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A Literature Review of Child Protection in UK Primary Schools

5 pages
1375 words
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
Literature review
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Child protection refers to the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. The idea is important for their survival, health, and wellbeing. However, a large number of children are being exploited, abused and are becoming victims of violence (Prentice, 2016). Through child protection, suffering and harm upon children can be eliminated through protective services, the development and implementation of a national social protection system and equipping children and young adults with information to protect themselves from any forms of abuse.

According to Munros report, employers working for child protection require the independence to do jobs. The final report issues proposals for reforming and creating conditions that enhance judgment-making regarding the type of assistance to provide to children. The report is meant to make children and young people see the advises that the government needs to change. She further states in the report that social work leaders fear the threats by cuts to services to influence the flee of child protection teams from central control. It has been noted that many services related to children in the UK suffer cuts ranging from 15 to 25% with the peak being at the first assistance services. In her report, social employees should have the freedom from bureaucracy and box-ticking to enhance sufficient period for performing their duties. Munro was commissioned in 2010 and put in charge of a bureaucratic system that issued a hurdle of procedures and targets. She further states that over 60% of the time spent by frontline professionals is dedicated to safeguarding children. From the report, it is evident that there is a balance in guidelines and procedure and professional expertise should be found as child protection is a human process and as soon as the bureaucratic aspects of the job become dominant, the psyche to perform various chores decreases. Through Social Service Departments, professional bureaucracies have been run that allows social workers a great magnitude of care (Adams, 1998).

Laming (2009) states that there has been a high profile critical review of performance such as the progress report on child protection in England. He continues to argue that there is a public issue that although there have been efforts and effective investment, insufficient improvement has been made, and death related to children have resulted from poor treatment. According to Munro, the government ought to eliminate the particular statutory requirements in internal authorities governing completion of assessments within a specified time to give a chance to professionals to help children, young adults and their families as well as assess their issues. Munro (2010) further states that child protection services can be termed as complex adaptive systems with the system being issued as a result of the nature of casualty within the system. She, therefore, proposes that local services which are working with children and the families related to them be independent of ineffective federal aims to enable a re-design of the series that are influenced by research and information from the involved parties.

Chaffin & Freidrich (2004) suggest that no detailed specification can be provided regarding good practice related to child protection. They found out that complex systems have been associated with the limited evidence of the good evidence for children. Previously, social workers have operated in a humanist manner with limited grounds of knowledge (Chaffin & Freidrich, 2004). Munro (2005) however, suggests that privacy and autonomy with which social workers have been in operation have been significantly reduced as the audit systems require a description of practice and a specification of good practice. She also proposes that experienced social workers ought to be placed at a frontline even if they are to be managers to make use of their skills. A continued professional development can be used to improve the experience and status of the social work proficiency.

A study by Davidson-Arad and Benbenishty (2010) has revealed that positive attitudes have added to the elimination and longer periods of other care leading to involvement of recommendations. The researchers argue that attitudes also have had a massive but moderate effect between the risks and intervention and hence, the need to train and supervise workers to ensure that they are aware of the accompanying attitudes and values. Munro, on the other hand, suggests an introduction of a tax on each and every service to ensure coordination of previous offers that assist families who cannot meet the procedure of social care issues. She places this with the aim of addressing the issues before their escalation to child protection issues.

Comprehensive research by Benbenishty, Davidson-Arad, Lopez, Devaney, Spratt, Koopmans, Knorth, Witteman, Del Valle and Hayes (2015) has noted the significant differences between professionals from various nations. The researchers undermine the significance of the protection of children recommend training to influence the awareness of workers on the outcomes of their attitudes and the contexts from which they are encompassed in judgments and conclusions. The researchers further note that decisions made by child welfare professionals have a great influence on both primary school children and the families they are associated with. Monroe also claims that there should be an added weight by Ofsted inspections with the aim of feed-backing from children and families. She also proposes direct observations of the interaction of social workers with children and the families they are associated with, just as they do as the reviewing schools and pay much awareness to the usefulness of the children being at a particular school. She goes ahead to also recommend a change of perception of Serious Case Reviews (SCRs). Munro proposes a stronger consideration of the weaknesses of professionals who cannot help and protect children efficiently.

Munro proposes that principal child and family social work should be designated at an individual level to report the perceptions and experiences of the frontline of the frontline to every level of management. She proposes that a Chief Social Worker is put in place for the sake of issuing advice to the government on a Social Work practice. British social work departments are currently operating under enclosed managerial surveillance with various quality aims put upon by federations and hence, responsibility for developing professional skills and knowledge. Social service departments in the UK are being influenced by public pressure to avoid child deaths as a result of child abuse (Munro, 2005). Detailed investigations are now being made, and as a result, there has been a reduction in the period and resources available for any other places of the welfare of children.Munro states that A one-size-fits-all approach is not the right way for child protection services to operate. Top-down government targets and too many forms and procedures are preventing professionals from being able to give children the help they need and assess whether that help has made a difference (2005). Her report insists on the significance of maintaining the local authority director of childrens services role encompassing both children and school social care. Through her report, a good work environment will be created in future, that which can support practitioners in giving children and young people the assistance they require (Munro, 2005).


Adams, R. (1998). Quality Social Work. London, Macmillan

Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., Lopez, M., Devaney, J., Spratt, T., Koopmans, C., Hayes, D. (2015). Decision making in child protection: An international comparative study on maltreatment substantiation, risk assessment, and interventions recommendations, and the role of professionals' child welfare attitudes. Child Abuse & Neglect, 49, 6375.

Chaffin, M., & Freidrich, B. (2004). Evidence-based treatments for child abuse and neglect.' Children and Youth Service Review, 26, pp. 1097-1113.

Davidson-Arad, B., & Benbenishty, R. (2009). A contribution of child protection workers' attitudes to their risk assessments and intervention recommendations: a study in Israel. Health & Social Care in the Community.

Laming, H. (2009). The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report. London, House of Commons

Munro, E. (2005). Improving practice: Child protection as a systems problem. Children and Youth Services Review, 27(4), 375391.

Munro, E. (2005) Improving practice: child protection as a systems approach. London: LSE Research Articles Online. Available at:

Munro, Eileen (2010) Learning to reduce risk in child protection. British Journal of Social Work, 40 (4). Pp. 1135-1151. ISSN 1468-263X DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq024

Prentice, P. (2016). The history of child protection and child abuse in the UK. How did we get here? The Child Protection Practice Manual, 18.

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