Independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review September 2021

ICOM mentioned in the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s third national review, published today (16/09/2021)

The review itself looks at safeguarding children under 1 year old from non-accidental injury caused by male carers. It is titled ‘the myth of invisible men’ because it seeks to understand why antenatal, postnatal and child protection services sometimes render fathers invisible or ‘out of sight’.Link below for the review

ICON has been mentioned at page 50, section 14. which is great to see.

This review has described the potential impact of crying as a precipitating factor of non-accidental injury to small children. There is a need to support practitioners in all relevant services to understand these impacts so that they can work more effectively with families.

One relevant programme is ICON (Infant Crying is Normal; Comforting Methods can help; It’s Ok to Walk Away; Never, Ever Shakea Baby). This has been designed to improve parental reaction to crying andspecifically to reduce incidents of abusive head trauma.

Key messages are delivered at five key touch points:

  1. At the hospital before discharge.
  2. By the community midwife in the baby’s first 10 days. 
  3. By the health visitor in the first 14 days.
  4. By the health visiting again at three weeks.
  5. By the GP at the six-to-eight-week postnatal check.

ICON is now operational in 35 different local authority and health areas across the country. Its terms of reference specifically include the need “to make a concerted effort to engage men at each touch point and through any other means”. However, there is an acknowledgement that accessing male partners remains an issue in more than 60% of their areas. The programme’s social media output is targeted at men. A video that was posted on Facebook and Twitter called ‘Dad’s cry’ had over 10,000 views and contributed to a 300% increase in male engagement.