Presentation on theme: "Wiltshire Whole School Child Protection Training: Safeguarding Children in Education (Foundation level) March 2012 Key messages: Welcome This programme."— Presentation transcript:
1Wiltshire Whole School Child Protection Training: Safeguarding Children in Education (Foundation level)March 2012Key messages:WelcomeThis programme was devised by Wiltshire Council for all adults working in schools. It is suitable to be used with all members of staff (regardless of role), volunteer helpers and governorsTrainer’s note:Remember that the training may trigger difficult emotions for some delegates – they may want to talk about concerns they did not act on, they may be distressed by some of the content, or the content may bring up distressing emotions or memories for them. It may be helpful to acknowledge this at the beginning, and to suggest that anyone in this position can leave at any time if they need to do so.
2Scope of Whole School Child Protection Training Pack March 2012 To enable schools to deliver CP training to groups of staff, governors and volunteers, to meet the requirements of s.175 or s.157 Education Act 2002Staff with specialist roles will need additional training, either single agency or multi-agency.Key message:This package enables schools to meet their requirement to provide adults working in school with child protection training (required to be repeated at least every three years for each individual).Trainer’s note:Key CP personnel will also require additional training, details of which can be found as follows:CPD online – for single agency training for Designated Senior Person (DSP), Headteachers, and Nominated CP Governors; also for information about how to access Safer Recruitment training online– for multi-agency CP training for any of the above and others who need or want this (NB Advanced Level safeguarding training – inter-agency) required for DSP, at least every two years
3Aims Participants to: recognise signs and symptoms of child abuse know what action to take if they have concerns about a pupil or an adultUnderstand the roles and responsibilities of the different Child Protection agenciesKey messages:All adults working with children must know what should raise their concerns about pupils’ safety and well-being, what to do if they are concerned about a pupil, and how the school’s role fits into the ‘bigger picture’ of multi-agency child protection work.To ensure this, all adults working in the school must have child protection training at least every three years covering all these elements.Additionally, the Designated Senior Person must undertake advanced level, inter-agency Child Protection training at least every two years.
4Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It includes issues for schools such as:Pupils’ health and safetyBullyingRacist abuseHarassment and discriminationUse of physical interventionMeeting the needs of pupils with medical conditionsProviding first aidDrug and substance misuseEducational visitsIntimate careInternet safetySchool securitySchool/local specific issues e.g. gang activityKey messages:The terms ‘safeguarding’ and ‘Child Protection’ are sometimes used interchangeably but they have different meanings.The term ‘safeguarding’ relates to everything the school does to keep all pupils safe.Staff should be aware that this includes in-school and out-of-school activities and, in some cases, journeys to and from school, for example school bus or coach.
5Child ProtectionChild Protection is one element of safeguarding. It refers to those actions that are taken to protect specific children who may be suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm.Trainer’s noteThe term ‘significant harm’ is explained later (Slide 12)
6Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility Social carePoliceEducationHealthVoluntary groups (e.g. Scouts, NSPCC, sports groups, faith groups…)Probation serviceMembers of the publicKey messages:This programme considers both intentional and unintentional harm children and young people might experience.Child abuse can occur at home, in the community and in organisations such as schools.ALL school staff have a legal duty to report any safeguarding concerns to the school’s Designated Senior Person.Child Protection is not ‘someone else’s’ responsibility.
7Key guidance and procedures ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ – Government Departments March 2010‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ Government Departments 2007South West Multi Agency Child Protection Procedures (available online only)‘Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment in Education’ DCSF 2006‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults Working with Children and Young People’ – Government Offices for the Regions 2009.Key messages:The welfare of children is paramountAgencies must work together to ensure young people’s safety. This means that anyone in school can ring another agency for advice about children’s welfare if they need to.Government guidance requires that safer recruitment practices are followed, to ensure that all adults regularly in school (including regular volunteers) are suitable to be in contact with children.Safer recruitment training is available to support schools in preventing and deterring abusers from working in schools.Trainer’s note:All these documents should be available in school. The Guidance for Safer Working Practice document should be available and familiar to all adults working in schools. Usually only the Headteacher and the Designated Senior Person will need to be familiar with the other documents, but they should be available for others should they want to see them.
8Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) “Everyone shares the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children…irrespective of individual roles. Nevertheless, so that organisations and practitioners can collaborate effectively, it is vital that all partners who work with children… are aware of, and appreciate the role that each of them plays in this area.’Key messages:Reinforces the important of working effectively with other agencies – concerns about possible child abuse must be shared with appropriate professionals, these include: the police, social care, health professionalsFailure to do this places children at increased or continued risk of harm – participants will be familiar with recent high-profile cases, for example Baby Peter, when poor multi-agency working was identified as a factor in failures to protect him.
9s.175 Education Act 2002: requires a Governing Body to ensure their school: has a Designated Senior Person (DSP) for child protectionhas a named governor overseeing Child Protection (CP) in the schoolhas a CP policy, with which everyone working in the school is familiar, including volunteersprovides CP training for the DSP at least every two yearsProvides CP training to anyone working in the school at least every three yearsCarries out an annual audit of CP work.Key messages:The Governing Body’s role is overview and oversight – to ensure that good effective policies and practice for child protection are in place.Governors should not normally have CP information about individual pupils, but should monitor practice to ensure that procedures are being followed.Wiltshire Council recommends that nominated governors should undertake local authority school specific safeguarding training.See wiltscpd.co.uk for further information.Trainers at Academies and Independent schoolss.175 applies only to the maintained sector. However, the same requirements and expectations apply to all independent schools and governing bodies of Academies, and are set out in s.157 of the Education Act 2002.For Independent schools, references to the Governing Body refer to the Proprietor, which will vary from school to schools and may be an owner/proprietor, trustees, governors, or other – make sure that participants are clear how this applies to their particular setting.
10Child Protection in schools School staff spend more time with children and young people than staff in any other organisation.School staff know children well and are able to spot new or different behaviours.Schools provide a universal service.Schools can provide a ‘safe place’ where pupils can ask for help.Key messages:No other professionals are likely to have such intense and sustained contact with children and young people outside their home. This provides schools with crucial knowledge and opportunities to identify concerns about pupils, and for pupils to ask for help.
11What is ‘child abuse’?When a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, as a result of someone inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harmMay happen in the child’s family, or in a community or institutional settingA ‘child’ is anyone under the age of 18.Key messages:This is the legal definition of child abuse. The term ‘significant harm’ is an important one and is explained further in the next slide.Child abuse can be caused by acts or by neglect (failure to act).Task 1: Please allow 10 minutes for the task: five minutes discussion and five minutes feedback.What is child abuse?In pairs or small groups, participants should make a list of things they think constitute child abuse.Trainer’s note:The next section of the training looks in detail at what is meant by ‘child abuse’, and at signs and symptoms of the various categories of abuse.
12‘Significant harm’ means: Ill treatment or impairment of health or development‘Development’ can be physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural‘Health’ can be physical or mental‘Ill treatment’ includes sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and neglectSignificant harm can be a single traumatic event, or a series of events over a period of time.Key messages:‘Significant harm’ is a key concept to distinguish harm which is serious enough to warrant child protection intervention from other lesser kinds of harm.In considering whether a child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm, we need to consider:family contextthe child’s development within the context of their family and wider social and cultural environmentany special needs, such as medication condition, communication difficulty or disability that may affect the child’s development and care within the familythe nature of harm, in terms of ill-treatment or failure to provide adequate carethe impact on the child’s health and development, and the adequacy of parental carethe child’s reactions, and his or her perceptions, viewed in the context of their age and understanding.
