Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: Knowledge, confidence and training within a contemporary UK social work practice and policy context

Josephine Kwhali, Linda Martin, Geraldine Brady, Sarah Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In 2014 research was undertaken to examine social workers’ confidence, understanding and awareness of child sexual abuse (CSA) as it was suggested that a decline in numbers of reported incidents might be due to a decline in levels of understanding and awareness. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 first-line, middle and senior managers, two chairs of local safeguarding boards across six local authorities in England. Focus groups were conducted with 54 social workers. Key themes revealed a complex array of issues, ranging from the diverse forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation that social workers are required to address, the variable support and training available and the inter-disciplinary nature of much of the work. Although social workers undertake this important work with a strong sense of commitment and concern for children, they face a number of challenges. Paradoxically, whilst their work on these cases is the source of intense scrutiny, the training, support and supervision, and role clarity required to undertake this work well, is often overlooked. The aim of this paper is to discuss the research findings and to identify implications for social work practice, training, multi-agency work and future research. Publisher Statement: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The version of record Kwhali, J, Martin, L, Brady, G & Brown, S 2016, 'Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: Knowledge, confidence and training within a contemporary UK social work practice and policy context' The British Journal of Social Work, vol 46, no. 8, pp. 2208-2226 is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw154
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2208-2226
Number of pages19
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Volume46
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The version of record Kwhali, J, Martin, L, Brady, G & Brown, S 2016, 'Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: Knowledge, confidence and training within a contemporary UK social work practice and policy context' The British Journal of Social Work, vol 46, no. 8, pp. 2208-2226 is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw154

Keywords

  • CSA
  • CSE
  • critical reflection
  • education
  • social work
  • training

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