”Health professionals are in a strong position to identify welfare needs or safeguarding concerns regarding individual children and, where appropriate, provide support. This includes understanding risk factors, communicating effectively with children and families, liaising with other agencies, assessing needs and capacity, responding to those needs and contributing to multi-agency assessments and reviews”
A wide range of health professionals have a critical role to play in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including: GPs, primary care professionals, paediatricians, nurses, health visitors, midwives, school nurses, those working in maternity services, child and adolescent mental health, adult mental health, alcohol and drug services, in addition to those working in unscheduled and emergency care settings. All staff including those who predominantly treat adults – should receive training to ensure they attain the competences appropriate to their role and follow the relevant professional guidance;
⋅ Safeguarding Children and Young People: roles and competences for health care staff, RCPCH (2010).
⋅ Looked after children: Knowledge, skills and competences of health care staff, RCN and RCPCH (2012).
⋅ Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors, GMC (2012)
Working Together 2015
Health professionals are busy people but they are central to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. To be able to do this effectively they need an understanding not only of normal child development, the indicators of abuse and neglect but also the parental and socio-economic factors associated with abuse. Additionally they need to understand the vital role they play in both early intervention and in the collection of evidence to ensure, where necessary, that a robust legal framework is in place to protect the most vulnerable. This is a difficult and complex task and requires staff to actively maintain their professional curiosity. Level 1 and Level 2 courses will provide health practitioners with the knowledge to carry out these tasks effectively.
Level 1 Safeguarding course covers;
⋅ Safeguarding continuum
⋅ What is child abuse and neglect?
⋅ Signs and indicators of abuse and neglect.
⋅ Issues in medical settings
⋅ Normal child development.
⋅ Maintaining a child focus.
⋅ What to do in response to concerns.
Level 2 Safeguarding course covers;
⋅ Documentation and sharing of information regarding concerns.
⋅ Using the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families: CAF
⋅ Own safeguarding roles and responsibilities in a medical setting.
Level 3 courses
Practitioners in health settings might be interested in Level 3 courses such as;
⋅ Working effectively with Neglect
⋅ Working with dangerous or evasive parents
⋅ Critical thinking and risk assessment skills
⋅ Using multi-agency meetings to safeguard children
⋅ Parental mental health and child welfare
⋅ Dual diagnosis and impacts on parenting
⋅ Safeguarding children with disabilities
⋅ Professional Dangerousness
Please contact us to explore how best we can meet your specific needs. Health staff also have responsibilities under the Care Act 2014. It is possible to design a Joint Adult and Children’s safeguarding programme, highlighting the similarities in the identification of abuse and the differences in terms of response.