Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Function of Mental Illness Discourses in a Child Welfare Context

Understanding how social workers and parental service users construct the meanings of parental problems in the child protection context is important, as ultimately this affects decision making. Using qualitative methods, this study elicited social workers’ and parental service users’ perceptions of decision reasoning and analysed them from a discursive constructionist perspective. By completing secondary analysis of social worker–parental service user pairs, this article describes patterns in how the causes of family problems were constructed by social workers and parental service users. It was found that explanations of poor mental health and lack of supports for initial family problems were used to emphasise a lack of parental culpability by both parties, particularly through a narrative of separating one’s ‘authentic self’ from the impacts of mental illness on parenting. This convergence of explanations helped to maintain fragile parental identities, assisted with relationship maintenance, and allowed both social workers and parents to acknowledge harm to children. However, an individualised view of problems promoted by mental illness discourses was unable to account for the impact of domestic violence and poverty on parental life experiences, and thus sometimes over-emphasised parental responsibility.



Living the dream in SW France-Retired Love Swimming, Rambling, Labrador's, Pilates, Photography, Astronomy, Reiki, Travelling. Currently studying Psychology, and member of NAAP. I believe in truth, honesty, karma and integrity! KEEPING IT REAL - No one likes someone who lies and lives a different life on social media than they do in real life. ≧◔◡◔≦

Leave a Reply, All comments will be moderated - Many thanks for your contribution

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.