Outline current legislation, guidelines policies and procedure within own UK Home Nation affecting the safeguarding of children and young people.
Understand the main legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people.
Outline current legislation, guidelines policies and procedure within own UK Home Nation affecting the safeguarding of children and young people.
Policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people are -
The UNCRC - The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.
The Children's Act 1988 legislates for England and Wales
The Children's Act 2004 puts in place ..
-- A children's commissioner for England
-- A director for children's services within each local authority
-- A duty on local authorities and their partners, including the police, health service providers, youth justice teams to cooperate in promoting the well-being of children and young people and have arrangements that safeguard and promote their welfare.
-- Local Safe Guarding Boards
-- Revised legislation for physical punishment, it is now an offence to hit a child if it causes mental harm or leaves a lasting mark.
-- CAF common assessment framework - helping to identify individual needs.
-- revised arrangements for sharing information – (Data Protection Act 1998 the Eight Principles)
The outcomes for ECM - Every Child Matters, a green paper that emerged from the report of Lord Laming, made in response to Victoria Climbie's terribly tragic death.
What To Do If You Are Worried A Child Is Being Abused 2003 is national guidance that brings together the content from Working Together To Safeguard Children and the Framework For The Assessment Of Children In Need and Their Families 2000.
The Protection of Children Act 1999 is the law that ensures settings do not offer employment that involves regular contact with children paid or unpaid where listed as unsuitable to work with children – The CRB disclosure form. The Criminal Records Bureau is the central point for accessing the records kept on two lists - the Department of Education list and the Department of Heath list. The ISA - Independent Safeguarding Authority is the organisational body charged with the responsibility to check the suitability of those wanting to work with children & young people.
Individual settings operational policies will vary in their titled names and content, they may take the form of:
Employment & induction
Health and safety
Explain child protection within the wider concept of safeguarding children and young people
Safeguarding is an umbrella term that involves everything we do in the setting to ensure children are kept safe and healthy. It means a whole range of policies and procedures. Child protection is one aspect of this and is how our setting ensures children are protected from abuse.
The 2008 Statutory Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is underpinned by the positive outcomes of Every Child Matters and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (UN,1989) which places a duty of care on Early Years Practitioners and Managers to Safeguard children and young people and promote their welfare. This is evident in raising a CAF on a child due to observations in setting then working as part of a multi agency team that acknowledges if children and families' health and well-being are affected they may not have the emotional and physical health to learn.
Safeguarding children is a social priority and underpins every aspect of our settings policy, planning and curriculum. In the last year our setting has developed practices to include ways of prompting the importance of safeguarding through including policy discussion as an agenda item at meetings, devised a policy questionnaire in the setting induction procedure so we can assess the practitioners awareness and understanding of our procedures, at planning meetings including discussion prompts for awareness of the signs and symptoms and now use long and medium term plans to look at ways to encourage an awareness of keeping safe from harm. This related directly to the statutory framework for the EYFS (DCSF 2008) and to the ECM (DFES, 2003) framework. We are working to develop communication with parents to include ways of promoting children's welfare and keeping them safe and healthy.
The Data Protection Act, 1998, sets out lawful boundaries for sharing information, so practitioners must record parental consent before sharing information , or any other document with other professionals. The exception of this is if a child may be put at risk of significant harm, where a professional made a referral through the Safeguarding children procedures set out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and in our settings policy. When working with the family, we would explain to the child and family how we would initially share their information, with reasons explaining how we hope this would benefit them and how any document we had written would be shared with other professionals, within confidential boundaries. The Government Strategy to improve outcomes for children (DFES,2006) suggests a key element is sharing information early to aid intervention to help those who can benefit from additional services, closing the gap from the inequalities faced by disadvantaged children.
Ideally children can begin to experience participation at a very early age. It can begin within their own families, if they are adequately listened to and their opinions are valued. Through increasingly meaningful and active participation in decision-making children can develop their own identity, a sense of belonging and usefulness. This encourages them to respond to educational opportunities and enter more fully into life at school. A child, whose active engagement with the world has been encouraged from the outset, will be an adolescent with the conﬁdence and capacity to contribute to democratic dialogue and practices at all levels, whether at a local or an international level.
Victoria Climbing, an 8 year old from the Ivory Coast, died in London in 2000 after months of malnutrition and torture. A post- mortem found 128 separate injuries on her body.
After her carers were jailed for life, a public inquiry under Lord Laming identified at least 12 occasions where she might have been saved by social workers, police or NHS staff.
Victoria was known to 3 housing departments, 4 social service departments, 2 G P’s, 2 hospitals an NSPCC run family centre and 2 police child protection teams across several London Boroughs.
Lord Laming concluded that there were failures at every level and in every organisation. His key themes were lack of clarity of roles and lack of responsibility within agencies.
In 2004 there were new laws created which said that Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) should be set up from April 2006. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Authorities joined together to form our LSCB which helps many organisations and agencies to work together.
This will help us all to keep children safe and increase their well being by:
1. Protecting them from abuse.
2. Preventing harm to their health or development.
3. Making sure they are safe and well looked after.
4. Helping them gain good life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Children Board was set up under Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 and replaces what was the Area Child Protection Committee.
It is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how relevant organisations will work together to promote, safeguard and protect the welfare of children and young people.
The Board is a partnership made up of senior representatives from several organisations and agencies which include the Local Authority, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, the Police, the Health Service, Youth Offending Service, local Probation Service, the Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service and others.
What it does:
It agrees how local services and professionals working with children should co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Objective of the LSCB:
To coordinate and ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each person or body as represented on the Board for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children includes:
1. Protecting children from maltreatment.
2. Preventing impairment of children's health or development.
3. Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
4. Undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
The core functions of the LSCB are:
1. Developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
2. Communicating and raising awareness to persons or bodies within the area of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
3. Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the parties individually and collectively.
4. Participating in planning and commissioning of services for children.
5. Collecting and analysing information relating to child deaths.
6. Undertaking serious case reviews and advising parties and agencies accordingly.
7. Scrutinising safeguarding activities undertaken by the Children's Trust Board and Board member partner agencies.
8. Any other activities that facilitate or are conducive to the achievement of the Board's Objectives.
Working in conjunction with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010, Section 8.3 also clearly states that Regulation 5, of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006, requires LSCBs to undertake reviews of serious cases. They should be undertaken in accordance with the processes set out in Chapter 8 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010.
“The prime purpose of a Serious Case Review (SCR) is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons to improve the way in which they work both individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.”
