Consent vs coercion in child protection

Posted: 14th June 2024

Source: (20) Consent vs coercion in child protection | LinkedIn

Hi friend,

Let’s talk about consent. Specifically how we seek consent to see children when we are the allocated social worker.

Direct work is a huge topic (listen to me talk about this with the very wise Rich Devine)but before we even think about direct work we must consider consent.

How are we seeking consent to see and speak to children? How are we making sure that we are getting informed consent?

How are we managing coercion?

Which no one wants to talk about openly but generally looks like conversations around ‘if we can’t do the assessment under s.17 then we’ll have to escalate to child protection’ (this still happens so we might as well address it).

If it sounds simple to you then great.

But there are lots of new social workers who aren’t clear on legislation and guidance around seeking and recording consent to see children, and how we manage situations where we see a child without parental consent.

And whether we want to use the words relational, restorative, systemic or trauma informed, all roads should lead back to us getting clear on consent.

What do you think? Have you experienced dissonance on this in practice? Or are you confident on this and willing to share some examples of how you approach this in your organisation? Either way I would love to continue the conversation. Leave a comment and let me know.

Take Care,


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