13The four categories of child abuse Physical abuseEmotional abuseSexual abuseNeglectKey messages:When a multi-agency Child Protection conference identifies child abuse, they must record which of these four categories of abuse the child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering. Often more than one category is recorded.Trainer’s note:NB Additional information: signs and symptoms of child abuse is provided in this pack for distribution at the end of slide 25 below.Participants often suggest ‘verbal abuse’ as an additional category. This is not a separate category (those are defined in Working Together), but it may be an indicator of emotional abuse.Task 2: Please allow a total of 30 minutes for discussion and feedbackEither:Divide participants into four groups and assign one category to each group. Each group should discuss and record their ideas re: signs and symptoms of their category.Or:Prepare four flip chart sheet with headings for each of the categories of abuse. Ask staff to walk around the room and record ideas about signs and symptoms of each category.Then:Discuss ideas in each category first, then show the appropriate slides as outlined in the programme. When all four categories have been discussed, distribute the Signs and Symptoms handout.
14Physical abuse:may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.Key message:This is the definition given in the document Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010)
15Physical abuse Signs and symptoms may include: physical injuries, such as cuts, bruises, fracturesunexplained or unusual injuriesimprobable excuses, reluctance or refusal to explain injuriesreluctance to change clothing for games or PEfear of physical contactfear of suspected abuser being contacted.Key messages:This list is not exhaustive – participants will be aware of others such as burning, scratches, marks from implements.Accidental injury sites (i.e. places where children are likely to have ordinary injuries) are the bony parts of the body e.g. knees, shins, elbows.Non-accidental injury sites (i.e. places where accidental injury is less likely to occur) are of greater concern e.g. thighs, back, upper arms, areas covered by swim suits.Always consider the individual child – what is ordinary bruising for an able-bodied child may not be ordinary for a child using a wheelchair; similarly a child with a disability where they fall / bruise / fracture easily may have more injuries than other children – but this always needs to be verified by medical experts.Sometimes the appearance of the injury itself may raise concerns, e.g. bruising with a grasp pattern on arms; burns in the shape of an implement.If concerned, note the exact site of the injury and the circumstances in which it was observed (e.g. changing for PE).Patterns of school absence can also be significant, e.g. poor attendance on Mondays or first day back after a holiday may indicate a need to let injuries subside. Poor attendance on days where PE / games /swimming are planned may also indicate avoidance of injuries being seen.Trainer’s note:Remind participants not to ask a child to remove or adjust their clothing to enable someone else to witness any marks (more of this later).
16Physical abuse How did it happen? Does the explanation fit the injury?Is there a reluctance to explain the injury?Are there any other concerns about this pupil?Key messages:It is good practice to always ask about an injury – but stick to open questions eg “How did that happen?”Think about whether the explanation fits the injury – or do you think it is unlikely that the injury you can see could have been caused in that way? Remember also that a child falling down the stairs will have the same injuries as one who is pushedIf this pupil has suddenly become clumsy or accident prone, there may be other reasons for concern and to seek adviceTrainer’s note:More guidance will follow later (slide 26) in the training on what sorts of questions to ask and to avoid, and why this is important
17Emotional abuse:This is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.Key messages:This is the definition given in the document Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010)Trainer’s note:Emotional abuse may involve:seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of anotherserious bullying, causing children to feel frightened or in dangerexploitation or corruption of childrenIt may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include:interactions that are beyond the child’s development and/or capability,over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction.
