Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Our Trustee Dr Ciaran Murphy talks to Sky News about the 19% rise in child deaths in lockdown

Trustee Kelechi Ukandu speaks to Sky News in the case of the missing baby of Mark Gordon and Constance Marten

The government has sought to address “confusion” among practitioners that is preventing them from sharing information to safeguard children at risk.

Consultative guidance issued last week is designed to address concerns that staff are not sharing information without consent, contributing to what government safeguarding advisers have dubbed the “perennial problem” of inadequate knowledge exchange in child protection cases.

Those “furthest away” from Finley Boden made decisions about him, a social work academic has said.

Speaking to Sky News, Dr Ciaran Murphy criticised the decision making that led to Finley’s return to his parents, particularly the apparent lack of weight magistrates placed on his social worker’s opinion.

Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden are sentenced at Derby Crown Court for the murder of their 10-month-old son Finley Boden. Finley died on Christmas Day in 2020 following a campaign of abuse by Marsden and Boden, which left him with 150 injuries including multiple bone breaks, fractures, bruises, and burns.

In this opinion piece Senior Lecturer in Social Work Dr Ciaran Murphy examines England’s children’s social care system following the government’s announcement that it will increase funding for the service. 

Social workers have limited discretion when safeguarding children. Policy, procedures and workflows largely determine the actions which social workers can take. However, this is not always in the best interests of the children being protected.

In this episode I speak to Dr Ciarán Murphy whose research explores the role of discretion in child protection social work. He identifies the spaces in which social workers can exercise discretion, providing evidence of how a ‘child-centred’ child protection system could work.

Dr Ciarán Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Edge Hill University’s Social Work Department, where he leads on specialist children and families; research; and safeguarding modules. Ciarán’s research focus is on how we might better promote a ‘more child-centred’ child protection system, and on articulating the lived experiences of practicing child protection social workers.

The row over drag queens reading stories to children. A spate of protests outside libraries has focused attention on the idea of drag queen story hours - drag queens reading stories to young children in libraries and other public spaces. For some, it’s the perfect way to build acceptance of LGBTQ+ identities, plus it’s fun and fabulous for the children. For others, it risks exposing young minds to adult entertainment and complex themes of sex and gender.

5th August 2022. Available at: