There has been much written over the last thirty years on the issue of the abuse of children, and professional responses. Rather than repeating what has already been said the authors in this fine collection challenge our thinking of how we conceptualise and understand these complex issues. In doing so the editors and contributors push at the boundaries of our understanding, and readers will be rewarded with big ideas, clearly articulated and convincingly argued.
This is a wide-ranging and unusual collection of essays that examine the ever present and pressing problem of child abuse and protection. It is well-informed, evidence-based and takes forward the boundaries of thinking in this area, especially through bringing together different disciplines. It will be essential reading for all working in child protection as well as a substantial text for students in the field. The editors have put together a tightly structured, well-coordinated, original volume. They have chosen their authors with care. The book provides some outstanding analyses of approaches to practice. The recognition given to the central role of women as mothers, and the issues of power inequalities this raises in practice is uncomfortable but compelling reading. The book ends with a return to the fundamental issue of relationships as central in the treatment of child abuse and ends with a critical message about the nurturing of workers if they are to effect change in the children and families with whom they engage.
Waterhouse and McGhee tackle unconventional issues in child protection with authority and sensitivity. They challenge us to re-imagine our conceptualisations of child protection, daring us to deconstruct and then reconstruct an understanding of how we might approach protecting children from abuse and neglect.
With highly esteemed international contributors, this collection seeks to trouble some of the current settlements about child protection and family welfare and also to provide clear practice and policy relevance. This is achieved through the inclusion of 'practice near' research findings and open-minded engagement with the recurrent and vexing questions in this morally contentious domain.