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Title: Siblings, social work and child abuse
Author: Sanders, R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2002
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This dissertation is the result of exploratory research into the significance of sibling relationships in social work with children and families. It poses five research questions relating to the emphasis on sibling relationships by social workers, the impact of adversity on children's sibling relationships, how abuse influences sibling relationships, whether sibling relationships are able to buffer the impact of abuse, and finally considers the issue of differential risk to children within families. These questions are addressed both by a review of the literature and through two empirical studies. The first study surveyed child and family social workers about their own sibling configurations and their attitudes to siblings in their work. The social workers were then asked to use a tool, the Sibling Checklist, in their work with children and families. After six months the checklists were analysed and the social workers were interviewed. The second study was a file study of the sibling relationships of children whose names were added to the child protection register. A range of quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques, (including computer-assisted analysis of qualitative data), were employed. The findings suggest that sibling relations are a neglected aspect of social work intervention with children and families. In part this may be because there is not a great deal of empirical evidence about the impact of adverse circumstances on children's sibling relationships. Abuse has a harmful impact on the relationships between siblings as well as adverse consequences for the children as individuals, although this appears to vary depending upon the type of abuse. This impairment of the sibling relationships by interfamilial abuse may undermine the ability of sibling relationships to buffer the child against the worst effects of abuse. There was no evidence to suggest that children who are not targeted for abuse in families are less at risk of the harmful consequences of abuse than those who are targeted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available