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Children’s quest for love and professional child protection work: the case of Norway.

International Journal of Social Pedagogy

UCL Press

Child protection, feminist ethics, care, love

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      Central actors in the child protection field in Norway argue that children in public care should not only receive care and support, but also love. It is hard to disagree that children need love. However, there is reason to question the situation that may arise if children’s need for love is translated into requirements that must be safeguarded and handled by child protection workers in the child protection services. In this article, I analyse this ‘requirement of love’ both with regard to the increased focus on children’s rights in discussions on children’s life conditions and to the history of the professionalisation of social work; having the gendered features of social work and its partial professionalisation in mind. Due to the challenges this requirement represents, there may be good reasons to revisit the debates on care and care work among feminists who have theorised care as work within professional contexts. I try to show how the field of social work and child protection may utilise the critical potential in care feminist thinking by connecting it to their own emphasis on emotional awareness and knowledge of self as a prerequisite for professional child protection work.

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      Most cited references 78

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            Author and article information

            Oslo and Akershus Universty College of Applied Sciences , PO box 4 St.Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo
            Author notes

            About the author

            Cecilie Basberg Neumann is a sociologist with a doctor polit. in criminology from the University of Oslo. She is also a Gestalt therapist from Norwegian Gestalt Institute AS. Her areas of research are welfare state institutions, feminist theory, and methodology.

            Role: Associate Professor
            International Journal of Social Pedagogy
            UCL Press (UK )
            1 December 2016
            : 5
            : 1
            : 104-123
            Basberg Neumann, C. (2016). Article title. [Joint Special Issue, Love in Professional Practice]

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

            Pages: 20
            Research Article


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