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Safeguarding children from abuse and neglect

Press release issued: 17 November 2006

Children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect are the focus of new research by the University of Bristol.

Children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect are the focus of new research by the University of Bristol.

Researchers at the University‚Äôs School for Policy Studies are embarking on two studies designed to inform policy and professional practice for safeguarding these children. 

At present, surprisingly little is know about the long term outcomes of the different approaches to working with children who have been neglected, and what keeps them safe.  In more serious cases, neglected children are removed from their families and it is important to know when reunification with their parents is likely to be successful.

In a study funded by the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health, Professor Elaine Farmer and Eleanor Lutman will be following up, over a six year period, around 180 previously neglected children who were returned to their parent or parents in 2001.

In another study funded by the same government initiative, Professor John Carpenter and Dr Eszter Szilassy, together with Simon Hackett of Durham University, will be evaluating training programmes for teachers, social workers, health visitors, doctors, the police and others who have a responsibility for safeguarding children and providing support and therapy.  Official investigations into the deaths of children from abuse and neglect repeatedly emphasise difficulties in interprofessional and interagency working; the training programmes being evaluated have a special focus on improving professional practice in this respect. 

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