Adolescents who dispaly sexually harmful behaviour: an exploration of the dilemmas faced by practicing social workers

Williams, Vicky (2010) Adolescents who dispaly sexually harmful behaviour: an exploration of the dilemmas faced by practicing social workers. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study has investigated the complexities associated with sexually harmful behaviour displayed by adolescents and the dilemmas faced by social workers practicing within this field by carrying out a review of literature and current research relating to these issues. Sexually harmful or abusive behaviour by children and young people first emerged as a matter of concern in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s and now, a decade or so later, is firmly established both within the professional community and with policy makers as a problem which requires a response (Erooga & Masson 2006, p. 3). This study has focused on potential barriers to effective practice, such as practicing social workers facing dilemmas with regards to their ethics and value base, acknowledging their personal perceptions and responses towards this client group, and how this, along with organisational and legal conflicts, can impact on assessment and treatment of these individuals. Horwath (2001) encapsulates this dilemma by stating that any intervention should include an assessment of developmental needs of the child under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 using the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families (p. 330) and ensure an approach is adopted in which a holistic assessment of the young person is conducted, rather than focusing solely on the sexually inappropriate behaviour. Young people who face prosecution for sex offences are often removed from their families and placed in other settings, “ostracised by family, friends, community and society and suffer stigma and prosecution that outlasts whatever temporal criminal sentence may be imposed” (p. 323). These actions contradict social work ethics and values and deviate from the child’s welfare being paramount.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences and Social Work
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15

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