A study of the attitudes of nurses to parental involvement in the initial child-protection conference, and their preparation for it



Fifty-four nurses and 205 other professionals provided data on their attitudes to the involvement of parents in initial child-protection conferences in a northern English city, and on the preparation and training they had received for it Data were collected before the local authority involved parents and again 1 year later, after parents had been invited to the conferences in four neighbourhood teams This paper describes the attitudes and training of the nurse respondents at the two points in time, before the authority involved parents and after, and the degree and nature of the training they received in preparation Overall, attitudes became more favourable over time There were, however, some abiding concerns, for example, that discussion might be inhibited, and the interests of the child become less central There were also differences in attitude by agency which reflected an agency orientation and its commitment to the child-protection task Social workers were initially the most positive and then-attitudes the least likely to change Teachers and police began with the most negative attitudes, but their attitudes changed the most The nurse professionals occupied the middle ground There were also differences by agency and over time in the amount of training and preparation received Nurses were the most likely to be offered training and teachers the least Inter-agency training, including input from experienced practitioners, was valued