The publication of yesterday’s hard hitting national review, “The Myth of Invisible Men”, by the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, provides a stark reminder that babies are being let down in this country and, for some, the consequences are catastrophic and life-changing.

Alison Morton, Executive Director iHV, said:

“This hard hitting report highlights yet again that babies pay the ultimate price for the failings in the systems designed to safeguard and protect them. Babies cannot speak – they rely on the adults around them to protect them and, when this is not possible or their parents need additional help and support, they need to live in a world where there are skilled professionals who can spot their distress and step in to help. This is why we are calling on the Government to invest in health visiting as a vital safety net for babies and young children.”

The report highlights that 35% of all serious incident notifications involve serious harm to babies, the vast majority involving physical injury or death. This is the biggest category of all notifications that the Panel sees. In the majority of cases where babies have been injured or killed, men are the perpetrators – research suggests that men are between 2 and 15 times more likely than women to cause this type of harm in under 1s. The greater prevalence of male abusers sits alongside a description of men as too often being ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’ to safeguarding agencies.

The review focuses on non-accidental injury (NAI) in infants under the age of 1 and seeks to answer the following questions:

  • ‘How well does the safeguarding system understand the role of the father/male carer?’
  • ‘How can the safeguarding system be more effective at engaging, assessing and planning for and with men in the protection of children (or those for whom they have a parenting responsibility)?’

The review concludes that there is an urgent need to improve how the system sees, responds to and intervenes with men who may represent a risk to the babies they are caring for. For this group of men, the role that they play in a child’s life, their history of parenting and their own experiences as children and how this effects them as adults, are too frequently overlooked by the services with responsibilities for safeguarding children and for supporting parents.”

A new report by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel calls for the Government to develop new tools to help prevent the sudden unexpected death of infants (SUDI).

The independent panel of experts reviews serious child safeguarding incidents, when children have died or suffered serious harm, to learn how to improve the safeguarding system.

While the overall numbers of babies dying from SUDI are decreasing, a worrying number of deaths have been notified to the panel as serious child safeguarding incidents. Between June 2018 and August 2019, the deaths of 40 babies from SUDI were reported to the panel. Most of whom died after co-sleeping in bed or on a chair or sofa, often with parents who had consumed drugs or alcohol.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented:

“The loss of every baby is a tragedy for their parents and the services supporting them, so it is reassuring to see the number of babies dying from SUDI continues to fall.  This suggests that the safe sleeping messages are generally getting through.  However, as this report makes clear, more of these deaths might still be prevented if all parents had the right support when they were struggling with multiple issues – information alone is not enough. Again, this makes the case for health visiting services to be strengthened so that the support needs of all parents are recognised early and that they are given timely and appropriate help.”

The review reveals families with babies at risk of dying in this way are often struggling with several issues, such as domestic violence, poor mental health or unsuitable housing. It found that these deaths often occur when families experience disruption to their normal routines and so are unable to engage effectively with safer sleeping advice. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and the associated anxieties about money, social isolation and mental health issues, disruptions that led to the deaths of these infants may be more prominent at present.

To address this, the panel is calling for local areas to reduce the risk of SUDI by incorporating it into wider strategies for responding to social and economic deprivation, domestic violence and parental mental health concerns. This should be backed up by new government tools and processes to support frontline practitioners and local safeguarding partners to make these changes.




Today, over 40 leading mental health, family and children’s charities and professional bodies are calling on national and local decision makers to give urgent attention to the wellbeing of babies, toddlers and their parents during the COVID-19 crisis.

While recognising the incredible work done over recent weeks by politicians, policy makers and dedicated front-line professionals, the charities are highlighting the need to protect unborn and very young children and their parents from the serious harm as a result of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The statement comes in response to decisions from some local areas to redeploy significant numbers of staff from vital services such a health visiting, perinatal mental health and parent-infant teams that would normally support parents and safeguard babies. In some areas of England at least 50% of these highly skilled staff are being redeployed into other health services.

The organisations, which form part of the First 1001 Days Movement, describe the huge risks faced by some babies and toddlers as a result of increased pressure on already vulnerable parents, and the scaling back of services that would normally support them. They argue that babies, both born and unborn, and their parents should be given particular attention as this is a critical period with serious immediate and long-term consequences.

