The Construction And Understanding Of Childhood Social Work Essay

In order to see how child protection policy and pattern has been shaped, a definition of kid protection and important injury and maltreatment is required. The Department for Education ( DFE, 2011 ) defines child protection as the action that is carried out to safeguard kids who are enduring, or are likely to endure, important injury. Furthermore the Children Act ( 1989 ) defines injury as ill-treatment including neglect, emotional, sexual and physical maltreatment. Interestingly, Parton et Al ( 2012 ) suggested that findings of what should be considered child maltreatment are socially constructed, and are hence brooding of the civilization and values at a specific minute in clip.

To get down, childhood is a position that is documented worldwide and throughout history, which sometimes sees the kid as guiltless, vulnerable, a consumer, a worker alongside other family earners, a menace to society and it is a building that changes over clip and topographic point ( Prout, 2005 ) . Historians of childhood have argued over the significance, such as Rams ( 1960 ) cited by Veerman ( 1992, p5 ) stated the construct of ‘childhood ‘ did n’t be before the 17th century ; hence kids were mini grownups with the same rights, responsibilities and accomplishments. This thought was supported by the hapless jurisprudence ( 1601 ) which was a formal system of developing kids in trades to lend to society when they grew up ( Bloy, 2002 ) .

Another illustration came from Locke ( 1632-1734 ) and the ‘Tabula Rasa ‘ theoretical account. This proposes that kids were morally impersonal and were the merchandises of their parents ( Horner, 2012 ) . The 19th century showed it was the parent ‘s duty to offer love and pertinent rectification, to convey out the good in their nature therefore assisting them to go lending members of society. This could easy take to faulting the parents as good or bad based on the behaviors of their kid, since the kid was non considered as his ain agent. Legislation such as the 1834 Poor Law Reform Act would back up Locke ‘s thought as kids who were sent to workhouses, would take part in schooling to form cognition. Obviously a figure of dirts occurred from inmates eating decomposing flesh from castanetss to last. The authorities ‘s response implemented sterner regulations for those operating workhouses, along with regular reviews ( cited by Berry 1999, p29 ) . Fox Harding ( 1997 ) described this epoch as ‘laissez faire ‘ which was based on the household being private with minimum province intercession around kids.

An alternate construct from Rousseau ( 1712 ) suggested the thought childhood being about artlessness and a kid was born beatific until the universe influenced them. This was important in footings of kid protection with the execution of kids ‘s charities such as Save the Children ( founded in 1919 ) . They portrayed kids in a assortment of grownup state of affairss and as hapless victims worthy of being rescued utilizing modern-day thoughts of childhood ( Macek, 2006 ) . Interestingly the Children and Young Person ‘s Act ( 1933 ) was besides introduced to protect these kids from any individual lawfully apt and likely to do hurt to their wellness. What is obvious is that injury was non clearly understood, sing floging in schools was common until 1987 and stopped because of bodily penalty being abused in schools ( Lutomia and Sikolia, 2006 ) .

Traveling into the 20th century took a broad displacement from the ‘laissez faire ‘ attack and along with the construct of childhood, became the impression of province paternalism. Child protection pattern was based on extended province intercession to protect kids from hapless parental attention ( Fox Harding, 1997 ) . These alterations led to a sharing of incrimination with their parents for kids going anti-social ( a devil ) or a great winner ( an angel ) in society. The diabolic theoretical account illustrated by Pifer ( 2000 ) was already seen in childhood building but blamed society, non the kid, when as Rousseau noted is the romantic discourse that becomes tainted with the crooked outside universe. These historical constructs dictated that kids should be seen and non heard and every facet of the kid ‘s life should be determined by their parents or defenders. Although the displacement is apparent, it could be argued that the laissez faire and paternalist position shared a common position of kids holding limited capacity for independency and determination devising. Pollock ( 1983 ) would reason that kids were non miniature grownups as Rams ( 1960 ) claimed, but really were at a significantly a lower degree of development and so had typical demands from grownups. This suggests as immature people they could do errors and be excused from full duty for their actions.

