Safeguarding means protecting children and taking action when a child or young person is at risk of harm. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) is committed to putting service users, their families and carers at the centre of everything we do and strive to improve patients' and service users' experience of our service.
The Trust takes all issues of abuse or neglect of children and adults at risk very seriously. It is committed to dealing with them effectively to minimise the risk of harm.
Safeguarding Children and why it matters?
The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 set out the specific duties for local authorities, working with partner organisations and agencies, to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area. The Children and Social Work Act 2017 strengthens this already important relationship by placing new duties on key agencies in a local area.
All practitioners should follow the principles of the Children Act 1989 and 2004 – that the welfare of the child is paramount.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) is the statutory guidance covering the legislative requirements placed on individual services.
- Working Together defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
What is abuse?
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Whilst it is parents and carers who have primary care for their children, local authorities, working with partner organisations and agencies, have specific duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area. The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 set out specific duties: section 17 of the Children Act 1989 puts a duty on the local authority to provide services to children in need in their area, regardless of where they are found; section 47 of the same Act requires local authorities to undertake enquiries if they believe a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm. Abuse can include one or more of the following:
- 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. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
- Emotional Abuse: The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development.
- 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.
- Neglect: 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.
- Child sexual exploitation: Is a form of child sexual abuse and occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
- Extremism: Extremism goes beyond terrorism and includes people who target the vulnerable – including the young – by seeking to sow division between communities on the basis of race, faith or denomination; justify discrimination towards women and girls; persuade others that minorities are inferior; or argue against the primacy of democracy and the rule of law in our society.
- FGM (Female Genital Mutilation): FGM involves procedures that involve total or partial removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Predominantly carried out on young girls, it is considered child abuse and is illegal in the UK.
Raising a Safeguarding Children Concern
Anyone who has concerns about a child’s welfare should make a referral to local authority children’s social care and should do so immediately if there is a concern that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to do so. Practitioners who make a referral should always follow up their concerns if they are not satisfied with the response.
A child centred approach is fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of every child. A child centred approach means keeping the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families.
If you think a child is in immediate danger you should call the police on 999.
Borough Specific Information and Services
If you are worried about a child or young person please call 020 7974 3317 (out of hours: 020 7974 4444).
If you are worried about a child, that they may be experiencing neglect or abuse, whether it is a family member or someone living nearby, phone 020 7527 7400 at any time.
Contact our children’s Single Point of Access (SPA) Team (We're open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday) Telephone: 020 8547 5008. If you need to speak to someone urgently outside of office hours, please ring the Duty Social Worker, Tel: 020 8770 5000
C&I Safeguarding Children Team
For further information, advice and support contact the Trust Safeguarding Hub:
Phone: 020 3317 7171
Secure email: Safeguarding@candi.nhs.uk
Address: St Pancras Hospital, 4 St Pancras Way, 1st Floor, East Wing, London. NW1 0PE
Head of Safeguarding and Mental Health Law
Tel: 020 3317 7575
Tel: 020 3317 7575
Women’s Lead and Team Manager
Phone: 020 7607 2777