In a joint statement, the charities state that:

“It has already been widely recognised that for some people, home is not a safe haven. Across the UK, there are babies and children in lockdown in poor quality and overcrowded housing, with shortages of basic supplies, cared for by parents under immense pressure. Babies, born and unborn, are particularly vulnerable to physical and emotional harm because they are at a critical stage in their development, are fragile, totally dependent on adults for their care, and unable to speak out or seek help. Therefore, it is essential that Government is keeping their needs in mind.”

Research shows that, prior to the crisis, between 10-20% of women experienced mental health problems in the perinatal period[1] and 25,000 babies in England live in households where their parent or parents are already struggling with at least two significant issues – parental mental illness, domestic abuse and/or substance misuse.[2] These problems are escalating during the COVID-19 crisis as a result of the range of stresses facing families.

The charities write that families will be struggling behind closed doors, unknown to services.

“We can’t expect that families in trouble will ask for help: we know that parents often hide their struggles for fear of stigma and judgement. Babies can’t speak out.”

The statement calls on local services to work together to ensure that there is sufficient support for parents, and protection for children, not only for families known to be at risk before the crisis, but also those families who may be experiencing new or heightened problems as a result of the crisis.

While many services are working hard to deliver services in different ways – such as phone calls, video consultations and online forums – the charities argue that these may not be enough to reach families suffering from multiple disadvantage, and to understand what is really happening to babies in those households.

The organisations are calling on the UK Government to:

  • Ensure that the physical and emotional needs of the youngest children are considered more explicitly and transparently by those making decisions about the response to COVID-19. Provide clarity on who in high-level decision making forums, such as COBRA, is representing the needs of babies and their parents.
  • Provide clear guidance for health and social services on maintaining vital support for families. This must encourage an informed and coordinated local approach in each area that draws on partnerships between statutory agencies and charities (utilising any local volunteers effectively and appropriately) to ensure all families get the support they need. This guidance should minimise the re-deployment of staff from community services, in particular health visiting, parent-infant and perinatal mental health teams, recognising that these services provide essential support to families at highest risk and are needed more than ever. Decision makers must balance action to tackle COVID-19 with action to reduce its immediate and long-term negative impact on parents and the next generation.
  • Ensure that the strategy to end the lockdown considers the needs of babies and their families, and the services that work with them. Government must consider how services can swiftly and safely return to offering high-quality face to face support to families and how additional support can be put in place to mitigate the impacts of social distancing, particularly on the most vulnerable families.

The charities are calling for national leadership to champion the needs of the youngest children and their families, not only during the outbreak but also beyond it.

Sally Hogg, Head of Policy and Campaigning at the Parent-Infant Foundation and Coordinator of the First 1001 Days Movement, said:

“For a long time, charities, professionals and parliamentarians have called for there to be a senior Minister in Government with clear responsibility for the wellbeing of children – beginning in pregnancy. Perhaps if such a person had been in place, we would have seen more attention paid to the needs of the youngest children in response to COVID-19. Babies don’t have a voice. This is a time when they need someone to be speaking up for them, and championing their needs at the highest levels in Westminster and Whitehall.”

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England said:

