blackfamilyA leading safeguarding expert has challenged healthcare professionals to add "cultural competence" to their professional mix of safeguarding skills.

JFHC Live 2013 speaker Jane Cook, chair of the Victoria Climbie Foundation, told JFHC Live delegates this would help them develop a keener awareness of the common issues and challenges faced by "vulnerable" black and ethnic children and their families.

These groups are statistically at greater risk of low educational attainment, poverty and homelessness, she warned. Mothers within these groups are also at greater risk of receiving poor perinatal care, which can impact on the whole family.

She also recommended developing an open dialogue with communities on matters relating to their culture, faith and beliefs. She argued this dialogue could potentially facilitate easier and more effective ways to deal with cultural or faith-based abuse (such as witchcraft, child trafficking, forced marriages, fgm, corrective rape, domestic violece and spirit possession).

She concluded by saying that although it was good practice to recognise differences both between and within cultures, "neither religion nor cultural values must ever overide the safety and welfare of a child".

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Posted 18/03/2013 by