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As stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989, Article 19), it is the responsibility of all adults to work to prevent abuse and neglect, to protect children from harm,and to identify and report concerns about child abuse.
The promotion of the welfare and the protection of children is thus the responsibility of all Chartered Psychologists.
Section One: BPS position paper
The position paper Child protection: Safeguarding children and young people from abuse, harm and neglect - the responsibilities of Chartered Psychologists, adopted by the Society in July 2003, provides a brief synopsis of the historical and legal context with respect to child protection, considers the contribution that psychologists can make to professional responses to child protection and outlines key recommendations that the Society should aim to promote in adhering to a minimum standard of practice in relation to child protection.
The position paper has been amended to reflect Working together to safeguard children (DoH et al., 2006) and aims to outline the responsibilities for all Chartered Psychologists in relation to child protection.
Section Two: Would you know what to do?
A basic awareness guide for psychologists who are not familiar with child protection issues Section Two aims to provide guidance for Chartered Psychologists who do not perceive the main focus of their work as being involved with the welfare of children and/or as being exposed on a regular basis to possible child protection issues. As such they may have received little or no training in child protection.
This section includes a range of scenarios, drawn from across the divisions, in which psychologists find themselves possibly confronted with a child protection issue.
Section Three: Child protection: The psychologist's response - a practice guideline
The practice guidelines aim to be of relevance to applied psychologists across divisions whose work brings them into contact with child welfare/child protection issues either directly or indirectly.
A key aim of this section is to offer guidance on how to apply informed professional judgement and make practice decisions when considering concerns about child abuse. It aims to assist individual practitioners in their day-to-day work including ways of approaching dilemmas and problems when the way forward is not clear.