What is it about?

The Munro Review of Child Protection called for 'radical reform' of the English child protection system, to better cater for the needs of all individual children who have reason to access it. This paper identifies the legacy of negative media and political portrayal of child protection as a barrier to achieving the 'child-centred' and 'effective' system that the review endorsed.

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Why is it important?

High profile child deaths continue to dominate news headlines, especially when it is believed that social workers have been involved in the case. This paper considers not only why those high profile deaths might occur in the context of social worker discretion, but also the role that media and politicians play in making these deaths more, not less, likely.

Perspectives

It was very important for me to be able to give a voice to social workers, who are saying that their practice continues to be impacted by a negative media and political portrayal of the English child protection system. Moreover, how this negative coverage can intrude into the practioners' personal life and the cost that it can have for the individual children recieving services from them.

Ciaran Murphy
Edge Hill University

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This page is a summary of: ‘I don’t want my face on the front page of The Sun’: the ‘Baby P effect’ as a barrier to social worker discretion, Journal of Children s Services, January 2022, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/jcs-03-2021-0013.
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