In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in understanding parental par-ticipation in the processes that characterise statutory child protection intervention. In part, this reflects a shift in thinking across Western child protection systems, which has recognised that active parental involvement in intervention is more likely to lead to better outcomes for children at risk of abuse and/or neglect and a repositioning of child protection practices within broader discourses of service user participation. In this paper, we present the findings of a small-scale qualitative study which explored the experiences of twelve parents who were, at the time of the study, subject to stat-utory child protection intervention measures in Scotland. Parents reported interven-tion experiences as simultaneously negative and positive. The early stages of intervention and child protection case conferences were experienced as particularly distressing and confusing. The importance of the client–worker relationship emerged as central to meaningful participation and positive outcomes.
- Child protection
- user participation