3.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers (FII)
There is considerable debate about the nature and definition of FII and there are many different terms. FII is not a disease and the RCPCH emphasises that the terms ‘fabricated illness’ or ‘Induced illness’ should be used as a descriptions not as diagnoses. FII might best be thought of as a child protection description. Therefore, FII might be said to be ‘a condition whereby a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm through the fabrication or induction of illness by a carer’.
In making a referral, the harm should always be defined. It may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or impairment of health or development. The harm should not be described just as ‘FII’.
Once a professional considers or suspects that a child may be suffering harm due to possible fabricated or induced illness (FII), national guidance is comprehensive in outlining the steps that should be taken and where responsibilities lie.
Information on indicators, consequences, and protection and action to be taken (including flow charts) can be found in the HIPS FII guidance.
- Safeguarding children in whom illness is fabricated or induced
- Fabricated or induced illness by carers (FII): a practical guide for paediatricians
- Perplexing presentations (including FII)
- Child Maltreatment: when to suspect maltreatment in under 18s.