By Chris Beckett.
ISBN 0 7619 4956 9
An accessible, medium-length book which is comprehensive and
well referenced. It is a practical manual on child protection work,
discussing recognition of harm and consequences of official action.
A welcome inclusion is a section on abusive systems, particularly
in child care. Throughout the book there is a series of exercises,
based on cases. These bring the theory into reality and will be
invaluable to social work educators and students learning about
Beckett points out the problem of reconciling the protection of
children and protecting the privacy and autonomy of the family. He
suggests that child protection workers may be in a “no-win”
He comments, usefully, on all the major recent legislation in
the field and adds basic advice on how this affects practice.
It is good to see a section on child development. Beckett
accepts social workers are “damned if they do and damned if they
don’t” but nevertheless presents this challenge as exhilarating.
His experience shines through and he writes succinctly, with
clarity. For students, or for those thinking of moving into this
work, this is a good starting point.
Anne Bannister is a psychotherapist and editor (with
Annie Huntington) of Communicating with Children and
Adolescents: Action for Change, 2002