Do current approaches to mothers within child protection social work re-victimise women with violent partners?

Stewart, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-6041-9194, 2019. Do current approaches to mothers within child protection social work re-victimise women with violent partners? PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis looked to explore both mothers' experiences of child protection social work intervention following an incident of domestic violence and/or abuse (DVA), and social workers (SWs) experiences of delivering this intervention. It sought to determine if oppressive approaches previously found (Douglas and Walsh, 2010) remain and, if yes, understand why they continue to be used. This was to identify positive approaches to improve practice. By using a feminist lens to explore the social constructions of each gender, map the patriarchal influences to social work practice since its creation and gather key research into a coherent whole, this thesis uncovers how patriarchy influences child protection social work, and how mothers are held to account to gendered expectations set through patriarchy.

A Participatory Action Research methodology was used and both mothers who had involvement with child protection social work and child protection SWs who delivered the intervention were interviewed. Three data collection tools were created, validated and piloted for the research; 36 interviews were undertaken. There were three stages to data collection and all data was analysed thematically.

Findings include that mothers perceive social work intervention to be threatening, coercive and controlling. Mothers felt blamed by SWs, held responsible for stopping the abuse and controlling their partners. SWs recognised that they held expectations for mothers and often this was to ensure the child's safety, without considering the impact on mothers. It was found that the re-victimisation of mothers occurs due to social work practice that is influenced by a combination of power, social constructions and the SW’s approach. Positive practice was identified and recommendations for practice are made.

The original contributions to knowledge this thesis makes includes:

• Including both mothers and SWs in the same research
• The creation of data collection research tools specific to child protection social work practice
• Mapping the patriarchal influences on social work to understand current day practice

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Stewart, S.
Date: September 2019
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Apr 2020 14:12
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 09:03

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