Local authority family centre intervention: a statistical exploration of services as family support or family control

Pithouse, Andrew A. and Tasiran, Ali Cevat (2000) Local authority family centre intervention: a statistical exploration of services as family support or family control. Child and Family Social Work, 5 (2) . pp. 129-141. ISSN 1356-7500 [Article] (doi:10.1046/j.1365-2206.2000.00154.x)


This paper sets out findings from a statistical exploration into services arising from child protection referrals which became open cases allocated to local authority child care social workers employed by a large local authority social services department in South Wales. The workers operate from six local authority family centres located in areas of high social need. They offer a range of family support services as well as carrying out child protection investigations and related activities. In analysing the data a probability ratio was created to identify which offered services were more likely to be taken up. An activity index for services offered and taken up was then constructed followed by an attempt to delineate families' likely orientation to a family support or 'protection and control' mode of intervention. This is achieved by creating a simple range of lower and upper bounds of perception by imputing service orientation from the position of three 'representative individuals': a 'very suspicious client', a 'neutral third party', and a 'very optimistic social worker'. These three positions allow manipulation of the questionnaire data to estimate the probable interpretation of services from provider and recipient standpoints. From these sources parameter estimates to explore key variables associated with worker views about the sufficiency of their service in relation to family support and/or more controlling forms of intervention are deployed. The study suggests that child protection cases receive a family centre service strongly orientated to support rather than a narrow policing activity. However, there remain some notable differences of perception between worker and 'representative individuals' that imply potential difficulties over the role of local authority family centres.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 1447
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2009 15:43
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:13
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/1447

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