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Research projects

The child welfare service's handling of child abuse in the intersection with the family law system

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Åsa Källström

Doctoral project

Previous research indicates that in many cases, the child welfare services (CWS) have not protected children from being exposed to child abuse. Studies in Sweden have identified how ethnicity, gender, class and age can affect CWS decisions and assessment process. However, the question of what family law disputes and decisions can mean for CWS handling of child abuse has not been addressed, which this research project will focus on.

The research questions are; How is information about child abuse understood and handled in CWS investigations when the child's parents are simultaneously in a family law dispute? From the perspective of CWS workers, what does it mean for their professional practice of child abuse that there are simultaneous family law processes and decisions? What do CWS workers think that their, the family law system's and each parent's role and responsibility is and should be to meet children's need for support and protection in this intersection? 

PhD student: Gabriella Knutsson 
Principal supervisor: Åsa Källström
Assistant supervisor: Robert Lindahl

Research funding bodies

  • Örebro University