Child Neglect: Practice Issues for Health and Social Care

By Julie Taylor; Brigid Daniel | Go to book overview

Chapter 16
Intervening with Neglect
Geraldine Macdonald
'What works' credentials
Evidence-based decision-making is a demanding task, requiring much more than simply knowledge about which interventions are effective and which are not. The other chapters in this book highlight the importance of a sound knowledge of the factors contributing to neglect, the importance of high quality assessments, maintaining a child-focused approach. That said, knowing what works, and if so in what timescale, with what demands on resources, and with what chances of success in a particular set of circumstances, is essential. For the reader familiar with the literature, this chapter may appear to ignore a number of studies purporting to address effective interventions in the field. For practitioners, it may at first sight offer less than was hoped for in terms of answers to the important question 'what works?' This is because in order to be included in this summary account of 'what works?', only certain kinds of evidence have been deemed acceptable. They are, in order of evidential weight:
1. Systematic reviews, that is, reviews in which all the primary studies have been systematically identified, appraised and summarized according to an explicit and reproducible methodology (see Chapter Three).
2. Randomized controlled trial, that is, studies in which participants have been randomly allocated to receive either the intervention being evaluated or to be in a control group. The control group may have received an alternative intervention, usual services, or no services, that is, be on a waiting list.
3. Two-group studies, that is, studies in which one group of participants received the intervention being evaluated and another group (possibly matched on important characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, type or history of neglect) received one of the alternatives described in Point 2 above.

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