Populations trust in the child protection system: A cross-country comparison of nine high-income jurisdictions

Marit Skivenes, Rami Benbenishty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    In this study, we examine the trust placed by the populations of nine jurisdictions in their child protection systems. These systems protect children’s rights and grant authority for invasive interventions to curtail or even terminate parental rights and responsibilities. We have representative samples of the populations of each jurisdiction. The results show that about 40–50% of respondents express trust in the child protection agencies, social workers and judges who make decisions. There are clear differences between jurisdictions, with the Anglo-American countries at the lower end of the trust scale. Examining the impact of institutional context, we find that institutional context matters for the degree of peoples’ trust in the child protection system. This indicates that the typology of child protection systems has relevance, and more empirical studies are encouraged. Some demographic characteristics (age, having children, income, education) and ideological variables (political orientation) are also correlated with trust levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)422-435
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of European Social Policy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


    • child protection system
    • confidence
    • cross country
    • institutional context
    • population

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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