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Does it count? : female child protection workers’ experiences of workplace violence Redman, Trina

Abstract

This feminist qualitative study explored and described three female child protection workers' experiences of workplace violence. The phenomenon of workplace violence in the child protection field was set in the context of women's labour herstory in Canada, a review of current research on violence against women and violence in the social services field. The women in the study were recruited through snowball sampling. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed by the researcher. The data was analyzed using narrative analysis methods described by Mishler (1986) and Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiac & Zilber (1998). The women's narratives indicated they experienced violence as a traumatic event and their responses to violence were an expression of power/powerlessness within the child protection system. Themes that emerged from the narratives were: impact/consequences of the violence, ways of creating safety, power/powerlessness and differences in response to workers experiencing violence by the provincial and First Nation's child protection agencies in British Columbia. Implications for child protection social work education/training, practice and management are discussed, as are recommendations for further research on the topic.

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