Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Rethinking child protection strategy: Learning from trends

Devine, Lauren; Parker, Stephen



This Working Paper is developed from the findings of the first Interim Report of the ESRC Transformative project, Rethinking Child Protection Strategy. It considers Child Protection and Safeguarding referral, investigation and outcome trend data. The trends are analysed on a number of measures in light of the available statistical data, covering the period since the implementation of the Children Act 1989. The trend data establishes that despite the increased cost, level of intrusion into private family life and surveillance of families there is no proportionate increase in the level of child abuse found in referred children. Although the number of children referred into the system has significantly increased, the number of cases where ‘core abuse’ (physical and sexual abuse) is detected has dropped. In addition, the ratio of referrals to registrations has significantly fallen year on year. This is not adequately explained by the rise in early intervention for families as targeted early intervention occurs following the assessment stage. The paper concludes there are a number of policy questions to be addressed.


Devine, L., & Parker, S. (2015). Rethinking child protection strategy: Learning from trends

Publication Date Apr 1, 2015
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords rethinking child protection strategy, child protection, safeguarding, trend data, referrals, assessment
Publisher URL\l-devine
Related Public URLs


You might also like

Downloadable Citations