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Keywords: Child protection – family life – abuse – autonomy – risk – social workers
In this article Sir Mark Hedley ruminates on his experiences and insights from the bench on child protection and the protection of family life. He calls for recognition that parents are never perfect, but nor are the professionals dealing with allegations of child abuse. We must live with the risk that wrong decisions will be made. However, he argues, these must not paralyse practice. Indeed the risks are inherent in the balance between protection and autonomy.
The full version of this article appears in issue 1 of 2014 of Child and Family Law Quarterly.