Child protection

exercise37.jpgChild 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.

Child protection is the process of protecting individual children identified 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.

Figure 1: Child Protection and Looked After Children statistics in England; 2007-2011

ENGLAND 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 % increase (2007 to 2011)
Referrals 545,000 538,500 547,000 607,500 612,600 12.4
Initial assessments 305,000 319,900 349,000 390,600 440,800 44.5
Core assessments 93,400 105,100 120,600 141,500 184,800 85.4
Children in need       339.0 per 10,000 children 343.4 per 10,000 children  
Child Protection Plan 33,300 34,000 37,900 35,700 42,330 27.1
Looked After Children 60,000 59,500  60,900 64,400 65,520 9.2















Sources: UK National Statistics Publication Hub for Safeguarding and Looked after Children

Why is child protection important?

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.

What is the difference between child protection and safeguarding?

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.

What are the roles of the named and designated doctors for safeguarding?

Designated and named professionals have specific roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children. All 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.

Our Intercollegiate Safeguarding Competences (PDF, 508KB, 102 pages) document, published in March 2014, provides more information.

Child protection at the College

The College has a Child Protection Officer who leads on all aspects of our work. Dr Amanda Thomas is the current Child Protection Officer. She is supported by Emily Roberts, Child Protection Policy Lead, within the College staff structure.

What child protection training is available?

The College has a wide range of training resources for all levels of competence. For more information, visit our Safeguarding Children and Young People page.

Who do I contact for further information?

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Emily Roberts, Child Protection Policy Lead.

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