By Corinne May-Chahal and Stella Coleman.
This is a very practical guide to child protection for social workers, aimed at social work students and newly qualified practitioners. Practical devices include listing the learning objectives before each chapter, suggesting “developmental activities” for readers as they progress through the chapters, giving “snapshots” or case examples, and providing “guidance” which may summarise legislation or professional recommendations.
Each chapter also has suggestions for further reading as well as full references. In addition there are 21 tables, which clearly set out essential information.
Professional judgement is discussed, as well as procedures, and there is a welcome chapter on supervision and suggestions for coping with stress. The book covers assessment, anti-discriminatory practice, working therapeutically with children and working with parents.
Clearly, the topicality of the up-to-date legal information will wane but trainers and team leaders should keep a copy of this book on their shelves, if only to remind them of the practical difficulties faced by child protection social workers, especially those recently qualified.
Anne Bannister is a former child protection social worker and child psychotherapist.