Social worker experience of fatal child abuse, an interpretive phenomenological analysis.

POLLARD, Lee (2014). Social worker experience of fatal child abuse, an interpretive phenomenological analysis. In: BASPCAN Congress : New directions in child protection and wellbeing : making a real difference to children's lives, Edinburgh, 12th - 15th April 2015. (Unpublished)

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This research project is an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the lived experiences of four social work practitioners who have been directly involved in cases of fatal child abuse. The research examines how the tragedies impacted upon the workers in both personal and professional capacities and locates those experiences within the relevant organisational context.

The study reveals that all the workers were significantly affected in different ways by the tragedies; however their emotional and support needs were largely ignored by the organisations in which they practiced. The study reveals that following the children's deaths, the support and supervision the social workers received was often inappropriate and inconsistent and the serious case reviews that were undertaken further contributed to the isolation and blame already being experienced by the workers involved.

The theoretical analysis within the study relates the workers experiences to Doka's (2002) typology of disenfranchised grief. The study introduces a new concept developed by the author. Termed the "personification of systemic failure", this concept highlights how such factors as media responses, organisational culture, working practices and the serious case review system, combine to provide a means by which systemic failures are minimised and ignored in favour of attributing blame to the actions or inaction of individual social work practitioners.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Depositing User: Lee Pollard
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 09:44
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 08:07

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