By Judy Barker and Deborah Hodes.
This appears, at first glance, to be yet another book published in the wake of the Victoria Climbie inquiry (although interestingly it takes it title from one of Louis Blom-Cooper’s inquiry reports) which aims to give clear guidelines on child protection for all professionals. However, it was first published in 2002 and this is a revised edition.
The book offers lists of signs and symptoms of child abuse and would be useful for front-line contact workers such as teachers and child care staff, as well as all medical personnel. It is an advocate for whistle blowing and to this end addresses GPs, dentists and their clerical workers. It defines all types of abuse very clearly and advocates partnerships and collaboration with parents if possible before more drastic measures are taken. Child protection conferences are explained together with the legal framework.
This book is particularly suitable for professionals unfamiliar with child protection procedures, as its approach is very basic. The foreword, by Claire Rayner, suggests that it should be in everyone’s back pocket, especially health workers. Teachers’ staff rooms would be a particularly useful home for it, too.
Anne Bannister is honorary fellow, University of Huddersfield, a child psychotherapist and former child protection social worker.