Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Child Protection

Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

Barry Law Review. Volume 17, Number 1 (2011), p. 31-44.


child protection; child welfare; children; therapeutic jurisprudence


An intricate weave of public/private, legal/emotional, and inter-disciplinary elements make child protection law capable of attracting rich analyses from a therapeutic jurisprudence perspective. This article considers avenues that professionals working within the child welfare system can adopt to facilitate the emotional well-being of the parties involved while respecting the legal system values that apply to the regime. It calls for a stronger understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the array of professionals regularly involved in child protection matters, and better communication amongst these professionals so that they do not inadvertently end up working at cross purposes. Finally, the work offers preliminary suggestions for teachers and child protection professionals aimed at maximizing the therapeutic aspects of what is arguably one of the most devastating areas of law to parents and their children.


This article was previously published as a research paper in the Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy series.