18Emotional abuse Signs and symptoms may include: feeling depressedwithdrawal from social interactionlow self-esteemisolation from friends and familyfearfulness, increased anxietyfeeling of shame / guiltmood changesnot trusting othersextreme dependence on otherstelling liesaggressive behavioursubstance misuseKey messages:Emotional abuse:is a persistent ‘drip feed’ of negative and uncaring messagescan make children feel worthless, or valued only in certain circumstances eg when they are ‘good’may lead to poor mental health, difficulties in making and sustaining positive relationships and poor self esteemChildren who are emotionally abused:often live in a state of constant anxiety, not knowing what will happen nextmay find praise very confusing and react badly, sometimes destroying the work being praisedmay be unwilling to try anything new, fearing failuremay fly into sudden, uncontrollable rages that frighten themselves as well as othersmay be withdrawn, incapable of expressing emotion, unable to engage with or show empathy towards others
19Common types of emotional abuse: Neglecting / rejectingIsolating / scapegoatingAbusive expectations (demands, criticism)Ignoring, denying (refusal to listen or understand child’s feelings)ExploitingConstant chaosEmotional blackmail (threatening)Aggression (blaming, commanding, threatening)DominatingVerbal assaults (sarcasm, berating)Unpredictable behaviours (mood changes, emotional outbursts)Key messages:Often the abuser displays his / her abusive character in front of others to humiliate the childEmotional abuse can be very difficult to identify and so if often goes unreported or unrecognisedSometimes different children in a family may be treated very differently – scapegoating
20Sexual abuseinvolves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.Key messages:Sexual abuse includes a wide range of behaviours and may not always involve actual physical contact eg allowing access to pornographic images or content in DVD, magazines or on-line. It may also involve witnessing sexual behaviour of others, or being watched or filmed in sexual activityA child or young person can be sexually abused without realising it, due to limitations in their age or understanding of what was happeningYoung children who are sexually abused may have unusually sexualised play, behaviours or language (eg use of sexual language in advance of what would be expected of a child of that age)Sexual awareness may be inappropriate for the age of the pupilYoung people who have been sexually abused may be adept at hiding it. They may have been threatened with dire consequences for themselves or their families if they tellYoung people who have been sexually abused may self-harm or have reckless, risk-taking behaviours that suggest they do not care about what may happen to them
21Sexual abuse Signs and symptoms may include: frequent need to urinate / urinary tract infectionsage-inappropriate sexual knowledge, language, behavioursregressive behaviours such as thumb sucking, needing previously discarded cuddly toysloss of appetite or compulsive eatingbecoming withdrawn, isolatedinability to focusreluctance to go homebed-wettingdrawing sexually explicit picturestrying to be ‘ultra good’over-reacting to criticismTrainer’s noteOther signs of sexual abuse include:lack of trust or fear of someone they know well e.g.: child minder or baby sitterbeing overly affectionate or knowledgeable in a sexual way, inappropriate to the child’s ageanxiety when asked to remove clothingself harmingpossessing unexplained sums of money, giftsIndicators of parent/carer abuse include:not wanting the child to have close friends or personal relationshipsCurtailing the child’s freedom.
22‘Grooming’ for sexual abuse An abuser may ‘groom’ a victim by giving or withholding rewards such as gifts or special attentionThey may use physical or psychological threats to ensure co-operationThe grooming process is often well planned and very effective, ensuring that parents and other adults trust the abuser and find it difficult to believe that abuse has taken placeKey messages:All adults need to understand how effective the grooming process can be, and that they themselves may unwittingly be part of itAbusers usually choose their victim carefully. Most at risk are those who are vulnerable in any way. Those who lack confidence or self-esteem are particularly vulnerable to an abusive relationshipSome abusers use physical violence or threats to dissuade victims from asking for help, for example:‘You will be taken into care’‘No-one will believe you. If you tell anyone, I’ll just say you were lying. And who will they believe?’‘If you tell, I’ll be sent to jail, and it will be your fault’‘Your mum will be really angry / upset if she finds out what you are doing.’Alternatively, the abuser may reassure their victim that what is happening is fine, that ‘Everyone does this.’
