Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls, and therefore should be dealt with as part of existing child and adult protection structures, policies and procedures.
National Female Genital Mutilation Guidance seeks to provide advice and support to frontline professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard children and protect adults from the abuses associated with FGM. As it is unlikely that any single agency will be able to meet the multiple needs of someone affected by FGM, the document sets out a multi-agency response and strategies to encourage agencies to cooperate and work together.
It provides information on:
- identifying when a girl (including an unborn girl) or young woman may be at risk of being subjected to FGM and responding appropriately to protect them
- identifying when a girl or young woman has been subjected to FGM and responding appropriately to support them
- measures that can be implemented to prevent and ultimately eradicate the practice of FGM
The Department for Education has produced a fact sheet which clarifies that the FGM duty applies to professionals working within healthcare or social care, and teachers. It therefore covers:
- Professionals regulated by a body overseen by the Professional Standards Authority. This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, and, in England, social workers
- Social care workers in Wales
The above will be reported to their regulatory body if they fail to refer to Police where they discover FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18.