Analyse how national and local guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding affect day to day work with children and young people.
As well as every setting having a safeguarding policy of their own, every Council should also have their own policies and procedures for safeguarding children. I am aware that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has its own local safeguarding policy (LSCB). This board is a legal body that was established by Cornwall Council as a children’s services authority under the children act 2004.
The LSCB is responsible for ensuring that all agencies and departments that work with children and young people in the county, work in unity to support the welfare and safety of children. To ensure that work is carried out in an effective manner the LSCB coordinate the work of local agencies to provide a more optimistic outcome in regards to children’s safeguarding. Cornwall works in line with the Every Child Matters programme which states that each child has a right to;
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well being
In order to protect and keep children and young people safe from harm and abuse, each Council has its own safeguarding management team which is responsible for promoting good practice and developing links in all areas regarding the safety and well being of children and young people.
I am also aware of my own settings safeguarding policy that was developed in agreement with the values that were established by the Children Act 1989 and 2004. These are the policies and procedures we need to follow whilst working with children within our setting;
Within childcare practice we must be aware that we have a clear and defined role in relation to child protection. Professionals working with children/young people i.e. teaching assistants, volunteers, outside agencies are CRB checked (criminal records bureau). Adults working with children should also be fully trained in safeguarding children by a nominated safeguarding adviser and have the opportunity to receive training in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse or neglect, this training is offered every 3 years. In order for child protection to work effectively we must ensure we have good inter relationships with other agencies and good cooperation from professionals that are competent in responding to child protection situations.
A procedure for recording concerns and incidents if a child discloses information that concerns his/her welfare; we must make a record of exactly what the child has said in their words and report it to a safeguarding officer, ensuring that these records are kept confidentially.
Guidance on confidentiality and sharing; the practitioner or safeguarding officer will only disclose personal information concerning a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis, however all staff must be aware that they have a responsibility to share information with other agencies. If a child or young person does disclose information to a member of staff and ask that that information remains ‘a secret’, it is vital that the member of staff tells the child/young person sensitively that they have a duty to transfer information to the appropriate agencies in order for other children to be safeguarded.
Children and young people attend setting expecting to be nurtured and taught by people who are both paid and unpaid, these adults will provide children and young adults with opportunities to learn and gain knowledge of a range of subjects. All adults have a special responsibility to the children we work with; a code of conduct provides us with a clear guideline on the types of practice that will meet these responsibilities. Good conduct not only prevents incidents and allegations that we find ourselves being an element of, but will also help to highlight any conduct (by other people) that is unsafe and unprofessional.
Explain when and why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how the sharing of the findings informs practice.
Serious case reviews are crucial as they examine all agencies involved to ensure that they are actively involved and working together as they should be.
When professionals are found to be negligent in their involvement or procedures, the review is able to highlight where the mistakes were made.
According to the Local Safeguarding Board Regulations 2006, serious case reviews will be required in situations where a child has died due to known or suspected abuse or neglect. Sometimes reviews may be carried out where a child has been seriously harmed or suffered life threatening injuries.
Serious case reviews are used by agencies to discuss the case together and to determine the lessons which are to be learned about the way in which professionals have worked and which can work together in the future. A report will then be written which will be made public so that recommendations are known when undertaking a serious case review.
The duty that a setting has to safeguard its children, staff, parents carers & support its community & regulators in their inspection processes is paramount, this means that recommendations within serious case reviews offer the opportunity to examine current practice, what's happening and how it happens, within the setting and externally with other organisations/agencies/service providers.
Through this, practitioners can pass on information via their meeting agendas or promotion of their open door policy for raising concerns about practice or other, that anyone feels has the potential to contribute to or cause children's vulnerability. It helps everyone look at information and sharing it, storing it, transporting it, data protection and freedom of information act, the referral, reporting procedures & contact lists that are in place.
If anything within a review reflects a settings practice and has recommendations that would improve safeguarding measures you'll be able to identify them and see ways to implement, discuss and adapt the way things currently go on, ensuring a setting continually maximises what it does to safeguard well-being and welfare.
"Local safeguarding board considers conducting serious case reviews where;
1.a child sustains a potentially life threatening injury through neglect or abuse.
2.the child has been subjected to particularly serious sexual abuse
This is a preview of the whole essay
3. a case raises concerns about inter-agency working to protect children from harm.
The purpose of a SCR is to;
1.establish whether there are any lessons to be learnt from the case about inter-agency working.
2.to clearly identify what these lessons are, how they will be acted upon and what is expected to change as a result.
3.to improve inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children"
Explain how the process used by own work setting or service comply with legislation that covers data protection, information handling and sharing.
In my work setting, staff are made aware of the confidentiality policy which complies with the Data Protection Act 1998. This policy ensures that all practitioners working in a setting can do so with confidence, they will respect confidentiality in many ways such as, information about children will be shared with parents but only about their child. Parents should not have access to any other child’s information at any time. However, parents should be aware that information about their child will be shared with other professionals if required (safeguarding)
All personal information about children, including social services records should be regarded as confidential. It should be clearly understood by those who have access to it, and whether those concerned have access to all, or only some of the information. Practitioners will not discuss individual children with people other than the parents of that child, information given by parents to practitioners will not be passed on to third parties, unless they have obtained parental consent. Should there be a child protection matter concerning the parent then the Data Protection Act allows an allegation without consent, for example to apprehend or prosecute an offender, to detect or prevent a crime.
Personnel issues will remain confidential to the people involved. Any anxieties and/ or evidence relating to a child's personal safety will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared within the setting except for the child's key worker and Manager. All information regarding the children in the setting are kept in a locked fireproof box.
Explain the importance of safeguarding children and young people.
It is important to safeguard children and young people as without this protection their future could be negatively affected. Their health and development could be impaired as its possible they could withdraw from family and peers which would affect them emotionally and also developmentally fall behind with educational milestones (if school is missed). Children and young people need to be protected from neglect and abuse and have a safe environment in which to grow up in with parents, teachers and any other close adult being approachable and accessible if needed, when/if any problem or concerns were to arise. This is all crucial in a child’s upbringing as the care they receive through their childhood will contribute to the success of the child’s ability to reach their full potential into adulthood.
Protection during these times ensures Children are not victims of abuse or discrimination. It helps to ensure Children’s welfare and their well being is protected and prevents allegations of abuse and inappropriate behaviour. It allows everyone to be aware of allegations and what that may mean. It can reassure parents and carers that this is an issue the setting takes seriously.