Given the current high profile arguments on kids, it is public indignation and moral terrors in the media that often changes the manner things are seen. The research into child deceases has prompted alterations in statute law ( Parton et al, 2012 ) . Cardinal events such as the decease of Maria Coldwell ( 1974 ) and Jasmine Beckford ( 1984 ) , led to specialist workers alternatively of generic workers. The immediate bureaucratic response which reframed kid protection pattern was no longer intercession into preventive work but became more focussed on measuring hazard. Serious instance reappraisal ‘s in to a kid ‘s decease was undertaken as a manner of detecting how the calamity occurred, who was responsible, what professionals were involved, rationalizing single actions and larning lessons for future pattern ( Rose and Barnes, 2008 ) . The populace ‘s perceptual experience of societal workers placed more force per unit area on this impression of placing hazard before the kid died which developed many theories and theoretical accounts for the professional to pattern.

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In contrast to the legion kid deceases, the Cleveland instance in 1988 evidenced the over enthusiasm of province intercession. Children were removed from their households based on medical appraisals grounded on unsure scientific cognition ( Hawkes, 2002 ) . The enquiry recommended greater rights for parents and kids and suggests the separation from households was seen as maltreatment itself ( Ashden, 2004 ) . This, and continuing enquires into the deceases of kids, offered quandary for societal workers stand foring the most seeable bureaus within the kid protection system, in footings of whether a kid should be removed or non. This event was a major policy driver to the Children Act 1989, where parent ‘s rights have been replaced with duty and guaranting kids turn out to be good citizens of society. However it could be argued that in pattern today the Cleveland event still carries stigma with parents believing their kids are traveling to be taken into attention. Sexual maltreatment statistics from the NSPCC ( 2012 ) province 20, 758 kids in 2009 were capable to sexual maltreatment with a diminution in 2010/11 to 17,727. This consequence could offer a suggestion that preventive work and forceful condemnable justness system in the last two decennaries is responsible. Alternatively it could be argued there may hold been no diminution at all and is strictly a bead in the figure of instances being identified.

Interestingly Child protection: Messages from Research conducted in the early 1990 ‘s ( DoH, 1995 ) examined the function of the Children Act 1989. The papers defied the socio-medical theoretical account of kid maltreatment and reframed and contextualised the impression of the ‘dangerous household ‘ . This suggested that the duty was to be laid on the parents of kids that fall out of peculiar concept in order to battle poorness and offenses. Children such the liquidators of Jamie Bulger in 1993 were kids transporting out unthinkable, far from guiltless Acts of the Apostless. However this instance offered a different concept as kids with a ‘dual position ‘ . They committed a offense as an grownup yet they were still kids in demand of protection. Society wanted to look at their background to make up one’s mind if watching horror films or holding divorced parents or hapless subject made them kill a small male child.

Given the media ‘s response the nature raising argument came to the head with impressions of being born bad, to being made bad. Fascinatingly the historical position had been to protect kids, yet moral terrors made society displacement to demonizing kids, branding them as wicked and evil ( Bracchi, 2010 ) . The statute law that had antecedently sought to protect kids had besides come into struggle with the boundaries of condemnable jurisprudence, as it does non recognize them as kids over 10 old ages of age ( Molan, 2008 ) . It could be argued that condemnable jurisprudence agrees with Aries ( 1960 ) and kids are mini grownups, yet societal workers guidance refers to kids up to the age of 17. One could oppugn how professionals can work together when statute laws can non hold what age a kid is.

Further spotlight instances such as Victoria Climbie ( 2003 ) highlighted weaknesss of multi-agency workers ( Scating 2003 ) and facilitated to determine the following alteration in statute law. The Every Child Matters green paper which outlined five results to be achieved by all kids was enshrined in jurisprudence as portion of The Children ‘s Act ( 2004 ) . These were defined as, remain safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve, achieve economic well-being, and do a positive part ( Knowles, 2006 ) which gave professionals way on the lower limit demands for every kid, and allowed societal workers to step in to run into these demands in kid protection pattern. However, the alliance authorities in 2010 abolished this docket ( McDermid, 2012 ) proposing that households are non as of import, even though it has underpinned societal work pattern for a figure of old ages.

