Learning from parents: A qualitative interview study on how parents experience their journey through the Dutch child protection system

Bouma, H., Grietens, H., López, M. & Knorth, E. J., 23-Dec-2019, In : Child and Family Social Work. p. 1-10 10 p.

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The quality of parents’ experiences with the child protection system (CPS) is related to the outcomes of their family’s trajectory in the system. In addition, the importance of collaboration with parents in child protection is underpinned by human and children’s rights conventions addressing the right for family life and parents being first responsible in fulfilling children’s rights. We interviewed 20 parents about their experiences with a trajectory in the Dutch CPS. Our thematic analysis shows that a CPS serving the best interests of their children is most important to parents. To realise this, professionals should: 1) ‘not let it happen but do something’; 2) ‘get a clear picture of the family’s situation’; and 3) ‘take parents seriously’. Parents emphasise that a system providing sufficient ‘money, time and knowledge’ is needed to facilitate professionals in this. Their experiences seem to influence their trust in the system and their attitude towards it. This study shows new insights in parents’ experiences, such as their advice to determine the truth to get a clear picture of the family’s situation and to be decisive to be able to do something. This deepened knowledge about parents’ experiences is essential for evaluating and improving the CPS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Early online date23-Dec-2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23-Dec-2019

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