The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced a new draft guideline on child abuse and neglect. It outlines how social workers, teachers and police officers, and others working outside of healthcare, can spot the signs of abuse or neglect.
It sets out the ‘soft signs’ that in themselves do not indicate abuse, but warrant further investigation. These could include excessive clinginess, low self-esteem, recurrent nightmares, habitual body rocking or over-friendliness towards strangers. It highlights that adults working with children should be alert to abuse and neglect if a child displays behaviours that are not normal for the child or for their age.
The guideline is out for consultation until September 2017.