Avoidance and confrontation: social work practice in relation to domestic violence and child abuse
Source TitleChild and Family Social Work
University of Melbourne Author/sHumphreys, Cathy
AffiliationArts: School of Social Work
Document TypeJournal (Paginated)
CitationsHumphreys, C. (1999). Avoidance and confrontation: social work practice in relation to domestic violence and child abuse. Child and Family Social Work, 4(1), 77-87.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
Copyright 1999 Blackwell Science. Publisher PDF version is restricted access in accordance with the Blackwell policy.
Action on the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse has been slow to emerge in mainstream child protection agencies. This paper reports a qualitative study of child protection files. Particular attention was given to the issues for Asian families. Initially the numerous strategies which social workers and other professionals at child protection conferences used to avoid the issue of domestic violence are explored. However, there was also a small, but emerging, pattern of child abuse in the context of domestic violence being taken seriously. In each of these cases strong expectations were placed on women to separate from or remain separated from men who were violent. These expectations were backed up by ’threats’ or the actual accommodation of children often with little interagency support for women undertaking this difficult and dangerous task, or before women were ready to undertake this separation. Suggestions were made about aspects of the organizational context which need to change if good child protection is also to include appropriate protection and support for the child’s mother.
KeywordsAsian families; case conference; child abuse; child protection; domestic violence; social work
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