Handling child abuse referrals: Problem construction, professional discretion, new procedures

Project Details


This project investigates how professionals handle child abuse referrals in child welfare services in Denmark. Based on social work theories of welfare institutional practice, problem construction, and professionals’ discretion, the project fills a
knowledge gap in the international research evidence on child abuse. Child abuse is a traumatic experience that can cause severe (long-term) health issues and other harms, and therefore apt and accurate handling of referrals is important. Statistics show that only few referrals reach a Barnahus, a specialized service that professionals are obligated to activate if abuse is substantiated. There is a lack of research evidence of the welfare institutional process from a referral is received, how and when a Barnahus is activated, to interventions are offered to a child. Based on qualitative methods the project produces new and valuable research evidence of this process and develops procedures for best practice based on the project’s results.
Effective start/end date01/04/2431/03/27


  • social work and social conditions


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