• Child sexual abuse amongst Asian communities: developing materials to raise awareness in Bradford.

      Gilligan, Philip A.; Akhtar, Shamim (2005)
      This article starts from recognition that child sexual abuse is perpetrated in all communities, but appears to be under-reported to varying degrees in different communities. It acknowledges that children who have been sexually abused will usually benefit from services designed to assist them in moving on from this experience and to provide future protection from perpetrators. It notes, in particular, the apparent disproportionately low take-up of relevant services by members of Asian communities in Britain. It places this in the context of reported responses to child sexual abuse in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and explores the likely impact of factors arising from cultural norms in relation to family structure and role relationships. It reports on work begun within Asian communities in Bradford to increase awareness of and appropriate responses to child sexual abuse which hopefully address issues which are or relevance elsewhere. In particular, it discusses responses to a preliminary questionnaire, discussions with community groups, a consultation event held in April 2003, and a multilingual information booklet produced as a result. It urges respectful dialogue with women, men, children and young people in Asian communities as being essential to progress regarding appropriate responses to child sexual abuse
    • Clerical Abuse and Laicisation: Rhetoric and Reality in the Catholic Church in England and Wales

      Gilligan, Philip A. (2012)
      Discussion of the declared policies of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, since 2001, with regard to the ongoing status of priests convicted in criminal courts of offences against children is presented. The extent to which these policies have followed recommendations 77 and 78 of A Programme for Action (Nolan, 2001a) and the extent to which they have resulted in the laicisation (removal from the clerical state) of priests are both explored, using national data and with reference to two particular cases from the Diocese of Salford. The potentially adverse impact on victims and survivors of any mismatch between the rhetoric of policy and the reality of practice by the Church is emphasised. Data presented demonstrate that, between November 2001 and September 2010, a majority (64%) of relevantly convicted and sentenced priests had not been laicised as would be expected. Suggestion is made that the Church is inhibited in carrying out its declared policies because it is attempting to serve legitimacy communities beyond victims and survivors of clerical abuse. Full commitment to the paramountcy principle by the Church and genuinely independent external scrutiny of its relevant decision-making processes are recommended.
    • The Common Assessment Framework: does the reality match the rhetoric?

      Gilligan, Philip A.; Manby, M. (Blackwell Publishing, 2008-05)
      The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is an important part of the procedures envisaged in the government¿s Every Child Matters: Change for Children (ECM: CFC) programme. Implementation of CAF, in particular, raises many important questions, not least those arising from the inconsistencies apparent between government rhetoric around the development of multi-agency services provided to all children with `additional¿ needs and the actual experiences of children, young people, parents/carers and practitioners in `real world¿ situations. This paper explores the extent to which the actions of practitioners and the experiences of service users with regard to CAF mirror or differ from those which would be expected in view of the content of government guidance and policy documents.The data used is taken from an evaluation of CAF processes in two locations in northern England over a period of 6 months. It concludes that very small numbers of children and young people actually received the service; that, despite genuine enthusiasm from practitioners for them to be so, the processes observed could not yet be described as fully `child centred¿; that fathers were insufficiently involved; and that CAF was, in reality, another service `rationed¿ according to resources available and according to agencies¿ priorities.
    • Considering religion and beliefs in child protection and safeguarding work: is any consensus emerging?

      Gilligan, Philip A. (2009)
      Diverse, but significant, phenomena have combined to raise both the profile of issues related to religion and child abuse and the need for professionals to understand and respond appropriately to them. The nature of some of these issues is explored and attempts made to clarify them. Data collected by the author primarily from questionnaires completed by professionals involved in child protection and safeguarding work are analysed and discussed. Some patterns are identified and explored. Finally, it is suggested that, despite the apparent emergence of a more general recognition and acknowledgement of these issues amongst many professionals, relevant day-to-day practice remains largely dependent on individual views and attitudes. Moreover, practitioners are able to continue with ‘religion-blind’ and ‘belief-blind’ approaches without these being significantly challenged by agency policies or by professional cultures.
    • Contrasting Narratives on Responses to Victims and Survivors of Clerical Abuse in England and Wales: Challenges to Catholic Church Discourse

      Gilligan, Philip A. (2012)
      Accounts of the Catholic Church's response to those disclosing sexual abuse by clergy to diocesan safeguarding commissions (formerly child protection commissions) in England and Wales are analysed and compared. The accounts given and the conclusions reached by the Church and those it employs or has commissioned are considered alongside the experiences reported by survivors. The contrasts between these narratives are discussed using techniques underpinned by critical discourse analysis and highlighting service user perspectives. Reports for the period to 2010 and published in 2011 by the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission and Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors are discussed in detail, with the resulting analysis of the narratives emerging arguably reflecting a broader discourse. It is suggested that, despite attempts to present the situation differently, the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales continues to be hampered in its efforts to respond sensitively to the needs of those who have been abused, because, as an institution, it also continues to serve conflicting legitimacy communities, and that, as a result, it risks further alienating those victims and survivors who have been led to expect that their needs will be prioritised over the financial interests and reputation of the institution.
    • Cultural barriers to the disclosure of child sexual abuse in Asian communities: Listening to what women say.

