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Training concerns over child protection workers

CHILD protection workers should be given more training on dealing with disabled youngsters, according to experts.

A report commissioned by the Scottish Government found that more needs to be done to ensure that children with special needs receive the correct attention from child protection services.

The study, carried out by academics at the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, spent a year speaking to child protection workers from six separate local authority teams and also looked at a number of case studies.

Previous research shows that disabled children are 'significantly' less likely than non-disabled children to be placed on child protection registers or have protection plans put in place.

The researchers found that problems arose in identifying when additional resources were needed and that some disabled children did not receive the care needed.

The report said: "Child protection workers require more training about disabled children, and children's disability teams need more training about child protection.

"Inter-agency working was regarded positively and was seen as an enabler to good practice. However, thresholds for action in the child protection system are higher for disabled children than for others.

"Whilst there are positive aspects, this research shows that the child protection system is a cause for concern in relation to disabled children."

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "There is whole-hearted commitment across the child protection system for putting the child at the centre of practice.

"However, getting it right for every child does not mean treating every child the same. Consideration needs to be given to how best to adapt practice, assessment and intervention for children with a range of impairments."

Contextual targeting label: 
Families

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