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on 10 May 2011
Harry Ferguson has written a unique and important book for anyone involved in child protection work. Most books in this field tend to be rather abstract and uninspiring; framed by theoretical models, policies, legislative duties and driven by `good practice' guidance. It is rare indeed for a book in this most difficult aspect of professional practice to even begin to convey the lived experience of going into a strangers home to undertake a child protection investigation. This book does just that through an accessible and engaging style that delivers uncommon common-sense accounts of child protection workers from personal perspectives: people on the move in and out of offices, cars and homes; struggling to stay in touch with their feelings; being both comfortable and uncomfortable in their role; developing skills in their interactions and building effectiveness in their professional authority.

The arguments towards `intimate child protection practice' will be recognisable by anyone who has practiced in child protection before the inexorable growth of information gathering systems increasingly rooted workers to their desks and computers. A return to psycho-social life-worlds, as people engage with other people and their children, is long overdue.

If you are a student, current practitioner or supervisor then this is required reading. This book is to be welcomed and celebrated.
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on 25 October 2011
I started reading this thinking it was quite fanciful but really it is practical and so down to earth. It deals with the emotional responses to undertaking social work and gets you to think about your own actions and feelings and what prompts them.

It will be getting quoted often in my MA assigments this year.
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on 21 December 2011
I bought this after recommendation from a colleague. It is well written and descriptive, and discusses the real experience of social work. I would highly recommend this for any newly qualified workers. Its also a very easy read.
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on 2 August 2012
Really good and interesting book for those new to child protection cases. I had a few CP cases in my first practice placement and wish I had read this book prior to taking on the role. It really makes you think outside the box and the realities of what could be happening behind closed doors/right under your nose.

I learnt loads doing CP cases anyway but this book really does give you a better understanding on how to go about things and stresses the importance of communication with service users, both parents and children. It also gives examples on how to get around challenging behaviour and overcome the barriers parents put up.

Definitely well worth a read.
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on 7 January 2013
This is an excellent book, which is accessible and absorbing. Harry Ferguson makes some interesting and insightful observations of contemporary child protection work which challenges the misleading myths perpetuated in the media. A must read for students, social workers and other professions involved in the protection of children. Please read it.
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on 26 April 2012
Having been in practice for almost 25 years with early experience in a dedicated Child Protection Investigation Team in the mid-1990s, this brought back so many familiar discussions, reflections and training. It was a time of developing closer working relationships with colleagues in Police CAIT, strengthening our knowledge of child abuse, experiencing training that was enabling, thought-provoking and sometimes provocative. This is what Harry Ferguson has ignited again. I often refer to this book in training...and the look of alarm when talking about the importance of touch in child protection (and how fearful practitioners are of considering this) is always an open door to discussion and reflection.
Go read it and start thinking about what you can do to make a real difference in practice!
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on 12 December 2012
Was recommended this book by many lecturers whilst studying my MA in social work. It is written in a really coherent and easy to follow style and tackles issue which many other books do not, such as the intricacies of home visits. It is useful for any social work with children in which you are doing home visits and meeting families.
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on 10 April 2016
This book is a must for any student social work. Very easy read and fully understandable during placement experiences, relating to your own experiences. Harry Ferguson writes this book in a very practical way that just makes sense.
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on 13 November 2013
Really practical advice from a practitioner that writes with real feeling for children and families. Great for students and anyone wanting to know more about child protection. Highly recommended.
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on 11 February 2013
Really useful and up to date. Excellent insights into the changing world of child protection practice. Would recommend highly for all those interested in child protection social work.
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