Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 56 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Community pharmacy services 2.116 Community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff regularly support the healthcare needs of children and parents or carers, including those in ‘at risk’ groups, such as children of parents with drug problems. As such, they have an important role to play in identifying and raising concerns when a child is thought to be at risk of or experiencing significant harm or abuse. Dental care practitioners 2.117 Dental care practitioners will often come into contact with vulnerable children and are in a position to identify possible child abuse or neglect from routine examinations, or presentation of injuries or poor oral hygiene. The dental team must have knowledge and skills to identify these concerns and raise concerns in line with local policy. Mental health services 2.118 All mental health staff in child and adolescent services and within adult services must be competent to identify concerns about children and young people. Mental health services are largely community based, with some inpatient facilities, and delivered by multi- disciplinary teams including social workers. They may become aware of children and young people who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse and/or neglect, and should raise concerns in line with local policy. Within adult services, consideration should then be given to the impact of the mental ill health of a significant person in the child’s world. If they are concerned that a person’s mental health could put children at risk of immediate or significant harm, they must take action in line with local child protection procedures. 2.119 Mental health practitioners should take account of any wider factors that may affect the family’s ability to manage and parent effectively, including strengths within the family in relation to the child’s needs. For further information, see the section on parental mental health problems. Mental health practitioners have a potential key role in both adult and child support and protection, because they engage with vulnerable people. They play an important role in reducing any risks arising from adult mental health difficulties identified within the child’s plan. 2.120 In some cases, adults and older young people may disclose abuse experienced some time ago. Even if they are no longer in the abusive situation, a crime may still have been committed and other children may still be at risk. Advice should be sought from professional advisors within their health boards. Addiction services 2.121 Addiction services, whether based within health or social work or delivered by a community-based joint addiction team, have an important role to play in the protection of children. Practitioners from addiction services have a critical role in the on-going assessment of adult service users who have caring responsibilities for children. Where risks are identified, practitioners must share information and participate in relevant Core Groups and planning meetings. All addiction practitioners should identify where children are living in the same household as, and/or are being cared for, by adults with alcohol and/ or drug use problems. Consideration should then be given to how the problematic alcohol and/or drug use of the parent or carer impacts on the child, in conjunction with children and family services. (For further information, see Part 4 of this Guidance on Parental alcohol and substance use. )