This network originates in Johanna Motzkau’s work on listening in child protection practices, and the development of a participatory research method termed ‘researching practice as process’ (i.e. inspired by the idea of ‘dark listening’, Greenlaw 2011). If you want to read more about the method of ‘dark listening’ and the theoretical links, please follow this link.
This method works with practitioners in the field (e.g. social workers and police officers) to collaboratively find new ways to explore what they do with what they hear when listening to families, children and colleagues; to explore the experience of listening while acknowledging the personal risk and effort involved in listening in a context where the stakes for front line workers in child protection are ever rising (due to media attention and criminalization of professional failure), while working conditions have become more and more precarious (due to austerity and increased case loads).
Prof. Karin Lesnik-Oberstein has joined Johanna to collaboratively develop research into what they termed ‘Cultures of Listening’ in Child Protection. Further collaborators include Dr Jessica Medhurst (Newcastle University), artist Wig Sayell (Banbury college), and senior independent social worker and consultant for child protection training Ann Potter (Liverpool). If you want to read more about this please follow this link. If you want to participate in the pilot please get in touch with me at Johanna.Motzkau@open.ac.uk.