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The impact of safeguarding children training: A review of the literature

Wright, Jackie; Wray, Jane; Maggs, Chris


Jackie Wright

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Dr Jane Wray
Director of Research, Senior Lecturer in Nursing

Chris Maggs


TITLE: Impact of Child Protection training on professional knowledge, skills and referral activity: a review of the literature. Objectives: The review aimed to assess the extent and quality of contemporary primary research on training in safeguarding children to ascertain impact on practitioner knowledge, skills, attitudes and referral behaviour. Method: Using a conventional systematic review methodology a total of 10 evidence based studies met the quality criteria for inclusion. The primary reviewer assessed, critiqued and drew conclusions using the qualitative data analysis software (NVivo Version 8). The 10 papers selected were then scrutinized by two independent reviewers (IRs). Results: This review highlighted a number of gaps in the evidence and there is a need to better understand the retention of knowledge and skills in addition to the effect of training on practitioner behaviour between updates. Two main themes were derived from the analysis; the acquisition of knowledge and skills and referral behaviour. The evidence indicated that when confronted with physical abuse there is little difference in terms of knowledge and skill between those who had recently received training, those who received training over a year ago, and those who had received no training. However those participants who have recently received training are more likely to recognise and respond to emotional abuse and neglect. Five studies linked training with actual and likelihood to refer; the findings suggest that training practitioners are more likely to refer if they have recently received training. Conclusion: It is not known if knowledge, skill or referral behaviour changes are sustained over time. Therefore examining the decision making process of practitioners when executing safeguarding and child welfare interventions will lead to a better understanding of the impact of training as well as the role played by supervision, support and organisational culture. It is also evident that training should not predominantly focus on physical abuse but on those more complex forms of abuse.

Start Date Apr 15, 2012
Publication Date Apr 2, 2012
APA6 Citation Wright, J., Wray, J., & Maggs, C. (2012, April). The impact of safeguarding children training: A review of the literature. Presented at British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect, 8th congress, "Keeping children safe in an uncertain world: Learning from evidence and practice"
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