Against the odds: success and collaboration in safeguarding children

Quin, Andrew James (2015) Against the odds: success and collaboration in safeguarding children. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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Abstract

Safeguarding children in the UK generates few reports of success. Poor or tragic outcomes continue to be associated with collaborative failures despite recurring attempts by Government to improve joint working. These initiatives are often justified on the basis of improving outcomes but the basis for such claims remains unclear. Better knowledge is needed of what success means in safeguarding children and the part played by collaborative practice. This study contributes to this knowledge by exploring the perspectives of different participants on success and collaboration and their inter-relationship. It adopts an interpretive stance and uses a multiple embedded case study design to gain an in-depth portrait of success and collaboration in one children’s trust area. This portrait is built from an analysis of interview, observation and documentary data drawn from three different collaborative domains within the children’s trust: the Local Safeguarding Children Board; the workplace of two safeguarding teams; and accounts of safeguarding work with individual children and parents. In a context where there is an overriding concern to avoid failure, success can be found, but in multiple, coexisting forms that vary for different participants. These successes relate to organisational improvements, personal gains and resiliencies, symbolic achievements, as well as perceived benefits for children and parents. For organisations and to some extent for practitioners, the imperatives of organisational improvement and regulatory compliance encourage collaborative practices that are self-serving and focused on surveillance and risk management. For parents, austerity and marginalization limit opportunities to engage services. Despite these unpromising circumstances, this study finds evidence of collaborative practice by parents and by practitioners that contributes to participant satisfaction and meaningful change in children’s and parents’ lives. Such forms of success are likely to be further cultivated by respectful services that family members can engage with, relational practices between practitioners and family members, and acknowledging and learning from their successes. These developments require multi-organisational arrangements that have the power and capacity to develop safeguarding systemically, workplaces that contain the open climate necessary for sharing achievements as well as uncertainties, and leaders with the ability to inspire confidence in practitioners and courage to bring about change.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: safeguarding children, success, collaboration, local safeguarding children boards, child protection
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email melissa.campey@anglia.ac.uk
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 14:34
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 14:50
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/701280

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