Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 53 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Antenatal and maternity care 2.98 All healthcare staff must be alert to the support and preparation needs of parents of unborn babies and have a duty to identify potential child abuse, neglect and risk to the wellbeing of an unborn child, or another child in the same environment. Midwives 2.99 Midwives have a significant role in early identification and prevention of risk factors and in the anticipation of additional care needs that may impact the unborn child during pregnancy. These may be physical, psychological, social or cultural. Relationship- based practice is central to midwifery. The midwife’s responsibilities include advocacy, management and sharing of concerns as appropriate, in collaboration with interdisciplinary and multi-agency colleagues, in line with the NMC standards-of-proficiency-for-midwives. 2.100 The Best Start (Scottish Government 2017) recognises social determinants and health inequalities have an important influence on pregnancy and birth. This universal model of care requires a family-centred, safe and compassionate approach in which assessment of risk is specific to needs and circumstances in each situation. Women with the most complex vulnerabilities should have access to the appropriate level of midwifery care. Health Visitor 2.101 Health visitors have a pivotal role to play in supporting the development of children and families in the first five years of a child’s life; and in early identification of support where children may have additional needs and vulnerabilities. Health visitors are registered nurses or midwives who have undertaken additional education at masters level to be eligible to register and practice as health visitors. 2.102 The Universal Health Visiting Pathway, published in October 2015, presents a core home visiting programme to be offered to all families with children under five years of age. It consists of eleven home visits, three of which include a formal review of the family and child’s health by the health visitor (13-15 months, 27-30 months, and prior to starting school). Health visitors support parents by providing information, advice, and help to access other services. Health visitors have a professional duty to raise concerns when they consider a child is at risk of, or experiencing, significant harm. Family Nurse 2.103 The Family Nurse Partnership Programme is being delivered across 11 health board areas in Scotland. The family nurse works with young first-time mothers and their families, from pregnancy until their child is two years old. The family nurse aims to guide the mother to achieve the three programme goals, which are to improve antenatal health and birth outcomes, child health and development, and parental economic self-sufficiency. Where there is a family nurse, they may act in the named person or equivalent role. 2.104 The licensed, socio-educative programme is delivered by specially trained family nurses to enhance parenting capacity, and seeks to support parents to achieve their aspirations. In addition to the schedule of home visits, the family nurse fulfils the requirements of the Universal Health Visiting Pathway. 2.105 When the first child reaches their second birthday, both they and their mother graduate from the FNP programme, and their on-going care and named person role is transferred to the health visiting service.