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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29764

Title: Doing the Right Thing: Negotiating Risk and Safety in Child Protection Work with Domestic Violence Cases
Authors: Jenney, Angelique
Advisor: Mishna, Faye
Department: Social Work
Keywords: domestic violence
child protection
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2011
Abstract: The concepts of risk and safety are central to social work practice with survivors of violence against women, especially within the child protection system. Recent studies have highlighted how discrepancies between client and worker perceptions may create problematic conditions for developing effective intervention strategies (Dumbrill, 2006; Jenney, Alaggia, Mazzuca, & Redmond, 2005). In addition, tensions exist between movement toward improving worker-client interactions through collaboration and the use of standardized risk and safety assessments as a means of improving practice. The purpose of this research study was to explore how women’s narratives of domestic violence (DV), expressed within the context of child protection services (CPS), become translated into CPS workers’ assessments of risk and need for safety planning. Using Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM), this qualitative study used focus group and interview data to explore how both workers and clients’ experiences of the process of risk assessment and safety planning influenced the course of the intervention. What emerged is that workers and clients held similar representations about the social construction/collective representation of woman abuse and the work of CPS. For both worker and client participants the concept of ‘doing the right thing’ presented itself as an over-arching theme. This theme implies that there is a perceived ‘right way’ of addressing DV cases within CPS work and enhances understanding about the ways in which social workers and clients interact. These findings illustrate how narrative structures shape interactions that take place within the context of care and prevention, manifesting themselves in complex ways that can lead to misunderstanding the impact on children, the (un) conscious subjugation of women victims, and the absence of dialogue about the role of men in addressing DV at a system level.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29764
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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