Rethinking child protection strategy: Progress and next steps

No Altmetrics are currently available for this publication.

Devine, L. (2016) Rethinking child protection strategy: Progress and next steps. In: Transparency Project Conference: Where do we go from here?, The Priory Rooms, Birmingham, 3 June 2016. Available from:

Transparency Project Conference 2 - 3rd June 2016 - Lauren Devine.pdf
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (845kB) | Preview


This keynote paper presents a summary of the research underpinning the ESRC funded project 'Rethinking Child Protection Strategy', progress on the project and the proposed next steps. The paper focusses on the impact of s.11 Children Act 2004 and related statutory guidance. Taken together these measures introduced a form of mandatory reporting of any child exhibiting 'signs' in their behaviour, interpreted to mean that they may require state interventions. The paper critiques this approach and presents data to indicate that a consequence of this policy has been to increase the number of referrals to Children's Social Care Departments without a corresponding increase in the amount of child abuse detected. The concept of the 'ideal social work client' is introduced, with explanation of the outliers which exist at opposite ends of the social work spectrum. The outliers are the false positive referrals and the most extreme cases of concealed, but properly referred child abuse. The legal and social consequences of current policy are explored together with a brief explanation of the author's forthcoming book 'The Limits of State Powers and Private Rights: Exploring Child Protection & Safeguarding Referrals & Assessments' (Routledge, forthcoming 2016). The paper concludes by suggesting next steps in terms of (a) research; and (b) formation of a national network to advance ideas for change.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Uncontrolled Keywords: rethinking child protection strategy, safeguarding, mandatory reporting
Faculty/Department: Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Law
Depositing User: Professor L. Devine
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2016 09:41
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2019 15:04


Activity Overview
Origin of downloads

Additional statistics for this repository are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item