Child Safeguarding

Here is an excerpt from our child safeguarding protocol.

All those that come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including people who do not have a specific role in relation to child protection, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

This protocol will address:

  • Key staff training
  • Documentation
  • Reporting
  • Local procedures

KEY FACTORS

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • Be prepared to consult with colleagues
  • Be prepared to take advice from local experts
  • Keep comprehensive and clear records
  • Be aware of GMC guidance about sharing confidential information

RECOGNISING CHILD ABUSE

There are 4 main categories of child abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect/failure to thrive

These are not however exclusive, and abuse in one of these areas may easily be accompanied by abuse in the others.

Physical abuse may include:
  • Hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, or other forms of physical harm
  • Where a parent or carer deliberately causes ill-health of a child
  • Single traumatic events or repeated incidents
Sexual abuse may include:
  • Forcing or enticing a child under 18 to take part in sexual activities where the child is unaware of what is happening
  • May include both physical contact acts and non—contact acts
Emotional abuse may include:
  • Persistent ill-treatment which has an effect on emotional development
  • Conveyance of a message of being un-loved, worthless or inadequate
  • May instil feeling of danger, being afraid
  • May involve child exploitation or corruption
Neglect may include:
  • Failure to meet the child’s physical or psychological needs
  • Failure to provide adequate food or shelter
  • Failure to protect from physical harm
  • Neglect of a child’s emotional needs
Common presentations and situations in which child abuse may be suspected include:

Disclosure by a child or young person

  • Physical signs and symptoms giving rise to suspicion of any category of abuse
  • The history is inconsistent or changes.
  • A delay in seeking medical help
  • Extreme or worrying behaviour of a child, taking account of the developmental age of the child
  • Accumulation of minor incidents giving rise to a level of concern, including frequent A&E attendances
Some other situations which need careful consideration are:
  • Disclosure by an adult of abusive activities
  • Girls under 16 presenting with pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, especially those with learning difficulties
  • Very young girls requesting contraception, especially emergency contraception
  • Situations where parental mental health problems may impact on children
  • Parental alcohol, drug or substance misuse which may impact on children
  • Parents with learning difficulties
  • Violence in the family