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Safeguarding Children & Young People Roles & Responsibilities

All staff who come into contact with children and young people have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare and should know what to do if they have concerns about safeguarding issues, including child protection.

The intercollegiate document ‘Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competencies for healthcare staff’, 3rd edition (March 2014) sets out the minimum training requirements. Within the aforementioned document, core competencies are specified for all members of staff with a more detailed breakdown of the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. For the purposes of this summary, only core competencies are specified.

This Framework identifies five levels of competence, and gives examples of groups that fall within each of these. The levels are as follows:

• Level 1: All staff including non-clinical managers and staff working in healthcare settings

• Level 2: Minimum level required for non-clinical and clinical staff who have some degree of contact with children and young people and/or parents/carers. This may include primary care staff such as receptionists.

• Level 3: Clinical staff working with children, young people and/or their parents/carers and who could potentially contribute to assessing, planning, intervening and evaluating the needs of a child or young person and parenting capacity where there are safeguarding/child protection concerns. This may include GPs, nurse prescribers and practice nurses

• Level 4: Named professionals

• Level 5: Designated professionals

New staff

A mandatory session of at least 30 minutes duration should be included in the general staff induction programme or within six weeks of taking up post within a new organisation. This should provide key safeguarding/child protection information, including vulnerable groups, the different forms of child maltreatment, and appropriate action to take if there are concerns.

Staff should receive refresher training every three years as a minimum and training should be tailored to the roles of individuals. It is the responsibility of the GP surgery to ensure that its staff are trained to a level appropriate for their job role.

E-learning is appropriate to impart knowledge at level 1 and 2. E-learning can also be used at level 3 and above as preparation for reflective team-based learning, and contribute to appraisals and revalidation when linked to case studies and changes in practice.

Level 1

Over a three-year period, staff at level 1 should receive refresher training equivalent to a minimum of 2 hours.

Competence at this level is about individuals knowing what to look for which may indicate possible harm and knowing who to contact and seek advice from if they have concerns. It comprises of:

- Recognising potential indicators of child maltreatment – physical abuse including fabricated and induced illness, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect including child trafficking and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

- Understanding the potential impact of a parent/carers physical and mental health on the wellbeing and development of a child or young person, including the impact of domestic violence

- the risks associated with the internet and online social networking

- an understanding of the basic knowledge of relevant legislation (Children Acts 1989, 2004 and of Sexual Offences Act 2003)

- taking appropriate action if they have concerns, including appropriately reporting concerns safely and seeking advice

Level 2

Over a three-year period, professionals at level 2 should receive refresher training equivalent to a minimum of 3-4 hours.

Competencies at this level are as follows:

- As outlined for Level 1

- Uses professional and clinical knowledge, and understanding of what constitutes child maltreatment, to identify any signs of child abuse or neglect

- Able to identify and refer a child suspected of being a victim of trafficking or sexual exploitation; at risk of FGM or having been a victim of FGM; at risk of exploitation by radicalisers

- Acts as an effective advocate for the child or young person

- Recognises the potential impact of a parent’s/carer’s physical and mental health on the wellbeing of a child or young person, including possible speech, language and communication needs

- Clear about own and colleagues’ roles, responsibilities, and professional boundaries, including professional abuse and raising concerns about conduct of colleagues

- As appropriate to role, able to refer to social care if a safeguarding/child protection concern is identified (aware of how to refer even if role does not encompass referrals)

- Documents safeguarding/child protection concerns in order to be able to inform the relevant staff and agencies as necessary, maintains appropriate record keeping, and differentiates between fact and opinion

- Shares appropriate and relevant information with other teams

- Acts in accordance with key statutory and non-statutory guidance and legislation including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Human Rights Act

Level 3

For those individuals moving into a permanent senior level post such as a GP who has not yet attained the relevant knowledge, skills and competence required at level 3, it is expected that within a year of appointment additional education will be completed equivalent to a minimum of 8 hours of education and learning related to safeguarding.

Over a three-year period, professionals should receive refresher training equivalent to a minimum of 6 hours.

The core competencies required at level 3 are:

- As outlined for Level 1 and 2

- Draws on child and family-focused clinical and professional knowledge and expertise of what constitutes child maltreatment, to identify signs of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or neglect

- Will have professionally relevant core and case specific clinical competencies

- Documents and reports concerns, history taking and physical examination in a manner that is appropriate for safeguarding/child protection and legal processes

- Contributes to inter-agency assessments, the gathering and sharing of information and where appropriate analysis of risk

- Undertakes regular documented reviews of own (and/or team) safeguarding/child protection practice as appropriate to role (in various ways, such as through audit, case discussion, peer review, and supervision and as a component of refresher training)

- Contributes to serious case reviews/case management reviews/significant case reviews (including the child practice review process in Wales), internal partnership and local forms of review, as well as child death review processes

- Works with other professionals and agencies, with children, young people and their families when there are safeguarding concerns.

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