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Eleanor Lutman

My Background

I graduated from Loughborough University in 1998 with a BSc in Social Psychology (1st) and subsequently studied part-time for my MA in the Social Sciences with the Open University. I worked as a researcher for 10 years at the Universities of Southampton, Oxford and Bristol and have a particular interest in child welfare research. I have worked on research projects in the areas of hearing impairment, kinship care, child neglect, social pedagogy in residential children’s homes and peer violence in foster care and residential settings.

My Research

Child neglect is the most commonly recorded type of child maltreatment in England and its harmful effects are widely acknowledged. However, the definition, nature, causes and consequences of child neglect can mean cases are complex to work with. For example, neglect can be difficult to define because poverty, culture and norms about parenting and gender are enmeshed within definitions but not explicitly scrutinised. The boundaries between neglect and other categories of abuse can also be difficult to define. Whilst this is a significant and highly complex area of child protection, there is an absence of research about how these type of cases are worked with in day-to-day practice. Every day, judgements and decisions are made by professionals working with neglect, yet little is known about the detail of professionals’ practice in this area of child protection and research rarely considers how decisions are made in child neglect cases, rather than what is decided. My doctoral research (funded by the ESRC) aims to explore the process of discussion and decision making about neglect that takes place during one of the critical junctures in the child protection process: the child protection conference. It will also consider how the concept of neglect is locally negotiated and produced within talk and text.


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Eleanor Lutman

Centre for Lifelong Learning

Eleanor dot Lutman at warwick dot ac dot uk