The impact of a child protection investigation: a personal reflective account

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Researchers who undertake parental perception studies agree that the views of the parents can offer valuable insights in relation to child protection work. Respondents to such studies and others who have shared their experiences of child protection investigations are usually mothers. Taken together, this body of work sheds light on some very private, emotive and often painful experiences of child protection intervention and its impact. This article lends my voice to this literature and gives further insight into the ways a mother can experience a child protection investigation. Drawing upon one incident – a swelling on a baby's head – this article draws attention to my feelings and emotions as the baby's mother. Despite a co-operative social worker–client relationship and case closure, my analysis draws attention to issues concerning power imbalances and the concept of ‘secondary victimization’ to explain the awfulness of my experience and my convoluted emotional disquiet. The article proposes that more attention is directed to the negative feelings and emotions experienced during the investigative process through further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-209
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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