Presentation on theme: "1 Always Children First. 2 Non-HSE Agencies Information Session Cascade o n Revised Children First 2011 Roles and Responsibilities Child Protection and."— Presentation transcript:
1 Always Children First
2 Non-HSE Agencies Information Session Cascade o n Revised Children First 2011 Roles and Responsibilities Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook
3 Children First 2011 This edition of Children First supersedes all others and should be the only one in use. It is the reference point for practice detail.
4 Always Children First We must not pass the baton when we are concerned about a child, we must hold that concern together, collectively!
5 Context of Information Session Revision of Children First 1999 and publication of Children First 2011 National Guidance Standardised implementation of Children First Introduction and use of Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook
6 Aims of the Information Session To give an overview of Children First Guidance 2011 To introduce the Child Protection & Welfare Handbook To promote the safety and well-being of children
7 Objectives By the end of the session you will: Be briefed on Children First Guidance 2011 and the Child Protection & Welfare Practice Handbook Have a clear understanding of your Roles and Responsibilities in relation to Child Protection and Welfare
8 Differences between CF 1999 and CF Guidance 2011 Name has changed from Guidelines to Guidance Substance and principles of 1999 Guidelines unchanged Content has been updated to reflect the development of new agencies (HSE, HIQA, DCYA) and changes in policy and legislation since 1999
9 Differences between CF 1999 and CF Guidance 2011 (2) Reflects recommendations from recent reports Reflects the growing awareness of the impact of ongoing neglect on children Revises the definitions of Child Abuse. The term Designated Person is changed to Designated Liaison Person.
10 Differences between CF 1999 and CF Guidance 2011 (3) Emphasises the role of Our Duty To Care in guiding Child Protection policies, practices and procedures within the community and voluntary sectors. Specific guidance for developing local child protection and welfare procedures (appendix 8 : 92). New Standard Report Form introduced.
11 Is the Implementation of Children First Guidance mandatory? All statutory, voluntary and community organisations working with and in direct contact with children should have procedures and guidelines derived from and consistent with the current Children First: National Guidance for their staff and volunteers. C.F
12 Children First 2011 : Contents Part I : Key Messages Part II : Definitions and Recognition of Child Abuse; Basis for reporting concerns; Standard Reporting Procedures; Interagency Cooperation. Part III : Guidance for HSE Children and Family Services; Other Professionals; Protocol for An Garda Siochana-HSE Liaison. Part IV : Special Considerations References and Official Websites Appendices 1 – 10.
13 Part I: Aims of Children First Guidance Overarching aim: to promote the safety and well- being of children Children First 2011 Key Messages Identification and reporting of child abuse Framework for multidisciplinary/interagency co-operation Highlight roles and responsibilities of the HSE and Gardaí Guidance to agencies and community/voluntary organisations Needs of children and families at centre Welfare of the child of paramount importance C.F
14 Key Principles of Best Practice in Child Protection and Welfare The Welfare of children is of paramount importance. Family support should form the basis of early intervention. Children have the right to be heard, listened to and taken seriously. Parents/carers have a right to respect and to be consulted and involved in matters that concern their family. Balance between protecting children and respecting parents Separating children from parents as a last resort When working with adults, consider impact of adults behaviour on child and act in the childs best interest C.F
15 PART II: Definitions and Recognition of Child Abuse; Basis for reporting concerns and Standard Reporting Procedure; Interagency Cooperation
16 Neglect An omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care. C.F. 2011, 2.2
17 Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a parent/carer and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events. It occurs when a childs developmental need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. Unless other forms of abuse are present, it is rarely manifested in terms of physical signs or symptoms. C.F. 2011, 2.3
18 Physical Abuse Is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction or lack of interaction, which is reasonably within the control of a parent or person in a position of responsibility, power or trust. C.F. 2011, 2.4.1
19 Sexual Abuse When a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others. C.F
20 Welfare A problem experienced directly by a child, or by the family of a child, that is seen to impact negatively on the childs welfare or development, which warrants assessment and support CP&W Practice Handbook, p.6
21 Guidelines for Recognition There are three stages in the identification of child neglect or abuse: 1.Considering the possibility 2. Looking out for signs of neglect or abuse 3.Recording of information C.F
22 Points to Remember The severity of a sign does not necessarily equate with the severity of the abuse. Neglect is as potentially fatal as physical abuse. Experiencing recurring low-level abuse may cause serious and long-term harm. Child abuse is not restricted to any socio- economic group, gender or culture. Challenging behaviour by a child or young person should not render them liable to abuse.
