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Safeguarding Black Children

Safeguarding Black Children

Claudia Bernard | Perlita Harris | June Thoburn | Ravinder Barn | Danielle Turney | Anna Gupta | Joanne Westwood | Prospera Tedam | Elizabeth Lewinson | Jonathan Scourfield | Jean Clarke | Derek Kirton | Carlene Firmin | Jenny Pearce | Stefan Brown | Frank Keating


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Book Details


Providing an exploration of the key issues, this book offers practical advice on how to improve the safeguarding and welfare of black children and young people in need.

With contributions from academics, researchers and practitioners, it promotes an understanding of the particular cultural and social issues that affect black children in relation to child protection. It highlights how race and racism, as well as culture, faith and gender, can influence the ways need and risk are interpreted and responded to. Drawing on insights from research evidence, case examples and practice guidelines, it outlines the range of factors that contribute to the vulnerability of black children and describes how to improve techniques of working with minority ethnic families. The book covers issues such as the effects of parental mental health problems, living with domestic violence, child maltreatment, and demonstrates how these might be understood differently for black children and young people. There are also chapters on topics such as female genital mutilation, witchcraft and forced marriage.

Essential reading for all social workers and child protection workers, as well as students and support managers, Safeguarding Black Children provides the tools and understanding needed to better support these children.

Claudia Bernard is Professor of Social Work and Head of Postgraduate Research in the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. Perlita Harris is Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Convenor of the BA in Social Work in the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. Both Claudia and Perlita have published extensively in this field.
Though it is the case that black children face many of the harms children in the majority population are exposed to, because of racism and discrimination they also face different challenges. Writing from a strengths, rather than deficit focus, and using a systems analytic lens, the authors tackle an array of subjects from the more general such as mental health, community and, domestic violence to more specific challenges such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and witchcraft-related abuse. With contributions from some of the best scholars writing on black children's experiences in the UK today, this book addresses some of the structural factors that increase risk to black children, acknowledges their resilience and identifies ways to engage with them and their families. It fills a void in the safeguarding literature; indeed there is none like it. In addition to its practice and policy value, Bernard and Harris have achieved something whose significance cannot be overstated in the current climate, they have re-asserted the importance of progressive, anti-racist social work practice. The overarching message of this book then, is that safeguarding black children simply amounts to good practice for all children.
Professor Adele Jones, The Centre for Child, Family and Youth Research, The University of Huddersfield, UK
This unique publication unearths a whole new repertoire of knowledge which would be very useful for practitioners like myself as well as policymakers, students and academics in better critiquing the issues affecting the lives of African children in the UK. It is a refreshing addition to the academic debate about the resilience of children and it sheds a new light on the adverse conditions affecting children - and the role of various actors to help address these.
Debbie Ariyo OBE, CEO, AFRUCA
This book represents a bold and important departure in navigating the fine line between acknowledging the heterogeneity and strengths of black families and the known and systemised risk factors that mean black children are overrepresented across a range of safeguarding issues. It is truly a tour de force in breadth and in depth, addressing issues facing new migrants as well as those in established black communities. Sometimes challenging and contentious in their investigation, at times painful and moving in the content covered, but always exacting in drawing on the evidence base, these scholars have produced a collection that is a must for contemporary practice.
Professor Charlotte Williams, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Safeguarding Black Children - Good Practice in Child Protection, edited by Claudia Bernard and Perlita Harris 3
Foreword 7
Acknowledgements 10
Introduction 11
Part I - The Effects of Adverse Experiences on Black Children 37
Introduction to Part I 38
1. Mental Health and Black Children 40
2. Black Children’s Experience of Living with Domestic Violence 58
3. Living in Gang-Affected Neighbourhoods 76
Part II - Different Categories of Maltreatment 91
Introduction to Part II 92
4. Child Sexual Abuse in the Lives of Black Children 94
5. Safeguarding Black Children 111
6. Child Neglect and Black Children 128
7. Emotional Abuse of Black Children 146
8. Engaging Black Fathers in Child Protection Services 165
Part III - Safeguarding Black Children from Harmful Practices and Safeguarding Trafficked and Separated Children 177
Introduction to Part III 178
9. Safeguarding Children Linked to Witchcraft 181
10. Forced Marriage as a Safeguarding Issue 200
11. Safeguarding Black Children from Female Genital Mutilation 216
12. Safeguarding Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children 239
13. Safeguarding Trafficked Children 253
Concluding Remarks 271
Author Index 282
Subject Index 278
The Contributors 274