Articles: Journal

Duckett N and Spandler H (2018) Radically seeking social justice for children and survivors of abuse. Critical and Radical Social Work. 6:1, 77-92

This article explores the contribution of Liz Davies to the radical social work tradition in the UK. The authors describe two key aspects of Davies’s activism: her early mental health activism supporting foundational organisations like the Mental Patients Union and her child protection activism promoting children’s rights and obtaining justice for victims and survivors of child abuse. The authors explore three critical debates specifically arising from her most sustained child protection work: debates about prevention and/or protection: the accusation of child abuse activism as moral panic and the idea of the ‘heroic’ social work activist.

Davies L (2014) Working positively with the media to protect children, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 36:1, 47-58

This article explores the ways in which social workers can develop effective methods of working with the media to protect children and is based on the author’s experience, as a social worker, of exposing abuse of children in the Islington care system during the 90s. Without investigative journalism and persistent media coverage, the perpetrators would not have been exposed or reported to police and children would have continued to be unsafe. The extent of organised crime networks involved in this, and other child abuse cases, such as that of Elm Guest House, Richmond, has continued to gain coverage particularly through the commitment of a few specialist journalists. It is possible for those working in the media to protect sources when stories need to be exposed in the interests of children. Across the range of television, radio and print media the rights of children, adult survivors and those professionals representing their interests can be well represented particularly through single issue campaigns. Through working with the media it is possible to have a strong and influential voice in seeking justice for abused children and to counter the view that most media coverage of child protection issues is negative towards the social work profession.

Davies L (2004) The difference between child abuse and child protection could be you. Creating a community network of protective adults. Child Abuse Review 13:426-432

Safeguarding children effectively requires a dual strategy – prevention and protection.
The community have an essential role in both. The concepts are not mutually exclusive, as prevention is in itself protective and protection should result in the prevention of further abuse.
Both concepts have become constructs to steer child protection policy in politically favoured directions. This short report develops previous work by the author

Davies L (2004) Developing Student’s Professional Competence: approaches to postgraduate course design in social work investigations. University teaching and learning. London Metropolitan University. 2(1)

Jarman M and Davies L (2005) Social worker’s professional practice after Climbie. Family Law.35: 814-819

This article examines the case of Lisa Arthurworrey v Secretary of State which is available on the website of the Care Standards Tribunal (
Mark Jarman QC and Peter Jackson QC, were the barristers representing Lisa Arthurworrey, social worker for Victoria Climbié.
The article discusses the implications for future cases where social workers who have been disciplined for poor professional practice are referred to the Protection of Children Act list. Judge Pearl in this case said the use of the list for professional mistakes should be only as ‘an unusual occurrence, to be used only in the most clear cut of cases’

Dustin D and Davies L (2006) Female Genital Cutting (FGC), Anti-Oppressive Practice and Children’s Rights: Implications for Social Work Practice. Child Care in Practice 13(1):3-16.

FGC is an ancient practice that affects girls and young women around the world, defining the identity of women in cultures where it is practiced. FGC is carried out for a range of social and cultural reasons.
The UK as a point of inward migration receives families from countries and cultures where FGC is the norm. Protecting children from FGC in the UK is addressed through legislation, policy and practice guidance implemented through multi agency working together to safeguard children.
Health, social services, schools and the police in the UK need to have a sound knowledge base about FGC in order to ensure the safety of children within their social environment.
It is argued that FGC is a children’s rights issue as well as a women’s rights issue because it infringes the right of the child to bodily integrity and to be safe from harm. Professionals should be aware of the importance of their role in proactively preventing this irreversible procedure to which children cannot consent.
The concept of social construction of identity is discussed in order to analyse the importance of FGC in cultures where it is part of a tradition and to contribute to strategies to end the practice