Child protection publications

This page contains key RCPCH child protection publications, as well as important external publications and an archive of relevant RCPCH publications.


Key publications

Child Protection Companion (CPC) - 2nd Edition

New online and print edition of the handbook for paediatricians which provides information on all forms of abuse. It also covers the child protection processes across the whole range of medical and social interactions: from examination, to identification, to referral, to court.

How to access online:
How to buy the hard copy:
  • RCPCH members and registered users who subscribe to the online product recieve a discount when purchasing the hard copy. To receive your discount, please ensure you are signed in to the website. Once you have signed in - Buy now.
  • You can still purchase a hard copy at the full price without subscribing to the online product - Buy now.
  • Place an order with 'Lavenham Group' stockists: Tel 01787 249 295  |  Fax 01787 248 267  |  Email:
    N.B. Cheques should be made payable to 'Lavenham Group Limited' and posted to the address below:

    Lavenham Group plc
    Arbons House
    47 Water Street
    CO10 9RN

  • For order enquiries: Tel 01787 249 295 | Fax 01787 248 267 | Email:


Child Protection and The Anaesthetist (July 2014)

The primary aim of Child Protection and The Anaesthetist (PDF, 1002KB, 15 Pages) is to assist anaesthetists and theatre personnel if concerns are raised during the course of a routine anaesthetic or perioperative care that suggest a child may have been deliberately harmed, or that a child or other children in the family may be the victim of harm or neglect in the future. The second part of the document (Appendix 1) deals with the process that surrounds a planned anaesthetic for a formal (‘forensic’) examination, when signs of possible child sexual abuse are to be investigated.


Safeguarding Children: Guidelines for Occupational Health Professionals (May 2014)

Safeguarding Children: Guidelines for Occupational Health Professionals (PDF, 8 Pages, 17KB)  These guidelines  have been  developed  with the particular  setting of occupational health in mind.  They were drafted by a joint  working group of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), and have been ratified by the FOM Board and the RCPCH Standing Committee  on Child Protection respectively.


Safeguarding Children and Young People (March 2014)

Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competences for health care staff (PDF, 102 Pages, 508 KB).This document provides a competency framework for all groups (ranging from non-clinical staff to experts), information on education and training and role descriptions for named and designated professionals. This document will help all health staff understand their responsibilities in recognising child maltreatment and how to take effective action.


Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 is the revised statutory guidance on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.


Safeguarding Vulnerable People in the Reformed NHS: Accountability and Assurance Framework

The NHS Commissioning Board have published Safeguarding Vulnerable People in the Reformed NHS: Accountability and Assurance Framework which builds on Working Together and provides more detailed advice on how NHS organisations can fulfil their responsibilities and this should be read by all health professionals in conjunction with the statutory guidance.

The College has now published a summary(PDF, 5 pages, 66KB) of the new guidance which highlights the key changes and the implications for paediatricians.


Guidelines on establishing the urgency of CSA examinations

RCPCH and FFLM have published flowcharts which seek to aid forensic physicians and paediatricians when deciding when to examine both a pre and post-pubertal child in cases of suspected sexual offences. This guidance should help paediatricians when considering if to examine out of hours or whether to wait until the following day.

Pre-pubertal complaints

Post-pubertal complaints


Guidelines on possible CSA examinations

RCPCH and FFLM have agreed an updated statement in relation to paediatric forensic examinations in relation to possible child sexual abuse. 


Peer Review

The College has published short guidance on peer review, outlining its purpose, aims, process and pitfalls and including a series of good practice recommendations as well as a template terms of reference. You can also read a short article(PDF, 13KB, 1 page) by Dr Natalia Cartledge explaining the benefits of peer review from a trainee’s perspective.


Safeguarding 2012: views from the frontline

This report (PDF, 112KB, 22 pages) from the RCPCH makes recommendations intended for all practitioners, agencies and policymakers that will inform national developments and the direction of child protection policy and training at the College. 


Child Protection Clinical Networks

Child Protection Clinical Networks: Protecting Children, Supporting Clinicians, 2010  (PDF, 173KB, 45 pages). It is critically important that clinicians have appropriate skills and competencies and that they work in supportive environments with clear governance frameworks. Managed clinical networks can provide robust arrangements across organisations, as well as the collective capacity and expertise to ensure equitable access to specialist advice, high quality training, development and support; and to facilitate strategy development, governance and quality improvement.


The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse. The document focuses on evidence for the physical signs of child sexual abuse (CSA) in the following areas: female genitalia, male genitalia, anal signs, oral signs and sexually transmitted infections. The publication is available free of charge to all designated and named doctors -please contact the Clinical Standards team or purchase a copy.Child Protection Reader

Child Protection Reader, 2007 (PDF, 1.35MB, 148 pages). The Reader provides wider reading on many aspects of child protection, such as the differing perspectives on the historical, ethnic and cultural and legal issues. Purchase a copy.


Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers (FII): A Practical Guide for Paediatricians, RCPCH, 2009 

View the document (PDF, 837KB, 56 pages)


FII update statement

View the short statement confirming the 2009 guidance on fabricated or induced illness (FII) is relevant, valid and up-to-date.


External publications

Recommendation for the Collection of Forensic Specimens from Complaints and Suspects, Faculty of Forensic Legal Medicine, February 2014





If you cannot find the document you are looking for, please contact the Health Policy team for assistance.