University of Leicester
2016JalalEPhD.pdf (6.06 MB)

Professionals’ Perceptions of the Implementation of the Multidisciplinary National Family Safety Training Programme in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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posted on 2016-08-15, 10:49 authored by Ejalal Kamil A. Jalal
Background: Despite the global increase in public awareness of child safeguarding issues, there is significant variation in policy, service systems and practice internationally. Professional training is an essential component of child protection services, usually in an inter-agency context. A number of high profile cases of child abuse in Saudi Arabia resulted in a growing number of initiatives, with the goal of preventing and managing child maltreatment. However, there is still a lack of an evidence-base on systematic evidence on the profile of children at risk, those attending services, and the impact of interventions, including training programmes. Aim: To explore professionals’ perceptions of factors promoting or hindering the implementation of an inter-agency child protection training programme. Methodology: The National Family Safety Programme (NFSP) was established in 2005, and has established child protection centres and inter-agency training courses. The training objective is to provide participants with basic skills in identifying and managing child maltreatment. A qualitative research design was based on semi-structured interviews with 26 professionals from different disciplines, who had attended the training programme 18 months earlier. Thematic analytic framework was used. Results: Three major themes emerged, on: a) benefits of translating training into practice; b) constraints of translating training into practice; and c) recommendations for improving training, services and policy in the future. This was identified as having positive impact by increasing knowledge, developing skills, and raising awareness. However, participants noted that the implementation of the training programme was often rendered difficult by social factors and bureaucratic impedances. Conclusion: The study highlighted that there is a demand for further legislation, as well as a range of organizational actions and processes to protect children from maltreatment. There is further need for on-going and sustainable training; inter-agency co-operation at policy and operational level; and awareness programmes to change cultural attitudes.



Vostanis, Panos; O'Reilly, Michelle

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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