Saturday, 11 July 2015

Supporting people who work in child protection

There is an interesting article in The Independent concerning the impact on police professionals of dealing with cases of child abuse. 

Senior officers describe the highly stressful nature of unavoidably distressing work. They point to the risk of burnout and the need for support and counselling for employees.

They are absolutely right. Child protection work takes its toll on the people who do it. Careful thought needs to be given to how they can be appropriately supported and sympathetically managed. Resources need to be available to support employees who are under great pressure or who are traumatised by their contact with abuse and abusers.

The saddest thing, I think, is that you seldom hear similar thoughts being expressed about local authority social workers. They are equally involved in dealing with distressing situations on a daily basis. They often have longer-term and closer involvement with the victims of abuse, children and young people, than do police officers.

There needs to be much clearer thinking about how we support all the professionals and practitioners who have to confront child abuse and neglect in their working lives. And there is a need to mobilise resources, such as counselling and therapy, which should be available to all workers, whatever their agencies, who need them.