If you can’t explain it
If you have ever taken your child to the hospital or to see a GP with an injury that you cannot explain, you may have heard the phrase ‘non-accidental injury.’
When a child is taken to see a medical professional with a complaint of an injury, the GP or Doctor has a duty to safeguard the child. If the explanations for the injury provided by the parents or carers are deemed unsuitable, the injury will be labeled either unexplained or non-accidental.
If the medical professional suspects that the injury was inflicted by another person acting maliciously then they will make a safeguarding referral to Social Services/Police.
This referral is to ensure the safety of the child or children. If the medical professional were to allow the child to return home to an environment where they are cared for by people who could have potentially intentionally hurt them, this could lead to further abuse and subsequent injuries.
Social Services will receive the referral and usually make a visit to see the child either at the hospital or GP practice. A Social Worker will speak to parents or carers and try to work out if there are any other explanations for the injury and liaise closely with the Doctors and Police to share information to reach a conclusion.
As a last resort and in the absence of any proper explanation, Social Services will seek advice from their legal team and will consider making an urgent application to the Court to allow them to share parental responsibility with the parents until further investigations into the injury can be made.
In cases of non-accidental injury, it is likely that other medical experts will be invited to give their opinions on the injury. It is important that parents share all of the information they have with professionals at the earliest opportunity.
If your child has suffered a potential non-accidental injury and Social Services has become involved with your family, you can contact us for advice, support, and guidance on 0151 480 5777. We specialise in cases that involve injured children and have assisted lots of parents throughout these difficult times.