The 'troubled' case of Rotherham

Stephen Crossley, Jadwiga Leigh

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In March 2015, David Cameron announced that social workers may face up to five years' imprisonment if they 'wilfully neglect' child abuse. This announcement was made following the release of an independent inquiry report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. The author of this report was Louise Casey, Director General of the Troubled Families programme. Casey's findings not only raised a number of concerns about the way in which child sexual exploitation was handled by Rotherham, but also led to the potential criminalisation of social workers. In this article, we use a critical discourse analysis approach and Lukes's three-dimensional power framework to examine the inspection report. Our findings suggest that although approaches towards child sexual exploitation do need to improve, Casey's report may in fact prevent us from understanding what actually did happen in Rotherham, why it happened and what is required to minimise the chances of it happening again.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
JournalCritical and Radical Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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