Child protection and safeguarding

Child protection plays a role in everything we do as child health professionals, and is about protecting individual children identified as suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect. Safeguarding is broader, and about how we ensure children grow up in a safe environment. Explore our resources, here and on our Child Protection Portal, and upcoming courses.
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Equal protection from assault

In England and Northern Ireland, children are the only group of people not fully protected in law from physical assault. Our report, published in April 2024 on this website, outlines the practicalities of removing the 'reasonable punishment defence’ from law and the next steps.
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Child Protection Portal - your essential resource

The Portal aims to inform clinical practice, child protection procedures and professional and expert opinion in the legal system. Some of its content, including our Child Protection Companion, is only available to College members (as part of your subscription) or to individual or organisational subscribers.

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Your handbook on all forms of child abuse - looks across the whole range of medical and social interactions: from examination, to identification, to referral, to court. Available to members and subscribers.
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Our evidence-based resource for clinicians in the UK and internationally helps inform clinical practice, child protection procedures and professional and expert opinion in the legal system.
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Child protection continues to evolve, with particular changes over the last 10 years. We aim to provide doctors with the essential competencies through courses and eLearning.
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Aids clinical decision-making in examining children referred for evaluation of possible sexual abuse - available to purchase or free to members who are named and designated doctors for safeguarding children. A new digital version coming soon.
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We have a range of further resources relating to child protection and safeguarding, including clinical guidance, service specifications and standards. These also include roles and competencies for paediatricians and other health professionals.
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Responsible for championing the safeguarding agenda for children and young people, this committee advises on matters relating to safeguarding – preventing violence, exploitation and abuse against children.

Members - sign up for periodic emails from the Child Protection Committee

From your RCPCH account, go to to Your contact preferences and check you are opted in to ‘College updates/professional updates’. Then go to Personalise your experience, and select ‘Child protection’.