Click here or on the pdf file to read the full report or an excerpt below.


My interest in differential response comes from time spent meeting with children and families as a child protection social worker with the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development. Many of these meetings consisted of parents telling me stories about how their family was struggling, usually in more than one area, and why they were asking for help. It was not uncommon for these family challenges to intersect with each other in unique ways to produce intricate hardships for parents that would in turn be experienced in some way by the children. Parents often attempted to explain during first meetings how their struggles were related to the child protection concerns. Issues ranging from chronic poverty, social isolation, difficulty navigating service systems, domestic violence, the immigration process, mental illness and substance use were ongoing problems by the time child protective services became involved. The building of relationships in this context of uncertainty continues to be a great challenge, yet these relationships were the most memorable and continue to be, in my opinion, the most effective element of meaningful change.




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