Ten: The capability approach: what can it offer child protection policy and practice in England?

This chapter examines what the capability approach can contribute to child protection policy and practice in England as an alternative conceptual framework for social work that challenges the dominance of neoliberal ideology in ways consistent with the promotion of human rights and social justice. After providing an overview of the historical and political contexts of child protection policy in England, the chapter considers the ways poverty and parenting are constructed in the dominant discourses as well as the policies and practices that have developed within this context. It also analyses the impact of interventions on parents and argues that contemporary child protection policy and practice in England is based on a narrow approach to child and family welfare and the role of social work. It concludes with recommendations for policy and practice that aims to promote greater social justice.

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