Safeguarding Children and Young People - Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff

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Following every serious case of child abuse or neglect there is considerable consternation that greater progress has not been made to prevent such occurrences. Reviews and enquiries across the UK, over the last three decades, often identify the same issues - among them, poor communication and information sharing between professionals and agencies, inadequate training and support for staff, and a failure to listen to children.

Lord Laming's inquiry report into the care of Victoria Climbie refocused the government's attention on the needs of children and young people. Amongst the many recommendations Lord Laming advocated that professional bodies should be requested to develop models of continuing education/professional development for practitioners engaged in child protection work. In addition organisations such as the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate have recently called upon professional organisations to provide greater clarity in relation to the remit of specific child protection roles.

However, all who come into contact with children and young people have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare and should know what to do if they have any concerns. Standards for practice, assessment tools and guidelines to assist practitioners in the field of child protection have been developed across the UK. The aim of this document is to provide all health care staff with a generic framework, within which professional group training programmes can be developed, to meet the needs of specific practitioners depending upon their particular role in relation to children and young people.

The document is divided into two parts:

  • section A contains a generic competency framework
  • section B contains specific role descriptions for professionals undertaking lead, named and designated roles in child protection

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