23Abusers who groom are often: in a position of trust, leadershipgood at their jobable to win respect, affection, or fear from colleaguescharismaticarticulatedomineering, bulliescaringdutiful, over-helpfulmanipulativedistorted in their thinking.Key messages:Abusers take time and trouble to groom not only their victim, but often the family and friends of their victim. They also groom school (and other agencies’) staff to gain trust and respectThese positive relationships with adults surrounding the ‘chosen’ child make it very difficult for the victim to disclose abuse for fear they will not be believedThe key word here is ‘manipulative’
24NeglectPersistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and / or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.Neglect may involve failure to:provide adequate food, shelter, clothingProtect child from physical harm or danger (including exposure to domestic abuse)Key messages:Key word here is persistent: there may be neglect when there is an unusual stress in the family, for example bereavement, loss of employment, or illness, which may not reach the threshold for child protection.When neglect is serious, protracted and leading to significant impairment in the child’s development, the threshold for significant harm has been crossed.Record keeping is an essential tool in assessing factors such as frequency, context and duration of neglect – often it is only when the pattern is seen that it becomes clear that this category of child abuse is taking place. Compiling a log of incidents over a period of time may therefore be crucial to identifying this type of abuse.
25Neglect Signs and symptoms may include: constant hungeremaciationcompulsive scavengingpoor personal hygieneconstant tirednessclothing poor, dirty, inappropriate for weatheruntreated medical problemspoor social relationshipsdestructive tendenciesKey messages:The most obvious signs are seen in dirty, dishevelled children. They may be undersized and smelly to the point that relationships with peers are difficult.Neglect can take other forms such as:Reluctance to keep a child home when sickNot taking a child for medical appointmentsLeaving children unattended at home, or with an inappropriate carer eg a young sibling or neighbourParental reluctance to spend time with children (although a lot of money may be spent on material goods for them)Many children attend school presenting several of these indicators of neglect but, are not addressed/referred because ‘it was always thus’ ~ other siblings present in the same way and have always done so. This does not make it acceptable and should be addressed in the most appropriate way.Handout: Signs and symptoms sheet from the pack can be distributed at this pointA break may be taken at this point.
26Look at these examples of record keeping. Task 3Look at these examples of record keeping.Identify good practiceWhat’s missing?In five groups consider one of the examples on your handout. When you have noted your comments, please read the other examples.You have 10 minutes for this taskTASK: Allow 10 minutes for task and 20 minutes for feedback.Key messages:All records must be signed and names printed with the date INCLUDING YEARIdeally these records should be hand written. There should be no copies madeExample 1No year in the date.Ask “Is it OK to ask a child questions?” Answer: “Yes.” You need to know what you are dealing with. Use the following to be sure that you are questioning safely:Mirroring strategy John said “My dad hit my mum last night” response ‘Your dad hurt your mum last night’?’ in such a way that the child may give more clarification without asking potentially leading questionsTED questions are also acceptable: Tell me about…. Explain…. Describe…Example 2No asterisks please! Child’s exact words must be recordedUse mirroring strategy (“Mum is always calling you names?)” Mum may usually call her names such as ‘slow coach’.Other agencies are not familiar with our acronyms (MDSA) and these change over time, so make your designation absolutely clear.Concerns about child welfare MUST be kept together. Incidents in Behaviour Logs or other diaries/notes, must also be recorded on a Welfare Concern Sheet. This ensures that the Designated Senior Person has the whole story.Example 3How useful is this report? What strategy might be used to elicit more information?Notes not kept together. Who has the whole story?No signatureExample 4Who is Meera? Who is Jenny? Are these two pupils? Who is reporting this issue?The language used must be includedWhat is the actual concern?Who are C and F? Charles and Fiona? Children and families?Example 5‘Yet again?’ Are there other examples? Date? Author?Finally – health warning! Please ask questions only until you are clear that this is child protection and record accordingly. Do not ask more questions than necessary.