The statement reinforces all the procedures a setting has in place and the processes it has for reporting/sharing concerns and information. Stating a setting protects children during care routines promotes as well as reinforces the practices, policies and procedures it has in place and enables best practice and the sharing of best practice. All children have the right to live life free from emotional and physical harm (UNCRC 19). It is a responsibility of settings to have policies, procedures, practices and an environment in place that assists children in exercising their right to help if hurt, neglected or mistreated.
Explain the importance of child or young person centered approach.
The importance of a person centred and inclusive approach is that you are looking at the individual child and the needs of that child. My setting works with many outside agencies in order that the individual child has in place all they need to be included in all aspects of their life. We have several children within our setting who have different needs and they are assessed individually by ourselves or other professionals, so they can be given the correct resources or 1:1 support in order for them to achieve their own individual goals. Some children will need to be referred to an Educational Psychologist or a speech and Language Therapist, other children may need the grounds to be adapted we have adapted our setting in order for children to gain access around the centre, putting things like ramps in place and hygiene suites. Some children will require specialist equipment to help with their education and development anything from large keyboards to hearing loops. Its all about the needs of the individual child, some children may need the activity adapted to enable them to take part.
The importance of a child or young persons centred approach is to understand that every child is different. The national framework of Every Child Matters was set up to support the joining up of services to ensure every child can achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes. Support is offered to children to enable them to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. All services aimed at children or young people are based around the planning and meeting of the individual needs. Children’s wishes should be taken into account during decision making to give them a sense of belonging and understanding.
Explain what is meant by partnership working in the context of safeguarding.
The importance of partnership working to safeguard is that agencies and other professionals need to work together, it starts with government legislation right through to local working. Each professional or agency will have a different role of expertise so vulnerable children will need coordinated help from health, education, children social care and the voluntary sector and often the justice services so its important that there is good communication within all the different services available.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children depends on effective partnership working between agencies and professionals all people involved in the welfare of a child have a duty to safeguard them. Police, health visitor, GP, hospital, child minder, nursery, school, after school club, leisure groups such as football, swimming, brownies, social worker, family, friends, neighbours and the local community are all responsible for safeguarding our children and young people and its important we all work and communicate together.
The common assessment framework provides a way for early intervention for children before it reaches crisis point. It is a shared assessment and planning framework for all communication and that information is shared between different professionals and organisations. The assessment framework centres on child safeguarding and promoting welfare. Its aimed at helping practitioners who work with children.
Describe the roles and responsibilities of the different organisations that may be involved when a child or young person has been abused or harmed.
Social services roles and responsibilities are:
• To provide support for vulnerable children and families. Social workers help people and their families adjust to problems in their lives such as serious illness, child abuse, substance abuse, mental illness, handicaps, juvenile delinquency, and anti-social behaviour.
NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) roles and responsibilities are:
• Provides support for children and families in situations such as domestic violence, abuse.
• Work with different organisations e.g. social services, police, family protection, education and health services.
• Provide support via telephone line to home-based childcare workers on whether to refer a situation to social services.
A Health Visitor’ s roles and responsibilities are:
• A health visitor have crucial skills in protecting children from harm and abuse, they are one of the first to recognise children who are likely to be abused or neglected. A health visitor plays a big part in all stages of a child protection process including case reviews.
• Support the health of babies and children under the age of five.
• They have contact with many multi agencies and they support the work of the Local
Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) • They are trained to a high level to recognise any risks that the child might be in and work in conjunction with other professionals to minimise/avoid the negative impact on children referred to them.
• The health visitor will visit parents home so they will gather information such as signs and symptoms this will enable a health visitor to start the process of the signs and concerns of abuse or neglect. The health visitor will need to have access to ongoing contact with the family if abuse or neglect is suspected.
• Health visitors should use their own judgement on when to share information with other agencies.
• They support and guide parents of young children.
• Provide developmental checks on under fives.
General Practitioners (G P’s) roles and responsibilities are:
• The role of a GP is to maintain their skills in recognising if a child is being abused or neglected.
• They need to follow all correct procedures if abuse or neglect is suspected.
• All G P’s Should have regular training and update their training when necessary.
Probation officer roles and responsibilities are:
• The main role of a Probation officer is to supervise offenders to help support them not to re-offend and to protect others from harm.
• They supervise a large amount of offenders that have been identified as presenting potential risk of harm to children and also to protect families of their own, who might be exposed to criminal or anti social behaviour.
• They also liaise with Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) such as safeguarding children, procedures covering *** offenders, domestic abuse, child protection procedures.
Police roles and responsibilities are:
• The main role of the Police is to prevent crime and disorder and protect all individuals.
• The police have legislation to adhere to to protect the children. Children have the right to be fully protected (Children’s Act 2004 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children).
• All investigations can be sensitive so the police investigate and work with other organisations such as children’s social care to gather information needed.
• The police investigate child abuse cases (they have specialist training for this, Child Abuse Investigation Units (CAIUs)
• They can access information through IMPACT Nominal Index (INI) which enables them to get accurate information very quickly. (including child protection, domestic violence, crime,
• The Police need to gather information and work with other agencies in case of criminal proceedings against suspected child abusers. All information will be passed on to the CPS
(Criminal Prosecution Services).
• The Police also have powers to enter premises to ensure that children are immediately protected against significant harm.
School roles and responsibilities are:
• The role of the staff is to create and maintain a safe learning environment.
• To identify any concerns and to act upon this information.
• Staff to attend child protection and first aid courses . In cases of special schools staff should have appropriate training on medical issues on safeguarding all children.
• To protect children from harm and abuse. (including bullying/cybersquatting)
• To help meet the health needs of children with medical conditions and provide accurate information on the child’s educational needs.
• The school designate a person that have had specific training to deal with child protection issues
• They will be in contact with multi agencies to support the child and attend case conferences.
• Under the Childrens Act 1989 the school have a key role to play referring children and providing information to the police for future criminal proceedings that might take place under child protection issues.
• The school should manage risks appropriately such as internet etc.
• Provide policies and procedures to protect children etc. child protection, physical contact, safeguarding, risk assessments, outings, injuries, illnesses and emergencies.
All policies And Procedures should be followed at all times.
Psychology service roles and responsibilities are:
• Provide support for children who have experienced abuse or harm.
School nurses roles and responsibilities are:
• School nurses have regular contact with children from the ages of 5-19.
• They are lead professionals for CAF (Common Assessment Framework).
• School nurses provide a role in delivering the Healthy Child Programme. They access children and implement their needs such as individual or group needs.
