Guernsey medical report highlights child maltreatment

Dr Stephen Bridgman
Image caption Dr Bridgman said investment in improving parenting could reduce the number of children affected

Drink and drug problems have been highlighted as significant factors in the maltreatment of Guernsey children.

The chief medical officer has reported that 64% of those placed on the child protection register have one or more parents with a drink or drug problem.

Dr Stephen Bridgman made child maltreatment the theme of his annual report, calling for Guernsey to improve its gathering of data on the subject.

He recommended that Guernsey "adopts internationally agreed definitions".

The Bailiwick has yet to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Between 2006 and 2010, the total number of child protection registrations was 193, with the number rising from 25 to 56 per year in that time.

Of these, 124 had a parent with a drink or drug problem, while 120 had one or more parents diagnosed with a mental illness.

Dr Bridgman said: "Investment in improving parenting can reduce the proportion of children who suffer maltreatment and thereby also reduce out of home placements."

The report also highlights the need for further controls on smoking in public places, greater investment in the prevention of mental health disorders and a Chlamydia screening programme.

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