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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Experiences of Social Workers Undertaking Pre-birth Assessment: Professional Doctorate Conference Presentation

Bleasby, Cally (2022) The Experiences of Social Workers Undertaking Pre-birth Assessment: Professional Doctorate Conference Presentation. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)


Pre-birth assessment is an area of children and families social work which has received very little attention in terms of research and practice guidance. There is evidence across western countries that statutory intervention to protect newborn children has increased significantly over the last decade, with growing concerns that little is known about this area of practice. One area which is especially lacking in research is the experience of social workers undertaking the work, with no studies currently focused on this solely on this area. My study sought to explore the experiences of social workers within a region of England which is experiencing the highest level of growth in pre-birth assessment, to consider the impact that this practice had on them and what we could learn from their experiences. The preliminary findings have highlighted the complexity and weight of this work, with social workers struggling to navigate decision making and questioning what the ‘right’ thing to do regarding infants and their families whilst also facing cultural and systemic challenges. Pre-birth work was described as distinct from other areas of practice and fraught with moral and ethical dilemmas. Social workers in the study often felt unprepared for the work, and the impact of working with this level of complexity in a forum of uncertainty had a profound impact on some participants.

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Dundee Confererence Presentation - 2022-06-09 17.08.43.pdf - Presentation

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Depositing User: Cally Bleasby


Item ID: 14865

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Cally Bleasby: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2022 09:04
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 09:04


Author: Cally Bleasby ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences

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