• School nurses work with parents or carers in the care and treatment of vulnerable
children. They can provide support to the families to help them achieve better parental skills.
Explain why it is important to ensure children and young people are protected from harm within the work setting.
Children and young people safeguarded from harm and growing up in circumstances where they are safe and supported are able to achieve their optimal outcomes throughout childhood and their teenage years and into adulthood.
Children and young people, when asked what their priorities are, they identify the overriding need to feel safe or to participate in normal life without risk of danger. Sadly, not all children are able to do so.
The importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people should be recognised in all settings, particularly educational settings where children spend much of their time. This responsibility includes settings providing services for adults who are parents or carers.
Every adult working in the setting must be a suitable person to work with young children, and must have been checked of their suitability thoroughly. This includes students on placements and regular volunteers.
Children and young people want to be listened to and have their views taken into account when key decisions are being made about their lives. In working with children and young people, staff should listen to what they are communicating and act on their concerns in a manner that enables the child to fully participate in decisions affecting his or her life at the same time as ensuring his or her safety.
Staff should be aware that children and young people may be extremely fearful of communicating about their abusive experiences.
All adults have a responsibility to ensure children and young people do not suffer harm. Services are required which will prevent children and young people from being harmed, safeguard those who are likely to suffer significant harm, and facilitate optimal outcomes for those children who have been harmed.
Practitioners also have responsibilities for providing extra support to children and young people whose needs are not being met, working with parents and other professionals. Some children in an early years setting may present with delayed development, or emotional and social difficulties. These may result from adverse early life experiences, like witnessing domestic violence, or growing up with a parent who has mental health difficulties. Extra support could include helping a mother join a ‘Stay and Play’ group,
to make friends and find support, or working with health services to give advice about bedtimes or mealtimes. This work can be coordinated under the CAF.
When working with other organisations to safeguard children and young people, it is important to have a child- centred approach. Any procedures should take the child’s feelings and experiences into account and should avoid causing further distress to an already hurt or confused child. However, no matter how concerned we are about a child or young person’s welfare, we must always act within the law.
By ensuring universal services, such as health, education and housing are accessible to all children, young people and families, and targeted services are provided to reduce the stress on particular families and in particular communities, the likelihood of possible harm to children and young people is minimised and they are able to achieve their optimal developmental outcomes.
Explain policies and procedures that are in place to protect children and young people and adults that work with them.
Policies and procedures are set in place to not only protect children and young people but also adults who work with them, it is vital that all professionals follow safe working practices to ensure that not only children are protected but also themselves. E.g. if a disclosure is made by a child to a member of staff it is vital that is always taken seriously even if it is proven to be untrue or inaccurate.
The child or young person should be listened to in a calm and supportive manner which will allow them to talk freely and openly, it is also imperative that they are reassured about telling someone and how hard it must have been for them. Once the disclosure has been made and the child is calmed and secure, the employee or adult should inform the designated safeguarding officer, relevant notes should be written down in the child’s own words including names that were mentioned, time and place of disclosure and place and background of the disclosure.
Any professional working with children or young people is responsible for the care and well being of those children. Making sure that a child is safe on or out of a setting is of paramount importance. Not only does it make a child or young person feel safe in a learning environment but it also gives the child the security to develop and achieve from an early age.
For children to be effectively protected, it is essential that everyone accepts the responsibility of their role and to also be protected in that role. E.g. when escorting a child to the toilet or a child needs to be undressed due to any accident, it is vital that another member of staff or child is present as to not allow any allegations of misconduct.
Physical contact between child and adult is important for building caring and trustworthy relationships but only when handled in an acceptable and responsible manner. There may be times, especially with younger children, where a distressed or upset child needs comfort and encouragement which may include physical comforting, in these cases employees should use their discretion and common sense in order for allegations not to follow.
In every setting there should be on display or on view a policy and procedure folder. This is there for parents to look at and for them to see how we support safe working. The policies and procedures are put into place to benefit staff, children, parents/carers and visitors.
In our setting we have a free flow system that enables the children to access each room/garden when they would like to. This also means that staff are never in a closed room with children and all staff are aware that they move around where the children are playing.
It is very important for parents to trust who is looking after their children, one of the main areas of gaining trust is having a CRB enhanced disclosure completed, every staff member should be CRB checked, and within the centre no other persons are left alone with the children (work experience etc.). There are three types of CRB checks (basic, standard and enhanced), when working with children or vulnerable adults you have a greater degree of contact, this is why you need to have the CRB enhanced disclosure. This is put into place to protect the children/young people from harm or significant harm.
Evaluate ways in which concerns about poor practice can be reported whilst ensuring that whistle-blowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned are protected.
Every setting has whistle blowing policies and procedures and these policies are put in place to provide protection for the person against victimisation or reprisals from other members of staff (physical or verbally) when the concerns are genuine and accurate. If a member of staff is the victim of reprisals then an employment tribunal may be able to take action. If any concerns about malpractice or misconduct in a setting are raised against another member of staff then this should be reported to the safeguarding officer for that setting. If concerns are raised then they are certain procedures to follow.
• The whistle blower must think about what is disturbing them and why.
• Concerns should be reported to the relevant person when the time is right.
• Write those concerns down giving background details, names, witness names (if any) dates and places.
• Both parties can be offered help and support if required and all information disclosed for both whistle blower and the accused will be kept confidential and is investigated discreetly (Data Protection Act)
• Preparations for any ramifications that could follow whistle blowing.
If employment is terminated or a person suffers as a result of whistle blowing they are then protected by law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, this law was brought in to protect whistle blowers from detrimental treatment by their employers.
Although whistle blowing may be a daunting and frightening experience to act upon, the safety and well-being of a child may depend on another person’s actions, subsequently all aspects of whistle blowing are to be thought over with the best intentions of children or young people in mind.
Explain how practitioners can take steps to protect themselves within their everyday practice in the work setting and on off site visits.
A significant element of a practitioner’s role in protecting themselves would be to read policies and procedures that are put in place to safeguard them and children or young people in their care. In a school setting a professional can protect themselves by.
• Avoid being alone in a closed room with a child.
• Always be seen to working in an open and transparent way where there is either visual access or an open door, especially in one to one situations.
• Avoid meetings with students in an isolated or private area of a school.
Its more than likely that during your time at work that the children you work with will from time to time, need some form physical contact ,such as when he/she hurts themselves or if they are upset for any other reason, it’s knowing and understanding when it is appropriate to give the contact. This is usually given when the child is upset, you can then encourage the child to play with you so the child gets distracted from why they were upset. Always keep the contact to the minimum required and do it in full view of others so that there are no repercussions.