“I support this statement from the 1001 Days Movement. While thankfully babies and toddlers seem to be at lower risk of COVID-19 illness, we know that many are vulnerable to a host of secondary risks. Lockdown places additional pressures on parental mental health, family finances and relationships, and leaves families without their support networks. Families with vulnerable young children need help in caring for, bonding with and supporting the development of their babies and toddlers.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The First 1001 Days Movement is a group of organisations and professionals that drive change together by inspiring, supporting and challenging national and local decision makers to value and invest in babies’ emotional wellbeing and development in the first 1001 days.
  • Organisations that signed the statement are listed below.
  • There is clear, compelling evidence from decades of research that the first 1001 days, from pregnancy to age 2, are a significant and influential phase in development. What happens during this period lays the foundation for every child’s lifelong health, well-being, learning and earnings potential. (For more information we suggest you look at previous publications and infographics by the First 1001 Days Movement )
  • Babies, before and after birth are vulnerable because they are small and fragile and completely dependent on parents for their care. Babies are over-represented in Serious Case Reviews which occur when a child dies or suffers serious harm. Reviews for DfE in 2012 and 2014 both found that at least 40% of Serious Case Reviews related to a child under one.
  • Evidence from China and Italy shows the increased prevalence of domestic abuse and safeguarding issues during lock down. In the UK, domestic abuse charities have reported a 25% increase in contacts in recent weeks and childline has also seen an increase in calls.
  • Vulnerable families are facing a huge number of pressures: economic hardship, job insecurity, isolation, anxiety about the virus and the stresses of lockdown. Babies will be affected by the lockdown – by the changes in routine and environment and the impact on their families. And the stress of the crisis will make it harder for some parents to provide babies with the safe, nurturing, responsive care that they need, and in a small but important number of cases may push families over the edge towards abuse.
  • The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health reported that senior paediatricians have contacted the RCPCH with reports of children arriving at hospitals with illnesses at a far more advanced stage than they would normally see. For babies, who are less physically resilient than older children, this may result in babies becoming seriously unwell.
  • Initial scoping information collated by the Institute of Health Visiting from health visitors in practice suggests that redeployment is being led locally and implemented differently by different areas. Health visiting workforce numbers in some parts of the UK  have been cut by 50-70%. In contrast, some areas have not redeployed any health visitors and a few have actually increased their health visiting establishment through redeployment of health visitors currently working in other roles, back to frontline health visiting practice.
  • Other organisations in the First 1001 Days Movement have heard from perinatal mental health and parent-infant teams where staff have been redeployed into other services.

Organisations that have signed the statement:

  • Action on Postpartum Psychosis
  • APEC
  • Approachable Parenting
  • Association of Breastfeeding Mothers
  • Best Beginnings
  • Birth Companions
  • Borne
  • Brazelton Centre UK
  • Breastfeeding Network
  • Building Bonds
  • Cattanach
  • Cocoon Family Support
  • Dad Matters
  • Easy Peasy
  • Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
  • Family Action
  • Family Links: The Centre for Emotional Health
  • First Steps Nutrition
  • GBSS
  • Home-start UK
  • ICP Support
  • Institute of Health Visiting
  • Make Birth Better
  • Mama Academy
  • Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • Maternity Action
  • Mothers at Home Matter
  • NCB
  • NCT
  • One Plus One
  • Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Parents 1st
  • Petals
  • Sands
  • Solihull Approach
  • Stefanou Foundation (For Baby’s Sake)
  • Swansea University
  • The Association of Child Psychotherapists
  • Twins Trust

A number of member organisations provide online support for families during this crisis. Some examples that you might want to highlight for parents include:

  • Information from the iHV:
  • Baby Buddy is an NHS approved pregnancy and parenting app created by the charity Best Beginnings. It provides empowering and informing daily information, has over 300 practical films including films on maternal mental health, understanding your baby, supporting the couple relationship, breastfeeding and more. It sign-posts to scores of other charities, has a direct route to the 24/7 Baby Buddy Crisis Messenger and actively supports families whose children are at higher risk of poorer outcomes.  To find out more and download Baby Buddy go to:
  • Best Beginnings are also collating information from other charities about the support available for families during the crisis. This information will be available here from Thursday 9th April :
  • The Breastfeeding Network and other charities are providing infant feeding support for families: …
  • FamilyLine is a free service available to support adult family members on all aspects of family life issues via telephone, text message and email. Whether it’s emotional support or practical advice on any aspect of parenting or broader family issues, call: 0808 802 6666, text: 07537 404282 or email: [email protected]
    Monday to Friday: 9am – 9pm. The helplines will be covered by SHOUT our text crisis line outside these hours including weekends and bank holidays.
  • EasyPeasy is an award winning digital home learning service proven to support children’s early development (ages 0-5) through inspiring playful interactions. The app has been made FREE until May 31st and offers access to hundreds of activities, game ideas, tips and advice for parents of young children.
  • For Baby’s Sake supports both parents over the 1001 first days, starting in pregnancy, to bring an end to domestic abuse and support their baby’s early development.  This programme is continuing to work with mothers and fathers remotely, particularly using video technology, using techniques to reduce the risks of domestic abuse and increase physical and emotional safety.  The Stefanou Foundation, which created the programme, is sharing their learning, including guidance for professionals on reducing trauma risks and building resilience during COVID‑19, which may be downloaded from
  • Birth Companions specialises in working with women facing multiple disadvantage during pregnancy and early motherhood. The charity has adapted its face-to-face services in light of COVID-19 to focus on providing ongoing phone and email support, practical mother and baby essentials such as clothing, nappies and baby slings, and tailored antenatal information packs delivered electronically and through the post.  More information is available at

[1] Bauer, A., Parsonage, M., Knapp, M., Iemmi, V., & Adelaja, B. (2014). Costs of perinatal mental health problems.

