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Disabled Children and Child Protection in Scotland : An Investigation into the Relationship between Professional Practice, Child Protection and Disability

Taylor, Julie and Stalker, Kirsten and Fry, Deborah and Stewart, Alasdair (2014) Disabled Children and Child Protection in Scotland : An Investigation into the Relationship between Professional Practice, Child Protection and Disability. The Scottish Government, Edinburgh.

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Abstract

This project was commissioned by the Scottish Government Children's Rights and Wellbeing Division to investigate the relationship between disabled children and child protection practice. Through interviews and focus groups the researchers spoke with 61 professionals working on issues of disabled children and child protection in Scotland. Disabled children are more likely to be abused than their non-disabled peers, but there is evidence to suggest that the abuse of disabled children sometimes goes undetected. Getting it right for every child does not mean treating every child the same. There is a lack of confidence in working with disabled children, a lack of relevant training and variability in thresholds for action. Whilst there are positive aspects, this research shows that the child protection system is a cause for concern in relation to disabled children.