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Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(2), 393-420; doi:10.3390/socsci4020393

The Need for Participative Interventions in Child Protection: Perspectives from Nuevo León State

Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Milan, Largo A. Gemelli 1, Milano 20123, Italy
Academic Editors: Nathan Hughes and Carolina Munoz-Guzman
Received: 5 December 2014 / Revised: 10 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding and Supporting 'Families with Complex Needs')
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [268 KB, uploaded 22 May 2015]

Abstract

This article examines characteristics and social work practices within the Mexican child protection system by combining observations of practice with the voices and the views expressed by managers, social workers, families, children and young people. The results of the study confirm the need for and desire to adopt a participatory approach, in preference to the individualistic ideas that currently dominates practice. The traditional Mexican culture, the implicit and explicit representation of family and the social problems connected to drug trade conflicts appear to have contributed to a child protection system with a “child-centered perspective”, characterized by asymmetric power relationships, lacking the empowerment and engagement of service users. These practices seem to be counter to the legislative framework and appear ineffective. Reflections regarding how family needs are identified, understood and addressed reveal a commitment to find new ways of working with families among service users and providers. However, the biggest challenge in the Mexican context is to balance the protection of the child with support to their parents; without ensuring the former, the latter will remain a partial and counter-productive work practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mexico; child protection; families with complex needs; social work; institutionalization; individualistic practices; participatory approach; changes; qualitative research Mexico; child protection; families with complex needs; social work; institutionalization; individualistic practices; participatory approach; changes; qualitative research
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cabiati, E. The Need for Participative Interventions in Child Protection: Perspectives from Nuevo León State. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 393-420.

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