23 Points to Remember Exposure to domestic violence is detrimental to childrens physical, emotional and psychological well-being. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between indicators of child abuse and other adversities suffered by children and families Neglectful families may be difficult to engage. Families where neglect and abuse are prevalent may go to considerable lengths to deceive professionals. C.F
24 Basis for Reporting Concerns & Standard Reporting Procedure The HSE Children and Family Services should always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected. Child protection concerns should be supported by evidence that indicates the possibility of abuse or neglect. A concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person, even if the children are unidentifiable, should also be communicated to the HSE Children and Family Services. Any reasonable concern or suspicion of abuse or neglect must elicit a response.
25 Sharing Child Protection Concerns It is the responsibility of all agencies working with children and for the public to recognise child protection concerns and share these with the agencies responsible for assessing or investigating them, not to determine whether the child protection concerns are evidenced or not. C.F
26 What Constitutes Reasonable Grounds for Concern? An injury or behaviour that is consistent both with abuse and an innocent explanation, but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse. Consistent indication over a period of time that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect. Admission or indication by someone of an alleged abuse. A specific indication from a child that he or she was abused. An account from a person who saw the child being abused. Evidence (e.g. injury or behaviour) that is consistent with abuse and unlikely to have been caused in any other way. CP&W Practice Handbook 2.3
27 Retrospective Disclosures by Adults Establish whether any current risk to any child who may be in contact with alleged abuser If any risk is deemed to exist to a child who may be in contact with an alleged abuser, the counselor /health professional should report the allegation to the HSE Children and Family Services without delay. C.F. 2011, 3.6 A concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person, even if the children are unidentifiable should be communicated to the HSE Children and Family Services C.F. 2011, 3.2.4
28 Confidentiality Information shared on need to know basis No undertakings regarding secrecy The provision of information to the statutory agencies for the protection of a child is not a breach of confidentiality or data protection Organisations should have a written Policy C.F. 2011, 3.9
29 Reckless Endangerment of Children Section 176 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 introduced the criminal charge of reckless endangerment of children. It states: A person, having authority or control over a child or abuser, who intentionally or recklessly endangers a child by – (a) causing or permitting any child to be placed or left in a situation which creates a substantial risk to the child of being a victim of serious harm or sexual abuse, or (b) failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child from such a risk while knowing that the child is in such a situation, is guilty of an offence. The penalty for a person found guilty of this offence is a fine (no upper limit) and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. C.F. 2011, See Appendix 7 for a full list of legislation
30 Interagency Cooperation No one profession has all the skills, knowledge or resources to meet all the requirements of an individual case Effective interagency cooperation has a number of benefits including: Ensuring provision of a comprehensive response to all concerns about children by the pooling of resources and skills, from initial enquiry to assessment and case management, including early identification and prevention. Avoiding gaps in the service response especially in cases where information would otherwise remain concealed or unknown Providing mutual support for professionals in complex cases
31 Roles and Responsibilities: Non-HSE Agencies (1) Obligation to provide children with the highest possible standard of care and safeguard them from abuse; Develop procedures and guidelines derived from and consistent with Children First: National Guidance 2011 (see appendix 8); Take account of the guidance in Our Duty To Care (2002) in the development of child protection policies, procedures, and practices; Completed local guidelines should be forwarded to the HSE as a matter of good practice.
32 Roles and Responsibilities: Non-HSE Agencies (2) Agencies have a corporate duty and responsibility to safeguard children by : Promoting the general welfare, health, development and safety of children; Adopting a safe and clearly defined method of recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers; Developing guidance and procedures for staff who may have reasonable grounds for concern that should not deviate from Children First Guidance It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors or Management to ensure that such policies are in place and are operating effectively.
