All those who come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including people who do not have a specific role in relation to child protection, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The Safeguarding Children Team provides consultation, support, advice, child protection supervision and training programmes across Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust’s Safeguarding Children and Families Policy identifies the role and responsibilities of staff. The Trust has Named Professionals in post to support the Safeguarding Children and Family agenda.
What is Safeguarding Children?
Safeguarding Children is of importance to everyone, not just those working directly with children. All of our staff have a responsibility to ensure children are protected from harm; this includes preventing impairment of children’s health and development. There may be times when the stresses and strains of family life lead to difficulty parenting, and as a result children can be neglected or injured.
The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 gave all children (0-18years) rights, parents’ responsibilities and a duty of ALL agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
An important part of this is the sharing of information between organisations such as the health, Children’s Services and the police to enable child protection services to take appropriate action to safeguard children.
What to do if you have concerns about a child
In emergency situations seek appropriate medical attention and contact the Police, as would be done with anyone in that situation. The protection of the vulnerable child from harm is the first priority.
If you are concerned that a child or young person is being harmed or neglected or is at risk of this you should contact Children’s Services. The telephone numbers to use are:
Making a referral/inquiry by telephone:
Where there are concerns about the immediate welfare or safety of a child/young person (in working hours): 0845 053 0009
Out of hours:
(5.30pm - 9.00am Monday - Thursday, 4.30pm Friday - 9.00am Monday and Bank holidays)
Tel: 0845 602 1043
If the child is currently in hospital please bring your concerns to the attention of one of the ward or department staff, or ask a member of staff to contact the duty matron and/or the children’s safeguarding team.
What will happen next?
When Children’s Services are contacted about concerns about the welfare of a child their staff will ask for as much detail as possible and discuss the situation. This information will be combined with any other details they may already have about a child to enable their experienced staff to decide whether and how quickly action needs to be taken.
There are a number of possible actions Children’s Services may take following receiving concerns about a child's welfare:
- Initially they may need to gather as much information as possibly by contacting other services to find out what details they may have about a child.
- They may decide no further action is required.
- They may offer the family help or advice to resolve any difficulties through family support services
- They may arrange a meeting to consider the risks and decide what further action should be taken to protect the child - an initial child protection conference
If someone contacts Children’s Services about concerns about a child it may not be possible to let them know the outcome because of confidentiality reasons.
Useful sources of advice if you have concerns about a child
If you are a child: Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit online at www.childline.org.uk
If you are an adult with concerns about a child:
Children’s Services: 0845 053 0009 / Out of hours: 0845 602 1043
Lead Nurse for Safeguarding Children and Young People : 01772 523226
NSPCC 24/7: 0808 800 5000