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Lunchtime Seminar - presented by Paul McCafferty

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Northern Ireland Social Care Council

7th Floor Millenium House

25 Great Victoria Street

Belfast

BT2 7AQ

United Kingdom

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What knowledge do social workers use to inform their decision regarding permanency for Looked after Children? Presented by Paul McCafferty

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Accurately identifying children at risk of abuse and intervening in ways that will protect them is far from an exact science (Spratt et al. 2015; Fleming et al. 2015) and is made all the harder by the fact that social workers have no unitary knowledge base to draw on to determine their recommendations (Enosh and Bayer-Topilsky, 2015).

This lunchtime seminar presents findings from an exploratory in-depth qualitative research project whose aim was to explore the knowledge that social workers use to make decisions regarding permanency. The seminar begins with an exploration of the literature, before outlining the theoretical orientation of the research and its utility as a research construct for studying knowledge, which was based on a social constructionist approach.

The seminar continues by outlining how a specifically created vignette was established in consultation with experts, to explore the knowledge practitioners in a statutory local authority in Northern Ireland used to make decisions regarding permanency. The seminar outlines how thinking aloud-protocols and a semi-structured interview were used to explore the knowledge used by practitioners to make permanency decisions. Based on the findings, which will be presented, recommendations are made that will help inform permanency decision making, graduate and postgraduate education, professional training, as well as professional supervision. The aim is to help improve the extent and depth of practitioner knowledge in this field, thus increasing the robustness, consistency and defensibility of permanency decisions taken.

Key areas covered in this seminar will include:

1. Permanency decision making

2. The knowledge used to make permanency decisions

3. Research methodologies used to explore decision making

4. Key findings from the research

5. Recommendations for making permanency decisions more knowledge informed.

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Northern Ireland Social Care Council

7th Floor Millenium House

25 Great Victoria Street

Belfast

BT2 7AQ

United Kingdom

View Map

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