chapter  17
Comparing child protection systems
Towards a global perspective
ByNigel Parton
Pages 18

A primary driver for comparing different child protection systems has been the view that systems and services in certain countries were no longer carrying out the tasks expected of them and were, in some respects, failing. While mandatory reporting legislation was particularly associated with the growing pressures on the child protection systems in the USA and Australia, the UK never had such legislation even though it also began to experience similar problems. By the mid-1990s there were a number of authoritative reports which were arguing that child protection systems in the USA, England and Australia were, at best, out of balance, or, at worst, in crisis and in need of reform. The use of mandatory reporting laws did not appear to be linked to either the child protection or family service orientations. The problem is that while the orientations have been developed by comparing a number of different countries, they are all high-income 'Western' societies.