However child deceases continued to be a turning job, the Baby Peter instance ( 2008 ) indicated that persons are neglecting kids and once more multi-agency communicating is hapless in measuring hazard. Another instance that followed about a twelvemonth subsequently was the Edlington male childs ( 2009 ) who tortured two immature male childs. Society so blamed surrogate arrangements and attention systems proposing they do non work and surrogate arrangements are every bit bad as the households they were removed from. Cases such as these developed incrimination civilization, where kids were perceived as being failed by the authorities workers ; normally the societal workers less frequently the constabulary and the politicians ( Community Care, 2012 ) . The public calls and unfavorable judgments of societal services made societal workers pattern on the side of cautiousness. This suggests the romantic construct of childhood ( i.e. protection of artlessness ) , came to the head and kids were seen as vulnerable and in demand of protection. It appears that each catastrophe that happens the societal concept of kids alterations.

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Indeed, research workers into 21st century childhood such as Sue Palmer ( 2006 ) refers to a ‘Toxic Childhood ‘ which is the injury society is doing to kids through a competitory, consumer driven, screen-based life style. The media and internet grounds how much it has made it available for kids to see grownup impressions and behaviors, intoxicant, sexual activity, drug usage and teenage force that show that differences between maturity and childhood are vanishing. Nevertheless it could be debated that contradictory attitudes remain platitude with kids being constructed as guiltless small angels and small Satans, innately capable of the most atrocious types of offense until the grownups in society influenced them as Rousseau ( 1712 ) noted.

Despite these unfavorable judgments the households that kids live continue to be judged as close with kids turning into hapless citizens due to non being protected by them. Very frequently hapless households are classed as hapless parents and certain buildings take topographic point without the household even being assessed. To represent Tucks ( 2002 ) identified a connexion between all signifiers of maltreatment and societal want, but a possible account is that culprits target vulnerable kids or adult females to procure entree to kids ; socially deprived vicinities are characterised by comparatively big Numberss of lone parents. Through the force per unit areas of their fortunes and in household crisis, parents had become caught up in a kid protection system that was more attuned to measuring hazard than to conveying out the best in parents fighting in hardship ( DoH, 1995 ) .

Furthermore Owen and Pritchard ( 1993 ) identified the troubles in sorting ‘at hazard ‘ and the standard for measuring what constitutes maltreatment. Indeed professionals hold a assortment of sentiments towards what constitutes maltreatment and could be argued that this alone diminishes the designation of hazard to a kid. Nonetheless professionals are still expected to protect kids by the Children Act 1989 which does lineations ‘significant injury ‘ , but it is really equivocal in footings of definition ( Brandon et al 1999 ) . Munro ‘s study ( 2011 ) on Child Protection agrees that societal work involves working with this uncertainness and non able to see what goes on in households which suggests small displacement. The defensive pattern may come from workers who are expected to pull off this uncertainness if the issue of maltreatment and disregard is non clearly labelled.

Since the execution of the Children Act 1989 the accent on the kid ‘s rights has become really controversial. The thought of protecting kids by giving those rights may hold been debatable for grownups in footings of taking them earnestly which arguably could be minimum representation they have had over the old ages. Additionally grownups may be antipathetic to passing over power to their kids, because as the early historiographers suggested, the grownup knows what is best for their kids. Franklin ( 2002 ) suggests a struggle between grownup ‘s rights and kids ‘s rights could offer accounts for ‘demonization ‘ of kids. Another thought could be that giving kids rights takes off a kid ‘s ‘childhood ‘ . This may hold been viewed from the idealistic building of childhood being a period of artlessness where they consider that kids should non be concerned with of import decision-making and duty.

To farther support kids ‘s rights, the kids Act 2004 updated the statute law to include the abolition of physical penalty ( NSPCC, 2012 ) . However, Owen and Pritchard ‘s ( 1983 ) thought of ‘cultural relativism ‘ whereby specific behavior in some households is attributed to cultural pattern, inquiries the construct of how important injury can really be measured. In instances of kid maltreatment, black and cultural minority kids could arguably be at a higher hazard, as warning marks that would hold been picked up are ignored and accepted to be cultural patterns and norms. For case Rogers, Hevey and Ash ( 1989 ) province that the whipping of West Indian kids can be viewed as traditional usage of castigation within that civilization, instead than observed as physical maltreatment of kids. Owen and Pritchard ( 1983 ) suggest this facet to ‘racist beliefs ‘ and stereotyping, where civilization is considered aberrant instead than the actions of a health professional.

