Information sharing and reporting systems in the UK and Ireland: Professional barriers to reporting child maltreatment concerns

Lisa Bunting, Anne Lazenbatt, Isla Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Across the UK recent policy developments have focused on improved information sharing and inter-agency cooperation. Professional non-reporting of child maltreatment concerns has been consistently highlighted as a problem in a range of countries and the research literature indicates that this can happen for a variety of reasons. Characteristics such as the type of abuse and the threshold of evidence available are key factors, as are concerns that reporting will damage the professional-client relationship. Professional discipline can also impact on willingness to report, as can personal beliefs about abuse, attitudes towards child protection services and experiences of court processes. Research examining the role of organisational factors in information sharing and reporting emphasises the importance of training and there are some positive indications that training can increase professional awareness of reporting processes and requirements and help to increase knowledge of child abuse and its symptoms. Nonetheless, this is a complex issue and the need for training to go beyond simple awareness raising is recognised. In order to tackle non-reporting in a meaningful way, childcare professionals need access to on-going multidisciplinary training which is specifically tailored to address the range of different factors which impact on reporting attitudes and behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-202
Number of pages16
JournalChild Abuse Review
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jun 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Law

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