Child protection competences are not ‘stand alone’ competencies and should be read as part of the CAMHS competency framework.
Effective delivery of child protection competences depends critically on their integration with knowledge of: child/young person and family development and transitions, consent and confidentiality, legal issues relevant to child and family work, interagency working, and engaging families and children/young people.
Knowledge of policies and legislation
An ability to draw on knowledge of national and local child protection standards, policies and procedures
An ability to draw on knowledge of contractual obligations, legislation and guidance which relate to the protection of children.
An ability to draw on knowledge of the legal position regarding the physical punishment of children. An ability to draw on knowledge of local policies and protocols regarding: confidentiality and information sharing recording of information about children/young people and their families
An ability to draw on knowledge of the statutory responsibilities of adults (e.g. parents, carers, school staff) to keep children and young people safe from harm.
An ability to draw on knowledge that staff are responsible for acting on concerns about a child/young person even if the child/young person is not their patient.
Knowledge of child protection principles
An ability to draw on knowledge of child protection principles underlying multiagency child protection work
An ability to draw on knowledge of the benefits of early identification of at risk children and families who can then receive appropriate and timely preventative and therapeutic interventions. An ability to draw on knowledge of the importance of maintaining a child-centred approach which ensures a consistent focus on the welfare of the child/young person and on their feelings and viewpoints
An ability to draw on knowledge that assessment and intervention processes should be continuously reviewed, and should be timed, and tailored to the individual needs of the child/young person and family.
Ability to contribute to an holistic assessment of the child and family’s needs
An ability to contribute to a child-centred and holistic approach to the assessment of risks which includes consideration of: the child/young person’s developmental needs and the parents/caregivers capacity to respond to these needs the child and caregiver “context” (including family, community, culture, educational setting) strengths and difficulties within the child/young person, their family and the context in which they live
An ability to use knowledge of child and family development* and well-being indicators as a frame of reference to inform judgments about any areas of concern (e.g. indicators of parental neglect or failure to thrive)
*detailed in the section of the CAMHS framework which details child/young person and family development and transitions
Ability to draw on knowledge of the ways in which neglect and abuse presents
An ability to draw on knowledge of the concept of significant harm: a threshold that justifies intervention in family life in the best interests of children
An ability to draw on knowledge that there are no absolute criteria for significant harm, but that this is based on consideration of: the degree and the extent of physical harm the duration and frequency of abuse and neglect the extent of premeditation the presence or degree of threat the actual, or potential, impact on the child’s health/development/welfare
An ability to draw on knowledge that significant harm can be indicated both by a ‘one- off’ incident, a series of ‘minor’ incidents, or as a result of an accumulation of concerns over a period of time.
An ability to draw on knowledge of areas in which abuse and neglect are manifested: physical abuse emotional abuse