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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Gender and the child protection process

Author: Farmer,-Elaine; Owen,-Morag
Author Background:
Date 8/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: British-Journal-of-Social-Work
Volume/Pages Vol 28(4): 545-564
Subject Matter Gender Issues
Abstract In the debate about finding a new balance between child protection and family support, there has been silence on the issue of the impact of gender on child protection work. Using data on 44 children from one of the studies in the Department of Health (E. Farmer and M. Owen, 1995) child protection research programme, this article examines the impact of gender at each stage of the child protection process. It shows that mothers have tended to be under-represented in relation to offers of service and over-included in respect of agencies efforts to control them. When social work practice in cases of physical or sexual abuse by men focuses exclusively on mothers, this allows men s violence to their female partners to be ignored. This practice has been sustained in recent years, even though the child protection system itself developed in response to public anxiety about child deaths caused by men .((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)