Conversely Munro ( 2008 ) considers Effective Child Protection and points out the significance on the value of relationships between households and the worker and suggests this leads to better results by understanding the households and civilizations. An effectual appraisal and intercession in kid protection draws from holding good interactions and AIDSs parents to unwrap information and collaborate with governments. It could be argued if a worker does non believe in certain cultural patterns that kids could go at hazard when possibly they are non.

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Another point to see is the hazard posed by professionals that work with kids. Society has created an premise that the rich, societal workers, instructors and other professionals that work in kid focused functions follow the statute law on protecting our kids from important injury. Yet through the power of this trust professionals have abused in ‘safe ‘ infinites for kids. For illustration the slaying of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by the school caretaker in 2002, identified ‘significant weaknesss with respect to patrol vetting processs ‘ ( HMIC, 2004 ) and the impression of preparing and mistreating places of trust was incorporated into the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Sing the Act was implemented in 2003 Nursery director Vanessa George was found guilty in 2009 of mistreating kids in her baby’s room. The reappraisal found a systemic failure in communicating throughout and highlighted a common subject of premise provided a fruitful environment in which to mistreat, a point that has been proficiently highlighted by the mainstream imperativeness. The kid protection policies and processs were unequal and seldom followed ( Community Care, 2009 ) . This suggests that Vanessa prayed on the artlessness of kids cognizing how society views her as a practician.

Cases such as this called for a reappraisal of vetting grownups who work with kids and formed a piece of statute law, the protection of freedoms Act ( 2012 ) which focuses on functions working closely with vulnerable groups. Some kids related stations such as governors and school inspectors were being removed from the lists although they require holding contact with kids ( Kelly, 2012 ) . Additionally supervised voluntaries will no longer be classed as working in ‘regulated activity ‘ . Therefore, persons barred from working in ‘regulated activity ‘ can still volunteer at your school, every bit long as they are supervised. It could be argued that although the authorities is acute to scale back the cost of vetting, it does non take into history the hazard of preparing which is non negated by supervising. Furthermore, this procedure does non let schools to look into the barricaded list when enrolling voluntaries which suggests it is supplying a false sense of security for all.

A farther study into child protection by Munro A kid centred pattern in 2011, established that a cosmopolitan attack to child protection is forestalling the chief focal point of the kid. Munro recommended that the Government and local governments should continually larn from what has happened in the yesteryear, nevertheless this could be hard when instances such as Jamie Buglers that clamped the tomahawk to protect the male childs. One could oppugn what lessons can be learnt from such close instances. Additionally, it could be argued that Munro ‘s kid centred attack offers a possible negative impact on kids and professionals. For case, if the authorities removes the normative pattern that professionals may be utilizing as counsel, this could make the possible to lose the marks of a kid being abused based on opinion entirely.

Having considered this thought, future hazards assessment demands to alter, a theoretical and practical theoretical account demands to be considered to let province intercession in instances where a health professionals ability to care for a kid is questioned. The British authorities will be polar to play a major function in reforming bing statute law and building new strong statute law to let engagement by attention services in the most high hazard instances of kid maltreatment. This petition on the authorities is a effect of the doctrine of hazard now predominant in the UK, and is assumed that the authorities has the accomplishment to expect and halt maltreatment and injury which in bend holds the authorities responsible when this does non go on.

In decision, the historical positions of childhood can be seen throughout the legion ideological discourses which determine how buildings of childhood continue to act upon Torahs and statute law refering the ways in which kid protection is shaped. Although it is recognised that childhood warrants some grade of protective position, socioeconomic and cultural fortunes besides affect immature kids ‘s behavior and the manner professionals pattern. Those changed conditions besides influence grownup beliefs about rise uping kids and how protecting kids should be. The accent on hazard and measuring hazard has changed over clip, surely through media, society and statute law.

As outlined there are some perennial issues such as the acknowledgment of important injury, taking appropriate action, effectual communicating and accomplishing an appropriate balance between back uping households and riotous intercession to safeguard and advance kids ‘s public assistance. Nevertheless kid protection has been around for a figure of old ages and indicates that there is a correlativity between statute law, society and the concept of childhood which continually mirrors each other and will likely go on to make so.