I was thrilled to read that Andrew Maddick is championing a subject that I have had a long-term concern about – Safeguarding Children (see the article in The Osteopath, Dec/Jan 15 and the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine). For the dissertation of my Masters in 2011 I researched and wrote a Safeguarding Children policy for osteopaths. I researched the literature for many professions and found that Osteopathy was extremely minimalistic in the requirements set for osteopaths – Standard C8, 3. You must comply with the law to protect children and vulnerable adults. One of the underlying factors in setting up Mint was the desire to equip practitioners by improving awareness of safeguarding principles for osteopaths with regard to both children and vulnerable adults. If you have ever read the reports on Victoria Climbié or Baby Peter you will know how many health professionals came into contact with those children without taking action on their concerns. Sadly child abuse affected more than 43 000 children in 2013. It is very likely that osteopaths will come into contact with a family or child with safeguarding issues and the law states that we have a responsibility to take action.
I encourage you to read the two excellent articles on identifying children at risk of abuse. Part 2 of Andrew Maddick’s article is yet to be published. In quarter 2 of our manual there is a safeguarding policy and guidance on being aware of and responding to safeguarding issues in practice. Because we consider Safeguarding to be such an important issue we will also be offering you interactive safeguarding e-learning with certification through another provider, included free as part of your membership fee.