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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 November 10; 335(7627): 970.
PMCID: PMC2072022


Child protection casework traditionally operates on the assumption that the work is carried out from an “objective and professional” perspective where “expert knowledge” is attained from the “the facts” and the judgements that professionals make are “the truth” about a situation. This perspective renders largely invisible the reality that it is simply one human being, or a group of human beings, with their own particular worldview, values, and beliefs making these judgements about other human beings…Further, the simple fact—which cannot, in our view, ever be overemphasized—is that what the statutory agency and its workers see and judge significant is often quite different from the perspective and priorities of the family.


Turnell A, Edwards S. Signs of safety: a solution and safety orientated approach to child protection casework. New York: WW Norton, 1999.

Submitted by Charles Essex, consultant neurodevelopmental paediatrician, Gulson Hospital, Coventry

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