Effective Child Protection

By Eileen Munro.
Sage Publications
ISBN 0 7619 7081 9

In the light of the current debate about the reorganisation of
child protection, this book is a reminder that the quality of
decision-making matters more than bureaucratic and procedural
solutions. It shows how improving the quality of thought itself is
a means of improving outcomes in a fraught and shifting social
context. Case material illustrates ways in which integrating
analytical, intuitive and practical knowledge can improve risk

I do not entirely agree with the author’s view that intuitive
knowledge is best built outside the training setting. I feel that
it can be developed and enhanced as part of formal learning. The
difficulty of protecting sexually abused children along with the
impact of the backlash in producing fear and defensiveness in
practitioners and organisations is recognised but somewhat
underestimated by the author.

By explaining why students and experienced practitioners can favour
their intuitive knowledge in preference to theory, it is an
interesting read for trainers across disciplines. It will be
helpful for anyone with responsibility for deciding the child’s
best interests who wishes to reappraise their approach to
decision-making and to develop their capacity for critical

Sue Richardson is an independent psychotherapist, trainer
and co-author of Creative Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,
Jessica Kingsley, 2001.

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