[2] Miles, A. (2018). A Crying Shame A report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner into vulnerable babies in England

The iHV is delighted to share the updated RCGP Child Safeguarding Toolkit.

Authored by safeguarding experts including Catherine Powell, Child Safeguarding Consultant, Institute of Health Visiting,  the updated Child Safeguarding Toolkit provides busy practitioners with an easily navigable resource to ensure excellence in safeguarding practice in Primary Care.

The purpose of the RCGP Child Safeguarding Toolkit is to support and enable best practice in safeguarding and child protection. This includes setting out the roles and responsibilities of GPs and their staff, in the recognition and referral of situations that indicate that a child (including an unborn child) may be at risk of significant harm.

The toolkit has been designed with the needs of the busy frontline practitioner, and useful links to updates on policy and practice for those who have a more senior leadership role.

Successful practice in safeguarding and child protection can be incredibly rewarding. However, the challenging nature of this topic, together with the emotional toil, should be acknowledged. Working with others is key to achieving best outcomes.

Building on previous versions, and designed to complement the Adult Safeguarding Toolkit launched in 2017, this latest edition highlights contemporary risks to children and young people including increasing awareness of risks to children from outside the home such as child sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic abuse within teenage relationships, radicalisation and online abuse (these forms of abuse are referred to as ‘contextual safeguarding’ (Working Together, 2018). It also serves as a reminder of the need to continue to be vigilant as to the risks to children from within their own families.

The contents of the toolkit have been organised in to five sections:

Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare Staff

Published in January 2019, the Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare Staff intercollegiate document provides a clear framework which identifies the safeguarding competencies for all staff, clinical and non-clinical, who work in any healthcare setting.

The safeguarding intercollegiate documents provide a robust framework to ensure that primary care staff are equipped for their safeguarding duties. The RCGP has produced a RCGP supplementary guide to safeguarding training requirements for all primary care staff.


The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), alongside over 20 health organisations including the Institute of Health Visiting, has published new safeguarding guidance for healthcare staff responsible for the care and protection of children and young people.

Safeguarding guide

Called ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare Staff’, the document provides clear guidance to healthcare professionals on how to protect children and young people in their care and what to do in the event they come to harm.

All staff who come into contact with children and young people have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare and should know what to do if they have concerns about safeguarding and child protection issues.

The latest document has been updated to include changes to legislation and statutory guidance in England and now includes education and learning logs to enable individuals to record their learning and form a ‘passport’ for those who move on to new jobs or other organisations.

Over 1200 English health visitors reported in the 2018 Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) annual survey that for many their caseloads are increasing, that they are experiencing high levels of stress, and they worry about not being able to deliver the services they should to all children with needs, especially the most vulnerable. This follows a significant reduction in local authority public health funding since 2015.

The Institute’s 2018 survey shows that 44% of health visitors reported working with caseloads of more than 400 children, up from 28% in 2015 when commissioning of their service transferred to local authorities. The Institute recommends a maximum of one health visitor to 250 children to deliver a safe service.

Higher caseloads have led to 42% of health visitors reporting the quality of their service as being inadequate or poor with increased stress levels (72%) in the practitioners and concerns about child safety with a shocking 43% reporting that they are so stretched they fear a tragedy at some point (when a child in need isn’t recognised until it’s too late).

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“Cuts to public health budgets by the Treasury have led to a loss of around a quarter of the total health visiting workforce over the past three years (NHS Digital), but these losses aren’t consistent across the country with losses being greater in some areas and smaller in others.”

The losses come against a backdrop of increasing need, especially related to poverty. 69% of health visitors told the Institute they had seen an increase in the use of food banks over the past 2 years.  Health visitors also report working with many more families facing multiple adversities, including parental substance misuse, domestic abuse and mental illness. In the words of one health visitor:

“….. complexity of families and increase in poverty has increased need, especially around mental health”

The survey responses also indicate that health visitors’ capacity to deliver all of the five mandated universal health and development reviews from the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) in England, the minimum service that every family is entitled to, has been seriously reduced.

