Safeguarding and protecting children: where is health visiting now?

School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University.
Community practitioner: the journal of the Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association 11/2011; 84(11):21-5.
Source: PubMed


This paper aims to reinforce the importance of a well funded health visiting service in safeguarding and protecting children. While the issues involved in safeguarding and child protection have not really changed in essence, in recent years the practice context, organisational climate and policy drivers have. This paper briefly outlines health visitors' work with children and families, reiterating the profession's track record in safeguarding and protecting children work and discussing how important the health visitor role is and how eroded it has become. The small body of research evidence in this area is discussed, current policy drivers examined and obstacles to good safeguarding practice described. Health visitors' work in child protection is important, and part of a continuum of public health activity including universal preventative work, identifying and working with vulnerable children and their families, and protecting children from abuse and neglect.

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