33 Roles and Responsibilities: Non-HSE Agencies (3) Identifying a designated liaison person (DLP) to act as liaison with outside agencies and a resource for staff and volunteers who has child protection and welfare concerns; The appointed DLP is responsible for reporting allegations or concerns of child abuse to the HSE Children and Family service or An Garda Síochána; Ensuring clear written procedures on the action to be taken if allegations of abuse against employees/ volunteers are received (see appendix 9);
34 Roles and Responsibilities: Non-HSE Agencies (4) Raising awareness about potential risks to childrens safety and welfare; Developing effective procedures for responding to accidents and complaints; Ensuring clear procedures in relation to record keeping of child protection and welfare concerns are in place, operating effectively and records securely stored;
35 Roles and Responsibilities: Non-HSE Agencies (5) Organisations that administer services through a number of different units should standardise recording procedures throughout the organisation; All agencies dealing with children must have a written policy of cooperating with the HSE Children and Family Services on the sharing of their records where a child welfare or protection issue arises Training in child protection and welfare must be an integral part of the plans in all agencies. A percentage of the annual budget in each agency should be explicitly committed to child protection training.
36 Response to persons reporting concerns Other professionals involved should be kept updated and informed about the outcomes of any enquiry or investigation into the reported concern, where this is appropriate to their professional care/treatment of the child or the performance of their own duties and within the normal limits of confidentiality. C.F
37 Part III: Guidance for Other Professionals Non-HSE Agencies with which the child and/or parents/carers have contact may have relevant information to contribute to the assessment of a child protection and welfare case. (C.F. 2011, 5.2.6) Professionals in voluntary agencies…are in a good position to observe a child and his or her relationship with parents/carers. It may be appropriate for a professional from one of these organisations to pursue the enquiry jointly with, or on behalf of, the HSE Children and Family Services (C.F. 2011, )
38 Part IV: Special Considerations Especially Vulnerable Children Children in residential settings Children in Care Children who are Homeless Children with disabilities Separated children seeking asylum Children being trafficked Other identified risk factors include the age of the child CP&W Practice Handbook 3.2.1
40 Key Messages For Practice No single agency or professional can work in isolation to keep a child safe: Its everyone's responsibility Share concerns and information with relevant professionals: you may hold key information Wherever you work: be aware of the possibility of child abuse Keep the focus on the child: don't get distracted by adult problems If in doubt, discuss concerns with line manager/ supervisor/designated person in your agency
41 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Aide to delivering accountable, consistent and transparent practice Complement Children First 2011 Companion to Children First, policies, procedures and legislation Deliver accountable practice Quick reference book for front-line practice Sets out key issues for different stages Evidence-based Foreword Gordon Jeyes, National Director CFS
42 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Five Sections Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Appendices
43 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Section 1: For everybody whose work brings them into direct or indirect contact with children and their families. It provides a Glossary of Terms frequently used in child protection and welfare practice, as well as the definitions of the four types of child abuse. There is a more detailed chapter on child neglect since this is the most common type of child abuse and is also the most reported concern to the HSE Children and Family Services. Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Appendices
44 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Section 1 Section 2: For all allied professionals and volunteers whose work brings them into direct or indirect contact with children and their families. what to do if you are worried about a child, your roles and responsibilities, how to refer your concerns and your involvement after you have made a referral Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Appendices
45 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Section 1 Section 2 Section 3: For key Social Work staff of the HSE Children and Family Services. This section aims to provide a practical resource in identifying, assessing and responding to risk. It gives an overview of the child protection process, highlights known risk factors in child protection work and outlines key triggers to consider when carrying out assessments. Section 4 Section 5 Appendices
46 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4: Provides more information around support and guidance for Social Work staff, including supervision, continuous professional development and training, managing allegations, complaints and how to make a protected disclosure. Section 5 Appendices
47 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5: Resources include national contacts for the HSE Children and Family Services and a list of References used to inform the Practice Handbook. Appendices
48 Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2011 Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Appendices Six appendices provide additional information and resources for practice.
49 Next Steps Review and amend accordingly existing child protection policies, procedures and practices to ensure consistency with the Revised Children First Guidance Director/Management/DLP Cascade briefings to all staff and volunteers Embedding of Children First Guidance 2011 is a continuous process
50 Where can I get more Information? Children First Our Duty to Care Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook Standard Reporting form FAQ sheets and Information on Advice, Guidance and Support Are all available to access at
51 Children grow to fill the space we create for them, and if it is big they grow tall Jonathan Sacks