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Child protection and re-referrals involving serious concerns: a follow-up study of 400 referrals closed by Social Services Departments

Forrester, Donald 2008. Child protection and re-referrals involving serious concerns: a follow-up study of 400 referrals closed by Social Services Departments. Child & Family Social Work 13 (3) , pp. 286-299. 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2008.00548.x

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Abstract

In England and Wales, local authorities have a duty under the 1989 Children Act to protect children from significant harm. This study builds on a previous paper that considered patterns of re-referral in cases that were not allocated; it considers re-referrals involving serious concerns about a child. File studies were carried out on 400 consecutive referrals to three local authorities in London that were closed rather than being allocated for long-term work in early 2000. Information on the presence and nature of re-referrals involving concerns about actual or potential ‘significant harm’ in the 27 months after closure (i.e. up to 2002) was noted. Such re-referrals were rare (2.75%). The factors that were statistically associated with them were: previous involvement with Social Services, physical abuse and parental alcohol misuse in the closed referral. These factors were also identified in a descriptive analysis of the re-referrals, though in addition issues not present in the original referral were identified as important, namely parental mental illness and sexual abuse. The findings were encouraging about the effectiveness of initial child protection assessment processes at the time of referral closure. The potential for the factors identified in the analyses to be used in initial risk assessment and their applicability to current policy and practice is considered.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: assessment; child protection; referral; significant harm
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1356-7500
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87877

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