More parents accused of child abuse

The Conversation: More parents accused of child abuse than ever before

Parents in English-speaking countries are now increasingly likely to be accused of abusing their children. This mainly affects large proportions of families who are poor, deprived or socially excluded. My new research shows how this trend is being played out in England and what’s behind it.

Despite similarities between child protection systems in English-speaking countries, their statistics are not directly comparable – but common trends within countries can be identified. The latest data shows increases in child protection investigations in Australia of 42% between 2012 to 2016, Canada, 74% between 1998 and 2008, and in the US, 17% between 2007 and 2015. In England between 2008 and 2017 investigations more than doubled (a 124.3% increase).

Describes changes that have created a deteriorated environment for families in deprived communities who face more stress, less support and the highest ever risk of being accused of abusing their child and then losing them to care or adoption. More details here.