Comparative studies on child protection decision-making highlight the implications and determinants of differences in child welfare systems internationally and reinforce discussions regarding child protection practices and family support when a child is exposed to inadequate parental care. To date, Italian child protection studies have highlighted a system characterised by a strong degree of variability related to the absence of practices shared nationally. Differently, this comparative study focuses more on similarities within the Italian context, seeking to understand how they influence practices. The opinions of 188 Italian social workers with respect to the substantiation of maltreatment, risk assessment and intervention recommendations were compared with the results of a recent study involving practitioners in Israel, Northern Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands. The main outcomes show that Italian social workers prefer a family support orientation, meaning that children are usually removed from their home only if necessary and generally with the aim of reunification with their families. The study also reveals that Italian professionals are more in favour of residential care than foster care.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Open Access Funding provided by Universita degli Studi di Padova within the CRUI-CARE Agreement.
© 2022 The Authors. Child & Family Social Work published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Italian social worker
- child protection
- comparative studies
- maltreatment substantiation
- risk assessment