SPA conference 2012: Social policy, children and families

By Emma Milman, UK Books Editorial 

SAGE exhibited at the Social Policy Association conference at the University of York in July. The conference was a great opportunity to meet academics and researchers from across the broad field of social policy.

On the final day of the conference I attended a paper session with speakers discussing their research on children’s policy. Morag Treanor, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, presented her research on the correlation between children’s social, emotional and behavioural development and practical, social and financial support. Using data from the Growing up in Scotland study, Morag has found that children growing up in poverty are more likely to have higher social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Morag’s research has also found that financial support has a greater impact on children’s SEB development than practical support, such as from grandparents, does. The focus of her PhD will now turn to determining the causality of the correlation.

In the same session, Harriet Churchill presented a paper written in conjunction with Barbara Fawcett exploring the impact of early intervention policy in children’s social work using the comparative examples of England and New South Wales, Australia. Their paper identifies a number of policy and practice issues, and argues for a more supportive framework for social workers working with children and families in the two countries.

SAGE publishes a number of leading textbooks on the topic of children and families social work. Effective Social Work with Children and Families: A Skills Handbook, written by Peter Unwin and Rachel Hogg, was published in February this year and suggests practical ways that social work students might thrive, rather than just survive, in practice.

Eileen Munro’s book, Effective Child Protection, was published in 2008 and is essential reading for undergraduate and post-qualifying students of social work across the country.

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