Safeguarding Children: Recognition and response in child protection

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Who is it for?
This course is primarily for doctors in training. The session I attended had a mixture of foundation year 2 doctors, paediatric specialist trainees and consultants, and emergency medicine specialist trainees and consultants.

When did you do it?
I did this course while I was on the acute care common stem core training level 1 in emergency medicine.

Why did you do it?
Recent press coverage of high profile child protection cases has again brought into the limelight the issue of child protection. I wanted to increase my knowledge of recognition and response to children at risk of neglect or abuse, and to know how to deal effectively with the situation.

Who runs it?
The course is provided by the Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) and is run at venues around the country. The course is jointly endorsed by the ALSG, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Most of the lectures and sessions are hosted by consultant paediatricians.

What does it involve?
The course comprises a variety of lectures, interactive discussion in small groups, and communication role play. A number of sessions are held throughout the day (with refreshment breaks). Sessions include an introduction to and background issues in child protection and how to recognise child abuse and neglect, including common patterns of injury that should raise a clinician’s suspicion of abuse and neglect, and working out discrepancies with the history given and the examination findings. Other elements are: What do you do? Communication with parents, children, and professionals; multidisciplinary team working in child protection; roles and responsibilities; and a final session reminding us why we are trying to recognise and respond to child protection issues—acting in the child’s best interests.

This course also entails reading the course manual and completing the pre-course online element available via the virtual learning environment on the ALSG website ( After doing the online tasks you have to complete the online pre-course exam before attending the one day course.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberc5568
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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