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Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies in Criminology and Social Work
Bowland North, Lancaster University,
LA1 4YN, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594098 Fax: +44 (0) 1524 592475
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|Home > Research > Kellie Thompson|
Area of interest: Information practices in the context of inter-professional responses to children in need and their families.
The work of safeguarding children and supporting families in contemporary practice is characterised by flows of information. Through the lens of an 'information agenda', there is much debate about how, and when, professionals should exchange information about a child or family; this area of work becomes increasingly more pronounced when things go wrong or a child dies. From the inquiry into the death of Maria Colwell in 1973 (DHSS, 1974) to the recent highly publicised circumstances into the death of Baby Peter in 2007, exposure regarding insufficient communication and information sharing is consistently an enduring tale within government and practice discourses. Following the death of Baby Peter, Lord Laming's report in Haringey in 2008 again suggested a catalogue of safeguarding errors such as poor gathering, recording and sharing of information, agencies working in isolation from one another, and failures to act on 'evidence'. It is therefore unsurprising that in the child welfare arena, developing effective information sharing practices between key inter-agency professionals has again come to the fore as an area of key importance.
The focus of my PhD research examines information practices in the context of inter-professional responses to children in need and their families. My interest in this particular aspect of practice arose when I first began ethnographic observations within a statutory 'first response' local authority children's services team in October 2006. Funded by an ESRC case award, I worked alongside a first response team to examine the referral process. It was in this particular context that I began to appreciate the central role of information within the work of children's services. Furthermore, from interviews with key partner agencies and voluntary organisations the commonly used expression 'information sharing' largely condenses and simplifies what might be seen as a range of complex information related behaviours.
The completion date of this PhD is 30th September 2009.
Supervisors: Professor Corinne May-Chahal and Dr Karen Broadhurst.
Tel: 01524 594090
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