Role of the Physician

Physicians have a duty (a legal duty in countries, such as the United States and Australia) to recognize and report suspected abuse to the statutory investigative agencies. Physicians need to work together with statutory agen cies and have an awareness and understanding of other agencies' roles and responsibilities. Physicians should be aware of current guidance on accountability and confidentiality produced by their professional bodies.

Physicians may be involved in a range of child protection activities, including the following:

• Recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of injury.

• Joint interagency activity.

• Court attendance.

• Ongoing care and monitoring of children following suspected abuse.

• Support for families and children.

• Teaching, training, supervision, and raising awareness.

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