The Missing Side of the Triangle

The Missing Side of the Triangle  
By Gordon Jack and Owen Gill.
ISBN 090204694

Focusing on the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families, this book argues that the side of the triangle frequently missing from assessments is that of “family and environmental factors”.

The authors devote a chapter to each side of the triangle. Relevant research is highlighted, and emphasis laid on the dynamic interplay between factors such as income, housing and community resources, and particularly how these affect children’s development and parenting capacity.

Using practice examples throughout, the reader is challenged to develop a deeper understanding of the wider context of the experiences of children and families. A useful appendix helps in the analysis and identification of areas where support might be effectively targeted. The ability to recognise strengths within wider families and communities, and to work in more creative partnership with them, will, it is argued, ultimately result in the formulation of more relevant support packages and reduction in risk.

This is an important and overdue addition to the literature for practitioners who assess families and has a refreshing emphasis on key themes such as poverty and social exclusion.

Lynne Wilson is senior lecturer in social work, Hull school of health and social care, University of Lincoln.

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