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.