Safeguarding children in whom illness is fabricated or induced
This document is based on two resources: Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. Working Together sets out how all agencies and professionals should work together to safeguard and promote children’s welfare and the Assessment Framework outlines a framework for use by all those who work with children and families determining whether a child is in need under the Children Act 1989 and deciding how best to provide help.
This supplementary guidance is intended to provide a national framework within which agencies and professionals at local level – individually and jointly – draw up and agree upon their own more detailed ways of working together where illness may be being fabricated or induced in a child by a carer who has parenting responsibilities for him or her. This condition is also commonly known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, Factitious illness by proxy or Illness Induction syndrome. It is addressed to those who work in the health and education services, the police, social services, the probation service, and others whose work brings them into contact with children and families. It is relevant to those working in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.