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ERIC Number: EJ947062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
"I Made Her Realise that I Could Be There for Her, that I Could Support Her": Child Protection Practices with Women in Domestic Violence Cases
Lapierre, Simon; Cote, Isabelle
Child Care in Practice, v17 n4 p311-325 2011
This article presents findings from a study that investigated child protection policies and practices, and focuses on data gathered in a child protection agency located in Quebec, Canada. This research project draws upon a qualitative case-study methodology, involving a documentary analysis of both national and local child protection policies, as well as semi-structured individual interviews with child protection front-line workers and front-line managers, managers and reviewing officers. Although the dominant pattern that emerged in the data suggests that child protection workers tend to focus on abused women's actions and to blame them for "failing to protect" their children, this article emphasises practices where the research participants had managed to avoid mother-blaming when working with these women. Indeed, the findings suggest that child protection workers can avoid mother-blaming when working with abused women, despite shortfalls in policies, procedures and resources. Such practices include recognising that there are two victims in domestic violence situations, building a trusting relationship, providing emotional and practical support, and balancing risk and safety. These four dimensions are interrelated and they all require a clear identification of domestic violence, as well as a good understanding of the problem and its impacts. To emphasise individual workers' positive practices with women in domestic violence situations should not be used to minimise the importance of more structural changes in child protection policies and practices. This would include challenging the tendency to focus on women and finding more effective ways to engage with abusive men throughout child protection procedures in order to challenge their violent behaviours. However, it could lead to an approach that is more sensitive to domestic violence and that has the potential to alleviate the workers' feelings of powerlessness and frustration in relation to their work with families where there has been domestic violence.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada