For our fourteenth podcast, the Voice of the Child talks with Professor Andy Bilson about Britain’s child protection practices, why a toxic “rescue mentality” has led to the oppression of vulnerable children and families, and how a new network co-founded by Professor Bilson plans to place parents and children at the heart of social work.

In the podcast, Andy Bilson, an Emeritus professor of Social Work at the University of Central Lancashire and a former Chair of the Council of Europe and UNICEF’s Child Rights Observatory, talks about his new project, “The Parent, Family and Allies Network”, which promotes inclusive, humane and effective child protection practices. 

Professor Bilson, who is currently working on child welfare-focused research at the Department of Public Health and Primary care at Cambridge University, talks about the experiences of families in the child protection sector, concerns around the nationwide variations for the “risk of harm” threshold used to remove children and place them into care, and gives us a preview of not-yet published research he has produced on children removed at birth.

Many thanks to Professor Bilson for being a guest on the programme.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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Useful Links

Adoption and child protection trends for children aged under five in England: Increasing investigations and hidden separation of children from their parents

Policies on bruises in pre-mobile children: Why we need improved standards for policymaking

Exploring outcomes for young people who have experienced out-of-home care

Care-leavers and their children placed for adoption

Interventions in Foster Family Care: A Systematic Review