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Safeguarding children: audit of staff knowledge

Publication year
Wiener, L.; Michelle, M.

Following the publication in 2006 of ‘Working together to safeguard children’ (HM Government 2006), an audit was undertaken to assess the working knowledge of children’s services staff about safeguarding. The aims of the audit were to: identify knowledge of key legal issues required when caring for children and young people; highlight gaps in knowledge; identify training needs. Staff in acute children’s services in two district general hospitals and in the child and adolescent mental health service were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The results of the audit showed that professional’s knowledge about the sharing of information was good. This may have been due to a recent introduction of a policy on sharing information and also mandatory training on safeguarding children, which includes issues regarding sharing information. However, the audit identified a lack of understanding about parental responsibility with only 41 per cent of staff able to provide an acceptable response. Other gaps in staff knowledge were identified concerning legal orders, particularly emergency protection orders and police protection powers.

Research abstracts