Critically evaluate the relationship between applying the law and social work values in a child protection case study in Northern Ireland case study.
Social work is a value-based profession, and one of the core capabilities, at all career levels, is recognising, and where appropriate addressing, personal and professional values and prejudices. It is not uncommon, for the law to be seen as a critical component in developing provision and strengthening professional practice. According to the College of Social Work, in social work professional practice we work with some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised individuals, families and communities, often at the most difficult points in ...view middle of the document...
There are five key principles to be adhered to, Parental Responsibility, Partnership, Prevention and Protection. Paramountcy, under Article 3 (CNIO 1995) the welfare of the child has priority above everyone and everything else. Parental Responsibility, Article 6 (CNIO 1995) “all the rights, duties powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to the child and his property”. Partnership in practice is providing a range of services and resources working with the children, the parents and professionals/ organisations. In a live Law Lecture at QUB (2014) a guest speaker called Lisa who is a service user, summed up the partnership she had developed with her social worker as “different agenda with a common denominator.” Prevention, this is where ever possible a child should be brought up and cared for in their own families, this can be done under Article 18 (CNIO 1995) Provision of Family Support services to children in need.
Under Article 66 of the Children NI Order, Trusts have a duty to investigate, in this case study the initial enquiries identified a continuing risk of harm, or likely harm, to Dana, social services within the Trust are now responsible for co-ordinating and implementing an inter-agency child protection plan to safeguard this child. Enquiries should always be carried out in such a way as to minimise distress to the child, and to treat families sensitively and with respect. Investigating agencies should explain the purpose, process and potential outcomes of enquiries to parents. Once an investigation is under way there must be an assessment under Article 62 (1995) Child Assessment Order, compliance is oppressive in itself but can be minimised by openly negotiating with the parents.
Effective child protection practice is built upon the gathering and sharing of information, it appears from the case notes that Article 18, (CNIO 1995) the provision of family support is not an immediate option nor is prevention therefore making an enforced removal of the child would have been a last resort. Under Article 17 (CNIO 1995) Dana could be defined as a child in need, this can be viewed as support to the family not a judgement. If an Emergency protection order Article 63 (CNIO 1995) is in the best interest of the child, this allows the social worker 8 days with a possible extension of 7 days under Article 64 (CNIO 1995) the parents have a right to appeal and must be informed of this.
It is possible that Hannah’s initial response to investigation was to feel intimidated by the process, to feel powerless and to be fearful of what child protection might do. Social workers are not qualified to give legal advice, but they are required under the GSCC Code of Practice 3.1 to assist those they work with to understand and exercise their rights.
Professor John Williams, states “The law at times will be experienced as supportive of these but at times also oppositional.”
In Article 3 (CNIO 1995) Child’s...