Many reviews are delegated to non-registered practitioners without health training, and some are not carried out at all, with reports of around 65% families not having an appointment with a trained health visitor after their child’s 6-8 week contact, and even less, 79%, after the first year of life.

Dr Adams continued:

“This is hugely worrying as many of the issues that health visitors are trained to assess during these contacts with families are hidden and are easily missed by less qualified practitioners.  This means that these issues may be much harder and more costly to address by the time that they become conspicuous.

“The Children’s Commissioner for England has recently discussed the need to be concerned about so called ‘missing babies’ (A Crying Shame, Oct 2018) who are very vulnerable but not recognised as children in need and only found if you look for them.

“Another negative impact of the fall in health visitors has been on breastfeeding rates, for example a reported fall from 70% to 46% at 6 weeks in one London Borough after the funding for their breastfeeding team was cut. We know that breastfeeding protects against many illnesses, so this will ultimately result in increased costs to the NHS.”

There are just five mandated universal contacts prescribed for all families in England, in stark contrast to the health visiting services delivered across the other parts of the UK. Nine core universal contacts are being delivered to Welsh families, families in Northern Ireland receive seven with a planned increase to nine, and Scottish families receive eleven.  These are all health visitor contacts, not delegated to more junior staff.

Dr Adams commented:

“It is about much more than the number of contacts, it’s the quality of those contacts that matters – having enough time to listen to family concerns and to act on them.  It is clear there is now a significant postcode lottery of health visiting services across England with some parents still receiving a good service (for example, Blackpool has invested into eight contacts) on a sliding scale to many parents receiving very poor services depending on where they live.  This is an unacceptable situation for English children as it has implications for their wellbeing across the life course.”

The Institute is calling for reinvestment into public health services, a new joint integrated commissioning framework between local authorities and the NHS for universal children’s health services, a refreshed and re-launched Healthy Child Programme and enough health visitors to be able to address the unique needs of every child and family.

President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor Russell Viner, said:

“Health visitors play a vital role in public health and prevention. They provide crucial health advice to parents, identify and put interventions in place for children with health, educational and potential safeguarding needs, and help to prevent accidents, injuries and more serious problems later in life.”

Dr Adams concluded:

“Another round of public health budget cuts are due in 2019/20. Unless these are stopped now, we will see a further reduction in health visitors and more negative outcomes for children and families, and in turn, for society as a whole.”


Significant changes to local multi-agency arrangements have recently been established through the Children and Social Work 2017. The Act creates new duties for police, health and the local authority to make arrangements locally to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area. Following the passage of the Act in April 2017, the Government has worked to revise the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children, and draft the regulations required to commence the legislation. The public consultation on these draft documents ran from 25 October 2017 to 31 December 2017.

During this period, the Government also held a series of nine regional consultation events across England. The consultation sought sector input on the proposed changes to Working Together to
Safeguard Children, as well as the draft regulations. It attracted 703 responses from a wide variety of interested stakeholders, including representatives from local authorities, health sector bodies, police, youth justice, voluntary and community organisations, social care professionals, safeguarding boards and educational establishments. Nearly 450 delegates attended the regional events and shared their views in person.

This document summarises the results of the consultation, and sets out the Government’s response.

Rapid review to update the safeguarding guidance for the Healthy Child Programme for children aged 5 to 19.

The Healthy Child Programme sets out the recommended framework of universal and progressive services for children and young people in England to promote their health and wellbeing.

The purpose of this rapid review is to update the evidence regarding safeguarding guidance, focusing on prevention and early intervention.

The review looks at relevant systematic review level evidence, supplemented with some primary impact evaluations in the areas of preventing or intervening early with:

  • child abuse and neglect
  • child sexual abuse and exploitation
  • intimate partner violence
  • female genital mutilation
  • gang violence
  • More than 1 in 3 health visitors worry that they are so stretched that there may be a tragedy in their area at some point
  • More than 1 in 5 health visitors are working with caseloads of over 500 children

Results from the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) annual survey 2017 show the worrying impact of a reduction in health visiting services on babies and families since responsibility for the service in England moved from the NHS to cash-strapped local authorities in October 2015.

