Assessment by social care
Social care and the police will
undertake an assessment. They will collect the relevant information from all
professionals involved. Referrals may result in:
further action being taken.
of support and help for the child and their family.
fuller assessment of the needs and circumstances of the child.
This is a meeting between
professionals from all the relevant agencies (social services, police,
education, health) to decide on the next action or steps.
This will be convened if there are
concerns about significant harm. The timing will vary and may be after
discharge from hospital as long as the child is in a place of safety. A plan is
needed to ensure the child’s wel-fare and safety is addressed. When a child is
considered at risk, then following the conference:
will be the subject of a child protection plan.
comprehensive assessment (core assessment) will be arranged and undertaken.
worker will be appointed.
review conference will be arranged within 3mths.
Children not considered at risk
support plan organized.
between the family and other professionals arranged.
Those members of the medical team
directly involved in the initial assessment and/or subsequent management of the
child should write a medical report. Parents have the right to see reports
before a case conference. There are a number of important key points in writing
should distinguish fact from observation and allegation.
information should be used from current and past records.
terms should be explained for the benefit of laypersons.
observations and relevant statements from child and carer.
clearly whether the injury is unexplained or does not fit with history.
medical opinion only.
Guidance regarding confidentiality
and information disclosure is pro-vided by the UK General Medical Council
(GMC). There are various reports from 2004 onwards that can be found on the GMC
website (see www.gmc-uk.org/). In addition, there is a useful
consultation document that can be downloaded called ‘Protecting children and
young people: the responsibilities of all doctors’ (2011).
can be disclosed without consent in cases of serious crime (including child
information is not disclosed the doctor should be prepared to justify their
absence of consent, confidential medical information about parents or third
parties should be shared when relevant and necessary to protect the safety and
welfare of the child. The more sensitive this information is, the greater the
child’s needs must be to justify disclosure.
permission from parents should be obtained unless it is reasonable to conclude
that this would hinder enquiries or place the child at greater risk.