This is a reflection of a research carried out by a group within the class on 'investigating information sharing between professionals and how it impacts child abuse: social work perspective'. This theme was the basis for the research and published research articles were used to analyse the research question. The reporting of child abuse is a complex issue that generates lots of controversies but recently, social policy has been focused on improving the way child abuse is reported. The Nursing Standard (2013) reports on how child abuse and the risk of it should be reported by professionals that deal with children. These professionals include health practitioners, social workers and teachers. Child abuse, either at the hands of parents or care givers has a long history and despite the joint protective services being provided by inter-agency professionals, it continues to be a pandemic issue in the society.
The World Health Organisation (2014) generally defines child abuse (child maltreatment) as constituting of all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child's health, development or dignity. Despite increased legislation and penalties for child abuse, extreme cases continue to appear and to sustain the debates over child maltreatment cases. Although there is compelling evidence on inter-agency working with the aim of addressing child abuse cases, including research initiatives commissioned as part of response to neglect cases, however child abuse cases continue to be an issue. Although there appears to be a universal and targeted service to help prevent child abuse, incidents of missed opportunities by agencies in safeguarding children from maltreatment continue to be recorded (Farmer and Lutman, 2009). It is against this background that this research reflective essay would be exploring information sharing by professionals to protect children from all forms of abuse.
For the research carried out by the group, five articles were utilised based on validity and relevance. So the main aim of this reflective essay is to establish through critical review, the relevance of the five publications used for the group work to the research question as well as social policy in general. The objectives of this reflective essay base on the guidelines therefore will be:
The formulation of the research question by the group.
A consideration of the methodological approach used to collate the articles. A critical review of the five articles by consideration of research methods. Explore strengths and weaknesses of research methods.
Explore alternative approaches to the research methods adopted by the articles. Link the issues in the articles to the wider context of social policy and work. Consideration for the extent to which the research carried out in the articles have enhanced knowledge and understanding of the research subject. Explore the extent to which the research has answered the research question. Analysis of the research question in the wider social and political context. Implication of research on my social work practice based on the findings.
This section will explore the formulation of the research question by the group and consider the methodological approach used to collate the articles. The research question was derived through discussions made by members of the group. As students of social work and policy, the title appealed to us because of the recent history relating to the research question. Getting the title was not straight forward as different suggestions were made by members of the group. The other areas for research consideration were, 'looked after children' and 'social policy and housing'. The research topic we eventually chose was appealing to most of us as it is a contemporary issue in social work and policy. Furthermore, the issues...
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