On Friday 8 July, in the presence of Luxembourg’s Minister of Health, Lydia Mutsch, the Luxembourg Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse (ALUPSE) signed a collaboration agreement with four hospitals in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (CHDN, CHEM, CHL, HRS) and the LNS (National health Laboratory) in the area of child protection – to further support assistance to abused children, and the prevention of abuse and neglect and child protection,.
The cooperation agreement, prepared by the Social Medicine Division, Diseases of Addiction and Mental Health of the Ministry of Health, has formalised the commitment between the various parties in this sensitive area.
Minister Mutsch stated “Child abuse is a serious problem in our society and a sad reality. In 2015 alone, ALUPSE treated 177 new cases, more than 300 children were involved“.
Excellent cooperation, a lot of good will and exemplary commitment
As part of the collaboration agreement, the hospitals and the LNS can appeal to the social multi-disciplinary pediatric service of ALUPSE, which is focused on minors and unborn children at risk of or are victims of abuse, physical, psychological or sexual abuse, neglect, or whose education or social or moral development are being impaired, their families and the people surrounding them.
The social multidisciplinary pediatric service offering include:
• evaluation of therapeutic needs of patients in a neutral and competent manner;
• the implementation of a specific treatment plan, based on a medical and nursing diagnosis and developed in close collaboration with referring physicians and caregivers and hospitals, respectively community-acquired;
• supporting the hospital records regarding minors placed with it by a decision of a youth or juvenile court;
• medical examinations of minors in case of requisition by a judicial authority.
In turn, hospitals undertake to authorise the activities of members of the multidisciplinary social pediatrics service ALUPSE in their premises at the request of their staff and their participation in multidisciplinary meetings related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of child abuse or promotion of good treatment at the request of physicians and caregivers to the respective hospital.
“The collaboration between the relevant departments of hospitals (pediatrics, gynaecology, emergency, etc.), the LNS and ALUPSE is excellent. A lot of good will and exemplary commitment are the qualities necessary and essential to deal with this problem,” said Minister Mutsch.
In this sense, social pediatrician from ALUPSE can also call the LNS for:
• evaluation by the medical examiner for lesions or signs suspected to be the result of negligence or abuse of a minor;
• determination of the cause and circumstances of injuries or traces to a reasonable degree of certainty;
• the collection and preservation of evidence underage victims of abuse;
• networking with other national medical and judicial structures and / or international as appropriate.
Towards a national social pediatrics department
The Health Minister further stated that the exemplary cooperation between the five entities and ALUPSE is therefore a decisive step to helping abused and neglected children.
The next step should be awareness of other partners such as the judicial, school medicine or associations active in the social field (Stemm vun der Stroos, Jugend- an Drogenhëllef, Healthcare League, etc.) to to collaborate further in an approach to national social pediatrics service.