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RUG researchers awarded with European grant for studying the future of child welfare in Europe

01 December 2014

Researchers from the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences in a European consortium have been awarded a grant of €730,619 by NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Co-operation in Europe) within the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. The grant is for the international research project ‘Policies and responses with regard to child abuse and neglect in England, Germany and the Netherlands (PORECAN)’. It aims to discover the nature and impact of variations in child protection systems through a comparison of three welfare states.

The study

The three-year project includes a comparative analysis of child protection policy and empirical studies of child protection practice. Findings from the policy analysis will underpin the empirical study, which will compare (i) state responses to child maltreatment notifications and (ii) parents’ perspectives on professional intervention in different welfare states.

The researchers will compare:

• the ways child protection measures are negotiated, legitimized and perceived (by professionals and parents);

• their impact on children (e.g., protection/re-abuse; removal from home);

• the relationship between national policy, thresholds for intervention and social justice;

• rhetoric in child protection policy and practice, locating this within the wider child welfare policy framework in each country.

The study will also compare wider assumptions about the role of the state in family life (including those regarding the rights of parents) and the ways different welfare states seek to balance children’s rights to protection (under the UNCRC) and parents’ rights to family life (under the Human Rights Act).

Through this comparative analysis, the project will generate new insights into child protection policy and practice and so have a significant impact on future developments in child welfare in Europe.

The team in the Netherlands

Mónica López is Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Centre for Special Needs Education and Youth Care. She will co-supervise the survey of parents involved in a child protection investigation and coordinate the dissemination and communication of research findings.

Erik J. Knorth is Full Professor at the Centre for Special Needs Education and Youth Care. He will co-supervise the PhD student funded by the project.

Hans Grietens is Full Professor at the Centre for Special Needs Education and Youth Care. He is the main applicant of the project.

The Dutch team will conduct the study in collaboration with Professor Nina Biehal from the University of York; and Professor Sabine Walper, dr. Heinz Kindler and dr. Eric van Santen from the German Youth Institute (DJI).

The researchers want to thank the editors of Post Europe newsletter from which they found out about this funding opportunity.

Last modified:05 April 2019 11.17 a.m.
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