Child protection and safeguarding

Applies to: All
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Last reviewed: 22/07/2013
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Last updated: 29/04/2013

Child protection and safeguarding

Members of the dental team are in a position where they may identify the signs of child abuse or neglect or hear something that causes them concern about a child. The dental team has an ethical responsibility to find out about local procedures for child protection and to follow them if a child is or might be at risk of abuse or neglect, Standards for dental professionals GDC 2005.

Current guidance

There is a dedicated website Child Protection and the Dental Team which is an educational resource giving an introduction to safeguarding children in dental practice. It was created by an independent working group working in conjunction with COPDEND and funded by the Department of Health.

Child protection and the Dental Team - An addendum for Scotland

Working together to safeguard children (March 2013) is the guidance document on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

NHS England published their document Safeguarding vulnerable people in the reformed NHS - Accountabilty and assurance framework in March 2013. This outlines the repsonsibility that NHS England has for safeguarding vulnerable adults and children and how this will be discharged through other bodies.

UNICEF - Convention on the rights of the child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights. In 1989, world leaders agreed that children needed a special convention to outline the rights and protections required for those under 18 years of age.

Article 19 states

  1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

  2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

NSPCC Health Liaison Committee

The BDA is a member of the NSPCC Health Liaison Committee and the group meets three times a year. This multi-organisation group discusses child protection issues within the healthcare setting and share best practice for safeguarding children.

Other members of the group are:

  • British Medical Association

  • British Society of Paediatric Dentistry

  • Department of Health

  • Royal College of GPs

  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

  • Royal College of Pathologists

  • Royal College of Psychiatrists

  • Royal College of Midwives

  • Royal College of Nursing

BDA members

Visit the BDA member pages for more information on child protection and what to do if you are worried about a child.

To discuss the policy work that the BDA is doing on child protection please contact  Nicola Hawkey - 020 7563 4196