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Exploring dominant child protection discourses: new possibilities for practice

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posted on 24.05.2021, 13:36 authored by Nimo Samater
This research study focuses on attachment theory as a dominant discourse in child protection and the experiences of child protection workers. The literature on attachment theory and its influence on Eurocentric/Western knowledge is reviewed. As well, the use of reflective practice in child protection practice is discussed. This study includes qualitative interviews with three child protection workers in Southern Ontario who discuss their practice. Four emerging themes were derived from the narratives of the participants: recognition of attachment theory as being the pinnacle of child protection practice, use of observation as a tool to assess attachment, use of reflective practice and lastly, the stigma of Children’s Aid Society and impacts on practice. The findings in this study suggest how practice is led by policies and standards of the child welfare system and is rarely challenged. The need for the child welfare system to validate parent/child beliefs, values and practices from various ethnicities is discussed.



Master of Social Work


Social Work

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type