27Response to a disclosure - 1: Do:listen carefully and take it seriouslystay calm, however shocked you may bereassure the personexplain what you will do nextreport it urgently to the Designated Senior Personin the absence of Designated Person or Head, take immediate steps to protect the child or individual if necessaryrecord the disclosure fully, in accordance with the school’s policy.Key messages:Make sure that all disclosures are discussed urgently with the Designated Senior Person (DSP) or someone else in their absence, and that information is not discussed more widely with colleagues.The DSP or Head should make sure that the person who received the disclosure gets any support they may need - this may include reassurance that they were right to share the disclosure.Everyone in the school must be familiar with the ‘What to do’ flowchart.Immediate steps might include an immediate call to social care.Trainer’s note:Make sure that all participants are clear what is meant by ‘a disclosure’ – provide the flowchart (see below) and refer to the second box – when a young person discloses abuse or neglect to someone else.HANDOUT: ‘What to do..’ flowchart – trainer to provide each participant with the latest version
28Response to a disclosure – 2: Don’t:ask leading questions – avoid ‘who, what, when, where’ questionstry to obtain more information by ‘interviewing’ people before taking adviceappear shocked or angrymake judgementspromise anything you can’t deliver, including keeping secretsconfront or question an alleged abuserKey messages:When a disclosure is made, it is never clear where it might lead. It is, therefore, important to avoid doing anything that might make it difficult to take future court proceedings should that be necessary. If someone has been questioned in a way that conflicts with rules about evidence in court, this could make it impossible to bring an alleged offender to court.Social workers and police have special training to ensure they take full details from a victim without breaking this rule. It is, therefore, crucial that details of the disclosure are urgently passed to the DSP for them to report or take advice on, but there should be no further questioning, interviews or requests for the child to write down the information.Task 4: Please allow 20 minutes in total for this task – 10 minutes discussion, 10 minutes feedbackResponding to a disclosureIn small or large groups, discuss the following question:When listening to a disclosure, how might you respond, bearing in mind the need to avoid who / what / where / when questions? Remind participants of mirroring and TED questions as per previous slide.Bring the group back together for feedback, capturing the points set out in the ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ slides.
29Recording a disclosure: Do: use your school’s standard recording formuse the child’s own words, don’t paraphrasemake your record as soon as possible after the event, so that you don’t forget anythingkeep it brief and to the pointdistinguish between fact and your opinionsask for help with writing it up if you need itinclude information about what action was taken afterwards, even a decision that no action is neededremember the Data Protection Act: adequate, accurate, securely held.Key messages:Highlight the crucial importance of recording everything, including a decision not to take any further action.A professional’s opinion can be extremely valuable, provided the record is clear what is fact and what is opinion.It is important that adults record all concerns about a child in the same way and pass them on to the Designated CP Teacher for them to decide whether or not they need to refer the matter to Children’s Social Care.Task 5: Please allow total of 20 minutes for this task – 10 minutes discussion, 10 minutes feedbackRecording child welfare and Child Protection concernsLook at your school’s policy and standard forms for recording and reporting child welfare and CP concerns.Are all participants clear about what their role is, what to do if they have a concern, where to find the forms, how to use them, who to pass them on to, why they are important?HANDOUT: The school’s current policy on child welfare and child protection record keeping; the school’s form for recording concerns about a pupil (including body map)
30Referral to Children’s Social Care The school may want to ring Children’s Social Care for advice and guidance before deciding whether to make a referral – this is welcomed and encouraged.‘Working Together’ makes it clear that the Designated Senior Person will normally tell parents before making a referral, unless doing so might place someone at increased risk of harm.When making a referral, the school must make clear the full reasons for doing so.If a referral is made by phone, it must be confirmed in writing immediately.Children’s Social Care must notify the school of the outcome of any referral they make – the school must chase this if not received.Key messages:So that Social Care can make an informed decision about how to respond to the referral, it is vital that schools provide all relevant information as part of the referral – not just the immediate reason for concern, but also any background history that may have a bearing on itSocial Care should acknowledge the referral within one working day. If you don’t have an acknowledgement after three working days, the school must chase it up. The school needs to know and keep a record of the outcome of every referral they makeSocial Care will consider whether what has been referred meets the threshold for an initial assessment. This is carried out in the home, and the child/ren must be seen as part of itIf a case conference is required to decide whether the child/ren should have a child protection plan, then every agency involved with the family will be required to:Provide a written report setting out their concerns about each child and views about what action is required in order to improve the situationAttend the case conference at which parents/carers and children (when appropriate) will also be in attendance
