Effective casework practice with adolescents: perspectives of statutory child protection practitioners
Many child protection practitioners struggle with the complexity of problems and the limited casework time for adolescent cases. However, there is little research on child protection practice or case management that can guide a practitioner working with adolescents in the child protection system. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the nature of effective child protection practice with adolescents from the perspective of statutory child protection practitioners in one state in Australia. Data were collected through focus group discussions and interviews with child protection practitioners and managers currently working with adolescents (n= 44). A grounded theory approach was used to identify the dominant themes or categories and form linkages and relationships through constant comparison techniques. Seven key categories emerged from this analysis: characteristics of the young person and their family; 'walking it together'- the centrality of relationships; 'looking back/looking forward'- practice strategies; practitioner attributes and skills; 'walking a fine line'- working with the families of adolescents; 'walking with services'- effective inter-agency work; and organizational context in effective child protection practice with adolescents. Key implications for practice and areas for further research were discussed.
Child & Family Social Work
Clinical Social Work Practice