All children and young people are entitled to live safe and healthy lives and health professionals have an important role in protecting them from physical, mental, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Child protection is a difficult area of practice that can involve making decisions that are emotionally challenging, complicated by uncertainty, and sometimes go against the parent’s wishes. But doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and psychologists must always put the safety of the child at first priority.
The following are the key roles and responsibilities of health professionals with regard to protecting children from child maltreatment. • Identifying children at risk: be aware of types and signs of child abuse and look out for those children who may be at risk. • Communication and support: listen to children, talk to them directly, and consider their views when making decisions, considering their age and developmental stage. Sometimes having a parent in the room during the consultation may discourage a child from being honest about what happened. If you have a concern regarding the child’s wellbeing then you should discuss it with the parents. However, if you believe that if discussed with the parent, it may place greater danger on the child, then you can withhold the information from the parent and report your concerns immediately. • Following reporting procedures: tell the appropriate authority when you are concerned that a child is at risk of or is suffering from abuse. • Confidentiality: Confidentiality is the basis of the trusting relationship between the patient and their health professional, and you must ask for consent before sharing confidential information unless you believe that there may be a delay in obtaining consent or additional harm to the child or anyone else. You can also share confidential information if it is required to do so by law or as directed by the court. • Keeping records: always keep clear records and make notes of your concerns, including the minor ones. • Training: Maintain up-to-date skills through specialized training and development.
Our Training Programs
Participants will learn how to recognize abuse, handle disclosures, keep records, barriers to reporting, effective information sharing, and establishing a clear line of accountability within the healthcare organization.
Duration: 4 hours