Critical disability studies and the affirmative non-tragedy model: presenting a theoretical frame for disability and child protection

18 May 2022
Susan Flynn
Disability & Society

The purpose of this article is to present an integrated theoretical frame for the subject matter of disability and child protection. Substantive complexities, alluded to in existing literature, surround disability in child protection work. The high stakes and emotionally provocative practice of child safeguarding is often made even more complex by the presence of disability. Difficult balances must be struck, and with a plurality of approaches to understanding disability now available, the proposition is that one emerging theoretical alliance may be of particular utility. Specifically, when used for the subject matter of child protection, an affirmative non-tragedy model of disability within overarching critical disability studies theory, is useful in dealing with the multiple possibilities surrounding disability and child protection. The intention is to present this theoretical frame along with some possibilities for its extension, as a means for all stakeholders to reconsider the complexity that disability and child protection entails.

Research type: 
Peer reviewed
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Abstract only, subscription required

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