This article reports on an exploration of social workers' perspectives on the social policy and agency processes that shape their experiences of working in child protection services. A qualitative constructivist grounded theory methodology was employed, and 17 qualified social workers and managers were recruited. Social workers described working within an oppressive system, balancing unrealistic demands placed on them, and struggling to restore balance and hope. They shared how this filtered into the work they do with families and the role that relationality and peer support has in surviving the work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Early online date30 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023


  • austerity
  • reflexivity
  • social work
  • child protection
  • relationality
  • children's services


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