Service users’ perspectives in child protection and adoption research

Cossar, Jeanette (2015) Service users’ perspectives in child protection and adoption research. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This critical commentary is based on four research studies and associated publications. The studies are all concerned with researching service users’ perspectives and with service user involvement in the research process. Two of the studies examined adults’ perspectives on adoption, focusing on support for birth relatives and on post-adoption contact. Two of the studies focused on the perspectives of children and young people on seeking help with abuse and neglect, and on their experiences of child protection services.
The commentary begins with a literature review which sets the context for the studies. It covers the development of service user participation in social work practice and in research, and existing research on the perspectives of service users on child protection and adoption services. The second chapter explores methods of involving service users as participants in research and as co-researchers in child protection and adoption research.
The final chapter discusses the contribution of the studies, focusing both on the subject matter and the process of research. It is argued that service users’ perspectives can address a need identified within relationship-based practice to pay attention to power differentials in social work relationships. Service users’ perspectives highlight the value service users accord to the relationships they form with social workers, and suggest ways in which practice could be improved to avoid the experience of child protection and adoption services compounding the effects of a difficult life history.
Involving service users in the research process can allow service users a distinctive platform. It is argued that building collaborative relationships between academic and service user researchers can enable service users’ perspectives to contribute to the construction of social work knowledge, in a manner that contrasts with the inevitable constraints in service user involvement in child protection and adoption practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: PhD by Publication
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Social Work
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2015 13:43
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 14:20

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