Child Protection Awareness Training RITeS Seminar September 2009
Aim of the session Background Roles and Responsibilities - Management Circular 57 Procedures Signs of Abuse
Child Abuse Some Facts about Child Abuse In the UK one child dies every week as a result of child abuse More than 35,000 children are at risk and require protection from professionals At least 110,000 adults have been convicted of sexual offences against children (NSPCC 2001)
Child Protection in Glasgow A total of 259 children’s names on the register 184 physical neglect 20 sexual abuse 7 emotional abuse 45 physical injury 3 non-organic failure to thrive Not an even distribution Tip of the iceberg – 1 child in every class (Register as at 09.03.04)
Domestic Abuse An estimated 100,000 children and young people in Scotland are living with domestic violence 90% of children are in the same room or the next room In the context of domestic abuse, 40% - 60% of children are also physically assaulted by the perpetrator Two thirds of child protection cases also identified domestic abuse, when this was routinely asked.
Child Protection Educations 5 dimensional role Prevention Responding to concerns Support Training Inter-Agency collaboration
Child Protection ‘It’s Everyone’s job’ “We all need to work together to ensure children are protected” Audit Report 2002
Child protection referral procedures Management Circular 57 Evidence or suspicion of abuse “It is the responsibility of staff to report concerns…to the appropriate member of the senior management team.” Head Teacher will decide if there are grounds for suspicion Decide if emergency action is required by police or medical service and if so, call them Duty Practice Team Leader (or Practice Team Leader for child if child is “open” to Social Services) at local office. Discussion as to whether to involve: GP/Hospital Police Parents http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8FC104DF-981D-4A71- BBEE-D108F3259CB3/0/MC57_0109.PDF
Physical Injury Sexual Abuse Emotional Abuse Failure to Thrive Physical Neglect Child Protection Categories of Registration
Physical Neglect ““Physical neglect occurs when a child’s essential needs are not met and this is likely to cause impairment to physical health and development. Such needs include, food, clothes, cleanliness, shelter and warmth. A lack of appropriate care results in persistent or severe exposure, through negligence, to circumstances which endanger the child”.
Sexual Abuse Any child below the age of 16 may be deemed to have been sexually abused when any person(s), by design or neglect, exploits the child, directly or indirectly, in any activity intended to lead to the sexual arousal or other forms of gratification of that person or any other person(s), (including organised networks). This definition holds whether or not there has been genital contact and whether or not the child is said to have initiated the behaviour.
Physical Injury “Actual or attempted physical injury to a child under the age of 16, where there is definite knowledge, or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented”.
Emotional Abuse “Failure to provide for the Child’s basic emotional needs such as to have a severe effect on the behaviour and development of the child”
Non-Organic Failure to Thrive “Children who significantly fail to reach normal growth and development milestones (ie physical growth, weight, motor, social and intellectual development) where physical and genetic reasons have been medically eliminated, and a diagnosis of non-organic failure to thrive has been established”.
Possible Signs of Neglect constant hunger poor personal hygiene constant tiredness poor state of clothing emaciation frequent lateness or non-attendance at school untreated medical problems destructive tendencies low self-esteem neurotic behaviour (eg rocking; hair twisting; thumb sucking) no social relationships chronic running away compulsive stealing or scavenging
Possible signs of sexual abuse Children under the age of 5 may: show extreme fear of a particular person become hysterical when clothing is removed, particularly underclothes have soreness or bleeding in the throat, anal or genital areas behave in a way sexually inappropriate to their age, being obsessed with sexual matters as opposed to normal exploration stare blankly, seem unhappy, confused, sad become withdrawn, stop eating, have chronic nightmares, begin wetting again when previously dry play out sexual acts in too knowledgeable a way with dolls or other children produce drawings of sex organs such as erect penises stop enjoying activities with other children, such as stories or games repeat obscene words or phrases said by the abuser say repeatedly that they are bad, dirty or wicked become aggressive and hurtful act in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults
Possible signs of sexual abuse Children from the ages of five to twelve may hint about secrets they cannot tell say that a friend has a problem ask if you will keep a secret if they tell you something have unexplained sources of money start wetting themselves exhibit sudden inexplicable changes in behaviour such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn stop enjoying previously liked activities, such as music, sports, art, scouts or guides, going to summer camp, gym club be reluctant to undress for gym become fearful of or refuse to see certain adults for no apparent reason, show dislike or a particular babysitter, relative or other adult act in a sexual way inappropriate to their age draw sexually explicit pictures depicting some act of abuse have urinary infections, bleeding or soreness in the genital or anal areas have soreness or bleeding in the throat
Possible signs of sexual abuse Young people from the age of 12 onwards may: be chronically depressed use drugs or drink to excess self-mutilate, show self-hatred become anorexia or bulimic run away frequently be inappropriately seductive be fearful about certain people like relatives or friends not be allowed to go out on dates or have friends round have soreness/bleeding in the genital or anal areas or in throat find excuses not to go home or to a particular place have recurrent nightmares/be afraid of the dark be unable to concentrate, seem to be in a world of their own have a ‘friend with a problem’ and then tell about the abuse of the friend sexually abuse a child, sibling or friend exhibit a sudden change in school/work habits, become a truant be withdrawn, isolated, or excessively worried have outbursts of anger or irritability have unexplained sums of money
Possible Signs of Emotional Abuse physical, mental and emotional development lags admission of punishment which appears excessive over-reaction to mistakes sudden speech disorders fear of new situations inappropriate emotional response to painful situations neurotic behaviour (eg rocking; hair twisting; thumb sucking) self mutilation fear of parents being contacted extremes of passivity or aggression drug/solvent abuse chronic running away compulsive stealing/scavenging
Possible Signs of Physical Abuse unexplained injuries or burns particularly if they are recurrent improbable excuses given to explain injuries refusal to discuss injuries untreated injuries admission of punishment which appears excessive fear of parents being contacted bald patches withdrawal from physical contact arms and legs kept covered in hot weather fear of returning home fear of medical help self-destructive tendencies aggression toward others chronic running away
Possible signs of non- organic failure to thrive significant lack of growth Weight loss Hair loss Poor skin or muscle tone Circulatory disorders
Checklist for staff You should OBSERVE,RECORD and REPORT R espond without showing signs of disquiet, anxiety or shock E nquire casually how an injury was sustained or why a child appears upset C onfidentiality should not be promised to children O bserve carefully the behaviour or demeanour of the child R ecord in detail what you have seen and heard D o not interrogate or enter into detailed investigations
A Child’s Needs Following Disclosure To be safe To be given the opportunity to express and explore feelings To develop a sense of belonging To be treated as “normal” To learn about relationships and boundaries of behaviour Help to restore ability to form relationships To be with adults who show they can be trusted To develop a sense of self worth
More Information http://www.glasgowchildprotection.org.uk/ http://connect.glasgow.gov.uk/YourSe rvice/SocialWorkServices/Sections_T eams/Children_FamilyServices/ChildP rotection/ http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/in spection/GlasgowCitySFC.pdf
Children need you to see them, hear them and protect them. The difference between child abuse or child protection could be you.