Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-hl5gf Total loading time: 0.445 Render date: 2023-01-27T09:13:47.877Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 April 2022

Hans-Uwe Otto
Affiliation:
Universität Bielefeld, Germany
Melanie Walker
Affiliation:
University of the Free State - South Campus, South Africa
Holger Ziegler
Affiliation:
Universität Bielefeld, Germany
Get access

Summary

Introduction

The capability approach (CA) has been used to assess individual wellbeing and the evaluation of social arrangements, and to develop policies and practices to effect social change. In recent years, the CA has gained attention and influence in a broad number of public policy areas and across academic disciplines. This chapter explores child protection policy and practice in England, an area of social policy that has hitherto received very limited analysis from the perspective of the CA. It presents an overview of child protection policies and practices, their historical development and their current manifestation in contemporary England, where the political context is dominated by neoliberal policies and an ‘austerity’ agenda. It then explores what the CA can offer to further our understanding of the impacts of the child protection system. We make recommendations for the development of a more humane and socially just system that promotes children's and their parents’ capabilities and rights, and recognises their necessary interrelatedness.

In this chapter we analyse two particular aspects of the child protection system from a capability perspective. We critically examine the ways poverty and parenting are constructed in the dominant discourses and the policies and practices that have developed within this context. In addition, drawing on qualitative research with families who have experienced the child protection system, we explore the impact of interventions on parents, and conclude with recommendations for policy and practice that strives for greater social justice. Prior to analysing these aspects, we present an overview view of child protection policies and practices, their historical development and manifestation in contemporary England.

By using the term ‘child protection’ in an English context, we are referring to the laws, policies and practices relating to children deemed to be at risk or likely to be at risk of abuse and neglect. We acknowledge, as Waterhouse and McGhee (2015, p 13) do, that ‘the same words are used to mean different things at different times and different words may be used to mean the same things’. Differences in use and understanding of the terminology around ‘child protection’ and ‘child abuse and neglect’ can be particularly divergent when working across professional and international boundaries (Pösö, 2015).

Type
Chapter
Information
Capability-Promoting Policies
Enhancing Individual and Social Development
, pp. 183 - 200
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2017

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×