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Safeguarding Unborn Babies and Under 1s

Unborn babies and under 1s remain a vulnerable group:

“Babies under 12 months old continue to be the most prevalent group notified, and there were a high proportion of cases involving non-accidental injury and sudden unexpected infant death. In these cases, parental and family stressors were the most significant factor in escalating risk.” (CSPR Panel Annual Report 2020).

Wiltshire have completed and published a Thematic Review into significant physical injuries in under 1s. This report pulls together the learning from recent Wiltshire cases of injuries or deaths of children under 1 as a result of physical abuse. 

Nationally, the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel published have published Out of Routine, a review of sudden unexpected death in infancy, and subsequently a report in September 2021 on The Myth of Invisible men: Safeguarding children under 1 from non-accidental injury caused by male carers.  This report highlights how men are often the perpetrators of abuse but remain unseen or unassessed within safeguarding practice. 

Responding to bruising and injuries to non-mobile babies and children

Non-mobile babies and children very rarely cause injuries to themselves and therefore must be considered at significant risk of abuse.

Therefore, all bruises or injuries to non-mobile babies or children must be reported by phoning MASH (0300 456 0108).

There is guidance to support you as a practitioner, available below along with a leaflet for parents:

Multi-agency Protocol: Bruising and injuries to non- mobile babies and children – this guidance is for all professionals working with children and young people in Wiltshire.

Supplementary Guidance for Health, MASH and Social Care Professionals only and should be read alongside the multi-agency protocol

Leaflet for parents – this is for any professional to use to help explain what will happen if a bruise or injury is noticed. (when printing select print on both sides flipping onto the short edge.)

What resources are there to support practitioners in understanding vulnerability and protective factors for parents?

Professionals are encouraged to use this practical resource – Vulnerability and Protective Factors in Pregnancy to Early Parenthood to increase their awareness of the breadth of factors that may impact on the development of unborn children and infants and to ensure families receive the support they need to give children in Wiltshire the best start in life. It includes a summary page with information on application in practice which can be used as a standalone resource.

Download our poster on Safeguarding unborn babies and under 1s.

The first critical 1001 days: why they matter and local interventions

Vulnerability in under ones – the national and local context

In Wiltshire we are also supporting the roll out of Five to Thrive: Attachment, Trauma and Resilience Training .  This supports secure attachment and building healthy relationships.

What support is there for parents?

The Baby Steps Programme gives extra support to families in pregnancy and early parenthood. They can be first time parents or have previous children. If you know parents who would be suitable for the programme and they agree to their details being passed to the Baby Steps team, please complete a Baby Steps interest form here.

The Rise Trust: Mum2Mum Breastfeeding groups

The Dad Pad  can help new Dads feel more confident about fatherhood.

Children’s Centres provide services in the community that can support parents with children aged 0-5.  To find out more visit: Children's centres in Wiltshire - Wiltshire Council

Working with Fathers

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