Link workers in child welfare: a system-atic scoping review

Professionals, non-governmental organisations and immigrant families sometimes describe the relationship between minority families and child welfare services as problematic. One initiative to address these collaboration problems, such as linguistic- and cultural misunderstandings between minority families and child welfare services, is the use of link workers. A link worker is someone who functions as a bridge builder, creating a connection between two people, families or groups. Link workers contribute to cases where cultural sensitivity and in depth understanding of context are necessary to achieve successful communication, cooperation and conflict resolution. The purpose of this scoping review is to map and describe research exploring and assessing the use of link workers in child welfare services and related services, such as mental health, in cases involving children and families of minority backgrounds.

We will conduct a systematic scoping review. To identify relevant studies, a search specialist will search in international databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO. We will include empirical primary studies and systematic reviews published between 2000-2020 on the use of link workers in child welfare- and related services in cases involving minority children and families. Two researchers will independently screen all titles and abstracts from the literature search, and thereafter the full texts, for eligibility according to the inclusion criteria. Next, two researchers will appraise the methodological quality of the included studies. One researcher will extract data from the studies and a second researcher will check the correctness and completeness of the extracted data. From the included studies, we will sort and combine data in text and create tables when relevant.