Fabricated or Induced Illness

Working with Families where there are Concerns of Fabricated or Induced Illness


  • The fabrication or induction of illness in children is a relatively rare but extremely serious form of child abuse. Where concerns exist, professionals need to work together to evaluate all the available evidence in order to reach an understanding of the reasons for the child’s signs and symptoms of illness.  In particular, these cases require a careful medical evaluation which considers a range of possible diagnoses.  
  • If you are worried that you may be, or are, working with a child who is at risk due to Fabricated or Induced Illness, you must refer not only to the broad South West CP Procedure www.swcpp.org.uk but also to the accompanying 2008 guidance it includes as a link setting out who needs to do what.
  • The South West Child Protection Procedures now include a broader range of safeguarding practice guidance, as well as core safeguarding procedures.  As Gloucestershire is part of the South West consortium, there is an expectation that we will follow the majority of the core procedures, rather than developing local protocols.   


FII is the systematic fabrication or induction of illness in a child or young person, causing them to be seen as ill.  This can be done in three main ways (which are not mutually exclusive).

  1. Fabrication of symptoms (including fabrication of past medical history) or exaggeration of symptoms
  2. Falsification of hospital charts, including manipulation of test results to result in misdiagnosis
  3. Deliberate Induction of illness, for example, by poisoning the child or young person


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