Nurses' contribution to child protection

Marie Land, Lesley Barclay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This qualitative study used interviews to explore nurses' perceptions of their role in protecting children and to identify any barriers to implementing the role. Participants in this study were recruited through purposive sampling. Ten nurses whose work brings them into regular contact with children and their families were interviewed; the sample included nurses from acute care and community-based nursing services in the Northern Territory (NT). Results from semi-structured, open-ended questions were analysed using a process of coding and thematic analysis. Three major themes, derived from aggregating related sub-themes, were identified and names as Drawing a line in the sand; Mushrooms in the dark and Fear factor. Three broad areas that influence nurses' effectiveness in the protection of children were identified - organisational structures, institutional practices and legislative frameworks. Recommendations from this study include a need for collaborative interdisciplinary practices, development of departmental protocols to support such practice, and nurse-led models of care that aim for early identification of risk factors for child abuse and early intervention to support families and improve family functioning. This exploratory research has provided baseline data for an action research study in progress on the role of nurses in protecting children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-24
    Number of pages7
    JournalNeonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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