Child Protection Companion - about

The Companion is your handbook on all forms of child abuse. It covers child protection processes across the whole range of medical and social interactions: from examination, to identification, to referral, to court.

Access on Paediatric Care Online

The Companion is now available on PCO UK, an online resource informing decisions at point of care.

Most RCPCH members have access to PCO UK with their membership. To activate your account, simply sign in with your RCPCH number.

Medical student members and honorary fellows may subscribe, as can other child health professionals, including social workers, solicitors and barristers. Find out how to subscribe.

Go to Companion on PCO UK


With content across 20 chapters, the Companion describes the essential context and the pathway of child protection cases, beginning with the medical assessment, a discrete chapter on each form of maltreatment, and continuing through to court and training.

It comprises latest evidence as of its publication in 2013, including research, guidance, publications and standards. Appendices include a medical proforma to download and use locally.

We are working to update each chapter based on the latest good practice guidance, policy documents and systematic review evidence.


For information about the Companion, please contact the RCPCH PCO team on