Dr Abi Enlander

Postgraduate Research Student


My research project


Enlander, A., Simonds, L., & Hanna, P. (2021) Using the power threat meaning framework to explore birth parents' experiences of compulsory child removal
In 2019–2020, 80,000 children in England were looked after by the state or adopted. Whilst extensive research has explored the experiences and outcomes of children in the care system, much less research has focused on the experiences of their parents. This paper uses the Power Threat Meaning Framework to provide a qualitative synthesis of literature exploring the experiences of birth parents in England who have had a child removed from their care by the state in order to understand how early interpersonal adversity interacts with social disadvantage to bring these families to the attention of child protection services. This paper aims to problematise the individualistic discourse blaming parents who cannot look after their children and offer an alternative perspective by examining the impact of developmental trauma and systemic adversity on birth parents prior to, during and following care proceedings. This paper argues that significant policy changes are needed to support vulnerable families, with an emphasis on trauma informed care and tackling levels of deprivation. This approach challenges psychology and psychiatry (Psy) professionals to use their privileged position to call for broader societal change to address the root causes of distress within this group.