Child protection anxieties and the formation of UK child welfare and protection practices

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The history of child protection in the UK has had little critical attention yet 21st century childhoods and child care practices in the UK have been significantly influenced by what has been termed as the ‘child protection industry’. This paper argues that whilst statutory services have expanded then contracted, children’s charities have re-merged as the most influential voices that have shaped 21st century child protection policy and practice. A combination of the emphasis of risk to children and young people, and tragedies in which statutory services have had a part, has produced a ‘toxic’ culture of child protection in which Social Work with children and families seems to have lost its moral compass and its earlier emphasis on family support. Suspicion of parents and an emphasis on child rescue is now a dominant paradigm. Equally parents are suspicious of social workers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscourses of Anxiety Over Childhood and Youth Across Cultures
EditorsLiza Tsaliki, Despina Chronaki
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783030464363
ISBN (Print)9783030464356
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


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