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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

Comment on HMCI’s NCAS Conference address

Jenny Coles, ADCS President, said:

“Local authorities and their partners share the concerns raised by HMCI about the risks to vulnerable babies, particularly during lockdown. We know that babies are amongst the most vulnerable cohorts and Covid-19 is exacerbating many of the risk factors that families face. These risks are heightened by socio-economic deprivation, poor and overcrowded accommodation, and alcohol or substance misuse. The pandemic has seriously disrupted a key line of sight into the lives and homes of many families and we welcome the recent announcement from the Department for Education and Chief Public Health Nurse that health visitors, as well as other health professionals, will not be drawn away from their vital work with children going forward.

Safeguarding is everybody’s business and multi-agency practice is the core of all effective safeguarding work. For children under 4 years-old, health are the key universal service but we also need greater government investment in services that support parents with the challenges they face. This would be a good thing for children and has never been more important during these challenging times. The National Panel continues to highlight key areas of national importance in child safeguarding including a report on sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) earlier this year, and we await its follow-up report on non-accidental injury (NAI). It is vital that we are able to act on this learning by fully resourcing local authorities to protect our most vulnerable children and infants.”


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