Study One – Comparative study of child protection systems

Coordinated by Professor Nina Biehal (University of York, England), the aim of this study is to compare child protection systems in the three countries. There will be three aspects to our comparative analysis:

  1. We will examine recent developments in child protection policy in each country through an analysis of national policy documents and the laws governing the operation of the child protection systems in each country.  To facilitate comparative analysis, we will develop a framework for policy analysis based on common conceptual categories.
  2. We will compare the availability and nature of official statistics on child protection at national and regional level in the three countries. Where similar national or regional data are available, we will compare patterns of child protection referral and intervention.
  3. Our analysis of policy documents and statistics will be underpinned by a review of the relevant academic literature on child welfare policy in each country involved.

This comparison of policy and national patterns of referral and intervention will provide some indication of the different ways in which European countries construct abuse and neglect as social problems and their assumptions about the nature of these problems and the appropriate response.


The first results of our policy analysis are published online! Under ‘Results’, you can find an overview of the English, German and Dutch child protection policies.