Rehumanising ourselves and our services through radical relationality

Lizette Nolte, Barbara Rishworth, Charlie Brazil, Hannah Wright, Hannah Morgan, Afrah Abdullahi, Jacqui Scott, Jade Weston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Many systemically-informed practitioners find ourselves working in neoliberal systems of ever-more marketization and bureaucracy, with ever-dwindling resources. This is exacerbated by a global financial downturn and political instability following the pandemic, leading to growing hardship and inequality for those we work alongside, and disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable families in society. This includes families involved in child protection and care proceedings. We draw on four research studies (with birth parents whose children were removed into care, social workers working in child protection, and practitioners supporting birth relatives) to show surprising similarities between the impact of these developments on vulnerable families and practitioners. We describe shared disillusionment with dehumanising practices and a longing for basic human connection. We suggest that systemic theory has much to offer in relation to practices that can sustain and orientate towards radical relationality and share examples of such systemic practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th Conference of the European Association of Family Therapy Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationSystemic Resonances and Interferences
Publication statusUnpublished - 10 Sept 2022
Event11th Conference of the European Family Therapy Association 2022 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 7 Sept 202210 Sept 2022,to%20Saturday%2010%20September%2C%202022.


Conference11th Conference of the European Family Therapy Association 2022
Abbreviated titleEFTA 2022
OtherSystemic resonances and interferences in a (post) pandemic, climate change and migration context in Europe.
Internet address


  • Birth parents
  • Birth relatives
  • Safeguarding
  • Child Protection
  • Social Work
  • Staff wellbeing
  • Rehumanising services


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