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Learning from practice dilemmas in the human services: the case of children's contact centres

Burton, Judith A. (2005) Learning from practice dilemmas in the human services: the case of children's contact centres. In Social Change in the 21st Century, 28 October 2005, QUT, Brisbane.

Abstract

Work in human service organisations is value laden and involves transactions with people whose responses cannot be foreseen. This contributes to the unpredictable and indeterminate nature of practice. It is argued here that enacting values in this complex context requires workers to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity. I suggest that analysis of practice dilemmas is one way to support practitioners in managing uncertainty and improving services. This paper illustrates the utility of the notion of practice dilemmas via analysis of the work of practitioners in children's contact centres. A core value of practice in this setting, as in other settings where children are clients, is that the child's best interests are paramount. Analysis centres on how tensions involved in enacting this principle allow us access to practitioners' thinking around how to provide better direct services and to identify changes that may be worthwhile at agency and systems levels.

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ID Code: 3506
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: human services, values, dilemmas, child's best interest
ISBN: 1741071089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Counselling Welfare and Community Services (160702)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Judith A. Burton
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:15

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