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Briefly outline various incident response team models and contrast their strengths and weaknesses.

Different structures of incident response team have been identified in literature, as below.

Distributed Incident Response Team


The aim of this paper is to examine the topic of safeguarding young people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and mental health. Through this essay, the author seeks to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding gained as a nursing student. The need to protect children and young people below the age of 18 from neglect and abuse remains a hotly contested topic amongst professionals, the general public, and the media as well.

Safeguarding refers to the actions taken with the aim of protecting children or young people below the age of 18 years from harm, in addition to also promoting the welfare of this vulnerable population. Safeguarding therefore entails ensuring that children do not suffer any form of maltreatment, and that their health and development does not suffer any impairment (Department of Education, 2013). Additionally, safeguarding involves seeing to it that children have been brought up in an environment that promotes safe and effective care. According to DCSF (2009), 'all children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential.' (p. 29). It is important to safeguard the health and safety of this vulnerable group considering the rising prevalence of mental disorders among children and young people aged 18 and below. The prevalence of mental health problems in children aged between 5 and 16 years is estimated at 10% , with 70% of these lacking suitable intervening early enough (Children's Society, 2008). Besides, half of the mental health problems (50%) will already have been established by the time a child attains 14 years of age and by 24, it will have increased to 75% (Kessler et al., 2005).

Once a child has been referred to social care, he/she would have to undergo an assessment to determine whether the child in question is in need of services, in keeping with the provisions of Section 17 of the 1989 Children Act. The 2013 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' document contains detailed information on how to undertake as assessment of a child with additional needs. The assessment is important in order to determine the nature of the problem that calls for child protection services (Contact a Family, 2014). Some of the common problems encountered include emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, as well as sexual abuse.  Safeguarding this vulnerable group demands a multi-agency approach to assist and ensure protection of children in need. This is because multi-agency working has been shown to promote positive outcomes. Research indicate that children plagued with a mental health condition are at a higher risk of neglect, sexual, emotional and physical abuse, in comparison with the children who do not suffer from any form of disability. Some of the factors that contribute to the enhanced vulnerability of children with disability include considerable communication and physical needs, experiencing social isolation, intimate care needs (Centre for Mental Health, 2009), along with the supposition that behaviour forms a crucial component of the child's condition, as opposed to being seen as reaction to medication and being abused (Spencer et al., 2005). Based on these factors, children with ADHD are identified as a high-risk group on account of their conduct/behaviour disorders, language difficulties, as well as learning disabilities.

However, safeguarding children with ADHD is often influenced by societal and political factors, which could in turn influence the scope, quality and effectiveness of care provided to this vulnerable group.  First is the issue of finances. In recent years, the UK government has had to reduce its welfare budget as part of its austerity measure. For example in 2015, the UK government announced that it would reduce its spending on welfare by £12 billion, due to what it termed as a high welfare bill (British Medical Association, 2016). This will obviously impact on safeguarding support for children and young adults with ADHD.  Also, considering that aggression and violence are some of the serious but common occurrences in social and health care settings involving people with mental health (NICE, 2015), this is likely to influence public opinions regarding service users and services, thereby leading to a strong negative outcomes in terms of the patients' experience of care. Safeguarding the health and social care of children and young adults with mental health problems is also faced with the challenge of limited resources, especially a limitation in the number of staffs attending to this vulnerable group. According HM Government (2010), an ageing workforce are fewer students enrolling for the mental health course has led to a declined workforce. This will obviously lead to a decline in service delivery (Department of Health et al. 2009). Moreover, the media has played an influential role in stigmatizing persons with mental illness as being aggressive or violent, and this could hinder their willingness or that o their families to seek health and social support, further limiting the ability to safeguard the health and safety of this vulnerable group.

Nursing practitioners are called upon to exercise their clinical and professional knowledge in understanding what entails safeguarding in children and young adults, and to also identify any signs of this behaviour that could culminate in child exploitation and/or abuse. Additionally, nurses should be able to refer as appropriate any safeguarding issue that they come across, through the use of tools like SAFER communication guidelines (DH, 2013). This will aid in making effective referrals. Furthermore, nurses should make sure that they document any child safeguarding concerns as a basis for informing relevant agencies and staff. Nurses should act in line with key non-statutory and statutory legislation and guidance, such as the 1998 Human Rights Act, among other legislation, in safeguarding the health and safety of the child at risk or who is already a victim of grooming. Above all, nursing professionals should endeavor to accord a child's welfare first priority and hence the need to act in the best interests of the child. This principle has been identified in the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) Code of conduct. According to the Code, the nursing professional is expected to work in collaboration with his/her peers, as well as other health care professionals in order to safeguard and improve the health and wellbeing of service users who are likely to fall under your care, including their carers and families (NMC, 2008).


Undertaking this module has helped to advance my knowledge and experience with vulnerable groups in need of health and social care and in particular, children and young adults with mental health problems. This is a vulnerable group that is in need of safeguarding their health and safety. I am now better-informed in the need to assess such individuals in order to identify the level of risk and hence establish where urgent health and social care attention is needed the most.







British Medical Association 2016. Cutting away at our children’s futures: how austerity is affecting the health of children, young people and families. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 10 June 2018]

Centre for Mental Health (2009): Childhood mental health and life chances in post-war Britain: Insights from three national birth cohort. Available at: Accessed on 21 August 2015

Children’s Society 2008. The Good Childhood Inquiry: health research evidence. London: Children’s Society.

Contact a Family 2014. Getting social care needs when your child has additional needs. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 11 June 2018]

DCSF 2009. Referrals, Assessments and Children and Young People who are the Subject of a Child Protection Plan, England, Year Ending 31 March 2009. (SFR 22/2009). London: DCSF

Department of Education. 2015. Working together to safeguard children.  [Online]. Available at:


[Accessed 11 June 2018]

Department of Health, Unite the Union, Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’

Association 2009. Getting it right for children and families. London:  Department of Health.

HM Government 2010. Working Together to Safeguard Children A guide to interagency

working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

London:  Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. (2005). Lifetime

Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62 (6) pp. 593-602.

NICE 2015. Violence and aggression: short-term management in mental health, health and community settings. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 10 June 2018]

Spencer, N., Devereux, E., Wallace, A., Sundrum, R., et al (2005) Disabling conditions and registration for child abuse and neglect: a population based study. Pediatrics 116, 3, 609-613

£ 10 .00