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Rethinking child protection strategy: Progress and next steps

Devine, Lauren

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This paper explores the findings from the Economic and Social Research Council funded project ‘Rethinking Child Protection Strategy’ together with our proposals for next steps. Our findings indicate that the current strategy requires urgent review and reform. The three areas of investigation in our project are (1) referral and assessment trend analysis; (2) evaluation of the outcome and impact of adverse event analysis, with a focus on Serious Case Reviews; and (3) evaluation of risk assessment in child protection and safeguarding work. Our findings show the current strategy of conflating child protection with safeguarding at the early stages of referral and assessment have not resulted in more efficient or proportionately more detection of child abuse that the question of consent has been inadequately considered under the new Continuous Assessment framework, and the focus on risk does not provide a consistent or reliable method of abuse prediction or prevention. The current strategy is inefficient and does not adequately address the question of child abuse. This paper explains the data findings and also introduces four new theoretical findings produced during the lifecycle of the project. A summary of how we are disseminating our findings is given together with next steps for this research agenda.


Devine, L. (2017). Rethinking child protection strategy: Progress and next steps

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 12, 2016
Publication Date Mar 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 21, 2017
Journal Seen and Heard
Print ISSN 1744-1072
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 4
Pages 30-49
Keywords child protection, safeguarding, rethinking, strategy, referral, assessment
Publisher URL


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