“In cases of serious or ongoing concerns, the safety of the child comes first and it will be necessary to involve a mandated facility. In these cases, a counsellor does not violate his professional confidentiality in Belgium.”
If the safety is not sufficiently restored or there is no willingness on the client’s part to change the situation, you involve a mandated facility.
Flanders has two facilities that are mandated by the government to intervene socially in troubling situations: the Ondersteuningscentra Jeugdhulp (OCJ) [Youth Support Centres (YSC)] and the Vertrouwenscentra Kindermishandeling (VK) [Confidential Centres for Child Abuse (CCCA)]. Both facilities provide consultation to help providers in troubling situations, investigate reports of troubling situations, initiate the appropriate assistance and follow up on the initiated assistance.
When you introduce the Child Reflex it is necessary to list up the child protection services in place in your country and add ways of contact to the roadmap of the Child Reflex.
Points of attention
- Contact a mandated facility.
- Inform the client of this and prepare them.
- Make a note of any follow-up actions in the client file.
- Together with the mandated facility, see what further actions you can take as a counsellor to help restore the safety.
- Stay in touch with the mandated facility to monitor the client’s progress.
- Although counselors often fear that involving a mandated facility will cause a breach of trust between the counselor and the cliënt we can not acknowledge this out of experience. When the counselor is transparent about the actions and steps he/she will take the confidential relationship is often not harmed and the counselor can continue to support the cliënt in dealing with the steps that are necessary to address the situation.