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Roehampton hosts workshops on child protection

Professor Cecilia A. Essau led three workshops on the diagnostic protocol of infant and toddler abuse and neglect (24, 27 and 30 June).

Posted: 1 July 2014

image for news story Roehampton hosts workshops on child protection

The workshops are part of the € 470,541.54 EU-funded project, Protecting infants and toddlers from domestic violence: Development of a diagnostic protocol for infant and toddler abuse and neglect and its implementation to public health system (JUST/2011-2012/DAP/AG/3283). The project is currently taking place in six countries – Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy and UK.

Prof Essau is the UK project coordinator and delivered the three workshops to staff from social services departments, children’s specialist services, Local Safeguarding Children Board, Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), children’s social care, and NHS who work with families and children under 3 years.

This project addresses the priority issue of infant and toddler protection from domestic violence. The workshops gave participants an update with a specific focus on the newly developed screening tool for identifying abuse and neglect among children 0 to 3 years, its administration, and the way in which this tool could be implemented during routine health exams.

Over the three days, presentations included:

  • The phenomenon of Child Abuse and Neglect: Definitions and typology of Violence, Evidence on the prevalence and incidence
  • Abusive caregiver-infant/toddler relationship: definition, types
  • What is expected from a 0 to 12 months old infant when interacting with the caregiver: Developmental milestones
  • Alerting signs of risk and psychopathology during the first 12 months of life
  • Working with vulnerable families
  • Strategies to help children cope with stressful life events.

Prof Essau said: “There has been a huge interest among workshops delegates in implementing this new tool in their settings. It is hoped that an early diagnosis of the disorder will provide the possibility of preventing future instances of severe child maltreatment, by indicating those families needing early intervention.”

Any practitioners in social services departments, NHS, and other relevant settings who wish to implement this screening tool for identifying families at risk for Infant and Toddler Abuse and Neglect, are encouraged to contact Prof Essau.

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