This chapter introduces two main questions: who are the clients in child protection work, and what is the nature of the social worker—client relationship? It is especially concerned with the way that the potential client population is divided according to criteria other than gender. In that sense, it serves as an essential introduction to the substantive discussions on working with men and women clients that follow in Chapters 4 and 5. It will outline the context of gendered clienthood in child protection work.
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