Significant harm: child protection litigation in a multi-cultural setting

Great Britain. Lord Chancellor's Department
Publication year:
Place of publication:

Debates about child maltreatment in culturally diverse populations in the UK are fuelled by three major issues: a possible over representation of Black children in care populations, misunderstandings by professionals of certain attitudes/practices in some minority ethnic households, and domestic and European legislation which makes it clear that removing children from their parents really must be the last resort, and that the aim of such action, where possible, should be their eventual return. These factors make it imperative to explore the work of the family justice system and whether, for example, the legal criteria engaged to assess harm and risks to children are sufficiently receptive to different styles and cultural contexts to parenting. To date there has been a lack of detailed research that brings a 'cultural lens' to work of family courts in this field. This study begins that exercise. It is based on an analysis of court records for 183 children from eight ethnic groups, observation of 36 hearings in family courts and in-depth interviews with 25 key court personnel (judges, magistrates and legal advisers).

Subject terms:
legal proceedings, looked after children, parent-child relations, parents, black and minority ethnic people, child abuse, child protection, children, crime, decision making, criminal justice;
Content types:
research, government publication
ISBN print:
1 84099 047 3

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