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Domestic Spaces and Child Protection at Home. Physical Hygiene As a Focus of Interventions by Social Workers in France

TitleDomestic Spaces and Child Protection at Home. Physical Hygiene As a Focus of Interventions by Social Workers in France
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsTillard B
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published10/2017
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordschild protection, housing, hygiene, social worker

In the domestic environment, child protection interventions may incorporate young children's personal hygiene activities. Professionals refer to personal hygiene as a starting point or as a goal for their child protection interventions. However, this goal is mentioned as one among others in the activities of family support workers (FSW) and social workers, intervening at home at the request of a judge. Parents inadequate care for young children is often described as “neglect”. This article attempts to understand how social workers take the question of personal hygiene into account complex situations of families facing multiple difficulties in their daily lives. However, in situations of hardship, the ability of parents and professionals to ensure children personal cleanliness often relies on housing, an area in which child protection professionals rarely intervene. As such, children’s personal hygiene can illustrate the difficulty for child protection professionals to consider all the daily constraints that constitute the framework of parental activity.