Settings should provide a clear guidance about when and how touch should be used in order to protect both staff and children. Physical prompts, guides and support are necessary in a range of settings appropriate to the age of of the child.
In the case of educational visits, professionals should always carry out a full risk assessment of that visit, under the Health and Safety at work regulations Act 1999 it requires employers to assess the risks of activities, introduce measures to control these risks and inform employees of these measures. Before a trip can be arranged employers must follow the necessary policies and procedures as follows:
• Age, competence, fitness and the standard behaviour of the pupils.
• Any special educational or medical needs of the children.
• Adult to student ratio.
• The competence and qualifications of the accompanying adults.
• Modes of transport and location of visit.
• Emergency procedures.
• Permission from parents.
• Relevant medical or dietary needs of children.
Describe the possible signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern in the context of safeguarding
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger, for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. Child abuse can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child's health, development and well being. The main forms of maltreatment are:
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This might involve punching, kicking, biting, burning, scalding, shaking, throwing or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child. In pregnancy an unborn child can be harmed by domestic violence.
Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a severe adverse effect on a child's emotional development. It includes conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Emotional abuse may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child, over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from taking part in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of children, or it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may involve physical contact including penetrative sex, oral sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as involving children in watching sexual activities, producing or looking at sexual images, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Abusers can be men, women or other children.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect is when a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), medical care, or protection from physical and emotional harm or danger. It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after a child because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In pregnancy neglect may occur as a result of misusing alcohol or drugs.
Possible signs of abuse
The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.
Signs of possible physical abuse
1. Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
2. Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or rough games
3. Injuries which have not received medical attention
4. Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming
5. Bruises, bites, burns and fractures, for example, which do not have an accidental explanation
6. The child gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of injuries
7. Frozen watchfulness
Signs of possible sexual abuse
1. Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse
2. The child has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour for their age, or regularly engages in sexual play inappropriate for their age
3. Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
4. Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains
5. The child is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
6. Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
7. Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares which sometimes have overt or veiled sexual connotations
8. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
Signs of possible emotional abuse
1. Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety, changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clingy
2. Obsessions or phobias
3. Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration
4. Seeking adult attention and not mixing well with other children
5. Sleep or speech disorders
6. Negative statements about self
7. Highly aggressive or cruel to others
8. Extreme shyness or passivity
9. Running away, stealing and lying
Signs of possible neglect
1. Dirty skin, body smells, unwashed, uncombed hair and untreated lice
2. Clothing that is dirty, too big or small, or inappropriate for weather conditions
3. Frequently left unsupervised or alone
4. Frequent diarrhoea
5. Frequent tiredness
6. Untreated illnesses, infected cuts or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to
7. Frequently hungry
8. Overeating junk food
Possible effects of abuse
The sustained physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect of children can have major long-term effects on all aspects of their health, development and well-being Children can grow up to feel worthless, unlovable, betrayed, powerless, confused, frightened and mistrustful of others. They might feel, wrongly, that the abuse is their fault.
Possible effects of physical abuse
Physical abuse can lead directly to neurological damage, physical injuries, disability and in extreme cases death. Physical abuse has been linked to aggressive behaviour in children, emotional and behavioural problems and learning difficulties.
Possible effects of emotional abuse
If a child suffers sustained emotional abuse there is increasing evidence of adverse long-term effects on their development. Emotional abuse has a significant impact on a developing child's mental health, behaviour and self-esteem. It can be especially damaging in infancy and can be as important as the other more visible forms of abuse, in terms of its impact on the child. Domestic violence, adult mental health problems and parental substance misuse may be features in families where children are exposed to such abuse.
Possible effects of sexual abuse
Disturbed behaviour including self-harm, inappropriate sexual behaviour, sadness, depression and loss of self-esteem have all been linked to sexual abuse. Its adverse effects may last long into adult life. The severity of the impact on the child is believed to increase the longer the abuse continues, the more serious the abuse, the younger the child at the start, and the closeness of the relationship to the abuser. The child's ability to cope with the experience of sexual abuse, once recognised, can be strengthened by the support of a non-abusive adult carer who believes the child, helps the child understand the abuse, and is able to offer help and protection. Some adults who sexually abuse children were themselves sexually abused as children.
Possible effects of neglect
Neglect can seriously impair a child's health, physical and intellectual growth and development, and can cause long term difficulties with social functioning, relationships and educational progress. Extreme cases of neglect can cause death.
Describe the actions to take if a child or young person alleges harm or abuse in line with policies and procedures in own stetting.
Explain the rights that children, young people and their carers have in situations where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged.
In cases of alleged abuse or harm children and young people have the right to be protected from significant harm under the children’s act 1989, every child matters 2004 and the UNCRC
They have the right to be involved in decisions that are being made about them and should be kept fully informed of processes involving them, while also being allowed to express their own views and opinions.
A child or young person who is suspected of being abused then the primary concern will to ensure that the child is protected from further abuse and the child’s welfare will be the priority.
Wherever possible the child may be allowed to remain in their family home and protection will be achieved by working with the child’s parents or carers without the need to remove the child.
However, if they are suffering from physical or sexual abuse then they will be removed from their home to protect them from any further harm. Parents or carers have a right to be informed what is being said and to contribute their own views and opinions, however if the child or young person is suffering significant harm then the parents or carers have no immediate rights.
Explain the different types of bullying and the potential effects on children and young people
Bullying comes in many form but can generally be categorised into one of the following:
Physical - Physical bullying can happen to any age of person whether it is children, young people, adults or the elderly and any time. Physical bullying can be anything that has physical contact between one individual to another and any form of violence or threats. E.g. pushing, kicking, hitting, biting, poking, choking, slapping or pinching.
The potential effects on children and young adults that are bullied could be:
• Poor academic achievement.
• Children/young people scared of walking to and from school.
• Attempt suicide.
• Truanting from school (to escape bullies).
• Hungary (due to dinner being taken by bullies).
• A child becomes withdrawn, lacks confidence and starts to stammer.
• The child becomes distressed, anxious or depressed.
• The child crying more (maybe at bed times or when alone) or suffers nightmares.
• Loss of appetite.
• The child suffers bruising, cuts, scratches etc.
Verbal - (name-calling, insults, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing).
This is usually done by somebody that is known to them or has contact with via friends or others. Verbal bullying is when somebody says something that is hurtful to another person to cause deliberate upset, this can include name calling, insults, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing, gossiping, talking about someone behind their back, saying hurtful things about their appearance, race and colour.
