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In the Firing Line: Violence and Power in Child Protection Work

In the Firing Line: Violence and Power in Child Protection Work

Janet Stanley, Chris Goddard

ISBN: 978-0-470-85716-8 May 2003 234 Pages




Serious child protection failures haunt health and welfare agencies around the world.

Based on interviews with protective workers and rigorous examination of their cases, this ground breaking book draws links between the traumatised and isolated child protection worker and the traumatised and isolated re-abused child. This book judiciously uses the words of the workers themselves to bring alive the stresses of life In the Firing Line. Case studies highlight the full extent of violence in many children's lives. The authors propose that, in serious cases of abuse, new approaches and understandings are required if children are to be protected from repeated abuse, long-term psychological injury and even death.
* First book to clearly make the connection between violence against child protection workers and the impact on their ability to protect the child
* Tackles the very important, but often neglected, topic of the power balance between clients and social workers
* Presents a wealth of research findings and real-life examples from practice
About the Authors.


Children and Workers in the Firing Line: Messages from the Case Files and Interviews.

The Shifting Foundations of Child Protection: The Context of the Victorian Study.

The Failure to Protect: Child Deaths due to Familial Assault or Neglect.

The Failure to Protect: Repeated Abuse.

The Social Worker-Client Relationship: From Love to Violence and Beyond.

Protective Workers in the Firing Line: The True Extent of Violence and Isolation.

Hostage Theory.

Child Protection Workers as Hostages.

Beyond the Firing Line: A Broad Perspective.

Supervision: From Part of the Problem to Part of the Solution.

The Firing Line Revisited.

Appendix: The Victorian Study.


"This interesting volume examines serious and fatal child abuse cases and the challenges facing workers who serve violent families." (Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1 March 2012)

"…This book will be of interest to all those working in child protection…" (Child Right, September 2002)

"…This compellingbook should be read by all who have an interest in child protection failures that result in death…" (The British Journal of Social Work, Vol.32, No.8, 2002)

"…I found it tremendously refreshing to read the comparatively sophisticated and measured critique.." (Newsletter of the Domestic Violence and Incest Resource Centre, Autumn)

"…a useful addition to the literature on child protection…" (Youth & Policy)