Judgements of Solomon: anxieties and defences of social workers involved in care proceedings

Hilary Taylor, Chris Beckett, Bridget McKeigue

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Evidence from focus group discussions with social workers in child care and child protection was collected for a research project exploring decision-making in care proceedings and seeking a better understanding of the causes of delay in the process. Here this material is used to examine social workers’ feelings about their work and to explore the anxieties they expressed. Isabel Menzies’s work on containing anxiety in institutions is used to provide a conceptual framework for thinking about the ways in which individuals’ unconscious defences against anxiety may affect the structure, policies and practices of the organization in which they work. It is suggested that this dimension needs to be taken into account in understanding difficulties which arise in putting policy into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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