Special Issue "Child Protection and Social Inequality"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor Paul Bywaters

Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
E-Mail
Interests: child welfare; child protection; social inequalities; social work and health inequalities
Guest Editor
Professor Brid Featherstone

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: gender; inequality; service users’ perspectives on child protection and family support services
Guest Editor
Professor Kate Morris

Department of Sociological Studies, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TU, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Department of Sociological Studies, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TU, UK

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is longstanding and widespread evidence of profound differences in reported levels, experiences and outcomes of child abuse and neglect, between countries, between areas within countries, and between subgroups of children and parents. Such differences have been related to poverty and social class, race and ethnicity, child and parental disability and poor health, gender, age and sexual orientation, as well as to law, policy and practice. The sharpest examples, perhaps, concern the experiences and treatment of indigenous peoples. It is unclear whether child protection systems and services merely reflect wider social inequalities, can be effective in reducing or compensating for social inequalities or may exacerbate inequalities in children’s and parents’ lives. However, the characterization of these differences as inequalities that are systematically associated with structural social dis/advantage and are unjust and avoidable (Bywaters et al., 2015) is relatively recent. Currently, an inequalities perspective is very underdeveloped in child protection research and discourse by comparison with the focus on inequalities in health and in education.

This Special Issue of Social Sciences aims to promote the theoretical, methodological and empirical development of such an inequalities perspective. We welcome submissions from authors with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds in order to establish new thinking and new evidence about child protection inequalities internationally.

Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Sparks, T., Bos, E., Bunting, L., Daniel, B., Featherstone, B., Morris, K. and Scourfield, J. (2015). Exploring inequities in child welfare and child protection services: Explaining the “inverse intervention law.” Children and Youth Services Review, 57. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.07.017

Prof. Dr. Paul Bywaters
Prof. Dr. Brid Featherstone
Prof. Dr. Kate Morris
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Child protection
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Social inequalities
  • Inequity

Published Papers (2 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-2
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Outing the Elephants: Exploring a New Paradigm for Child Protection Social Work
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7070105
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article sets out to trouble the psychologised and pathologising approach that has come to dominate child protection practice in Aotearoa-New Zealand and comparable societies. Within a neoliberal ideological frame, Governments deny the need to adjust markets, except in ways that remove protections
[...] Read more.
This article sets out to trouble the psychologised and pathologising approach that has come to dominate child protection practice in Aotearoa-New Zealand and comparable societies. Within a neoliberal ideological frame, Governments deny the need to adjust markets, except in ways that remove protections from workers or specific vulnerable groups. In this context, social work is concerned with adjusting people to the discipline of the market. Within a risk-focused child protection paradigm, circumstances and behaviours associated with material deprivation are construed as indicators of heightened danger and harm to children as opposed to a means of better understanding family life. It is argued here that appreciation of how social inequality plays out in the lives of children and their families is critical to the development of more effective child protection social work. Poverty exacerbates the everyday struggle of parenting—it shames and disempowers, reducing confidence and perceptions of competence. With reference to contemporary Aotearoa-New Zealand, this article critiques current developments in child protection social work and outlines a new direction for development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Social Inequality)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Inequalities and Child Protection System Contact in Aotearoa New Zealand: Developing a Conceptual Framework and Research Agenda
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(6), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7060089
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing movement to integrate conceptual tools from the health inequalities field into research that examines the relationship between inequalities and chances of child protection system contact. This article outlines the key concepts of an inequalities perspective, and discusses how these
[...] Read more.
There is a growing movement to integrate conceptual tools from the health inequalities field into research that examines the relationship between inequalities and chances of child protection system contact. This article outlines the key concepts of an inequalities perspective, and discusses how these apply to inequalities in child protection in the Aotearoa New Zealand context. Drawing on existing research, this article shows that while there is evidence of links between deprivation, ethnicity, location and system contact, a more systematic research agenda shaped by an inequalities perspective would contribute to understanding more fully the social determinants of contact with the child protection system. An inequalities perspective provides balance to the current ‘social investment’ policy approach that targets individuals and families for service provision, with little attention to how structural inequalities impact on system contact. Directions for research are discussed, with some specific questions suggested. These include questions relating to the relationships between social inequalities and various decision points in the child protection system; if a social gradient exists and how steep it is; the inter-relationship between ethnicity, deprivation and patterns of system contact; and how similarly deprived children in different locations compare with each other in relation to child protection system contact, that is, is there an ‘inverse intervention law’ operating? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Social Inequality)
Back to Top