New book examines current approaches to protecting children

10 Apr 2014 15:48:47.323

PA 97/14

A new book co-authored by an academic from The University of Nottingham, proposes a radical rethink of our approach to child protection.

In ‘Re-imagining Child Protection: Towards humane social work with families’, which will be published on 14 April, the authors challenge the ways in which child-protection operates, particularly in relation to more deprived families.

The book is the collective effort of experts in the field of child protection across three universities: Kate Morris a Professor in Social Work from The University of Nottingham, Brid Featherstone, from the Open University and Susan White, from The University of Birmingham.

Click here for full story
 Challenging child protection culture

With three decades of research and practice under their belts, the group seek to look at how to reform today’s child protection practices by focusing on ethical and humane approaches to families in tough situations.

The book challenges today’s child protection culture, which is often unfair to the more disadvantaged families, pushing for children’s early removal and adoption. Since the recent years’ increase in care applications, the book offers a timely new approach, trying to understand the difficulty of parenting in underprivileged contexts. Relationships with kin, neighbourhood and the surrounding community are seen as essential ingredients for a child’s successful upbringing.

Care and protection

Kate Morris says: “This book raises important questions about how we work with vulnerable families, about how social work understands and responds to the needs of children and families and seeks to begin a debate about new ways of working. It is published at a time of great challenges for social work, where providing services in a context of austerity with severe financial pressures places social work at the heart of debates about humane responses to need.

“It calls for family-minded humane practice where children are understood as relational beings, parents are recognised as people with needs and hopes and families as carrying extraordinary capacities for care and protection.”

The emphasis on empathy, relationships and humanity is a key element in reforming the existing child-protection system. As the sold-out launch event shows, the book is bound to become a must-read for experiences and new practitioners in the fields of social work, child protection, policy makers and managers.

Story credits

1. Re-imagining child protection: Towards humane social work with families, by Brid Featherstone, Susan White, Kate Morris is published by Policy Press on 14 April 2014 price £21.99. It can be ordered at 20 per cent discount from the Policy Press website:
2. Media enquiries to Jessica Miles, Marketing Executive, Policy Press:
3. Policy Press ( is a leading social science publisher based at the University of Bristol, UK and is committed to publishing books that make a difference

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

A history of epidemics wins BMA book award

Published Date
Friday 20th September 2013

New book confronts homophobia

Published Date
Tuesday 7th February 2012

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798