Seen and Heard
'... a most challenging and thought provoking volume." - Abul Khan, Children Australia
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