NICE consultation – recognising abuse and neglect

A consultation has been launched by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence in to guidance to be published to assist those working with children and young people to recognise abuse and neglect, carry out an assessment and provide early help and interventions.

The proposed guidance will cover:

  • Principles for working with children, young people, parents and carers
  • Recognising abuse and neglect
  • Assessing risk and need in relation to abuse and neglect
  • Early help for families showing possible signs of abuse or neglect
  • Response and support following abuse and neglect
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Planning and delivering services

For the purpose of the proposed guidance abuse and neglect is stated to include inflicting harm and failing to protect. The guidelines will seek to cover situations which include child sexual exploitation, child trafficking, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, faltering growth, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

The proposals suggest that it is important to look out for a variety of signs which could indicate abuse or neglect. These are listed as including low self-esteem, wetting and soiling, recurrent nightmares, aggressive behaviour, withdrawing communication, over-friendliness towards strangers, excessive clinginess and persistent attention seeking. The committee which has developed the guidelines is encouraging professionals to be curious.

Responses are sought to the consultation by 19 April.


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Written by Paula Jefferson, partner and abuse claims expert at BLM

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