Child Safeguarding

Child Safeguarding

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30 June 2022

Child protection and safeguarding

Child protection and safeguarding means protecting children from abuse, and identifying and stopping abuse that might already be happening.

  • Child Safeguarding

  • Categories of Abuse

    Physical Abuse

    A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

    See policies and procedures, learning slide set and podcast on training portal.

    Emotional Abuse

    The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.

    Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone. It can occur in a variety of settings and circumstances


    • Emotional abuse by parent(s)
    • Neglectful parenting
    • Educational expectations/difficulties
    • Domestic abuse


    • Bullying at school ± via social media
    • Involvement in gang culture
    • Sexual abuse or exploitation
    • Radicalisation of a young person

    Sexual Abuse

    Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether, or not the child is aware of what is happening.

    These sexual activities may involve physical contact, either assault by penetration (vaginal, anal and/or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching.

    Sexual abuse also includes non-contact activities such as allowing the child to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities or involving children in the production of sexual images or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

    Child sexual abuse and exploitation is never historic, adults at the age of 80 can still be impacted and never forget sexual abuse as a child. We have a number of resources which will support you in helping patients who are both children and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. See policies and procedures, learning slide set and podcast on training portal or click on the following link for the Lucy Faithfull Foundation for more detailed information. 

    The Lucy Faithfull Foundation | Preventing Child Sex Abuse

    Watch Know the Signs, Emma's Story


    The persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development.

    Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

    • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
    • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
    • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)
    • Ensure access to appropriate medical or dental care including preventive care
    • Be responsive to a child's basic emotional needs
    • Protect the unborn child by indulging in substance abuse during pregnancy
    • See policies and procedures, learning slide set and podcast on training portal

    Useful Resources

    Neglect Case Studies Primary Care

  • Serious Violence

    About Serious Violence

    From children to the elderly, serious violence can affect people across all stages of life. Many survive serious violence but suffer ongoing physical, mental or emotional health problems.

    Serious violence, as defined in the National Serious Violence Strategy, includes

    “…homicide, knife crime and gun crime, and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent, such as in county lines drug dealing… and other forms of serious assault”. It does not currently include domestic abuse, sexual abuse and alcohol, but this is under review.

    Serious violence is a national priority due to its growing prevalence and impact. There has been a significant rise in serious violence, with increases in homicide, knife and gun crime in virtually all police force areas since 2014. Over the last five years, serious violence in Staffordshire has steadily increased. It is predicted that serious violence and the exploitation of the vulnerable will continue to grow and will remain a significant challenge for local services.

    Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent multi agency partnership have developed a local Serious Violence Strategy. Serious Violence Strategy  - The strategy will be reviewed in 2023 and while retaining links to related national strategies it is based on a public health approach.

    The ICB's commitment to reducing violence

    The ICB is fully committed to support the serious violence agenda and alongside multi agency partners have signed a concordat to evidence that contribution and support.

    Members of the ICB's and health provider organisations are members of the Violence Reduction Executive Board and contribute to work streams associated with the local Violence Reduction Delivery Group (as part of the Violence Reduction Alliance) and regionally the West Midlands Injury Surveillance Group and NHSE Serious Violence Forums.

    The motivation and commitment to improve the lives of vulnerable young people, women and girls and stop serious violence before it begins has resulted in numerous initiatives across Stoke-On-Trent and Staffordshire including the Navigator pilot scheme delivered by Catch 22, working out of UHNM’s Accident and Emergency Department, supporting and education young people who have been injured or at risk of injury as a result of serious violence. The Safer Schools Alliance has supported a PSHE programme to be funded across city and county, educating young people about the risks of violence, county lines and child exploitation. There have been recent developments in producing a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which will be rolled out early 2022 and many more pieces of work where partner agencies have been working together to make the city and county safe for our children, young people and vulnerable adults.

    If you would like to know more or be involved in reducing violence across Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent please contact Stephanie Nightingale, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children

    Useful Resources

    Practice summary on preventing serious violence March 2021

    Serious Violence Strategy

    Government Response Serious Violence Consultation Final


    About PREVENT

    PREVENT is a national programme to stop people becoming terrorists and supporting violent extremism.

    The strategy helps to support individuals who are vulnerable to being groomed into becoming terrorists.

    Most vulnerable people visit health care settings on a regular basis and we may be the first to spot changes in behaviours that may indicate that an individual is being radicalised.

  • Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage

    About Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage

    The national chief police council defines honour based abuse as any incidence or crime involving violence, threats of violence, intimidation coercion or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse) which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family or community’s code of behaviour.

    In practice, a victim of honour based abuse may disclose that they ‘have brought shame’, caused by ‘dishonour’, or ‘lost family respect’ as a result of a choice or action they have made.  In some families breaking the code of honour can have catastrophic consequences such as honour based killing.

