Guidelines for preventing Child Sexual Abuse and Wrongful Allegations against Staff at Danish Childcare Facilities

Leander. E-M. B., Munk, K. P., Larsen, P. L.
Societies, 9(2):1-24.


The study investigates how the widespread fear of child sexual abuse (CSA) has affected practices and kindergarten teacher-child relationships in kindergartens. The aim was to investigate Danish kindergarten guidelines designed to protect children from CSA and employees from wrongful allegations regarding CSA. The study explores what these guidelines address, why they were established, and whether the institutions have guidelines that apply exclusively to male employees. A further aim was to investigate how coordinators and kindergarten teachers experienced the guidelines and how they affected children and employees, especially male employees, and the daily practice and social relations at the institution.


The study indicates that the CSA guidelines are a sign that male workers were stigmatised, and that certain institutions had discriminatory guidelines that applied exclusively to men. Furthermore, the CSA guidelines were in conflict with the staff’s trusting relationship with and care duties towards children.


The researchers used a mixed-methods survey involving 2051 coordinators and kindergarten teachers from 1457 randomly selected Danish kindergartens, conducted in 2012. The kindergartens were both public and private with children aged 0-6 years old, and public BASCs (before-and-after-school clubs) for children between the ages of 7-10. The Mixed-methods survey contained both compulsory closed-ended questions and optional open-ended questions. The aim of the quantitative questions was to map the prevalence of CSA guidelines and false accusations of CSA in Danish kindergartens. The qualitative questions were used to give the informants the opportunity to elaborate on their views and experiences, as well as to tell stories from their own everyday practice regarding the guidelines.


Leander, E-M. B., Munk, K. P. & Larsen, P. L. (2019). “Guidelines for preventing Child Sexual Abuse and Wrongful Allegations against Staff at Danish Childcare Facilities”. Societies, 9(2):1-24.

Financed by

National Federation of Social Educators, Denmark; BUPL Federation, Denmark