Book Review: Child Neglect; Practice Issues for Health and Social Care

Child Neglect: Practice Issues for Health and Social Care

Edited by Julie Taylor and Brigid Daniel, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

ISBN I843101602, £19.95

Star Rating: 4/5

Child neglect is often taken less seriously by professionals than other forms of child abuse such as physical and sexual abuse, writes Steve Rogowski.

This book then is timely as it emphasises that children neglected by their families have poor outcomes in the short and long term. All professionals in health and social care need to take this issue seriously. This book will help.
It examines the prevention, recognition and response to child neglect and in so doing draws on current research and knowledge, and sets out the implications for practice.

It is rightly pointed out that child neglect – the absence or breakdown in the relationship of care – is often associated with poverty and deprivation which in turn are linked to social and economic factors rather than the inadequacy of individuals.

But little is said about how professionals such as social workers can address this. Surely a discussion of radical and critical perspectives, which emphasise, for example, the need for more equality would have helped, but they are not even mentioned.

Another concern is that social work itself is largely seen in terms of assessment rather than practice.

There is reference to the need for theory, practice wisdom, professional skill and the like but I thought more could have been made of this.

Nevertheless, overall this is a welcome book on an often overlooked subject area and it is a good resource for all those working towards integrated and collaborative child care services.

Dr Steve Rogowski is a children and families social worker in Oldham.

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