Family members’ perspectives of child protection services, a metasynthesis of the literature

S. Bekaert, E. Paavilainen, H. Scheke, A. Baldacchino, E. Jouet, L. Zablocka-Zytka, B. Bachi, F. Bartoli, G. Carra, RM. Cioni, C. Crocamo, JV. Appleton

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This metasynthesis brings together what is known about family members’ perspectives of their relationship with social care practitioners as a starting point for developing a pan-European training resource for practitioners. Four databases were searched for qualitative literature with search terms relating to family members and social care practitioners. After the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 35 studies were critically appraised and were included in the metasynthesis. Three broad themes were identified through a thematic analysis of the studies’ findings: family members’ perspectives of the system; perceptions of how they were viewed by their worker; and view of their worker. The following aspects are discussed: whether partnership between family and worker is possible within a legal framework; the detrimental effects of cultural bias; and practical foundations for building trust. Recommendations are made for practical support, reflection on cultural practice and broader service provision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106094
Number of pages13
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Early online date5 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Children’s social care
  • Child welfare services
  • Child protection
  • Family experience
  • Metasynthesis


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