New book to examine the many issues of child maltreatment

A book to be launched tomorrow examines the many issues surrounding the social problem of child maltreatment and the response to it – child protection.

Constructing Meaning and Identities in Child Protection Practice, by DeakinUniversityacademic Dr Heather D’Cruz, explores the different ways information of child maltreatment is passed on to the appropriate authorities.

Its approach is to trace how reports that 'something happened' to a child are transformed through child protection intervention into categories of maltreatment and associated identities of responsibility. The book also addresses the legal and cultural assumptions that influence child protection practice, and perceptions about the children themselves and how their welfare may be protected.

Before joining DeakinUniversityin 1999 and re-locating with the social work programme to the Schoolof Healthand Social Development in 2004, Dr D'Cruz spent 18 years working in the child and family welfare sector in various roles including practice, policy, research and evaluation.

Providing an update for professionals and students the book covers areas such as protecting children within discourses of the normal child and family, policy as discourse, sites of practice, constructing maltreatment and identities of responsibility.

Constructing Meanings and Identities in Child Protection Practice is seen as an important addition to child protection literature. While it will be of most interest to postgraduate students of child protection, the book is expected to be warmly welcomed by professional social workers and will be used for undergraduate courses in social work, human service programs, psychology, social welfare and allied health.

The Dean of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Professor John Catford, will launch Constructing Meanings and Identities in Child Protection Practice at 3pmtomorrow, Thursday 22 April, at Deakin’s Waterfront Campus in the Level Two Gallery.

Constructing Meanings and Identities in Child Protection Practice(ISBN 0 86458 335 4) is available now through Tertiary Press (


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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