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1 - Errors and Mistakes in Child Protection: An Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2021

Judith Masson
Affiliation:
University of Bristol
Nigel Parton
Affiliation:
University of Huddersfield
Tarja Pösö
Affiliation:
University of Tampere, Finland
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Summary

The central aim of this book is to describe and critically analyse the nature and impact of child protection errors and mistakes in different countries across Europe and the USA. It focuses on the development of policy and practice in relation to errors and mistakes in the different child protection systems, locating such developments in their relevant historical and political contexts. In the process, it will demonstrate how the perceptions, definitions and explanations of errors and mistakes vary both historically and culturally.

The idea for the book arose in the context of an international workshop on errors and mistakes in child protection organised by Stefan Schnurr and one of the editors, Kay Biesel (both FHNW School of Social Work), and took place in Basel in May 2017. The Swiss National Science Foundation funded the international workshop. Most of the contributors to the book were present and provided separate country reports about how errors and mistakes in child protection were understood and responded to in their respective jurisdictions and with what impacts. The book contains a total of 14 chapters: this introductory chapter, a conceptual framework chapter, 11 countryspecific chapters (England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States) and a concluding chapter. It shows how ‘Western societies’ with different child protection orientations deal with the issue of errors and mistakes. It presents an overview of the various historical and contemporary developments identified in the different countries and attempts to identify where there are similarities and differences, including what might be identified as current and future best practice. It highlights which strategies are seen as helpful in reducing errors and mistakes and in promoting quality in child protection. It is the first book that aims to provide knowledge of how countries in Europe and the United States deal with the issue of errors and mistakes in child protection and it adds to the small number of texts that aim to analyse child protection systems in their international and comparative contexts (Gilbert, 1997; Gilbert et al, 2011a; Burns et al, 2017).

The discovery of errors and mistakes in child protection

In many respects concerns about errors and mistakes have been a key influence on the development of child protection systems ever since the modern (re)discovery of child abuse in the 1960s.

Type
Chapter
Information
Errors and Mistakes in Child Protection
International Discourses, Approaches and Strategies
, pp. 1 - 16
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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