Child protection and disabled children rights at risk
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Child Protection and Disabled Children - Rights at Risk . Prof Kirsten Stalker, Dr Pam Green Lister, Jennifer Lerpiniere, Katherine McArthur University of Strathclyde. Study Aims. to scope current knowledge about child protection and disabled children

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Child Protection and Disabled Children - Rights at Risk

Prof Kirsten Stalker, Dr Pam Green Lister,

Jennifer Lerpiniere, Katherine McArthur

University of Strathclyde


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Study Aims

  • to scope current knowledge about child protection and disabled children

  • to review current social policy and practice in the field in the UK

  • to pilot ways to seek disabled children's views about child protection services


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Methods

  • literature review

  • policy analysis – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

  • 10 ‘key informant’ interviews at national level

  • interviews with four disabled children using child protection services


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Headlines from Literature Review

  • incidence of abuse 3.4 times greater for disabled children

  • those with communication impairments, behavioural ‘disorders’, learning disabilities and sensory impairments most at risk


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Literature Review contd

  • evidence of under-reporting in UK and other countries

  • increased vulnerability factors for disabled children

  • unhelpful myths & stereotypes

  • indications that disabled children get lesser treatment in UK safeguarding systems


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Child Protection Policy: England

  • mainstreaming approach

  • generic guidance highlights implications for disabled children

  • separate guidance re disabled children 2006; updated 2009

  • social exclusion/ social model of disability focus

  • wide-ranging + substantial policies cross-referenced between disability and safeguarding arenas


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Child Protection Policies: Wales

  • Wales: tends to follow English lead although no dedicated guidance

  • has addressed CP/ disabled children systematically, often in detail

  • social exclusion/ social model of disability focus


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Child Protections Policies:Northern Ireland

  • no dedicated guidance

  • balance between including disabled children in generic guidance and highlighting their vulnerability/ support needs

  • new legislation has potential to put them at the forefront of CP practice.


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Child Protection Policy: Scotland

  • 2002 CP Reform Programme – very littler attention to disabled children

  • ‘mainstreamed’ to near invisibility in a series of documents

  • new draft guidance has 3 pages on risks for disabled children and some references in generic sections


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Key Informant Views

  • under reporting of abuse

  • communicating with disabled children

  • differential treatment in CP system

  • joint working


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Implications for Policy and Practice

  • governments should publish nos. of disabled children on CP registers

  • closer joint working between children’s teams in social work, and across social work, health, education, police and vol orgs

  • joint training at all levels with involvement of disabled people


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Implications for Policy and Practice contd.

  • a child protection system more accessible to disabled children and sensitive to needs

  • safety training, sex education and rights awareness for disabled children

  • need more preventive and therapeutic work

  • inspection processes to pay particular attention to disabled children


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