The challenges that arise in respect of child abuse reports made in the context of domestic violence and/or acrimonious separation have been the subject of recent academic discussion. This paper adds a service user perspective to the debate and reports on the findings from a study conducted in the Republic of Ireland. In addition to the previously established evidence about such cases, it demonstrates the level of powerlessness and frustration experienced by families who found it difficult to have their needs heard or met. It also illustrates the very detrimental emotional impact on children and parents who frequently encountered indifference as well as insensitive and gendered responses from child protection staff. The findings indicate that mainstream statutory child protection services do not have the capacity to deal with these complex cases, and advocates the adoption of alternative approaches. Importantly, the study demonstrates the necessity to pay attention to the views of service users in developing an appropriate response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science