Risk, advanced liberalism and child welfare: The need to rediscover uncertainty and ambiguity

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyse and reflect upon the current state of child welfare policy and practice and how this has changed over recent times. In the process it aims to make a contribution to the current debates on 'the refocusing of children's services'. A central part of the argument is that new strategies have emerged which do not have as their central focus either meeting the needs of children or responding to child abuse, but the assessment and management of risk. In selecting such a focus, such developments are in danger of overlooking a central characteristic of policy and practice in terms of the pervasiveness of uncertainty and ambiguity. Not only do these characteristics need to be reorganized, but they need to be built on in order to take our thinking and practices forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-27
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1998

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