Communication in care and coercion: Institutional interactions between family supervisors and parents

Carolus Van Nijnatten*, Mariëtte Hoogsteder, Jeanine Suurmond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this study the interaction of 51 videotaped professional communications between Dutch family supervisors and parents of children under family supervision were analysed. Family supervision lies at the interface of care and control. This is evident in the communication of professional child welfare workers with their clients for whom they have to clarify their rights. The analysis shows some of the strategies used by Dutch family supervisors in cases of formal decisions and other interactions where they anticipate confrontation with the client. In this way, family supervisors separate their caring from their repressive functions. Nevertheless care and control were found to be successfully integrated in some communications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-720
Number of pages16
JournalBritish journal of social work
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001

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