      Gilligan, Philip A.; Akhtar, Shamim (Oxford University Press, 2006-12)
      There is apparent under-reporting of child sexual abuse in Britain¿s Asian communities and a varied capacity amongst professionals to respond with cultural competence. Professional approaches originate in cultural contexts, which are often different from those of most British Asians. If the proportion of children and non-abusing carers from Asian communities who access relevant services is to increase, professionals need to develop better understandings of cultural imperatives which determine behaviour in those communities. Consultations with Asian women in Bradford reinforce the view that culturally competent practice and respectful dialogue are essential to the protection of children. They also highlight a number of recurring themes. Members of Asian communities are aware of child sexual abuse, they recognize that the issue needs to be addressed by all communities and they report that many of those affected within their own communities have found it difficult to access relevant services. These consultations, like reports of similar work elsewhere, indicate that difficulties, which appear to arise from Asian women¿s fears about how agencies will respond, are frequently compounded by the impact of cultural imperatives arising from izzat (honour/respect), haya (modesty) and sharam (shame/embarrassment), which have a considerable influence on how many will behave.
    • Faith-based Organisations and UK Welfare Services: Exploring Some Ongoing Dilemmas

      Furness, Sheila M.; Gilligan, Philip A. (2012)
      Faith-based organisations (FBOs) have delivered services to vulnerable people for many years. They are frequently characterised by values also to be found within social work, notably a commitment to social justice. In the context of recent attempts by governments, notably in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia, to ‘roll-back’ the state, to ‘marketise’ and ‘privatise’ welfare services, FBOs are increasingly called-upon to tender for and volunteer to provide public services, including ‘social work’. In the United Kingdom, as elsewhere, religious beliefs are central to how many people conduct themselves, especially in response to personal crises and challenges. The authors’ previous research indicates that religious beliefs and traditions may have a profound impact (for good or ill or for both) on the actions of both individual service users and practitioners, but that social workers and agencies (whether faith-based or not) are often ill equipped to respond appropriately. They acknowledge both the positive contributions to public welfare of many faith-based organisations and the potential dangers inherent in relying on such agencies for services to vulnerable people. The authors argue that evaluations need to consider the effectiveness, appropriateness, ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ of individual faith-based services in their particular contexts, and that their contribution needs to be analysed in relation to the varied nature and variable impact of such services. Social work has often struggled in its aim of challenging and addressing the structural causes of inequality as its efforts have been channelled towards meeting the needs of the individual. Current policy proposals provide potential opportunities to review and assess the contribution of neo-liberal approaches to welfare and to promote alliances amongst those members of different FBOs and other welfare providers to agree more collective, community-based approaches with an agreed agenda of creating a fairer society.
    • Faith-based practice

      Gilligan, Philip A. (MacMillan Publishers Limited, 2009-12)
      Faith-based social work is characterized by the recognition and acknowledgement of faith and faith-based values as significant sources of motivation and guidance. These may enhance professional values, but may also draw practitioners into direct conflict with secular values within the mainstream. This chapter explores the religious or faith-based origins of social work, the nature of faith-based practice, contemporary faith-based issues, and the global spread of social policies aimed at increasing the involvement of faith-based organizations in service delivery. It also seeks to highlight some of the dilemmas involved.
    • 'It Never Came Up': Encouragements and Discouragements to Addressing Religion and Belief in Professional Practice--What Do Social Work Students Have To Say?

      Furness, Sheila M.; Gilligan, Philip A. (2012)
      This article reports on the findings of questionnaires completed by fifty-seven social work students studying at four universities in northern England and the English midlands. The questionnaires surveyed students' views about the extent to which issues of religion and belief had been discussed in practice settings over a twelve-month period. A range of factors are identified that either encourage or discourage them from considering or exploring religion and belief in their work, in relation to the attitudes of colleagues and service users, themselves and their agencies. Their responses suggest that individual perspectives on and experiences of religion together with the informal views of colleagues determine whether and how religion and belief are acknowledged as significant and relevant. Students reported that few agencies promoted any opportunity for staff development and training in respect of this area, perhaps because issues of religion and belief are not considered important or are given less priority amongst other issues and responsibilities.
    • Religion y espiritualidad en la formacion y la practica del trabajo social en el Reino Unido,

