training that combines scientific and professional knowledge

Anne Devries, DGA of Childhood, Families, Youth, of the Department of the North, has the ambition to “review education as a condition for child protection interventions.” (one). Because it is “an effective lever for the development of professional practices and postures” and therefore “a coherent means of dealing with identified difficulties.” It is also a way of recognizing the technical nature of these professions and the experience of professionals who need to be supported and developed through the exchange of knowledge and experience, given the complexity of the situations being addressed.
If child protection legislation promotes this idea, this is another problem for its implementation. It is largely based on adviser Ann Devries, Julie Chapeau, alumnus in social policy and Ph.D. in education, supported by a scientific board made up of researchers in the fields of law, child psychiatry, psychology, etc. “Professional, academic and practical knowledge to develop innovative child protection systems,” she notes.

Foundation of fundamental knowledge

First line of training: support for professionals hired in the field of child protection upon entry into office, two days every two months during the year. About forty social workers, mostly specialized educators, have already completed the full cycle in 2021. The goal is to provide them with access to a modern fundamental knowledge base about the basic needs of the child, past abuse, ways, psychotrauma, as well as to consolidate practice, especially in relation to the participation of children and parents. “We start with their daily work, with questions about specific situations, to provide them with scientific knowledge on these subjects,” explains Julie Chapeau.

One problem: professional writing. “From a clinical perspective, it’s about taking into account the impact of works on children and families,” says Caroline Dubreuil, psychologist and leader of the Children’s Basic Needs Project at the Northern Departmental Council. “We pass on legal knowledge, such as about respect for privacy, then we proceed to reread their writings, with each taking turns taking the judge’s glasses, the grown-up child’s glasses, the parents’ glasses and the specialists,” the project leader describes.

Confront the reality of practices

In the same vein, Caroline DuBrail leads the Child Protection Psychologists Network, which meets five times a year. “We respond to their concerns by starting with a synthesis of scientific literature that updates knowledge on this issue and linking it to the reality of practice,” she points out. So, on the sensitive topic of public visits, which allow parents to meet their child in a neutral place, in the presence of a professional, the main challenge is to get them to develop over time. Should indicators be collected to assess their relevance? If they show that they are harmful to the child, should these visits be reduced? And if not, are you looking for ways to better develop a bond with your parents?

Learn to transfer knowledge

Second axis of learning: seminar for leaders led by Laurent Sochard, psychosocial counselor and trainer, two days per quarter. “It is about promoting mutual knowledge, giving it a breather and working on the theme: this year the ethics of taking responsibility and making decisions in the field of child protection,” clarifies Julie Chapeau. Managers can then pass on what they have learned to their teams. To structure this transfer of knowledge, interpersonal skills and know-how, the project is to train them in a knowledge transfer methodology based on group support tools and materials.

From the same perspective, a project team led by Caroline DuBrail is developing a learning activity based on a child’s individual project. The goal is to better take into account the rights of the child, so that the child really participates in the development of their individual project, just like their parents. “We conducted an inventory with the teams responsible for its implementation, read the scientific literature on this issue and developed tools that we present to people who have left the ASE, parents, children, specialists from reception places…”, reports Caroline Dubreuil. . To combine scientific, professional and practical knowledge.


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Ann Devries, Julie Hat. See education as a condition for child protection interventions. Social lifeERES 2021, No. 34-35 (2), pp. 103-116. Return to text

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