Navigating Child Welfare and Protection in Ireland with the Help of the Fifth Province

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Title: Navigating Child Welfare and Protection in Ireland with the Help of the Fifth Province
Authors: O'Brien, Valerie
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Date: 2014
Abstract: It is evident that attention to child welfare and protection has been intensifying in Irish society. This is seen in many spheres - political, social and cultural. Legalism, bureaucracy and procedures are recognised as key drivers of Child Welfare and Protection systems. As a result, both the children and families served and the professionals involved are becoming more frustrated. Specifically the intervention options that are available and being utilized are seen as limited. On a more positive note, the constraints of the system are being debated. There is a commitment at policy and practice level to creating a system in which partnership, strengths, and empowerment have a place alongside the dominant focus on risk, safety and protection. The extent to which the recalibration aspired to in the system can occur remains a major question, however. This paper contends that an understanding of the major trends in child protection is vital for the systemic professional and supervisor, irrespective of the context in which they are working. Furthermore, it suggests that, through building on the earlier work of its developers, the Fifth Province model provides a useful conceptual and intervention framework for supervision and case consultations. The diamond-shaped diagrams which are the hallmark of the Fifth Province approach, as well as an appreciation of mandate and commissioning and a focus on the domains of law, policy, values and resources are among the concepts that offer the professional and supervisor an opportunity to re-appraise and give direction to this area of work. The paper is divided into two sections: (1) An overview of child protection and welfare (CP &W) trends in Ireland (2) Key aspects of the Fifth Province model, including concepts that may be useful in CP & W supervision and consultation.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Family Therapy Network of Ireland
Copyright (published version): 2014 Association for Family Therapy and Systematic Practice
Keywords: Child protectionIrelandFifth provinceChild welfare
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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