Nurses and midwives can be instrumental to global efforts to address child abuse and neglect through a public health approach of prevention and early intervention. However, there is limited understanding of nurses’ and midwives’ roles, and no international or local guidelines to inform and evaluate their safeguarding practices. The aim of this modified Delphi study was to build consensus on the nature and scope of nursing and midwifery practice in safeguarding children in Australia. Sixty-four statements located within seven clusters were developed from a literature review and nursing and midwifery practice standards. Participants (N = 102) were nurses and midwives working with children in diverse contexts. They were asked to indicate the importance of each statement to their practice setting. Consensus (80%) was achieved on all statements in Round Two. Findings highlight that participating nurses and midwives agreed safeguarding children is a core component of their practice in diverse child-focussed settings. Findings can inform ongoing discussions about development of nursing and midwifery practice standards and guide effective workforce preparation, education, support and resourcing. Further research about ongoing development of nursing and midwifery roles in safeguarding children is essential to explore how to most effectively mobilise these professions to prevent child abuse and neglect.
- Child abuse
- public health