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Title: Non-complaining and children in the care system : a socio-legal study of the Children Act 1989, s.26
Author: Neill, Donna
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 7290
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Situated within a theoretical framework devised by Keith Hawkins, combined with thematic understandings of street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) and their impact on decision-making as developed by Lipsky, this thesis examines why children in care rarely complain about the service they receive from local authorities in England. The gap for this research can be seen more generally in complaints literature which is yet to explore fully the barriers to complaining. I conducted semi-structured interviews with care leavers in order to develop themes which informed the interview questions for four professional groups: Social Workers, Complaints Managers, Advocates, and Independent Reviewing Officers. The data collected from both interview phases has been analysed within Keith Hawkins' framework, and with reference to Lipsky's understanding of front-line policy-making, to develop a greater understanding of professional decision-making processes and the construction of relationships between social care practitioners and looked after children. Looked after children experience care through the relationships they develop with practitioners within a complex framework of procedures and processes. In this context, looked after children are assimilated within a bureaucratic system which influences how they understand the world around them, themselves and their rights. This thesis will show that the care system can discourage looked after children from complaining when things go wrong for a variety of reasons including: the creation of a culture of fear, complexity of processes, lack of advocacy services, lack of information, diversion of grievances, resolution of grievances outside of complaints processes, and lack of trust in professionals and systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available