31Response to a Child Protection referral The Local Authority must make enquiries where there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’.The enquiries are carried out by the Children’s Social Care teams.School staff must co-operate with CP enquiries, and should be consulted in multi-agency strategy discussions to decide how these should progress.These are sometimes referred to as ‘s.47 enquiries’Key messages:Social workers and their managers should:Lead the assessment process, provide support to the child or family as part of an agreed planCarry out a joint investigation with police where a criminal offence may have been committedPolice officers should:Investigate any allegations of crime or suspected crime and use information to assist other agencies in understanding the child’s circumstancesEveryone else must:Provide relevant information to Social Care or police about the children and family members (or any other alleged perpetrator)Contribute to the assessment process as requiredProvide support to the child as part of an agreed planTrainer’s note:‘s.47’ refers to s.47 of the Children Act 1989, which sets out the requirement for local authorities to make these enquiries
32Common Assessment Framework (CAF) Framework for early intervention - when a child has additional unmet needs and you cannot provide the required helppre-assessment checklist - helps identify children who would benefit from a common assessmentprocess for undertaking a common assessment - helps practitioners gather and understand the needs and strengths of a child, based on discussions with the child, their family and other practitioners.Trainer’s note:Emphasise that this process is not for use where there are child protection issues – these must always be referred to Children’s Social Care in accordance with the ‘What to do’ flowchart.The CAF is intended to assist with provision of early intervention when there are unmet needs which fall short of CP concerns or issues.More information about CAF can be found at The Senior CAF Co-ordinator can be contacted via Wiltshire CouncilHANDOUT: trainer to distribute additional information: CAF information sheet to all participants.
33Data protection and information sharing The seven golden rulesThe Data Protection Act is not a barrier to information sharing.Be open and honest.Seek advice if in doubt.Share with consent where appropriate.Consider safety and well-being.Make sure it is necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure.Keep a record.Key messages:Appropriate information sharing is crucial to effective child protectionWhere there are concerns about a child, we have a legal duty to share informationThe Designated Senior Person may decide that no further action is needed at this point – if so, this must be recorded with reasonsSchools must pass on any child protection records to subsequent schoolsAny child protection records should be received from previous schools of new pupils – if there is reason to think information has not been passed on, the school should chase it upHANDOUT: Sheet listing the seven golden rules of information sharing, provided in the pack
34Child protection and information sharing: Baby Peter Child Death Review 2009 “It is important for professionals to trust their feelings when they perceive children to be suffering, and not make assumptions that others have also perceived it and are better placed to act. It is simpler to lift the telephone than to live with the regrets of not having done so.”“Everybody working as ‘safeguarders’ in the safeguarding system, especially those working in the universal services… needs to become more aware of the authority of their role, and to use it to safeguard the children as well as to support parents. The mode of relationship with parents, especially on first meeting them, needs to be observing and assessing as well as helpful.”Key messages:Ofsted’s evaluation of serious case reviews (April 07) identifies:continuing weaknesses in record keeping and communication in universal services that allow children to fall into the gaps between services.Professionals failed to consider the situation from the child’s perspectiveToo often professionals took the word of parents without considering the effects on the child.A further evaluation published in April 2011 noted that:“…the children’s needs were overlooked because practitioners had focused too much on the parents, especially when the parents were themselves vulnerable. A focus on parents’ need for support can lose the focus on a child’s right to protection.”
35What if I’m not sure?Your responsibility is to act if you have any concerns about a child or young person, by passing the concern on.It is not your responsibility to decide whether or not abuse has taken place and/or the identity of the abuser.Trainer's noteChild abuse is frequently unrecognised and is under-reported.Be aware that your initial reaction on suspecting abuse, may be a wish to deny the problem and reluctance to get involved.If you suspect a child is at risk, ask yourself:Why am I worried?What are the implications of doing nothing or deferring action?What should I do right now?Task 6: Please allow 20 minutes in total for this task (10 minutes discussion, 10 minutes feedback)What are the barriers to reporting abuse, and how might they be overcome?Break into two groups.Group 1: Identify barriers for children or young people disclosing abuse, and possible solutionsGroup 2: Identify barriers for adults reporting concerns, and possible solutionsBring the whole group together and share the barriers and solutions identified. Remind staff that they are not required to make judgements, they are simply reporting a concern. Reporting a concern does not constitute an allegation of child abuse.
