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Chronic Child Abuse: The Characteristics and Careers of Children Caught in the Child Protection System

John Devaney
The British Journal of Social Work
Vol. 39, No. 1 (2009), pp. 24-45
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23724238
Page Count: 22
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Chronic Child Abuse: The Characteristics and Careers of Children Caught in the Child Protection System
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Abstract

The introduction of the Quality Protects initiative in England and the focus on performance management has challenged social services departments to examine the systems, processes and outcomes for children who have their name on a child protection register. Research indicates that approximately one-quarter of the situations in which children are registered could be described as chronic—that is, they remain on the child protection register for significant periods of time, experience more than one period of registration or suffer a further incident of significant harm whilst subject to a child protection plan. In this article, the findings from a research study conducted into this group of vulnerable children are reported, focusing on the characteristics of the children and their families, and their careers in the child protection system. The paper concludes with observations about the weak conceptualization of performance management and the need to recognize the complexity of the factors that influence children's careers in the child protection system.

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