      Gilligan, Philip A.; Furness, Sheila M. (2014)
      Este articulo pretende exponer y revisar en qué medida la religión y la espiritualidad han sido reconocidas en la formación y la práctica del trabajo social en el Reino Unido. Los autores harán referencia a su propia investigación y publicaciones para evaluar el progreso en torno a la religión, las creencias religiosas y el trabajo social. Se han revisado las publicaciones existentes con el objetivo de identificar las contribuciones y los desarrollos producidos en el campo de la espiritualidad y la práctica del trabajo social. Para facilitar un contexto a este debate, se incluyen estadísticas del censo de 2011 y algunas reflexiones sobre la utilidad de la terminología y la definición de palabras clave. Debatiremos e identificaremos algunos de los retos del Reino Unido, en particular la necesidad de reconocer la importancia de los ricos y diversos sistemas de creencias, prácticas culturales y tradiciones de sus ciudadanos, y la necesidad de desarrollar una práctica que sea culturalmente sensible e incluya la gran variedad de creencias religiosas y espirituales de usuarios y profesionales.
    • The role of religion and spirituality in social work practice: Views and experiences of social workers and students.

      Gilligan, Philip A.; Furness, Sheila M. (Oxford University Press, 2006-06)
      Findings from surveys of qualified social work practitioners and students indicate a need for social work education and practice to focus attention both on the importance of religious and spiritual beliefs in the lives of many service users and on the potential usefulness of religious and spiritual interventions. In this British study, undertaken in 2003 and 2004, students were less likely than their qualified colleagues to consider religious or spiritually sensitive interventions as appropriate. Attitudes varied little between those students who held religious beliefs and those who did not, but Muslim students and qualified social workers were more likely to view these types of interventions as appropriate. The authors conclude that there is a clear need for all social work practitioners and educators to give greater priority to exploring the potential significance of religious and spiritual beliefs in their training, in their professional practice and in the lives and perspectives of service users and colleagues. Social workers need to be able to respond appropriately to the needs of all service users, including those for whom religious and spiritual beliefs are crucial. `Culturally competent¿ practice depends, amongst other things, on an understanding and appreciation of the impact of faith and belief.
    • Social Work, Religion and Belief: Developing a Framework for Practice

      Furness, Sheila M.; Gilligan, Philip A. (2010)
      This article explores the need for a framework that will assist social workers to identify when religion and belief are significant in the lives and circumstances of service users and how to take sufficient account of these issues in specific pieces of practice. It outlines the Furness / Gilligan framework and suggests that such frameworks should be used as a part of any assessment, while also being potentially useful at all stages of intervention. It reports on feedback gathered by the authors from first and final MA Social Work students who were asked to pilot the framework. It analyses their responses, in the context of national and international literature. It concludes that such a framework provides the necessary structure and challenge to assist social workers in acknowledging and engaging with issues arising from religion and belief that otherwise may remain overlooked, ignored or avoided, regardless of how significant they are to service users.
    • The Challenge of Cultural Explanations and Religious Requirements for Children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions: South Asian Muslim Parents in Bradford, England

      Gilligan, Philip A. (2013)
      The development in Bradford, England, of specific training materials for parents from Muslim communities of Pakistani origin caring for children with autistic spectrum conditions is outlined, with particular emphasis on challenges arising from non-scientific ‘religious’ explanations for children's conditions and from parents feelings of obligation to ensure that children meet religious requirements. Relevant literature is reviewed and parents’ responses to materials reported and discussed. It is suggested that such parents will benefit from opportunities to explore cultural ideas about causality with each other and with informed and non-judgmental professionals and to share concerns around matters such as washing and prayer.
    • Well-motivated reformists or nascent radicals: How do applicants to the degree in social work see social problems, their origins and solutions?

      Gilligan, Philip A. (Oxford University Press, 2007-06)
      This article reports ways in which applicants to the Degree in Social Work see `social problems¿, their origins and possible solutions to them. What is demonstrated is that whilst applicants are concerned about a range of problems, those which could be broadly classified as `anti-social behaviours by individuals or groups¿ predominate, in contrast to those which could be defined as `aspects of the social structure which have an adverse impact on individuals or groups¿. Applicants are much more likely to suggest `individual¿ rather than `social¿ causes and are most likely to suggest `liberal/reformist¿ solutions. It is argued, in the context of frame analysis, that pre-existing views will usually impact strongly on how students respond to the knowledge and challenges offered during training. The article aims to place discussion within consideration of wider issues, particularly whether social work in Britain can maintain its historic commitment to social justice and prevent itself becoming an increasingly uncritical tool of the UK government¿s social authoritarianism. Finally, it seeks to raise questions about whether social work education can assist qualifying workers to develop and maintain resiliently radical approaches to practice, which are also effective in bringing positive change to vulnerable and disadvantaged people.