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Supporting Families at Risk: Social Workers Experiences of a Family Safeguarding Model and the Effectiveness of Parent Infant Psychotherapy

Cucciniello, Charlotte (2023) Supporting Families at Risk: Social Workers Experiences of a Family Safeguarding Model and the Effectiveness of Parent Infant Psychotherapy. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

This thesis reviews and synthesises the evidence-base for parent-infant psychotherapy (PIP) and directly explores social workers experiences working with families in within a Family Safeguarding Model in child protection services.

Chapter one is a literature review, critically appraising the effectiveness of parent-infant psychotherapy. PIP was found to be effective in improving parental mental health and mixed results were found for child development and attachment relationship outcomes. Improvements were observed in those with complex trauma histories and in those with poor predicted prognosis (e.g. >4 previous traumas). To improve validity and reliability further research should focus on larger samples including fathers, other comparison groups and robust measurement. Clinical implications such as the importance of trauma-informed assessment and access to intervention are discussed.

Chapter two is an empirical paper designed to explore social workers’ experiences of working within the Family Safeguarding Model. Six social workers were recruited and engaged with semi-structured interviews. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to analysis the transcripts. Three group experiential themes emerged: fighting to work with families, feeling held and protected and we’re breaking at the seams. The results illustrate that when the model works as it’s intended that social workers feel able to connect with families, develop a shared understanding and feel less alone in managing risk. However, with increasing caseloads and a reduction in resources, workers are left feeling alone, powerless and hopeless. Clinical implications for family services are discussed.

Chapter three is an executive summary of the empirical paper written for professionals working within family safeguarding services, such as social workers or anyone else involved with this type of work. The aim of this is to make the research outcomes more accessible.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 17 May 2024 12:43
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 12:43

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