Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Ferguson, Harry (2016)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal: Qualitative Social Work
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: child protection, the senses, Home visit, atmospheres, embodiment, Articles, movement, ethnography, social work practice
Although the home is the most common place where social work goes on, research has largely ignored the home visit. Drawing on a participant observation study of child protection work, this article reveals the complex hidden practices of social work on home visits. It is argued that home visits do not simply involve an extension of the social work organisation, policies and procedures into the domestic domain but the home constitutes a distinct sphere of practice and experience in its own right. Home visiting is shown to be a deeply embodied practice in which all the senses and emotions come into play and movement is central. Through the use of creativity, craft and improvisation practitioners ‘make’ home visits by skilfully enacting a series of transitions from the office to the doorstep, and into the house, where complex interactions with service users and their domestic space and other objects occur. Looking around houses and working with children alone in their bedrooms were common. Drawing upon sensory and mobile methods and a material culture studies approach, the article shows how effective practice was sometimes blocked and also how the home was skilfully nego¬tiated, moved around and creatively used by social workers to ensure parents were engaged with and children seen, held and kept safe.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Bachelard G (1969) The Poetics of Space, Boston: Beacon Press.
    • Brennan T (2004) The Transmission of Affect, New York: Cornell University Press.
    • Broadhurst K Wastell D White S et al. (2010) Performing ‘initial assessment’: Identifying the latent conditions for error at the front-door of local authority children’s services. British Journal of Social Work 40(2): 352–370.
    • Broadhurst K Mason C (2014) Social Work beyond the VDU: Foregrounding Co-Presence in situated practice - Why face-to-face practice matters. British Journal of Social Work 44(3): 578–595.
    • Department for Education (2013) Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter-Agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children, London: Department for Education.
    • Ferguson H (2004) Protecting Children in Time: Child Abuse, Child Protection and the Consequences of Modernity, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Ferguson H (2008) Liquid social work: Welfare interventions as mobile practices. British Journal of Social Work 38(3): 561–579.
    • Ferguson H (2011) Child Protection Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    • Ferguson H (2014) What social workers do in performing child protection work: evidence from research into face-to-face practice. Child and Family Social Work 21(3): 283–294.
    • Ferguson H (2016 a) Researching social work practice close up: Using ethnographic and mobile methods to understand encounters between social workers, children and families. British Journal of Social Work 46: 153–168.
    • Ferguson H (2016b) How children become invisible in child protection work: Findings from research into day to day social work practice. British Journal of Social Work 47(4): 1007–1023.
    • Forrester D McCambridge J Waissbein C et al. (2008) How do child and family social workers talk to parents about child welfare concerns? Child Abuse Review 17(1): 23–35.
    • Hall C Juhila K Matarese M et al. (2014) Analysing Social Work Communication: Discourse in Practice, London: Routledge.
    • Ingold T (2011) Being Alive, London: Routledge.
    • Jenson O (2013) Staging Mobilities, London: Routledge.
    • Jeyasingham D (2014) The production of space in children's social work: Insights from Henri Lefebvre's spatial dialectics. British Journal of Social Work 44(7): 1879–1894.
    • Miller D (2008) The Comfort of Things, Cambridge: Polity.
    • Miller D (2010) Stuff, Cambridge: Polity.
    • Nicholas J (2012) Conducting the Home Visit in Child Protection, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
    • Perlman HH (1971) Perspectives on Social Casework, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
    • Pink S (2004) Home Truths: Gender, Domestic Objects and Everyday Life, Oxford: Berg.
    • Pink S (2009) Doing Sensory Ethnography, London: Sage.
    • Pink S Morgan A Dainty A (2015) Other people’s homes as sites of uncertainty: Ways of knowing and being safe. Environment and Planning A 47: 450–464.
    • Pink S Leder-Mackley K (2016) Moving, making and atmosphere: Routines of home as sites for mundane improvisation. Mobilities 11: 171–187.
    • Pithouse A (1998) Social Work: The Social Organisation of an Invisible Trade. Aldershot: Ashgate.
    • Rosselin C (1999) The ins and outs of the hall: A Parisian example. In: Cieraad I (ed.) At Home: An Anthropology of Domestic Space, New York: Syracuse University Press.
    • Scholar H (2016) The neglected paraphernalia of practice? Objects and artefacts in social work identity, practice and research. Qualitative Social Work, DOI: 10.1177/1473325016637911.
    • Slembrouck S Hall C (2011) Family support and home visiting: Understanding communication, 'good practice' and interactional skills. In: Candlin C Sarangi S (eds) Handbook of Communication in Organisations and Professions, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 481–498.
    • Timms N (1964) Social Casework, London: Routledge.
    • Trevithick P (2012) Social Work Skills and Knowledge: A Practice Handbook, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
    • Turner V (1969) The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, London: Allen Lane.
    • Urry J (2007) Mobilities, Cambridge: Polity.
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Funded by projects

  • RCUK | Performing child protectio...

Cite this article