It is important to note that verbal bullying can be mistaken for teasing. Verbal bullying is not teasing. Teasing is only when two people find it funny and are having fun.
The potential effects on children and young people that are bullied could be:
• They show aggressive tendencies (just like their bullies).
• They might turn their anger inward becoming self destructive (Engage in substance abuse).
• Delayed development.
• Become depressed or anxious.
• Low self esteem.
• Lacks confidence.
• A child becomes withdrawn and isolated.
Emotional - (excluding, tormenting, ridicule, humiliation).
This is usually done by somebody that is known to you or you have contact with via friends or others. When they verbally tell you things that make you feel bad about yourself, this can be by putting you down or making you scared. This may be done on purpose or without realising what they are doing or saying. They could be telling you that you are fat, ugly, stupid, worthless or wish you had never been born, it is still wrong even if they don’t realise they are doing it.
The potential effects on children and young adults that are bullied could be:
• Blaming yourself.
• Self harming.
• Feeling or being physically ill.
• Developing phobias.
• Induce fear/scared.
• Lack confidence (shyness).
• Mental health problems in children.
• Over eating (comfort food).
• Not wanting to go to school (clingy to people that are close to them).
• A child becomes withdrawn and isolated.
Cyberbullying - (the use of information and communication technology, particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone).
When a person or a group of people that might be known or unknown to them communicates using ICT equipment (e-mails, social networking sites, chat rooms etc.) or mobile phones (text messages)and sets out deliberately to upset them by making threatening, nasty or untrue comments about the person that is being bullied.
The potential effects on children and young adults that are bullied could be:
• Unhappy (suicidal)
• Low self-esteem
• Self harming.
• A child becomes withdrawn and isolated.
Physical, emotional, verbally and cyber bullying can have the same potentially devastating effects on both on children and young people
Outline the policies and procedures that should be followed in response to concerns or evidence of bullying and explain the reasons why they are in place.
The Children's centres anti-bullying policy is mainly centered around adults. Although we work with children, we are not a child care setting or school. The number of children that come through our doors are inconsistent and depend on various things. We do not always see the same children all the time, we may see a child one week and then not again for several weeks.
However we do try to build and work to an ethos, where we show appreciation and respect for one another. As adults we try to model this to the children by the way we are with other adults.
All of our staff is trained in ways of dealing with bullying and are governed by certain codes of conduct in relation to behaviour.
In order to show an example of an anti-bullying policy related to children, my local school has kindly given me theirs, (see below)
I believe that such policies and procedures are there not only to protect our children but to also raise awareness and educate children in what is considered bullying and how it can affect children. By raising awareness and educating our children we are setting them on a path that helps than to know the difference between what is acceptable behaviour amongst their peers and what isn’t, and that eventually, will help to make the issue of bullying a thing of the past.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
• Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
• Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
• Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
• Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
• Homophobic because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
• Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
• Cyber All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse
Mobile threats by text messaging & calls
Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera &video facilities
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
All adults in our school have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
• All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
• All governors and teaching and non-teaching staff should know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
• All pupils and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
• As a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
• Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied.
Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
• is frightened of walking to or from school
• doesn't want to go on the school / public bus
• begs to be driven to school
• changes their usual routine
• is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
• begins to truant
• becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
• starts stammering
• attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
• feels ill in the morning
• begins to do poorly in school work
• comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
• has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
• asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
• has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
• has unexplained cuts or bruises
• comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen)
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
• is bullying other children or siblings
• stops eating
• is frightened to say what's wrong
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above
• is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
• is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated Procedures
1. Report bullying incidents to staff
2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff
3. In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
4. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
5. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
1) Following a discussion with all parties, the bully (bullies) may be asked to take responsibility for their actions and genuinely apologise verbally or in writing. Other consequences in line with the behaviour policy may take place.
2) In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered
3) If possible, the pupils will be reconciled
4) After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
We will use KIDSCAPE methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
• writing a set of school rules
• signing a behaviour contract
• writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
• reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
• making up role-plays
• having discussions about bullying and why it is important that it stops
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) 0808 800 5793
Explain how to support a child or young person and or/ their family when bullying is suspected or alleged
Discuss with the young person their preferences for how the issue should be addressed. Discussing strategies for how the young person may deal with the current and potential future bullying incidents will help the child or young person feel confident that you are thinking of them.
Providing a safe play area or quiet room for children or young people who feel threatened will give them the opportunity to take themselves away from that threatening environment and allow them the breathing space they need to consider their next move.
Patrolling the areas where the bullying incident has taken place will create a visual reminder to children that bullying will not be tolerated.
Referring the young person for support or therapeutic intervention from relevant agencies may be required.
Actively engaging with the young person to assess whether the bullying has stopped and initiating further action if required.
Don’t blame the child who is being bullied. Don’t assume that your child did something to provoke the bullying. Don’t say, “What did you do to aggravate the other child?” Listen carefully to what your child tells you about the bullying. Ask him or her to describe who was involved and how and where each bullying episode happened. Learn as much as you can about the bullying tactics used, and when and where the bullying happened. Can your child name other children or adults who may have witnessed the bullying? Keep a diary of any further incidents. Empathise with them and re-enforce them the knowledge that bullying is wrong, not their fault, and that you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it. Ask your child what he or she thinks can be done to help. Assure them that you will think about what needs to be done and you will let him or her know what you are going to do.
When dealing with a child who is being bullied it is important to remember that they will be very upset although they may not show it on the outside. If they have plucked up the courage to talk to you then they need to know you will take the problem seriously. In the case of an older child, it is a good idea to ask them to write down exactly what happened and who was there so that you can speak to other people.
The more information you have, the better you will be able to deal with the problem and the faster you can sort out exactly what happened. Reassure the victim that you will be back in touch with them as soon as you have completed your investigation and that if there are any more problems in the meantime they must let you know immediately.
Parents can find it very hard to know how to help their child if they are being bullied. Some parents will have to cope with the news that it is their child who is a bully. You need to know how to support parents in both these cases. Listen to parents; let them explain how they are feeling. Direct them to useful information so that they can start to think how to support their child.
Explain how to support children and young people's self confidence and self esteem
Telling someone you are proud of them can be to praise. Telling them how well you thought the task was done can help everyone to look back/to reflect and to evaluate what happened, seeing if it was a positive experience or negative / good or bad, it also provides the opportunity to give your personal opinion and for the children to know what you think - this can help to support confidence and to some extent may promote respect.
