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Child Safeguarding

Level 1

Essentially competence at this level is about individuals knowing what to look for which may indicate possible harm and knowing who to contact and seek advice from if they have concerns.

• Recognising potential indicators of child maltreatment – physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and neglect

• Recognising the potential impact of a parent/carers physical and mental health on the well-being of a child or young person

• Taking appropriate action if they have concerns, including appropriately reporting concerns and seeking advice



Competences should be reviewed annually as part of staff appraisal in conjunction with individual learning and development plan.


Level 2

• As outlined for Level 1

• Uses professional and clinical knowledge, and understanding of what constitutes child maltreatment, to identify any signs of child abuse or neglect

• Acts as an effective advocate for the child or young person

• Recognises the potential impact of a parent’s / carer’s physical and mental health on the well being of a child or young person

• Clear about own and colleagues’ roles, responsibilities, and professional boundaries

• Able to refer as appropriate to role to social care if a safeguarding/child protection concern is Identified

• Documents safeguarding/child protection concerns in order to be able to inform the relevant staff and agencies as necessary, maintains appropriate record keeping, and differentiates between fact and opinion

• Shares appropriate and relevant information with other teams

• Acts in accordance with key statutory and non-statutory guidance and legislation including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Human Rights Act



Competences should be reviewed annually as part of staff appraisal in conjunction with individual learning and development plan.


Level 3

• As outlined for Level 1 and 2

• Draws on child and family-focused clinical and professional knowledge and expertise of what constitutes child maltreatment, to identify signs of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or neglect

• Will have professionally relevant core and case specific clinical competencies

• Contributes to inter-agency assessments, the gathering and sharing of information and where appropriate analysis of risk

• Documents concerns in a manner that is appropriate for safeguarding/child protection and legal processes

• Undertakes regular documented reviews of own (and/or team) safeguarding/child protection practice as appropriate to role (in various ways, such as through audit, case discussion, peer review, and supervision and as a component of refresher training)

• Contributes to serious case reviews/case management reviews/significant case reviews, and child death review processes

• Works with other professionals and agencies, with children, young people and their families when there are safeguarding concerns

• Advises other agencies about the health management of individual children in child protection cases

• Applies the lessons learnt from audit and serious case reviews/case management reviews / significant case reviews to improve practice

• Advises others on appropriate information sharing


Competences should be reviewed annually as part of staff appraisal in conjunction with individual learning and development plan.



The following page outlines the core competencies required in the various levels of child safeguarding training.  They are taken as extracts from the document “Safeguarding Children and Young People: roles and competencies for healthcare staff” (Intercollegiate Document 2010).


General Practitioners need to be trained to level 3 and require annual updates which are provided at local TARGET sessions.


Further online safeguarding resources can be found at the RCGP here.