Safeguarding children is about protecting children from harm as well as helping to ensure that children meet their potential and grow up in safe, caring circumstances. Children are defined as being up to the age of 18 including unborn children. It is thought that around 10% of children suffer some form of abuse or harm and that many more families would benefit from some extra support. Most parents with illnesses or disability manage their problems well and care for their children well. However, for some families there is a need for extra help and advice, particularly at times when parent’s difficulties may become harder to manage, or at times of transition in children’s lives.
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and its staff has a duty to ensure that children are safe and well cared for, both where the child them self is a service user and when their parent, carer or other person in the child’s family or network is a service user. The needs of children are routinely considered as part of assessments and ongoing work with service users. Oxleas staff work closely with other professionals involved with supporting families where extra help or support is needed.
Oxleas staff are able to discuss concerns with service users about children’s welfare and where necessary offer advice, organise assessments and work with other agencies or services to provide support.