Mothering Justice: Working with Mothers in Criminal and Social Justice Settings

Edited by Lucy Baldwin. With a Foreword by Vicky Pryce

Review by Allison Cox, Family & Child Care Practitioner, Durham county Council:

“Endorsed by Lord Ramsbottom, Jackie Russell (Womens Breakout) and others, this book demonstrates passionately the additional layer ‘motherhood’ adds to the complexity of working with women in a variety of settings. Written from informed practitioner perspectives incorporating the voices of mothers themselves this book will prove to be an interesting, moving and thought provoking book for students, practitioners and indeed anyone who values ‘informed practice’ and ‘informed justice’.

It is really Interesting book – in my opinion a must read for any practitioner working with women – this book explores the additional pressures on women as mothers and the unique additional pressure that role places on women, especially guilt. It answers questions about repeating patterns, but in a non-judgemental way, especially in the cases of mums whose children are taken by social services, but who just keep having more.

I thought the introductory chapter was an excellent opening and one which set the tone of compassion and understanding of the whole book. This chapter explores the social construction of ‘motherhood’ and was a thought provoking introduction to the book The use of ‘real’ examples reveals the potentially devastating consequences of failing to engage or understand women as ‘mothers.

The ‘pauses for thought’ throughout the book are an excellent means of drawing the reader in and encouraging reflection not only on the text contained within the book but also from a much broader and far reaching perspective. The historical context of chapters was illuminating.

I found the chapters around addicted mothers the social work and the psychotherapist chapters especially helped my understanding of this. But every chapter gives an insight into what it must feel like to be a mother and to be in a ‘system’ – thought provoking and enlightening read.”

Proceeds from the book will be going to Women’s Breakout, Birth Companions and St Giles Trust, so please buy this book and recommend it to others.

Further information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website. The book can be purchased from the publisher, Amazon and a variety of other places.

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