Child protection, family support and multi-agency working

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Family support and early intervention have considerable benefits for children which can endure into adulthood. Effective family support delivered at an early stage can foster child and family well being, can help to prevent child neglect and maltreatment, and can curb child fatality from abuse. There are however a number of tensions and challenges in family support policy and practice. These include: balancing support to families with the protection of children; the battleground over thresholds within and between services and in multi-agency working; keeping children safe in families with parental mental ill health, domestic abuse and parental substance misuse; working with family hostility; the struggle to provide services to hard to reach groups; and ‘hard to help’ adolescents. Evidence will be drawn from studies of family support and serious child maltreatment to consider these challenges and to argue why and how protecting children and supporting families should and can be combined. Factors which facilitate and hinder effective family support and multi-agency working will be considered alongside different patterns of practice, for example, with child neglect. A positive practice cycle will be offered which encourages more critical, systematic thinking, which can lead to safer, more compassionate, multi-agency practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
EventAssociation of Children's Welfare Agencies Conference - Sidney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia
Duration: 2 Aug 20104 Aug 2010


ConferenceAssociation of Children's Welfare Agencies Conference
CitySidney Convention & Exhibition Centre

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