The Impact of Notification to Statutory Services on the NGO Client-Worker Relationship
ABSTRACT:Making a notification of child abuse to Child, Youth and Family can have a significant impact on the client-worker relationship. This study explored two main issues: what was the effect of notification on the client-worker relationship, and whether there were strategies, tools or aspects of a case that mitigated the potential for conflict and impasse as a result of a notification proceeding. Practitioners from a Family Works site were interviewed about what the effect of notification had been and what they believed helped in working through the notification process with their clients. As these workers were all from the same agency and are trained regarding child abuse issues, this allowed an in-depth look into the effect on the client-worker relationship of notification. This study found that notification can lead to significant stress in the client-worker relationship and the power dynamic can be heightened but the majority of relationships continue to function despite this. Use of transparency and providing ongoing support are significant strategies workers can utilise to assist with maintaining the client-worker relationship following notification. Factors such as the level of engagement the client has with both the worker and the intervention that is occurring are potential indicators as to whether the client-worker relationship can be maintained through a notification. Supportive organisational relationships for the worker and clear policies and procedures in the work place assist the practitioner to manage with the notification and navigating through this with the client.
Advisor: Keddell, Emily
Degree Name: Master of Social Welfare
Degree Discipline: Department of Gender, Sociology and Social Work
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Child Abuse; Notification; Social Work
Research Type: Thesis