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An evaluation of child protection reform in Israel

Alfandari, Ravit (2015) An evaluation of child protection reform in Israel. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis focuses on efforts to improve the provision of effective help to children and their families who are suffering or likely to suffer from significant harm from abuse or neglect through making better care plan decisions for them. The research evaluates the operation, process and outcomes of a recent national reform in the Israeli child protection decision making framework of Planning, Intervention and Evaluation Committees (PIECs) designed with the ambition of establishing a new way of working so that children and families will get the right help. A systems approach was undertaken as a conceptual framework in order to allow a whole-organisational understanding of what is happening in the field, and why. The research employs a qualitative method of inquiry and a case study design. The cases of 21 families brought before the PIECs were investigated and their situation was followed up after six months. Data were collected through interviews with professionals and parents, field observations of the committee meetings and document review. The key finding of the research is that there is a very limited realisation of the reform’s aims of strengthening practice and improving the safety and well-being of vulnerable children. The reform’s lack of success is explained by being ill-suited to the organisational working environment and culture. The analysis identified key systemic forces that came together to interfere with the reform having the hoped for impact across the various stages of the child protection process, including: workforce lack of skill, time, professional support, and organisational messages about practice priorities. The main conclusion of this thesis is that for good child protection work to be accomplished just drafting good reforms and telling the workforce what to do is not enough. This thesis advocates adopting systemic multi-professional working models to deliver services to children and families.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Ravit Alfandari
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Seckinelgin, Hakan and Munro, Eileen

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