Parental participation in statutory child protection intervention in Scotland

Sharon Jackson*, Lynn Kelly, Brian Leslie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
273 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years there has been an increasing interest in understanding parental participation in the processes that characterise statutory child protection intervention. In part, this reflects a shift in thinking across western child protection systems, which has recognised that active parental involvement in intervention is more likely to lead to better outcomes for children at risk of abuse and / or neglect and a repositioning of child protection practices within broader discourses of service user participation. In this paper we present the findings of a small scale qualitative study which explored the experiences of twelve parents who were, at the time of the study, subject to statutory child protection intervention measures in Scotland. Parents reported intervention experiences as simultaneously negative and positive. The early stages of intervention and child protection case conferences were experienced as particularly distressing and confusing. The importance of the client-worker relationship emerged as central to meaningful participation and positive outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1463
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number5
Early online date14 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • child protection
  • parental participation
  • parenting
  • user participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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