Completion of project on welfare practices and child neglect

© Marco Finsterwald

Do “traditional” perceptions of family still dominate?

The state can legitimately intervene in families if children are being neglected. However, welfare practitioners have been hampered by the fact that definitions of the concept of child neglect have varied over time and between disciplines. The University of Lucerne’s investigations show that notions of family and gender categories are still a highly significant factor in the media, politics and expert discourse. The effect of conventional perceptions of family, child-rearing and maternity on welfare practice is primarily reflected in the fact that casework ascribes individual responsibility to parents or the mother, while social and educational contexts are neglected.