Processes of Multiprofessional Child Protection Decision Making in Hospital Settings: Systematic Narrative Review

Ravit Alfandari, Brian J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aim of this systematic narrative literature review is to explore empirical evidence as to how a multiprofessional approach to child protection decision making is implemented in hospitals settings. Child protection cases where there is a suspicious serious injury suspected sexual abuse or serious neglect are often investigated in hospital, involving a number of relevant professions. Five electronic bibliographic databases were used for the search. To be included in the review studies had to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, report on empirical research, be available full text in English, and have used an identifiable research design. The search was restricted to 10 years, from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2019, and retrieved 6,934 studies. The review includes 26 studies undertaken in 10 countries. In all the hospital-based settings studied, child protection decision-making tasks were assigned to a designated multiprofessional team. However, there was remarkable diversity in models of team structure, regulation of workflow, structured procedures, and standardized tools through which practice was carried out. Research focused on evaluating the teams’ effectiveness in fulfilling their duties which were, first and foremost, the identification of possible child maltreatment. The analysis identifies various systemic approaches and quality improvement methods to promote effective team-based decision-making processes in hospitals. The interactional aspect of collaborative team-based practice was generally missing from the published research. This article discusses next steps for the development of practice, policy, and research to enhance useful multiprofessional child protection team working in hospitals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)295-312
Number of pages18
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • child abuse
  • child protection
  • decision making
  • hospital
  • interdisciplinary
  • multiprofessional

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Applied Psychology


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