Terry McCarthy has done his colleagues in the social work field a great service by distilling and reflecting on his many years working to protect children who are subject to abusive parenting. In the introduction he reflects on having considered calling his book the 'Journey to Oz', thinking of the qualities Dorothy and her companions needed to reach their goal - 'brain' to have the knowledge and skill to think through what needs to be done, 'heart' to ensure it is done with integrity, and 'courage' to make it happen in the face of fear , uncertainty and resistance. Terry McCarthy advocates a series of incremental 'common sense' steps to achieve improvement, rather than attempting large scale re-organisation. Although the title of this book includes the notion of 'common sense', Dorothy and her companions would recognise the qualities 'brain', 'heart' and 'courage' applied by Terry McCarthy in developing this valuable guide which could improve the lives of our most disadvantaged children.
The author provides a useful commentary on what professionals in children and families social work might expect to encounter in terms of contemporary practice issues. The book is grounded in practice, rather than theory, which is a huge advantage to the reader as it is authentic in terms of coming from the direct experience of a practitioner with a proven track record in the field. Readers will surely benefit from McCarthy's insights and tips when journeying into this territory.