Children whose welfare is at risk are more likely than their peers to present to doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. And these professionals may be the first people to recognise the warning signs of a child at risk of harm or neglect.
Gross examples of child abuse are usually evident. Dealing with them can be a practical challenge – but the response needed from us as professionals is usually unambiguous.
“Greyer” areas are in fact more common. We might not be sure what a symptom means, and need to ask questions to clarify it – questions which might be sensitive to the parent(s); this demands skill from the clinician.
After this, if we remain in any doubt, we will need to refer the child to an appropriate colleague (social services or paediatric) – sharing this news with parents can also be a difficult conversation.
In our seminar, participants’ compare their own experiences and we introduce some ideas and findings from research. We process this with discussion and group exercises. In common with all EPI training, we then move to practise focused areas of conversations, using suggestions based on best current evidence.