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Seminar "Decision-making in child protection: Interconnecting policy, research and practice"

22 & 23/04/2021, 10:00-12:00 (GMT+1), with Mónica Lopez Lopez (U. Groningen)


Dias 22 e 23 de abril de 2021 terá lugar o seminário "Decision-making in child protection: Interconnecting policy, research and practice", apresentado pela Professora Mónica Lopez Lopez (University of Groningen).. Este seminário é organizado pelo Programa Doutoral em Psicologia do Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa e irá decorrer via Zoom em duas partes continuadas: 22 Abril: Parte I | 10h00 – 12h00 Zoom: 23 Abril: Parte II | 10h00 – 12h00 Zoom:

IMPORTANTE: Quem estiver interessado em assistir ao seminário deverá escrever para, para registo da sua participação.

* On the 22nd and 23rd of April of 2021 the seminar "Decision-making in child protection: Interconnecting policy, research and practice" will be presented by Professor Mónica Lopez Lopez (University of Groningen). This seminar is organized by Iscte’s Doctoral in Psychology and will take place via Zoom, divided into 2 parts: April 22nd: Part I | 10h00 – 12h00 Zoom: April 23rd: Part II | 10h00 – 12h00 Zoom:

IMPORTANT: Those interested in attending the seminar should write to, for registration.


Abstract of the presentation:

Professionals working in child welfare and child protection are making decisions with crucial implications for children and families on a daily basis. The types of judgements and decisions they make vary and include decisions such as whether to substantiate a child abuse allegation, whether a child is at risk of significant harm, and whether to remove a child from home or to reunify a child with parents after some time in care. These decisions are intended to help achieve the best interests of the child. Unfortunately, they can sometimes also doom children and families unnecessarily to many years of pain and suffering. Judgments and decisions in child welfare and protection are based to a large extent on the formidable knowledge base on child abuse and neglect created over the years to support this professional task chore. Nevertheless, making decisions in complex and uncertain environments is fraught with many difficulties and shortcomings. There are in fact many indications that decisions in this area are not reliable and there are many errors in judgment that could be avoided, had the decision makers relied on existing knowledge on decision making and followed appropriate procedures. Much needs to be improved on how these decisions are made by individual professionals and child welfare agencies. The purpose of this module is to provide students with ideas, methods and tools that improve their understanding of how context and decision-maker behaviors effect child welfare and protection decision making, and how such knowledge might lead to improvements in decision-making for children and families. This module offers an overview of research approaches in connection with the three main areas: (1) the testing of theoretical models of decision-making, (2) the role of all acting parties (workers, supervisors, caregivers, families and children), and (3) the impact of context in decisions (cultural, organizational, geographical). The core themes of this course will be: . Frameworks and models in decision-making in child protection . Methodology for the study of decision-making in child welfare and protection . Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology of decision-making in child protective services . Participation in decision-making of children, young people and parents . International comparisons of decision-making in child protection . Ethical dilemmas of decision-making for child and family welfare professionals . The use of decision making theory and research in child welfare policy and practice



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