This year’s iHV survey of over 1400 health visitors shows major concerns around safeguarding and protecting children at risk, with a third of health visitors in England feeling that they are so stretched that there may be a tragedy in their area at some point – this is up from 25% in 2015 and strongly suggests a very unsafe situation for both children and health visitors who must manage that risk and worry, and know they may be blamed if a child is injured.

The survey also disturbingly showed that more than 1 in 5 (21%) health visitors in 2017 are working with caseloads of over 500 children – which is in stark contrast to the 1 in 8 (12%) reported in the iHV survey in 2015 when the funding transferred from NHS to local government, and when a recommended ‘minimum floor’ was set of three whole time equivalent health visitors to cover 1000 children. The Institute recommends an average of one health visitor to 250 children to deliver comprehensive health improvement.

42% of those surveyed reported they can only offer continuity of care to vulnerable children and those subject to child protection processes (26% in 2015). This is worrying when it’s the ability of health visitors to build a trusting relationship with families over time that gives those families the confidence to disclose sensitive areas where they need help promptly.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director of the Institute of Health Visiting, commented:

“Health visitors are advanced specialist practitioners, previously nurses or midwives, who are very skilled at working with families to support them through stressful times.

“We are being told that many families see a health visitor only until their child is 8 weeks old, with less skilled staff carrying out all their later developmental reviews.  Health visitors’ time is being targeted to picking up work once done by social workers in some areas of the country, meaning that these health visitors are not able to deliver their primary preventative role – the only professionals previously able to offer this as a universal service.

“Without a universal preventative service many children and families in need will be missed until their problems become serious, which goes completely against the role and responsibilities of a trained health visitor and where they can have their greatest impact.  Our worry is that the number of children needing care proceedings will increase, even more children will need mental health services, postnatal depression will go undiagnosed, there will be greater demand on GPs and hospital services and more children will enter school less well prepared in terms of their social, emotional and communication skills. Cutting the public health workforce is a false economy.”

Dr Adams continued:

“There is a significant research base that demonstrates the importance of investment in the early years to reduce later costs by up to eight or nine times including the cost of social care, the NHS and criminal justice services*. As a nation, we cannot afford to not invest in our children – they are our future.   There is already a large group of children and families who are affected by the recent reductions to public health budgets, and without new investment this number seems set to increase.”

* See the work of Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman: and Masters et al (2017), Return on investment of public health interventions: a systematic review

Here at the Institute, we pride ourselves on our history of collaboration and partnership working, with our involvement in national #HVweek as a clear example of this.

The quality of our current partnerships and valuable working relationships mirror those that we previously enjoyed as practising health visitors; our relationships with our families, our colleagues, supervisors and most importantly our multi-agency relationships and partnerships with other professionals all central to reducing risk and improving outcomes for children and their families.

Today’s #HVWeek theme focuses on Safeguarding and the importance of good relationships and multi-professional working – and here are some of our resources to support you:


In 2014, we delivered over 250 Domestic Violence and Abuse Champions and almost 200 Contemporary Issues in Safeguarding and Child Protection Champions, supported by the Department of Health. Our e-learning for both programmes is still open access to all practitioners who would like a refresher to support authoritative practice in these areas.  In addition, this year we have developed new e-learning to support a government campaign to reduce domestic slavery – this is also open access to all.

iHV Professional Guidance

For those short of time why not read our excellent iHV Professional Guidance (for iHV members only) –  Serious Case Reviews (SCRs): messages for health visiting practice by our expert Dr Catherine Powell, originally published in January this year.

Learning from SCRs plays a critical role in improving practice and in the prevention and early identification of children who are at risk of significant harm and many of the messages revolve around relationships and seamless working. Succinct, brilliantly collated and well-received, do look again if you missed it the first time around.

Good Practice Points

We have a wide range of Good Practice Points for Health Visitors – a few a listed below to support today’s #HVweek theme around Safeguarding:

Other resources

SAFER Communications Tool

These are guidelines for communications between health visitors and local authority children’s social care teams using the SAFER process when a child may be suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm*.
All verbal communications can be carried out using the SAFER process. It can also be used for ‘no name consultations’. The use of SAFER will ensure a uniform approach to communicating the level of risk to a child/children.

Please note that some of these resources are available to iHV members only.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

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