A new book, Strengths-Based Child Protection: Firm, Fair, and Friendly by Carolyn Oliver has recently been released which we are very happy to recommend.
From the publisher:
Strengths-based, solution-focused practice is one of the most exciting areas of contemporary child protection work. The demand for this protection practice has increased faster than the availability of training resources to help students and practitioners, until now.
Strengths-Based Child Protection is the first textbook solely dedicated to furthering strengths-based practices in a child protection setting. Carolyn Oliver provides an original, accessible, and practical research-based model that focuses on the key to success in this field: the worker-client relationship. Oliver’s long and varied front line experience in child welfare and research based on surveys and interviews with 225 child protection workers provides grounding in the realities of child protection work. Strengths-Based Child Protection contains a rich combination of case studies, reflective questions, and exercises that enable students and practitioners to conceptualize and master implementing strengths-based practices with children.
From the foreward by Andrew Turnell:
To make any sense of strengths-based thinking and practice in child protection you have to address the fundamental questions :
- How can the practitioner use their authority skilfully and still work collaboratively with parents?
- How can the practitioner bring rigorous professional knowledge about harm and danger and at the same time approach parents and extended family as people who bring strengths, resources, and solutions?
The book tackles these issues head on and frames answers based in practice and in language that will resonate with child protection professionals everywhere. This book significantly extends our professional thinking about how to do child protection and how to research and build theory together with practitioners. Anyone who wants to do child protection practice more rigorously and more compassionately should read this book.
The author, Carolyn Oliver, is an adjunct professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia as well as the Strategic Policy Advisor for Canada’s largest urban Aboriginal child protection agency.
I’m so excited to hear how my book can support Signs of Safety. It was written for anyone who has ever struggled with how to be strengths-based from a position of authority. We know that the strengths-based relationships we make with our service users are the key to success, and that it can be tricky to sustain these relationships at the sharp end of child protection work. The “firm, fair and friendly” approach described in the book came from child protection workers who had truly embraced strengths-based child protection practices and found a way to make these relationships work day in and day out. Happy reading!