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a critical reflection Child Abuse and Child Protection


The paper aims to establish a perspective regarding the stance on child abuse and child protection.  The critical reflection will carry research based on a literature review, as well as the way critical issues related to social arrangements and power reflect the issues and describe options. It has been identified and addressed in a debate that has been ongoing for decades, and yet it is still an issue.

Three main literature reviews will be studied in order to address this subject in the task, first of all, “You’ve got to trust her and she’s got to trust you’: children’s views on participation in the child protection system” is a journal related to family social work and child abuse. The second book is the “Good Practice in Child Protection” and the third research is the journal article known as “Doing Harm While Doing Good: The Child Protection Paradox.” Both the main parts of the task will be based on these research works.

Child Abuse and Child Protection

It is stated in the first research work, which is a journal title, that “It is argued that decisions about children’s involvement should take into account not only children’s age and understanding, but be seen in the context of wider family dynamics. Participation in formal processes such as child protection conferences was experienced as difficult and emotive. The child’s relationship with their social worker was central to meaningful participation.” (Humphreys, 2006)

Hence, the issue of child abuse is yet a neglected one, even after a number of research works conducted on them. Besides this, when a specific child is abused, he/she is not given an accurate treatment. Children’s involvement in child protection topic has become a global phenomenon, especially since the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child” was adopted by the UK in 1991. Thus, children’s rights and their protection have also been linked with the academia on the sociology of children. This subject has been studied in accordance with the rights provided by different countries and it has been mentioned that “Protecting children in England involves the four key processes of assessment, planning, intervention, and review. There is no mandatory reporting or substantiation process as in the USA or Australia.” (Cossar, 2016)

Eventually, certain changes in the law, as well as recognition of children’s perspectives on the subject, have also been important, yet this issue remains neglected. In the journal title, a study’s point of view has been mentioned that the importance of the children’s rights is equal to their experiences, in addition to their feelings and even wishes. This study was a Munro Review of Child Protection. Besides this, the study has also provided extensive literature on the children’s involvement in decision-making which is an effective aspect of the topic. In this context, the author says that the guidance provided to the children must be completely honest and accurate in nature, and this is the only way child protection can be practiced in the society and the child abuse will be eliminated. Thus, in most of the societies around the world it is found out that parents don’t have enough linking with their children in regards to this topic. Most parents fail to recognize the importance of guiding their children on this topic and comprehend it in a subtle manner. Another important subject regarding child protection and child abuse carried out by this research is the children’s involvement in meetings. It is found that there are certain ways to keep children participating in conferences related to child protection. However, the author “summarized the qualities children look for in those that help them, including empathy, being a good listener, warmth, honesty, an informal but professional approach, being interested, committed, respectful, reliable and willing to take action.” Yet, no major action has been taken in this direction, and no meaningful participation of children is guaranteed in the meeting. (Tilbury, 2007)

The next research work considered for this subject is the book titled, “Good Practice in Child Protection.” A critical review of the book states, “The book is intended for courses in social work and human services, along with beginning practitioners on the frontline of child protection and family support.” A comprehensive research work in the book conveys a solid understanding of the realities and complexities of direct practice with vulnerable children and their families. The book is written in the Australian context. It offers a comprehensive guide to highlight the key areas of the subject of child protection. From a personal point of view, this book is highly favorable for practitioners, students, and educators regarding the essential domain of social practice.

Chapter 2 reflects on the specific theories related to child abuse and neglect. The chapter studies that media, and other policies practiced in the countries eventually fail to follow the child protection practice rightly. This further results in a certain amount of chaos, and creates even a higher rate of children’s death. It also reflects on the aspect that children do die from the neglect they receive for their terrible experience of child abuse. (Ainsworth, 2012)

The third journal article which is the third research work for this critical reflection is also written in the Australian context. The article states, “Every Australian citizen expects state and territory governments to protect children from child abuse and neglect. Protecting children from harm is seen as good. This however is not a simple matter.”

Critical Issues and Social Arrangement Based on Research Works

According to the three journal articles studied, the critical issues identified are the children’s lack of participation and knowledge regarding the guidelines. The first selected journal article highlighted this critical issue. As studied earlier, “In this context, the author says that the guidance provided to the children must be completely honest and accurate in nature, and this is the only way child protection can be practiced in the society and the child abuse will be eliminated.” The second book, and its chapter 2 is based on the subject of child neglect. It specifically maintains a major and consistent responsibility to the media, as well as the policies of the country that neglect the subject of child protection and abuse. It especially states media is an irresponsible medium. The third journal was the most specific in highlighting the social arrangements, and therefore, it will be studied in depth in this section. (Hobart, 1998)

According to this journal article, the ultimate act is to protect the children; therefore, they must be removed from parental care. Parental care basically causes pain, distress, and even trauma. It also hinders the child’s ability to recover from the trauma of the child abuse, and this is why vulnerable children and families must be given separate attention and it is merely, keeping them apart. Another authentic idea represented by the journal article is the paradoxes related to child abuse and ways of addressing them. (Turnell, 1999)

Research in the viewpoint of this journal states very well, “Young people leaving care need to manage multiple transitions – moving to independent housing, finishing school, finding work or further study and becoming financially independent – in a shorter time, at a younger age and with fewer resources than their peers. For many care leavers, there is an expectation of instant adulthood when leaving formal care.” In my personal opinion, this is an important way to perceive the issue. The children must be able to leave parental care and shift to formal care. Both types of care hold different positions for children.

On the other hand, it is also stated that children must not allowed to leave the care before they are even 15 years old. New South Wales has a certain contingent upon endorsing a leave care plan. Parental care must be efficient and effective to formal and leave the care plans. Or else, the vulnerable child will not be able to cope with the constant, and sudden changes in their life. According to a study in 2011, it is also stated that almost 90 young adults who left care found out that 78% of them had no clue about the endorsed leaving care plan. The issue here lies in the child’s perception and the lack of knowledge regarding this topic. These are some issues that first need to be raised.


The paper has provided a critical reflection on the subject of child abuse and child protection by using three different research works. You’ve got to trust her and she’s got to trust you: children’s views on Participation in the child protection system” is a journal related to family social work and child abuse. The second book is the “Good Practice in Child Protection” and the third research is the journal article “Doing Harm While Doing Good: The Child Protection Paradox.” As found, certain critical issues identified in the paper need to be highlighted regarding the subject, especially the importance of care plans for children.


Tilbury, C. L. A. I. R. E., Osmond, J. E. N. N. I. F. E. R., Wilson, S., & Clark, J. (2007). Good practice in child protection. New South Wales: Pearson Education Australia.

Hobart, C., & Frankel, J. (1998). Good practice in child protection. Nelson Thornes.

Turnell, A., & Edwards, S. (1999). Signs of safety: A solution and safety oriented approach to child protection casework. New York: Norton.

Humphreys, C., & Stanley, N. (2006). Domestic violence and child protection: Directions for good practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Cossar, J., Brandon, M., & Jordan, P. (2016). ‘You’ve got to trust her and she’s got to trust you’: children’s views on participation in the child protection system. Child & Family Social Work21(1), 103-112.

Ainsworth, F., & Hansen, P. (2012). Doing harm while doing good: The child protection paradox. Child & Youth Services33(2), 146-157.



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