Keeping the focus on children: The challenges of safeguarding children affected by domestic abuse

Sue Peckover, Fiona Trotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Safeguarding children affected by domestic abuse is a key responsibility for all professionals working with children and families, but can be difficult to achieve in practice. Despite a policy emphasis on early intervention and child-centred work, limited attention has been paid to how professionals in universal and additional support services address this important area of work. This paper reports findings from qualitative research undertaken in one local authority area in the north of England during 2011 which examines the challenges facing professionals in safeguarding children affected by domestic abuse. Six mixed professional focus groups were held, attended by a total of 23 participants. Discussion focused upon participants' awareness of domestic abuse, how they assessed and met children and young peoples' needs, and their views about service provision and safeguarding processes. Data were transcribed and thematic analysis undertaken. The themes presented in this paper - embodied recognition, someone else's job, service gaps, skills deficits, and focusing upon children and young people - illustrate the scope and limitations of professionals' work with children and young people affected by domestic abuse. Areas for practice improvement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number4
Early online date4 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


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