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Lost identities: denying children their family identity

Reid, James (2012) Lost identities: denying children their family identity. In: Vulnerable Children and the Law: International Evidence for Improving Child Welfare, Child Protection and Children's Rights. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN 9781849058681

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Abstract

There is a rich literature on the benefits to children of both mother and father involvement but the experience for many children in contested contact and residence proceedings in the UK is denied familial and cultural experiences and lost identity. The public discourse on separated families has included the stereotypes of ‘deadbeat dads’ and ‘obstructive mums’ and such stereotypes continue to be common in social work with families (Trinder 2007). This is in part encouraged by conflicting messages in policy and uncritical approaches to practitioner utility - defined as subjectivities influenced by agency, social structures and culture – perpetuated particularly in assessment by mandated tools such as the Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (Department of Health 2000). This chapter considers the impact of practitioner utility in characterising many childhoods through minimised or ignored opportunities for a broader and inclusive familial, community and cultural experience and makes recommendations for a Framework for Intervention that enables social work practitioners to be open to a wider range of ideas, including considering at least the need for contact between the children, their non-resident parent and the wider family network, and to be more secure in explaining and defending their decision making.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Notify me when this book is available Vulnerable Children and the Law International Evidence for Improving Child Welfare, Child Protection and Children's Rights Edited by Rosemary Sheehan, Helen Rhoades and Nicky Stanley Hardback: £60.00 / $99.95 March 2012, 234mm x 156mm / 9.25in x 6in, 368pp ISBN: 978-1-84905-868-1, BIC 2: JKSB1 LBBR LNT LNMK add to cart description |contents |Global support for improving child welfare and upholding the rights of children is strong, but in practice often fails to recognise the emerging gap between traditional child welfare practices and the evolving nature of child vulnerability. This book takes an international perspective on child welfare, examining how global and national frameworks can be adapted to address the rights and best interests of children. Synthesising the latest international research, experts redefine the concept of a 'child in need' in a world where global movement is common and children are frequently involved in the law. The book considers children as citizens, as refugees, victims of trafficking, soldiers, or members of indigenous groups and identifies the political and cultural changes that need to take place in order to deliver rights for these children. Focusing in particular on child protection systems across nations, it identifies areas of child welfare and family law which systematically fail to look after the best interests of children, often through prejudice, outdated practice, or even the failure of agencies to work together. Exploring the nexus between children's rights and the law across the globe, this book makes essential reading for policymakers, social workers, lawyers, researchers and professionals involved in protecting vulnerable children
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Teaching, Public Pedagogies and Professionalism Research Group
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Early Years Childhood Youth and Community Research
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Depositing User: James Reid
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 13:45
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 11:45
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/12763

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