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Policing parents, protecting children? Rethinking Child Protection Strategy: Initial findings from trend data

Devine, Lauren

Authors

Abstract

This paper discusses issues and findings from the ESRC funded research project ‘Rethinking Child Protection Strategy’ led by Dr Lauren Devine and Mr Stephen Parker. The development of ‘child protection’ legislation from the implementation of the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004 is evaluated together with related policy and the statutory guidance document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’. Problems with the framework as laid out in the statutory guidance are evident from examination of referral and assessment trend data. The use of Public Inquiries and Serious Case Reviews to inform policy, coupled with the use of risk assessment contribute to an unrealistic expectation that child abuse is analogous to disease that can be eradicated by adopting policies appropriate to the eradication of an epidemic. The policy of mixing requests to Children’s Services Departments for support services with reports of suspected significant harm causes serious problems. Using a single Continuous Assessment is an inadequate and insufficiently considered response to the statutory duty on local authorities to provide services and investigate suspected child abuse. A separate response with appropriate safeguards, controls and remedies is indicated. Re-thinking child protection as a process of public law requiring a more stringent balance between state powers and private remedies would increase protection for children, families and for professionals.

Presentation Conference Type Keynote
Start Date Jun 1, 2015
Publication Date Jun 1, 2015
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Devine, L. (2015, June). Policing parents, protecting children? Rethinking Child Protection Strategy: Initial findings from trend data. Presented at The Transparency Project Conference: Is the Child Protection System Fit for Purpose?
Keywords child protection, safeguarding, ESRC, Rethinking Child Protection Strategy, policing parents, protecting children
Related Public URLs http://www.transparency...nference-1st-june-2015/
http://www.transparencyproject.org.uk/events/
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 'Is the Child Protection System Fit for Purpose?' The Transparency Project Conference

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Keynote Address 1st June 2015 - Policing Parents Protecting Children - Rethinking Child Protection Strategy - Initial findings - trend data.pdf (787 Kb)
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