Safeguarding children: role of health professionals

This article serves as an introduction and an outline of the related terms in child abuse, explaining different types. This article should be read in conjunction with a number of other key documents that will be highlighted. Taking action in response to child abuse is never easy, but one of the worst things you can do is nothing. This begins with recognizing and reporting any concerns or suspicions and may involve contributing to assessments, child protection conferences and core groups. Child protection comes before all other considerations, including patient confidentiality and your relationship with a child's parents. Remember there is no such thing as a wrong referral—it is only wrong not to do one. Part two of this series will explain how to report and manage suspected child abuse.

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