A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Effectiveness of child protection practice models : a systematic review (2020)

Isokuortti, N., Aaltio, E., Laajasalo, T., & Barlow, J. (2020). Effectiveness of child protection practice models : a systematic review. Child Abuse and Neglect, 108, Article 104632. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104632

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Isokuortti, Nanne; Aaltio, Elina; Laajasalo, Taina; Barlow, Jane

Journal or series: Child Abuse and Neglect

ISSN: 0145-2134

eISSN: 1873-7757

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 108

Article number: 104632

Publisher: Elsevier BV

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104632

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72360


Background Attempts to improve child protection outcomes by implementing social work practice models embedded in a particular theory and practice approach, have increased internationally over the past decade. Objective To assess the evidence of the effectiveness of child protection practice models in improving outcomes for children and families. Participants and setting Children < 18 years and their families involved in child protection services. Methods A systematic review was conducted to synthesize evidence regarding the effectiveness of child protection practice models. Systematic searches across 10 electronic databases and grey literature were conducted to identify quasi-experimental studies minimally. Included studies were critically appraised and the findings summarized narratively. Results Five papers, representing six studies, focusing on three practice models (Solution-Based Casework; Signs of Safety; and Reclaiming Social Work) met the inclusion criteria. All studies applied a quasi-experimental design. Overall, the quality of the evidence was rated as being poor, with studies suffering from a risk of selection bias, small sample sizes and short-term follow up. Conclusions Despite the popularity of practice models, the evidence base for their effectiveness is still limited. The results suggest that high-quality studies are urgently needed to evaluate the impact of practice models in improving the outcomes of child-protection-involved families. The findings also illustrate the difficulties of conducting high-quality outcome evaluations in children’s social care, and these challenges and future directions for research, are discussed.

Keywords: child protection; social work; practice; operations models; systematic reviews

Free keywords: child protection; practice models; social work; systematic review

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:59