How child protection’s ‘investigative turn’ impacts on poor and deprived communities

Bilson, Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1243-2663, Featherstone, Brid and Martin, Katie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7867-924X (2017) How child protection’s ‘investigative turn’ impacts on poor and deprived communities. Family Law, 47 . pp. 416-419. ISSN 0014-7281

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In recent years there have been major changes in responses to children in need with an ‘investigative turn’ because of widening suspicion of abuse and neglect. This turn is located within an increasingly harsh policy context where support services are being hollowed out at the same time as more families are experiencing poverty and its attendant pressures. This article examines these changes in response to need and outlines the ‘investigative turn’ which it is argued results from a broadening of what is considered reasonable cause to suspect significant harm. It combines research data to show that deprived families experience significant levels of child protection investigations questioning the efficacy of this particularly when these families already suffer high levels of need and shame.

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