A Systematic Review on safeguarding disabled children and young people

A consortium from the universities of Portsmouth, Nottingham Trent, Ann Croft Trust and the University of East Anglia will undertake a review to understand why children with a disability are significantly more at risk of abuse than their peers, and to understand why they are not adequately identified by child care services. The review seeks to understand what factors can improve the outcomes for children with a disability, and if any innovative models of social care are directly applicable to improving the outcomes of children with a disability.


Review / In progress

Estimated completion

Spring 2021

Evaluated by

University of Portsmouth

Children with a disability are overrepresented in children’s services, underrepresented on child protection plans, but overrepresented in cases leading to Serious Case Reviews. This suggests that the welfare of children with a disability is not always adequately identified by child protection services at the time the children are experiencing abuse.

This review will seek to understand the prevalence of harm, as well as the increased risks of harm for disabled children. It will also look at how referrals and assessments are dealt with by children’s services.

The main research questions are: what is the evidence associated with a positive outcome for children who have experienced abuse and/or trauma? Are recent models of social care practice applicable to disabled children?

It is anticipated that the final report will be published in Spring 2021.