Evidence shows that some adults will deliberately evade practitioner interventions aimed at protecting a child. In many cases of child abuse and neglect, this is a clear and deliberate strategy adopted by one or more of the adults with responsibility for the care of a child. It is also the case that the nature of child protection work can result in parents/carers behaving in a negative and hostile way towards practitioners.
The terms ‘non-engagement’ and ‘non-compliance’ are used to describe a range of deliberate behaviour and attitudes, such as:
- failure to enable necessary contact (for example missing appointments) or refusing to allow access to the child or to the home;
- active non-compliance with the actions set out in the Child’s Plan (or Child Protection Plan);
- disguised compliance, where the parent/carer appears to co-operate without actually carrying out actions or enabling them to be effective; and
- threats of violence or other intimidation towards practitioners.