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Non engaging families

The nature of child protection work can at times result in parents and carers feeling angry and they can react in a hostile and threatening way towards professionals who are involved with their family.

Evidence shows that some adults will deliberately evade practitioner interventions aimed at protecting a child. In many cases of child abuse and neglect, this is a clear and deliberate strategy adopted by one or more of the adults with responsibility for the care of a child.

Agencies should have in place day to day procedures and protocols including practical measures to promote the safety of staff who have direct contact with families. This should include a process for staff to have the opportunity for debriefing after any incidents.

The Lanarkshire multiagency guidance for working with non-engaging families has been produced to assist managers and practitioners working in agencies across Lanarkshire in dealing with non-engaging and non-compliant families, including those who are hostile when a child is subject to child protection concerns or registration.

The guidance will help managers and practitioners identify issues of non-engagement and non-compliance and how this can impact on the child’s plan.