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Justice for children? Child protection and the crimino-legal process

Sharland, Elaine (1999) Justice for children? Child protection and the crimino-legal process Child & Family Social Work, 4, (4), pp. 303-313. (doi:10.1046/j.1365-2206.1999.00131.x).

Record type: Article


Changes in the crimino-legal process during the last few years have blurred the boundaries between criminal justice and children's welfare in child protection. These developments have, however, received relatively little critical attention within contemporary discourses surrounding child protection. This paper draws upon primary and secondary research findings to explore the appropriateness and effectiveness of current forensically led responses to child abuse. In particular, it questions the adequacy of existing operational constructs of justice in child protection, arguing the case for a far more comprehensive notion of 'justice for children' than presently prevails. Research evidence is reviewed suggesting that current crimino-legally driven practices fail to achieve even the limited objectives of criminal justice, let alone the higher goals of promoting children's welfare or attaining 'justice for children'. Finally the paper explores how these findings may inform and be informed by current debates and practice in social work. While a range of policy and practice remedies are suggested, these, it is argued, must be framed with recognition of the tensions and dilemmas underlying social work in a complex and uncertain social world.

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Published date: 1999


Local EPrints ID: 33682
ISSN: 1356-7500
PURE UUID: 096adaf3-3b4b-4f02-bb40-95e8b1ed7482

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Date deposited: 13 Nov 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:52

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Author: Elaine Sharland

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