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This article discusses the work of a project bringing together academics, practitioners and family members living in poverty with experience of child protection services, to develop a training programme for social workers on work with families living in poverty. The project involves a series of workshops and in this article the theme of the first workshop – ‘poverty and shame’ – is explored. The content of the discussions is analysed and implications for the development of critical social work practice considered.

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This article explores family members’ perspectives on child protection interventions within the current neoliberal and punitive policy and practice contexts. The material is drawn from the ‘Giving Poverty a Voice’ social worker training project, a collaborative project involving family members and activists from ATD Fourth World (the international anti-poverty organisation), academics in the field of social work and practitioners, including social workers, lawyers and ATD Fourth World team members.

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