Balancing prevention and protection: child protection in England

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents an analysis of the child protection system in England today. It begins with a discussion of how the policies and priorities which have shaped the system have developed over time and traces the ways in which policy has sought to balance the continuing tension at the heart of state intervention in family life, that is, the need to balance the needs and rights of children and the rights of parents. The chapter outlines the legal and institutional frameworks that underpin child protection activity today and examines the key policy principles that govern practice, including partnership with parents, the need to ensure stability and permanence for children removed from their parents and the associated need to avoid delay in decision-making. It then charts the current operation of the system through an analysis of patterns of intervention, including assessment, voluntary intervention, home-based support under a child protection plan and compulsory intervention in the form of court-ordered placement in out of home care. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges that children, families and the English child welfare system currently face as a result of the government's austerity programme.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNational systems of child protection.
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the international variability and context for developing policy and practice
EditorsLisa Merkel-Holguin, John D. Fluke, Richard Krugman
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319933481
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2018

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