Does socioeconomic status play a role in the interventions and outcomes in child welfare and protection?

Dale, Jessica (2017) Does socioeconomic status play a role in the interventions and outcomes in child welfare and protection? Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

Socioeconomic status and the way that it correlates with child abuse and thus child protection intervention is a widely recognised problem. A significant theme throughout the literature is poverty, and the way in which poverty raises a “red flag” signalling to social work professionals that children are likely to be experiencing abuse or neglect.

Literature and research coherently asserts why this is. However, the vulnerabilities, signs and symptoms of abuse that are experienced within a middle class home are widely under-researched.

The overarching dilemma within the research has highlighted that class bias can result in over-zealous social work intervention among working class families, or positive discrimination among middle class families that subsequently leaves a margin of middle class children unseen, unheard and unreported to children’s services.

This literature review collates the complex dynamics into a further chapter that examines how social work is implicated.

As we are aware, social workers have a duty to safeguard children and, under the Children Act (1989), they have a statutory duty to undertake the steps necessary to protect children who are, or who are likely to be suffering significant harm. This is problematic for social workers who are dealing specifically with suspected abuse or neglect within a middle class family as research primarily aids social workers to identify the indicators of abuse among the lower classes; such as poor housing, single-parent households, substance misuse, poor hygiene and poor education. However, problematically there are significant research gaps into how to identify factors of abuse within a middle class family, and thenceforth how to provision effective intervention with a middle class family. Considering this, a social worker is therefore left at risk of relying on bias to steer decision-making as opposed to a sound evidence base.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Social Work
Uncontrolled Keywords: Socioeconomic, social class, social work, bias, intervention.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV40 Social service. Social work. Charilty organisation and pracitce
Divisions: Departments > Social Work
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Wendy Ellison
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2017 12:34
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2017 12:34
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/2887

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