‘Significant harm: the application of the law in practice with vulnerable children’.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When and how to intervene in families where there are concerns about child maltreatment are dilemmas which professionals continually face. In England and Wales ‘significant harm’ is the threshold for compulsory state intervention into private family life that can lead to the permanent removal of children. The legislation does not include a clear operational definition of ‘significant harm’ and this is both a strength and weakness. This chapter explores how the concept is being interpreted and applied in practice. Themes discussed include the concept of ‘significance’, interpretations of ‘harm’ in an unequal society and the influence of the wider contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking within the Forensic Paradigm:
Subtitle of host publicationCross-discipline approaches for policy and practice
EditorsRosemary Sheehan, James Ogoloff
Place of PublicationOxford
Pages155 -166
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-01758-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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