Cultural & Ethnic Perspectives on Significant Harm

Cultural & Ethnic Perspectives on Significant Harm

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    By Annie Lau

    The Children Act places a requirement to work in partnership with the families of children towards whom a service is being proposed, whether this service is one of assessment of need, of significant harm, of treatability, or of provision of alternative accommodation. The ‘partnership’ requirement applies regardless of whether the arrangement is voluntary, as in a Special Needs assessment, or involuntary, as would follow a Care Order. The concept of partnership implies that one so informs oneself that one can take the views of parents into account in making plans for the child. This is difficult enough in the adversarial context in which child care proceedings normally take place; it becomes doubly difficult when one is dealing with an ethnic minority family.

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