Confidence and self esteem can be damaged when negative input is received - this could be comments by adults, other children, the child's own high perception of what a finished product should look like, another’s expectation, or maybe something going wrong - breaking, not sticking together, falling off .. supporting these occasions to make sure / ensure feelings are protected/safeguarded can involve making sure only good encouraging comments are given, that you commiserate over problems together, work together and give suggestions on how it may be possible to correct/overcome the problems - achieving successful outcomes.
Support self esteem and confidence again by allowing the child to lead any new ideas, seeing if these ones work or not ..
Ways to support confidence and self esteem
Use positive language. Take an interest in what's happening, listen to the children. Respond as necessary.
Use body and facial language to smile, reassure, encourage, gesture. Recognise efforts genuinely - if something surprises you, raises a question .. ask about it. Congratulate, say how you feel.
Support the work being done and work through problems together. Be available, do not judge or pick fault. Plan new experiences and activities, suggest and where appropriate offer alternative / different ideas.
Value work by finding ways to use and display it.
Emphasising a process helps to look closely at how something is done - the step by step procedure. By focusing on this part rather than the finished product children can enjoy activities freely, taking the time they need to find out about techniques, materials, tools, problem solving and later learning to know what's involved in individual finished products, what may be needed and how to go about organising this - without feeling a pressure to finish and produce an end product.
Analyse the importance of supporting resilience in children and young people.
Resilience is the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life and how to deal with any setbacks. Research shows that children/ young people with high levels of self esteem and self confidence are likely to be more resilient and be better at dealing with life as they get older. Resilience is based on children having -:
· Secure early attachments.
· Confidence from being part of a loving family.
· A good sense of self-identity.
· The ability to act independently.
· The confidence to try new things.
Children need secure early attachments to support their emotional development, as they may find it difficult to form relationships in later life.
Children need to develop a sense of identity to feel confident. They need to feel valued. Being part of a loving, caring, kind, supportive family helps a child, giving them self confidence, self esteem and resilience thus leading to a good sense of self identity.
Having a positive outlook at school i.e. having self-confidence and self-esteem gives children the choice to build independence. Showing expected behaviour by example i.e. being a good role model, and valuing their work and achievements will all help build up a good relationship with a child. This will all help in leading to better resilience.
How children relate to other people depends on their emotional well being and resilience. As children develop they begin to interact with others. Children who feel good about themselves will be able to relate to others in a more positive way. This in turn will make them feel better emotionally and could help their confidence, in-group situations.
It is important that practitioners help children to feel positive about themselves. High self-esteem helps children overcome set backs and cope with difficult situations such as disappointment and hurt feelings. If a child is happy and has high self-esteem this makes the process of relating to others easier.
Low self-esteem may mean that a child may start to compare themselves with other children in the group. This can affect their emotional well being if they think that they aren’t doing as well as others.
Children’s communication will depend a lot on their confidence. There are things that can inhibit this e.g. personality, i.e. shy children, life experiences and whether they socialise with others. In order to build their confidence these children will need a lot of positive feedback, praise and encouragement.
You should never judge a child negatively by saying things such as ‘that’s all I would expect from you’. This could damage their self-esteem and confidence, making them less resilient and less likely to want to join in for fear of negative comments.
If you label a child rather than their behaviour, i.e. saying you are naughty instead of saying that is naughty behaviour he/she only learns that he/she is naughty and this will lower their self-esteem. If you tell the child that what they did was wrong and explain why, they will develop understanding and learn right from wrong. Commenting on behaviour helps confidence but commenting on the child can lower self-esteem. When you show disapproval for the behaviour not the child, you show children that they are still accepted, liked and valued.
Confidence and self-esteem can be damaged when negative input is given to a child. . This could be from adults or other children.
By encouraging children to try new activities this may help with their confidence.
Asking them to participate, showing/explaining to them how to do something if they’re unsure and giving reassurance during a new activity will help. Giving praise and encouragement with each step will make them feel that they can actually achieve something they were unsure of initially. If a child has their own idea of what a finished project should look like, and this is not achieved they may feel frustrated or lose their confidence in what they can achieve. Support them by giving praise and encouraging comments for what they have achieved so far. Explaining why it may not have happened as planned could ensure feelings are protected. You could show empathy, work together and give suggestions on how it may be possible to complete the project thus achieving a successful outcome. By allowing the child to lead with any new ideas, this will help with confidence and self esteem as they are acting independently
Explain why it is important to work with the child or young person to ensure they have strategies to protect themselves and make decisions about safety
It is important to work with the child or young person to ensure they have strategies to protect themselves and make decisions about safety, because children need to learn how to protect themselves, but at the same time we need them to take their own risks if there is no chance of significant harm. They need the knowledge and the know how to help protect and safeguard themselves.
Children need to know about strangers and how some are not nice people, you don’t need them to be fearful of everyone that they come into contact with. Just explain that most people care and protect children but there are some adults who try to take and hurt children. Reinforce that this should never happen to them.
Here are a few strategies to help children to protect themselves;
• Speaking to and reinforcing about dangers posed by some adults and help them minimise the risk example underneath for older children.
• Speaking to and reinforcing how to behave with higher risk activities such as outdoor activities (e.g. road safety green cross code or younger children always hold an adults hand when crossing the road).
• Older children talk to them about substance abuse, the effects that they have on young people.
• Provide discussions or one-to-one conversations about sex and relationships (including sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, chlamydia, herpes or gonorrhoea.
It is important to always explain to them age/stage appropriately and understand that they might use different words for parts of their body.
Reinforce what is allowed and what is not allowed such as: (This is set out for an older child but can be simplified with pictures for a younger child)
HUGS:Tell the child that it is nice to have kisses, especially close family but they should never be kept as a secret.
Explain that all of their body belongs to them and not to anyone else. If anyone tries to touch your body in a way that you don’t want them to or it frightens you, say NO (in a loud voice)and tell somebody about them touching you, do not keep it a secret from others close to you.
RUN OR GET AWAY:
Explain to them not to talk to strangers when they are left alone with them. Tell them not to be rude just pretend that they can’t hear them. If a stranger, bully or even someone that they know tries to harm them, tell them to leave and get help, explain to go towards crowds or a shop if they can.
If someone is hurting you tell them to yell, shout or scream, this is acceptable when someone is hurting you. Tell a grown up or someone you can trust, if they don’t believe you find another grown up to tell such as your teacher
Do not keep secrets about any other person bullying you, kissing you, or touching you. If this happens tell a grown up that you trust.
