Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Learning to reduce risk in child protection

Munro, Eileen (2010) Learning to reduce risk in child protection. British Journal of Social Work, 40 (4). pp. 1135-1151. ISSN 1468-263X

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (399kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq024


This article argues for a systems approach to learning how to improve performance, conceptualising child protection services as complex, adaptive systems. This requires an acceptance of the complexity of the work, the essential role of professional judgement and the need for feedback loops in the system where lower-level workers are not afraid to communicate honestly about their experiences, both good and bad, and senior managers treat their feedback as a valuable source of learning. It is argued that current strategies to manage risk in child protection are, paradoxically, making it harder for professionals to learn how to protect children better. Three factors are identified as combining in such a way that they promote a culture in which professional practice is being excessively controlled and proceduralised: the person-centred approach to investigating child deaths, the blame culture and the performance management system. The way they reduce the opportunities for learning are explored.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers.
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2010 11:23
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics