Child Protection in Sweden: Are routine assesments reliable?
2006 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, Vol. 95, no 11, 1474-1480 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aim: To study the validity of the decision not to investigate mandatory reports of suspected child maltreatment.
Methods: Written files of 220 reports indicating possible child maltreatment were analysed and re-evaluated. As a measure of the justification for the decisions, a 5-y follow-up study was done.
Results: We determined that 76% of the reports still indicated child maltreatment after the initial assessment was done. In the follow-up study, 45% of the children had been investigated. The social worker used the family as the only source of information in 74% of the cases, in 6% someone outside the family was contacted, and in 11% no further information in addition to the report was collected. In 9%, data on information sources were missing.
Conclusion: The findings are rather discouraging, as they challenge the belief that a report is a means of ensuring that maltreatment does not continue. The study shows that, depending upon the way in which the initial assessments are made, maltreated children may run a risk of not being identified, even though the maltreatment has been reported. This suggests that there may be a need for national guidelines concerning the reporting of maltreatment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 95, no 11, 1474-1480 p.
Child abuse, child protection, decision making, mandatory reporting, social service
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12933DOI: 10.1080/08035250600784352OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-12933DiVA: diva2:17424