Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Child welfare social workers lack consistency

Otago research shows child welfare social workers lack consistency when helping at-risk children

Differing perceptions of risk among child welfare social workers is leading to inconsistent outcomes for children in need, a University of Otago-led study reveals.

Lead author, Senior Lecturer in Social Work Dr Emily Keddell, says children in similar circumstances can receive variable interventions or decisions from child welfare services because of social workers’ different perceptions of risk, safety and future harm.

In a study, recently published in Children and Youth Services Review, data was gathered via an online survey, which was used to develop interviews and focus groups for a second phase of the study.

The findings reveal that, despite similar knowledge bases, child welfare social workers in non-government organisations and the statutory child protection sector observe children in similar circumstances differently.

For example both groups view the presence of domestic violence as a risk, but don't view it as equally serious.

“Children who are in similar circumstances should get equitable access to service provision, or legal intervention, in a manner that reflects their level of need compared to others,” Dr Keddell says.

Some of these differences are understandable, as non-government child welfare social work emphasises early intervention, while statutory child protection practice focusses more on judging when statutory thresholds are reached.

“However, ensuring that perceptions of risk are aligned is important if the aim is a child welfare system where professionals working at every level of it can work collaboratively with families in a consistent manner.”

Dr Keddell believes continuing inter-professional education that grapples meaningfully with practise examples may be useful in order to develop a greater consensus among professionals about family risk and need.

She also believes more attention needs to be paid to the resourcing of both non-government and statutory child welfare.

“Divisions between the two areas of practise are heightened when neither is well-resourced,” she says.

This can lead to families becoming “hot potatoes”, passed back and forth between the two types of agency, too high risk for the non-government sector, but not perceived as high risk enough for the statutory sector.

“This can contribute to lack of service provision to struggling families, as well as decreasing trust between different types of child welfare social workers.”

Publication details:

Role type, risk perceptions and judgements in child welfare: A mixed methods vignette study

Emily Keddell and Ian Hyslop.

Children and Youth Services Review

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.02.017

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Getting To Zero: Challenging But Achievable

Today we released our draft report on how New Zealand should transition to a low-emissions economy. New Zealand has had climate change policies in place for some time but these have not been effective in reducing domestic emissions. For businesses, households, investors and consumers to manage the risks and seize the opportunities of moving to a low-emissions future, change is needed.

“Our report shows that major changes will be needed”, says our Chair, Murray Sherwin, “Emerging technologies are likely to play a large role in facilitating those changes and creating new opportunities for New Zealand. Our inquiry shows that, if credible and stable climate policy can be established now, businesses, households and consumers will be better able to plan for change and manage the risks of moving to a low-emissions economy.” More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Using PPPs To Meet Auckland’s Roading Needs

Earlier today, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that one of two new roads that the government would be co-financing would be a PPP – namely, the Penlink project that will link the northern motorway to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages