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Unravelling risk in child protection

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thesis
posted on 28.03.2022, 10:48 authored by Katharine Claire Williamson
This thesis looks critically at risk management and its dominance in child welfare policy. The Knightian and Keynesian view of risk compared to uncertainty is used to show that 'risk' is not the correct term for understanding capitalist economies because they are always unpredictable. This thesis takes the Keynesian view of radical uncertainty into the social policy field to demonstrate that the term 'risk' is even less useful. An analysis of major historical developments and recent changes to child welfare policy in New South Wales sees dangers to children framed as risks capable of measurement and prediction. Rather than accept this notion, this thesis casts dangers to children as unknowable and unpredictable to show that attempts to quantify risk in policy ignore uncertainty. It argues that any model relying on risk is unlikely to strengthen child protection systems as intended. In an effort to conceptualise an alternative framework, I consider what it means to look out for and welcome children into the world and suggest how child welfare policy might adopt models from this standpoint.

History

Table of Contents

Introduction -- 1. The futility of risk in child welfare policy -- 2. Historical origins of 'risk' in child welfare policy -- 3. Contemporary child welfare policy in New South Wales -- 4. Response to the Wood Inquiry - heep them safe? -- Conclusion - child welfare as radically uncertain.

Notes

Bibliography: pages 63-67 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Degree

MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Sociology

Year of Award

2015

Principal Supervisor

Toby Fattore

Additional Supervisor 1

Jocelyn Pixley

Rights

Copyright Katharine Claire Williamson 2015. Copyright disclaimer: http://www.copyright.mq.edu.au

Language

English

Jurisdiction

New South Wales

Extent

1 online resource (67 pages)

Former Identifiers

mq:44529 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1070030