Child protection is a high priority for the College and plays a part in everything we do. It is an emotive and potentially contentious subject, but one that is everybody's business.
On this page:
- Why is child protection important?
- Difference between safeguarding and child protection
- Named and designated doctors for safeguarding
- Publications and resources
- Further resources
Child protection is the process of protectingidentified as either suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect. It involves measures and structures designed to prevent and respond to abuse and neglect.
Child abuse involves acts of commission and omission, which results in harm to the child. The four types of abuse are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.
The College has a Child Protection Officer who leads on all aspects of our work. Dr Geoff Debelle is the current Child Protection Officer. He is supported by Emily Roberts, Child Protection Policy Lead.
All children have a right to protection against abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence and many organisations have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. A successful approach requires multi-agency collaboration and a recognition of child wellbeing at the heart of the organisation.
The College strives to provide clear and concise guidance and encourage the development of systems and structures, both at national and local levels, to protect children.
Safeguarding, and promoting the welfare of children, is a broader term than child protection. It encompasses protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children's health or development, and ensures children grow up in safe circumstances.
Child protection is part of this definition and refers to activities undertaken to prevent children suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
Designated and named professionals have specific roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children, as described in(PDF, 1.16 MB).
Primary Care Trusts must have a designated doctor, and nurse, to take a professional and strategic lead on all aspects of the health service contribution to safeguarding children.
All NHS Trusts must have a named doctor, and nurse, for safeguarding, who will provide advice and expertise for fellow professionals and promote good practice within their organisation.
The College has developed or recommends a number of child protection publications.
These include the Child Protection Companion - your handbook on all forms of child abuse, covering the child protection processes across the whole range of medical and social interactions.
- Educational resources
- Recommended online resources
- Looked after children
- Child sexual abuse
- Refugee and unaccompanied asylum seeking children
- Serious case reviews
- Female genital mutilation
- Updates on College's work in child protection
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Emily Roberts, RCPCH Health Policy Lead, on firstname.lastname@example.org.