Child protection case conferences (CPCCs) are a fundamental part of child protection processes within the United Kingdom. They provide a mechanism for professionals and families to share information, enter an assessment dialogue, and develop a plan for intervention and support. The participation of parents is a core feature of U.K. and Scottish CPCCs. This reflects an international trend that recognizes the rights of family members to participate in the decision-making processes of child protection. This article reports on the analysis of 11 qualitative interviews with parents who had attended CPCCs in Scotland. The findings highlight that parents were profoundly affected by these meetings, which were experienced as distressing. Parents lacked clarity about the purposes of CPCCs and found the large number of professionals in attendance intimidating. The discursive practices and structural arrangements of CPCCs acted to privilege professional voices and marginalize the voices of parents. The findings of this study raise important questions about parental participation in CPCCs in the contemporary context of child protection practice.
- child protection, child protection case conferences, parents, participation