“You Only Know Me by Reports”: a Therapeutic Approach to Social Reports

Shiran Reichenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the role of social reports in care proceedings and their impact on the well-being of girls in residential care. Social reports detail girls’ social histories, including their family relationships, school performance, and social strengths, as well as whether they have a mental illness, use drugs, or have been abused or neglected. The social report is the most important document presented to the care-plan committee, and to the youth court judge prior to the court hearing. This article brings together themes from social work theories and legal academic fields, which merge in care proceedings. The findings conclude that there is a significant gap between how girls at risk experience their social reports versus the reports’ potential for improving their well-being. Based on the analysis of interviews with girls at risk in secure residential care in Israel, the author suggests how to reduce their objection to social reports and improve their well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.


  • Care proceedings
  • Girls at risk
  • Out-of-home placement
  • Residential care
  • Social reports
  • Well-being


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