This paper reports the findings from the analysis of 119 children’s social work case files from three local authorities in Wales. The study offers new understanding about the extent of school staff’s involvement in the provision of statutory support when there are concerns that a child is living with neglect. Findings demonstrate evidence of a broad range of early and preventative school-based support provided in 42% of the sample, some gaps in schools’ contributions to statutory assessments, and a decline in the level of involvement of members of school staff following the initial child protection conference. The discussion also acknowledges a number of challenges encountered during the study: the complexity of social work processes, the variance in understandings of neglect within differing regional contexts, and large amounts of missing data on children’s files and the restrictions this created for statistical measurement. Findings have important implications for inter-professional relationships between schools and social work teams, at individual and agency levels. The author makes a call for social workers to actively engage members of school staff in child protection processes with the purpose of increasing information sharing across agencies, whilst enhancing interprofessional safeguarding practice.
|Journal||Child Abuse Review|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 5 May 2021|
- SPS Children and Families Research Centre