Our aim in this chapter is to reflect on the nature and meaning of best practice in child protection. Collectively, we bring to this chapter many years experience of teaching and working with child abuse and protection. Sarah is a lecturer in social work at the University of the West of England, while Anne was at the time of writing a team manager in a social services childcare team. The social worker whose work we critically analyse within a best practice paradigm we have called Miranda, which is not her real name. All identifying characteristics have been changed to ensure anonymity. The case in question was taken from a social work team that dealt with longer-term ‘children in need’, child protection work and looked after children and young people. Members of this team also carry out Core Assessments using the government’s national Assessment Framework for England and Wales (Horwarth, 2000). The team works in a multi-ethnic inner-city area. Team members were from different ethnic backgrounds, of varying ages and experience and both male and female.
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