Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice

The issues involved in poverty, inequality and social justice are many and varied, from basic access to education and healthcare, to the financial crisis and resulting austerity, and now COVID-19. Addressing Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, our list both presents research on these topics and tackles emerging problems. A key series in the area is the SSSP Agendas for Social Justice.

This focus has always been at the heart of our publishing with the view to making the research in this area as visible and accessible as possible in order to maximise its potential impact.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Poverty, inequality and social justice, we aim to address the following goals: 

Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice

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Responding to Extra-Familial Risks and Harms

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

During adolescence, young people are exposed to a range of risks beyond their family homes including sexual and criminal exploitation, peer-on-peer abuse and gang-related violence. However, it has only been over the past two decades that the critical safeguarding implications of these harms have started to be recognised. Social care organisations are increasingly experimenting with new approaches but continue to experience challenges in supporting affected young people and their families.

This book analyses the results of the first rapid evidence assessment of social care organisations’ responses to risks and harms outside the home across 10 countries. The authors highlight key areas for service development, give insights into how these risks and harms can be understood, and consider wider implications for policy and practice.

Open access
A Practical Approach for Social Workers

Crossing the traditional divide between social work with children and families and adults, this text applies a lifecourse perspective, within an ecological frame. Based on the principle that practice drives theory, a practical approach for social work is put forward using five interconnected themes:

• duality of support and protection

• life transitions and life events

• intergenerational relations

• civic partnership and engagement

• health and wellbeing

Designed for students and practitioners, this text takes an enquiry-based approach using Critical ART (analysis, reflection and thinking). The book features:

• case studies

• research examples

• tips for Critical ART in practice

• further reading and resources

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Outcomes, Experiences and Ensuring Meaningful Support to Young Parents In and Leaving Care
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EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. Based on groundbreaking original research, this book provides a comprehensive account of the issues surrounding pregnancy and parenthood for young people in and leaving care.

Featuring the voices of care-experienced parents, together with reflections from practitioners, it offers valuable insights into the issues facing this group. Using qualitative data to explore why parenthood is such an important issue for young people in and leaving care, this book shows what can be learned from their experiences in order to improve outcomes for parents and children in the future.

The author highlights the practical and emotional needs of care-experienced parents and gives clear advice for practitioners on how these needs might be better addressed through summary points, practice guidance and recommendations for policy and practice.

Open access
Participatory Child Protection Practice in Norway and the United States
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This book examines a participatory approach in child protection practices in both Norway and the United States, despite key organizational differences.

Križ explores ways that children can be empowered to participate in child protection investigations and decisions after removal from home. The author shows how children can be encouraged to develop and express their own opinions and explores tools for child protection workers to negotiate complex boundaries around the inclusion of children in decision-making.

She presents valuable insights from front-line child protection professionals’ unique perspectives and experiences within two very different systems, and evaluates the impacts of different organizational practices in promoting children’s participation.

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Perspectives on Children’s Participation
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There is increasing pressure to involve children and young people in the decisions that affect them. Presenting new research on the extent to which parents and children participate in decision making when childcare social workers are involved, particularly in child protection conferences and Child in Care reviews, Diaz argues for a radical shift in existing practices.

Including a range of perspectives, this book highlights the systemic changes needed for social workers and other key professionals to ensure that children and parents participate more meaningfully in decision-making, which will improve the long term outcomes for children and their families.

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Re-examining Two Decades of Policy Change
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Drawing on unique access to prominent policy makers including ministers, senior civil servants, local authority directors, and the leaders of children’s sector NGOs, Purcell re-examines two decades of children’s services reform under both Labour and Conservative-led governments.

He closely examines the origins of Labour’s Every Child Matters programme, the Munro review and more recent Conservative reforms affecting child and family social workers to reassess the impact of high profile child abuse cases, including Victoria Climbié and Baby P, and reveal the party political drivers of successive reform.

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International Discourses, Approaches and Strategies

This comprehensive international study provides a cross-national analysis of different understandings of errors and mistakes, as well as lessons to avoid and how to handle them in child protection practice, using research and knowledge from 11 countries in Europe and North America.

Divided into country-specific chapters, each examines the pathways that lead to mistakes happening, the scale of their impact, how responsibilities and responses are decided and how practice and policy subsequently change. Considering the complexities of evolving practice contexts, this authoritative, future-oriented study is an invaluable text for practitioners, researchers and policy makers wishing to understand why child protection fails – and offers a springboard for fresh thinking about strategies to reduce future risk.

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This book offers an analysis and summary of the uses, abuses and limitations of attachment theory in contemporary child welfare practice.

Analysing the primary science and drawing on the authors’ original empirical work, the book shows how attachment theory can distort and influence decision-making. It argues that the dominant view of attachment theory may promote a problematic diagnostic mindset, whilst undervaluing the enduring relationships between children and adults.

The book concludes that attachment theory can still play an important role in child welfare practice, but the balance of the research agenda needs a radical shift towards a sophisticated understanding of the realities of human experience to inform ethical practice.

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Emotions and the search for humane practice
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What role does emotion play in child and family social work practice?

In this book, researcher Matthew Gibson reviews the role of shame and pride in social work, providing invaluable new insights from the first study undertaken into the role of these emotions within professional practice. The author demonstrates how these emotions, which are embedded within the very structures of society but experienced as individual phenomena, are used as mechanism of control in relation to both professionals themselves and service users.

Examining the implications of these emotional experiences in the context of professional practice and the relationship between the individual, the family and the state, the book calls for a more humane form of practice, rooted in more informed policies that take in to consideration the realities and frailties of the human experience.

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Involving families in social care decision making

Family group conferences (FGCs) are a strengths-based approach to social work practice, empowering families to take responsibility for decision-making. It is a cost-effective service, which is currently used by the majority of local authorities.

This collection discusses the origins and theoretical underpinnings of family led decision making and brings together the current research on the efficacy and limitations of FGCs into a single text.

This insightful book also covers topics such as the use of FGCs in different areas of children and families social work, uses case studies to illustrate current practice, and explores whether FGCs should become a mainstream function of children and families social work.

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