Validate your membership/access to the iHV Champion hub here to receive your password.
Not a member? Join here.

Safeguarding and protecting children: an international examination of public health nursing practice

14th August 2017

A blog by Jane Appleton, Professor in Primary and Community Care, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University on being awarded the Florence Nightingale Foundation Dr. James P. Smith Travel Scholarship 2017.

Jane Appleton, Professor in Primary and Community Care, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University

Jane Appleton, Professor in Primary and Community Care, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University

As an iHV Fellow I was delighted to hear in October 2016 that I had been successful in being awarded the Florence Nightingale Foundation Dr James P. Smith Travel Scholarship, for a study tour to the Nordic countries and Finland in 2017.  The focus of my travel scholarship is to examine the work of public health nurses in safeguarding and protecting children and young people, with a particular focus on learning more about risk assessment practices.

Child maltreatment is a major global health and social-welfare problem. High profile reviews into cases of child abuse and neglect continually highlight the importance of risk assessment in identifying vulnerable children at risk of significant harm.  Yet little is known about the risk assessment strategies used by public health nurses across different cultures and countries.

This study visit intends to examine how public health nurses across the Nordic countries and Finland are working to safeguard and protect children and young people, to draw comparison across these countries and to inform public health nursing practice in the UK.

I have arranged study visits to Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, to meet with public health practitioners and public health nurse researchers and teachers to generate understandings and insights into the following questions:

  1.  What is the role of public health nurses in relation to child protection in these four countries?
  2. How are risks to children assessed in public health nursing work?
  3. What can we learn about risk assessment strategies/approaches for child abuse and neglect across different cultures and countries?
  4. What are the challenges facing public health nurses in safeguarding children and in risk assessment practices?
  5. What novel and innovative ways can be developed through collaboration and research to address risk assessment across child welfare services?

I anticipate that this study visit will bring together public health professionals and researchers to generate novel ways of thinking, and robust collaborations for a forthcoming research grant in this area.

Over the next few weeks I will be recording some of the learning from my travel award.

I am also very interested to hear from any iHV colleagues who would like to suggest public health nurse contacts in Scandinavia or have any thoughts to share with me on this topic.   Do please get in touch: [email protected]

Jane Appleton, Professor in Primary and Community Care, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University