Practical child protection

by Dr Prasanna N. de Silva and Ms Jacqui Mortimer


Last reviewed: September 2020


Since the death of Victoria Climbié in 2000, new guidance has been provided emphasising effective communication by medical staff with other agencies. An intercollegiate document was also published in 2010, entitled ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People: roles and competencies for health care staff’.


Research by the Department of Education has increased awareness of a ‘toxic trio’ of parental factors common to 75% of cases involving childhood death or severe injury due to abuse, the three key factors being domestic violence, substance misuse and poor mental health. The Baby Peter case in 2012 again emphasised these factors.


In their report writing, psychiatrists have to consider diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in the light of parenting ability and potential scenarios where there would be risk to children. Furthermore, legal processes for child protection emphasise collaborative working more than the usual judicial processes.


This module aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge required to identify, present solutions for and work effectively with children at risk.


Start the module



Whilst child protection is an area of increasing workload for psychiatrists of all disciplines, this module is primarily directed at colleagues in Adult, Old Age and Intellectual Disability specialities. Level 3 competencies are required of all clinical staff working with children, young people or their parents/carers.



© 2021 Royal College of Psychiatrists