  • Voice of the Child


    Watch the importance of listening to the child’s voice

    Supporting the Voice of the Child.  Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines, this learning module helps readers distinguish when each applies and the differences between them. 

    Gillick competence and Fraser guidelines | NSPCC Learning

  • Mental Health

    About Mental Health Support Pathways

    Please see below Children and Young People Mental Health Support Pathways:

    Useful resources

    Children's mental health support - South Staffordshire

    Children's mental health support - North Staffordshire

  • ICON 'Babies Cry, You Can Cope’

    About ICON: babies cry, you can cope

    ICON: babies cry, you can cope’ is an intervention that helps young families to cope with crying with a focus of understanding why babies cry, how to manage this and the key message of ‘never shake your baby’ to try and reduce deaths and significant harm caused by abusive head trauma.  This national campaign has been funded and endorsed for the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, and involved 5 ‘touch points’ with new parents reinforcing the message from the antenatal period to the 6-8 week GP check.


    ICON Poster

    ICON Presentation


  • Domestic Abuse

    Useful Resources

    Podcast - Domestic Abuse by Dr Janey Merron

    Bright Sky app | Hestia ‘Bright sky’ is a very helpful App they can download (it can be locked and disguised to look like a weather App.

    Hollie Guard Personal Safety APP  ‘Hollie Guard’  is a personal safety App which can be programmed to alarm, alert the police and voice record by shaking the phone or pressing the alert button

    Child Safeguarding (Domestic Abuse)

    Identifying Domestic Abuse in PC Setting

    Routine enquiry about Domestic Abuse

    Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference Guidance for GPs


  • Female Genital Mutilation

    About Female Genital Mutilation

    Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs, for non-medical reasons. (WHO).

    FGM is not described by any religion, nor can it be excused based on culture.

    FGM is a form of child abuse and a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

  • Child Exploitation

    Child Criminal Exploitation

    Child criminal exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18.

    The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. It can involve the use of technology.

    County lines is where gangs and organised crime groups exploit children to sell drugs. Often these children, sometimes as young as seven, are made to travel across counties, and use dedicated mobile phone lines to supply drugs.

    Victims are exposed to violence, exploitation, sexual exploitation, debt bondage.

    Useful Resources

    NSPCC - What you need to know about Child Trafficking

    6 5120 Child exploitation disruption toolkit

    VRA Roadshow Presentation All age Sept 2021 NCS query headings

    CCE information sharing form 2021

  • Perplexing Presentations / Fabricated and Induced Illness

    About Perplexing Presentations / Fabricated and Induced Illness

    Fabricated and Induced Illness (FII) describes a situation where a child is harmed through the action of a parent or carer, usually through false reporting of signs and symptoms, including fabrication of past medical history. In some cases, the perpetrator may falsify hospital charts, records, letters and documents, may adulterate specimens of bodily fluids, or may induce illness directly e.g. by administration of drugs.

    This definition only applies to the more extreme end of the spectrum of FII and is sometimes referred to as ‘true FII’.

    Useful Resources

    Perplexing Presentations FII Guidance

  • Child Protection

    Child Protection Information System (CP-IS)

    The Child protection Information System (CP-IS) programme links IT systems used across health and social care, to electronically share by secure means information using the child’s NHS number that a child on a child protection plan or looked after child has attended a health care setting.  It is endorsed by CQC.

    GMC Guidance Child Protection Medicals

    Please see guidance attached GMC Guidance Child Protection Medicals

    Child Protection Case Conferences

    Please see attached:

    Child Protection Case Conference - Information Request for Adult/Child

    What Makes a Good Child Protection Report

    Useful Resources

    Child Protection Case Conference Query

    What makes a good-quality GP report for an Initial Child Protection Conference?

  • Maternity Safeguarding

    About Maternity Safeguarding

    Maternity services play a crucial role with regards to safeguarding and the Think Family agenda.  Young babies are particularly vulnerable to abuse and work carried out in the antenatal period can help minimise potential harm.

  • Looked after Children

    About Looked after Children

    A child becomes looked after when the local authority takes responsibility for where they live and other aspects of their lives and care either through a court order or through agreement with parents. 

    Children are cared for in the following settings:

    • extended family
    • foster carers
    • residential care
    • residential school

    Useful Resources

    NSPCC - Looked after Children

    LAC Consent



  • Training

  • Safeguarding with Disabilities

    This area is in development. Please check back here soon. 

  • Learning Disabilities

    This area is in development. Please check back here soon. 

  • Useful Links

    Useful Links and Organisations

    In addition to our in-house materials, NHS Health Safeguarding for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent also refers to and links with a number of other resources and data.  A selection of those are listed below:

    Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board

    Please scroll down the front page to sign up to the monthly newsletter.

    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board



    General Medical Council

    Care Quality Commission

    GOV.UK Safeguarding Children

    GOV.UK Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

    Modern Slavery in the UK - Anti-Slavery International

    Social Care Institute for Excellence - Safeguarding Adults

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