Edited by Tony Morrison, Marcus Erooga and Richard C
£40 (hardback) £13.99 (paperback)
ISBN 0 415 05504 0 (hardback)
0 415 05505 9 (paperback)
Valerie Howarth of Child Line introduces this major UK
publication on sexual abusers with these words: ‘The most
compelling reason for finding ways of successfully treating people
who commit sexual offences against children is one of child
Based on current practice in Britain, it is usable by a wide
audience for it relates directly to policies, procedures and
practice rooted in the legislation and traditions with which we are
familiar. It is a much needed volume containing detailed reviews of
research and documenting the work of those at the forefront of
Dawn Fisher’s opening chapter reviews research over the past 15
years to establish clearly who offends against children, why and
Tony Morrison details the context for practice, integrating his
knowledge of work with both offenders and victims.
He looks carefully at philosophies of intervention, describing
models of change and relating this to the practice of social
workers and probation officers.
Richard Beckett’s contributions comprise two chapters covering
assessment and cognitive-behavioural treatment, the most commonly
used model in the UK, in which he has extensive experience.
Paul Clark and Marcus Erooga describe group work with abusers,
again based on their work over a number of years with such
Dave Briggs, who works with offenders in institutions as well as
in the community, makes the essential case for institution-based
work – a chapter which provides important reading for those
supporting victims and relatives in the community too.
Bobbie Print and Dave O’Callaghan write about adolescent
abusers, again using the research literature alongside their
experience in the Manchester programme for adolescents, G-MAP.
Of obvious interest to workers in children and families teams
will be Gerrilyn Smith’s exemplary chapter on work with mothers.
She writes of the necessity for mothers to be clear about key
issues, and could well have extended her comments to social
services departments for whom the abuser is so often out of sight
and of mind in terms of case work planning and interventions.
Finally Erooga offers advice about self care for those who enter
this challenging field of practice.
Who should read it? The question is rather who can afford not
to. This book brings the focus of practice in child sexual abuse
work back to the starting point: the offender.
It is clear, well argued and integrates theory, practice and
research successfully. For social services departments, probation
officers and countless voluntary sector groups its message should
ensure the development of holistic child protection responses which
could have a beneficial impact on the immediate families of abusers
as well as on the wider community of children.
Most importantly, all the contributors to this book actively
reflect on their own practice, and keep in touch with developments
Anne Hollows is principal lecturer in social work,
University of East London.