Do not accept money, sweets or gifts from anyone without your parents/carers permission. Most of the time it will be okay because the gifts will be for their birthday or a present from grandparents. But some people will try and make you do things that you shouldn’t or ask you to keep something a secret if they give you some sweets. This is called a bribe so refuse it.
Have a code word with your parents/carers, which only you and them know (password), so if they need to send someone different to collect you, they are told the code. Do not tell others the code (password).
Explain ways of empowering children and young people to make positive and informed choices that support their well being and safety.
Empowering children is about giving them information that is reliable, respecting their views, recognising each child and young person is an individual, that they might be exposed to damaging ideas and negative experiences and that this might influence their behaviour and own ideas. They can be empowered by knowing that they have a right to know about their rights UNCRC. An explanation of ways of empowering young children and young people means seeing how settings can help them make positive and informed choices that support their well being and safety.
Everyone working with children needs to support them to help them keep safe and help to support their own well being this can be achieved by:
• Helping them to understand the boundaries they might come across. Reinforcing issues when they arise in a positive manner such as turn taking, no pushing, being patient, understanding some children take more time than others to complete tasks, everyone has their own individual ways of completing tasks. Letting them resolve their own conflicts whenever possible.
• Promote positive relationships whether child to child, child to adult, adult to adult and adult to child.
• Child led approach enables children/young people to risk assess for themselves as a part of their investigation and playing. Let them lead their own activity without guided instructions to let them see what needs to be done and how they can achieve this.
• We all learn by taking risks so when a child wants to take a risk, be there to help them and support them, whether it be physically (e.g. supporting them whilst they go down the climbing frame backwards by being there ready to catch them if needed or adjust their positioning of legs or arms etc.,) or verbally (encourage them that they can do it and how they can do it or explain age/stage appropriately why they can’t do it and offer them support in doing what they would like to achieve).
• Never let a child take a risk that could cause significant harm to themselves or others.
Show an interest in the activity that the child is doing, look at what is going on and discuss questions such as:
• How far is it to the ground? • How far to the top?
• How will you get down?
• How safe is that going to be?
• How do your friends get up or down?
• How could you hurt yourself doing that?
• How will you make sure you don’t get hurt?
• Go slower, hold on, Look, listen.
For younger children get down to their line of sight and look up at the climbing frame and say:
• Are you going to be okay?
• Do you need any help?
• Remind them that they can ask for help when they need it.
Change words accordingly, depending on age/stage of child/young person e.g. I wonder how tall the climbing frame is?
Explain the risks and possible consequences for children and young people of being online and of using a mobile phone.
Children and young people are open to many risks while being online or using their mobile phones, they may be lured into giving personal information; name, age, address and telephone numbers which could be used for identity theft or fraud. Worse yet they could inadvertently be being “groomed” by sex offenders.
They could find themselves victims of cyber bullying; this may include sending unpleasant texts, emails or instant messaging. A child or young person may find cruel messages or pictures about themselves and having their user name stolen to spread lies or rumours about someone else. Techniques used by a cyber bully involves setting up websites to target certain individuals and inviting others to post hate comments about that person.
A child or young person may unknowingly download viruses and malware; a programme that can attach itself to another programme, if this is opened through a spam email it can then damage or create files and generate unwanted behaviour to your computer.
Young people also use mobile phones to send images of themselves to their friends or publish them on the internet, once that image has been published then the sender has lost the power as to what happens to it, it may then be used in contexts other than what it was originally intended for.
Even more seriously they may be groomed by individuals or paedophile rings that use the internet and mobile technology to identify and target potential victims. Sexual predators may use fake information to get close to children or young people i.e. a false name, age and information.
Dr Tanya Byron outlined in her 2008 report ‘Safer children in a digital world’ that everyone had a role to play in empowering children and young people to stay safe while enjoying new technologies, just as it is everyone’s responsibility to keep children safe in a non digital world.
Key points in the report were as follows;
• That the safety of children should be a vital concern for parents and for society.
• The risks to children and young people of potentially harmful and inappropriate material.
• Efforts should be decisive in minimizing the availability of harmful and inappropriate material in popular parts of the internet.
• Parents play a major role in overseeing children’s access to material on the internet.
• Providing children and parents with appropriate guidelines, clear standards, signposts and somewhere to go when things go wrong.
• Video games must now be clearly labelled with age ratings, which are represented by a logo on the back of the game that represents each age group.
• Computers that are sold for home use should be kite marked with parental control measures.
Along with technology a new sense of understanding and responsibility is needed in working together to help keep children and young people safe when using the internet and mobile phones.
Describe ways of reducing risk to children and young people from:
1. Social networking
2. internet use
3. bullying online
4. using mobile phones
Social networking; In order to reduce the risks to children and young people they have to be aware of the potential online dangers.
Never to download images from an unknown source as they could be of an explicit nature.
Chose a screen name that could be used by either gender. Not to open emails as they could contain viruses.
To stop any email communication or instant messaging conversations if the person starts to ask questions that are too personal or sexually suggestive. Children and young people should only visit chat rooms that are well monitored and never to accept offers of a private conversation. Do not befriend strangers as people are not always who they say they are and they could be online predators.
Do not give out any personal information i.e. name, address, age, school as this could be used to groom a young child or identity theft of a teenager.
Buying online; to reduce the risks when buying online always use secure and trusted sites that use ‘HTTPS://’ in the address bar as identity theft is a common problem when buying online, there is always a danger that other people will attempt to hack your computer to steal personal details, this can be reduced by using firewall which can help by preventing malicious software from gaining access to information on your computer. Credit card details may be stolen if they are used on a non secure site, you can prevent this by using a secure payment system such as PayPal which will then enable you to buy from multi online stores in the knowledge that details will not be stolen.
Using a mobile phone; as more and more children and young people are using mobile phones to communicate with their friends then the risk becomes higher that something may happen. To reduce these risks mobile phone retailers now market phones with filtering software, this will stop children and young people from accessing inappropriate websites or images. Reminding children or young people that they should never give out their mobile number to strangers or other young people that they do not trust as images that are sent via their mobile can be changed and shared online, once that image has been sent then they have lost control of it. Never use phones on public transport i.e. tubes, buses for fear of being attacked and the phone stolen.
Try and make passwords as long as possible, preferably combinations of letters and numbers, using lower and upper case and changing passwords as frequently as possible
As part of a government backed campaign; ‘Zip it, block it, flag it’ was launched in order to help children keep safe while on the internet. It offers tips for parents and children on how to stay safe online.