By Jeff Fowler.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1 84310 050 9
A rather cumbersome title that accurately reflects the book’s purpose, which is a very practical one. It is intended to be used by qualified and experienced social workers and it focuses on parents who may be abusing their children. It is meant to be used alongside the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.
The method is described as a “tool” and it consists of a large number of checklists that workers can use when interviewing parents or carers. Clearly, the checklists are not meant to be used alone and skilled observation is equally necessary. The checklists are wide-ranging, including checks for disabled people and those who have language difficulties.
The author takes us through a case study and discovers the case history through the use of the checklists so that we can see the tool in action.
I believe that because of the time restrictions that are vital in child protection, the book would be helpful for the assessment of parents. It is crisp and to the point and could usefully be discussed in training sessions or team meetings. Experienced workers may find this a useful addition to their toolbox.
Anne Bannister was formerly a child protection social worker, NSPCC and also a child psychotherapist.