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by Dr Chris Buller and
Published: March 2021
Most clinicians have come across the
phrase 'the welfare of the child is paramount'; this key principle
is at the heart of the Children Act 1989 and 2004.
Working Together to
Safeguard Children (Hawkins &
Department For Education, 2018) makes it clear that
safeguarding is everyone's responsibility and applies to all health
organisations, including adult mental health and substance misuse
services for adults. The document also highlights the importance of
identifying children and families who would benefit from early
help, including those particularly likely to require this.
Examples could include
children in a home where there is parental substance misuse,
parental mental ill-health, parental intellectual disability and/or
domestic abuse, or a child who is a young carer showing signs of
being drawn into antisocial behaviour or frequently going missing
General adult psychiatrists play a central role in the
assessment and management of patients, many of whom are parents and
others who may also pose a risk to children. This module aims to
highlight the type of scenarios the clinician may encounter, where
safeguarding children issues may either be obvious or emerge
following further assessment informed by a greater
knowledge/understanding of this complex area.
This module provides advice on how clinicians can effectively
manage such scenarios, including advice on where they may access
support, what information they should share and with
If you like this module, you may also be interested in:
Ethical and legal challenges within children's
mental healthcare: Part 1 & Part 2 by Dr Moli Paul
Mental Health Act 1983: Safeguards (England) by
Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Tim Branton and Dr Nick Brindle
outcomes for the offspring of depressed
parents (podcast) by Professor Myrna
Download take-home notes to print and