Probation officers and child protection work; what does 'think family' look like in practice?"

Abstract

This research was an examination of 31 probation service cases that required some level of child protection work. The work was undertaken for a large metropolitan probation trust to establish the characteristics of child protection cases, and evaluate standards of practice. The sample was found to be predominantly low or medium risk. It was characterized by widespread domestic violence, and mothers struggling to parent on their own. Substance misuse was a very common feature, and to a lesser extent poor mental health. A great deal of impressive practice, as well as some poor practice was encountered, and the cases provide much instruction as to just what a ‘think family’ approach means. Probation officers were excluded from multi-agency work in a worrying number of cases

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