Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Social workers feel powerless over child neglect

A DISTURBING report based on research carried out by Action For Children indicates that over half of all social workers feel powerless to stop children being neglected because of high thresholds and inadequate resources.

The research was carried out for the charity by the University of Stirling.

Based on interviews with over 4,000 people, including professionals and members of the public, 51% of social workers said they felt powerless to intervene in cases of suspected neglect, up from a third in a similar survey conducted by the charity in 2009.

The new research showed that 42% of social workers felt thresholds were too high. In cases where thresholds were met, 52% of social workers cited a lack of resources and 43% a lack of services to refer families on to as barriers to effective action.

Moreover, 80% of social workers warned that cuts would make it even more difficult to intervene in child neglect cases in future.

“All our findings point to the stark reality that neglected children and their parents are being identified, but neither the professionals nor the public feel empowered to help or intervene, particularly at the early stages,” commented Action for Children chief executive Clare Tickell.

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