Research internationally has highlighted the increased vulnerability of deaf or disabled children to abuse and the frequently inadequate response of services. However, first-hand accounts of deaf or disabled children have rarely been sought. This paper reports selected findings from one of the first studies exploring experiences of deaf and disabled children regarding help-seeking following maltreatment. Innovative and sensitive research methods were employed to support 10 deaf or disabled people (children and adults) to take part in guided conversations. The study identifies three enablers of help-seeking of deaf or disabled children: the capacity of adults to detect abuse and respond to disclosures, supportive relationships or circumstances which facilitate disclosure and for Deaf children, access to registered interpreters. Barriers to protection related to these are also discussed. Recommendations directed at policy makers, practitioners and families include education and awareness raising amongst practitioners, children, parents and carers; addressing isolation of deaf and disabled children; providing comprehensive support services that address the needs of the child holistically; ensuring that the voice of the child is heard; routine access to registered interpreters for Deaf children within mainstream and specialist services and measures to address disablism at local and institutional levels.
Bibliographical noteThe full text is currently unavailable on the repository. The accepted paper can go in Pure on 27 May 2018 after a publisher 2 year embargo.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Jones, C, Stalker, K, Franklin, A, Fry, D, Cameron, A & Taylor, J 2016, 'Enablers of help-seeking for deaf and disabled children following abuse and barriers to protection: a qualitative study' Child & Family Social Work, vol (in press). DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12293, which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12293 . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- child abuse
- child protection
- prevention of child abuse