Contemporary social work with young people and their families is facing major challenges with the advent of mobile technology, the internet and social media particularly in the spheres of adoption and fostering. The article, which uses a transcript from a social work practitioner, explores the challenges of safeguarding a vulnerable young person. Consideration is given to the way in which the social work practitioner uses the young person’s vulnerability and the duty to safeguard as ‘trump cards’ to override privacy and autonomy. The article continues by calling into the question the use of such ‘trump cards’ by highlighting current empirical research and the children’s rights agenda.
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