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

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels