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Managers must be held to account for failings in childcare services, and must take responsibility for the provision of strong leadership and the effective and appropriate operation of their departments.
High profile tragedies and scandals (Victoria Climbie and Baby P, for example in England, and mirrored elsewhere) remind us of the crucial importance of striving for good management. But they also show that it can easily be forgotten amidst the higher profile debates - in academia, politics and media - over the broad sweep of government policy and the arresting detail of neglect, abuse and death.
Undoubtedly practice and management are inextricably linked; yet, like both ends of a telescope, they have an entirely different view of the world. This book views pertinent and emerging issues in child welfare and protection from a management perspective, with the aspiration of helping management do better.
Using practical examples from both Britain and Ireland it challenges managers, potential managers, supervisors, policy makers, academics and students to view issues from perspectives that are outside mainstream thinking, but which are essential to effective protection, safeguarding, support, care and welfare... in families, in care and in communities.
For managers who wish to reflect upon strategic issues, supervisors who must implement strategic and policy directives, policy makers who need to understand the impact of their decisions on the service provider as well as the service user... it also provides a useful reference for those undertaking and delivering post-graduate education and training.
It places child welfare and protection work in the context of the political climate, societal norms and professional values within which it is performed. It focuses on the evolving issues of globalisation, family structure, the re-balancing of the relationship with families, and the rights of children. It:addresses the management aspects of determining need in an environment that has conflicting demandsdistinguishes between welfare and protection issues, the former often being misinterpreted as the latter by referees and service providers alikeencourages managers to think outside the box to look for creative and innovative solutionspromotes the concept of managing for results by using management information to design programmes that work bestexplores the theme of partnership in its broadest sense, from working with individuals to engaging communities in an effort to maximise effective outcomesmakes a case for children to be protected from State care, and protected while in substitute caredepicts staff welfare as a management issue and presents ways to protect staff from the ill effects of working in such a pressurised and stressful environment.
Delivering services in the context of reforms and expectations requires structural changes as well as changes in the roles and responsibilities of individuals. This book explores the managers' role in leading staff to rise to these challenges.
Paperback. 128 pages. ISBN 9781905541522. Published July 2009. £16.95.READERSHIPChild welfare managers, supervisors, and policy makersStudents and practitioners undertaking post-graduate education and training in child welfare and protectionCONTENTS
IntroductionManaging to put child protection in perspective
Contextualising child abuse
Values and ethics: the cornerstone of practiceManaging gatekeeping and governance
How social workers prioritise
Management considerationsManaging to promote welfare by supporting families
The refocusing debate
Core concepts of family support
Descriptions and levels of family support
Managing to put policies and principles into practiceManaging the child protection system
Defining and categorising child abuse
Getting the balance right
Differential response model
Protecting the right childrenManaging to protect children from and in care
Definitions and scope
Protecting children from care
Protecting children in care
Managing the care system
Managing strategicallyManaging for results
Linking national objectives to local effort
The 'what works' agenda
Why measure performance?
Developing suitable performance indicators
Managing strategicallyManaging partnerships with families and communities
The meaning of partnership
Engaging children and families
Engaging communitiesManaging staff welfare and protection
Staff welfare is a management issue
Staff satisfaction and dissatisfaction
Reasons for staying
Reasons for leaving
What managers can do for staff
BibliographyABOUT THE AUTHOR
has over thirty years' experience of working in children's social services. He holds qualifications in both social work and management and is a member of the Health Management Institute of Ireland. He has held a number of practitioner and management positions within statutory social services in areas such as child protection and welfare, alternative care, family support, homelessness, mental health and addiction. He has also served on the board of management of a variety of voluntary organisations. He is currently working for Ireland's Health Service Executive as a National Specialist for Children's Services, with particular responsibility for child protection. He is the author of Managing Social Care: a Guide for New Managers
"Combines an awareness of national policy with the necessity of managing resources both financial and human at a local level... a coherent analysis of the complexities of managing child welfare and protection services... outlines the particular moral challenges and dilemmas faced by managers... this book is well researched and thought-out and would provide any reader with food for thought as well as a useful reference tool for ideas and a guide to good practice." Rostrum
"Much useful information." Professional Social Work