Between 40 and 50 cases of child abuse are referred to the Social Work department at Red Cross Children’s Hospital every month.

Overstretched staff struggle to keep abreast of the demand for their services, and are increasingly concerned about the provision of suboptimal care to the most vulnerable children on their caseloads.

With assistance from additional social workers appointed to the Department for a three year period, this programme will enable the Department to process all outstanding child abuse cases; deal with all new cases immediately upon referral, as well as develop a comprehensive, up to date set of clinical protocols and skills to ensure the provision of efficient, ethical care to abused children and their families going forward.

The initiative is widely acknowledged across the Hospital as a vital step towards addressing the challenges faced by children and their families, as well as by the tertiary services responsible for their recovery and protection. It is also a crucial first step in the Hospital’s longer-term strategy to establish a dedicated multidisciplinary child protection service in the future.