36Barriers to reporting abuse Pupils may:not know who to report tonot be comfortable with a particular adultfeel embarrassedlack the language / vocabularyfear they will not be believedFear consequences for themselves or othersAdults may:delay because the person to report to is not availablebe anxious about putting details on paperdisbelieve what has been shared with thembe afraid of interferingbe afraid of being wrongbe afraid of possible consequences for the alleged abuserbe afraid of possible consequences for themselvesfeel they don’t have time (too many forms to fill in...)Key message: the importance of keeping the child at the centre of thinkingAges of concern: Learning lessons from serious case reviews: A thematic report of Ofsted’s evaluation of serious case reviews from 01 April 2007 to 31 March 2011 states that:“Too often agencies had focused on the young person’s challenging behaviour, seeing them as hard to reach or rebellious, rather than trying to understand the causes of the behaviour and the need for sustained support.”
37Diversity matters Vulnerability of some children with special needs Cultural issuesChildren who are privately fosteredChildren missing from educationLooked-after childrenKey messages:Some of the issues adults should be aware of:Research evidence suggests that disabled children are more vulnerable to abuse than non-disabled children – some research suggests they may be three or four times as likely to be abused. This includes all four categories of abuseCommunication barriers mean that many children with disabilities, including deaf children, have difficulty reporting worries, concerns or abuse. The same may be true for children whose first language is not EnglishForced marriage: be aware of the difference between an arranged marriage, which is legal for over-16s, and forced marriage, which is notFemale genital mutilation is a criminal offenceSchools have a duty to tell the Local Authority about any child who they think may be privately fostered (living or going to live with someone other than their parent, legal guardian, or close relative, for more than 28 days)Schools have a duty to tell the Local Authority about any child who may be missing from education
38Other factors which may increase pupils’ vulnerability Parents/carers who misuse drugs or alcoholDomestic violence within the family unitPoor mental health of parents/carersChaotic, unsettled or transient lifestylesLack of parental controlThose for whom English is not the first languageArmed Forces childrenTrainer’s noteIncreased risk may arise from a child’s personal circumstances such as living within a family where there is domestic violence, substance misuse or poor mental health within the immediate family.Children with disabilities may lack language or vocabulary to disclose abuse and lack the necessary mobility to remove themselves from an abuser. They may also be less able to resist or avoid abuse because of physical limitations, learning needs and their reliance on adult support.Children for whom English is not the first language are also vulnerable as they may lack the language to deter an abuser or to disclose abuse.Children of military personnel may be vulnerable for a number of reasons including:Emotional distress due to deployment of parent/s to areas of conflictImpact on children of possible poor mental health of parent/s deployment to areas of conflict (eg Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)Disruption to education due to frequent movesFor further information see Ofsted report entitled ‘Report on children in service families May 2011’ available on WISEnet (safeguarding children/Ofsted).
39Child protection in this school Nationally, approximately 10% of children and young people live with abuse.This means that one in 10 pupils in this school may be living with abuse.Who are they?Trainer’s note:The school’s SMT should consider how best to ensure that the school considers this question and appropriately shares learning and informationFinal task: next steps – this can be done either at the end of delivering the training, or at a later staff meetingIn small groups or as a whole group, discuss the following questions for your school:Who are our vulnerable children?What do we need to do next?Share the answers with the whole group; identify any action points; identify how these will be taken forward (what? when? how? who?)Course evaluation: At the end of the session, the trainer is asked to complete the evaluation form from the pack and return it to:Sylvia Hailstone Schools’ Trainer for Safeguarding Wiltshire CouncilOld Brook House, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge Wiltshire BA14 8JN