Nurse referrals of children to social services
de St Paer, Ann
This literature review examines current referral systems and processes used by community nurses when making referrals of children in need and children in need of protection to social services departments. The problems surrounding definitions of need, children in need and children in need of protection are considered. The ambiguity of the language used and the difficulties encountered by community nursing staff in trying to identify criteria and thresholds for referral are highlighted. The review focuses on research exploring the assessment and referral processes used by community nurses, in particular by health visitors, and draws attention to the lack of research concerning these areas. Government recognition of the problems encountered by agencies working in this field is acknowledged in recent Department of Health publications.