chapter  12
Partnership with service users in child protection and family support
ByBill Jordan
Pages 11

Why is it so difficult to shift public child care work from investigative ‘protection’ activities to support for families? This question seems to have come to the top of the agenda of research in this field in the mid-1990s, because of the outcomes of the Children Act 1989. Despite the rhetoric of ‘partnership’, agreement and voluntarism, and a reduction in the figures on emergency protection and care orders, a disproportionate number of investigations of alleged abuse still occurs, in relation to the resources devoted to supporting the parents of children in need (Gibbons, Conroy and Bell, 1995). The Department of Health and local authorities are now looking for ways of changing the balance between these two elements in the work of social services departments, and looking to researchers and experts for guidance in this task.