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Best Practice Meeting for Youth Development Jan Perrin, Information & Advice Person, HSE.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practice Meeting for Youth Development Jan Perrin, Information & Advice Person, HSE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practice Meeting for Youth Development Jan Perrin, Information & Advice Person, HSE

2 SETTING THE CONTEXT Child Care Act UN Convention on Rights of the Child – ratified Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children National Children’s Strategy ‘Our Children – Their Lives’ Our Duty to Care – 2002.

3 PROTECTION FOR PERSONS REPORTING CHILD ABUSE ACT 1998 provides protection from civil liability to anyone who reports child abuse “reasonably and in good faith” creates a new offence of false reporting where a person makes a report of child abuse to the appropriate authorities “knowing that statement to be false” offers significant protection for employees who report child abuse, including protection from discrimination and dismissal

4 Reckless endangerment of children Section creates an offence where: a person who has authority or control over a child or over a person who has abused a child intentionally or recklessly endangers the child by causing or permitting the 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 failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child from such a risk while knowing that the child is in such a situation. Explanatory Memorandum - Criminal Justice Act 2006

5 SETTING THE CONTEXT (2) Kilkenny Incest Investigation (1993) Madonna House Inquiry (1996) ‘A Child Is Dead’, The Kelly Fitzgerald Inquiry (1996) Murphy Swimming Inquiry (1998) McColgan Case (1998) POST CHILDREN FIRST (1999) Ferns Inquiry (2005) Report of Dr Kevin McCoy on WHB Inquiry into the Brothers of Charity Services in Galway (2007) Review Inquiry on any Matter Pertaining to Child Protection Issues Touching on or Concerning Dr. A (2008) Monageer Inquiry (2008) Ryan Report (2009) Roscommon Child Care Case (2010)

6 What are the Responsibilities of the Voluntary and Community Sector? Report any reasonable concerns to the Health Service Executive or in case of emergency the Garda Siochana Have a Designated Person/Persons Develop a Child Protection Policy and Procedures in line with Children First Develop a structure within the organisation that fits these policies and procedures Inform staff/volunteers/parents/children of these policies and procedures Have Child Protection training as part of induction modules

7 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. NEGLECT SEXUAL ABUSE PHYSICAL ABUSE when a child’s need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a care-giver and a child. any form of non-accidental injury which results from a wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child. EMOTIONAL ABUSE when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others. Children First (Paragraphs 3.2.1; 3.3.1; 3.4.1; 3.5.1) DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE

8 WELFARE A problem experienced directly by a child, or by the family of a child, that is seen to impact negatively on the child’s welfare or development, which warrants assessment and support

9 “Harm can be defined as the ill treatment or the impairment of the health or development of a child. Whether it is significant is determined by his/her health and development as compared to that which could be reasonably expected of a child of similar age”. Children First (Paragraph 3.2.2) SIGNIFICANT HARM

10 Threshold of Significant Harm ‘The threshold of significant harm in emotional abuse is reached when abusive interactions dominate and become typical of the relationship between the child and the parent/carer’. (Children First 3.3.2)

11 Adapted from ‘Child Abuse signs and symptoms’ copyright Kidscape 2004 NEGLECT: CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY When the child: Is frequently absent from activities Begs or steals food or money Lacks medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses Is consistently dirty and has sever body odour Doesn't wear warm enough clothes in winter Abuses alcohol or drugs Says there’s no one at home to care for them When the parent or caregiver: Appears to be uninterested in the child Seems apathetic or depressed Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner Is abusing alcohol or other drugs

12 Adapted from ‘Child Abuse signs and symptoms’ copyright Kidscape 2004 PHYSICAL ABUSE: CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY When the child: Has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones or other marks. Seems frightened of the parents/carer Shrinks at the approach of adults Reports injury by a parent or another adult carer giver When the parent or adult caregiver: Offers conflicting, unconvincing, or no explanation for the child’s injury Describes the child in some other very negative way Uses harsh physical discipline with the child

13 Adapted from ‘Child Abuse signs and symptoms’ copyright Kidscape 2004 EMOTIONAL ABUSE: CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY When the child: Has low self esteem Over-reacts to mistakes Shows extremes in behaviour, such as overly compliant Has delayed physical, mental or emotional development Has attempted suicide Reports a lack of attachment to the parent When the parent or the other adult caregiver Constantly blames, belittles or berates the child Is unconcerned about the child and refuses to consider offers of help Overtly rejects the child

14 Adapted from ‘Child Abuse signs and symptoms’ copyright Kidscape 2004 SEXUAL ABUSE: CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY When the child: Demonstrates sexual knowledge beyond their years Regresses to younger behaviour such as thumb sucking or bed wetting Has difficulty walking or sitting Refuses to change for, or participate in, physical activates Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age fourteen Runs away, attempts suicide or self-harm Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver or older child When the parent or the other adult caregiver Is unduly protective of the child Severely limits the child contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex Is secretive and isolated Describes material difficulties involving family power struggles or sexual relations

15 Source of a Concern A child may tell you You may notice physical injury or change to a child’s behaviour Signs of neglect over a period of time Someone else may tell you Behaviour of a colleague may concern you Retrospective disclosure by an adult

16 DEALING WITH DISCLOSURE DO DON’T The one thing you MUST NOT DO is NOTHING Stay calm Listen Accept Reassure Record in writing Report Record your report Panic Start to investigate Promise to keep secrets Ask leading questions Make the child repeat the story unnecessarily Delay

17 (i) specific indication from the child that (s)he was abused; (ii) an account by a person who saw the child being abused; (iii) evidence, such as an injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused another way; (iv) an injury or behaviour which is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse. An example of this would be a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, other indications of abuse, dysfunctional behaviour; (v) consistent indication, over a period of time, that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect. Children First REASONABLE GROUNDS FOR REPORTING

18 Reporting Procedures Record the information-factually Check out your concerns –where appropriate- child, teacher, parent, colleague? Report to your DP If appropriate link with DP in school/youth club etc If reasonable grounds for concern report to DSW of HSE or in emergency the Gardai Report to HSE using Standard Reporting Form

19 PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING STAFF/VOLUNTEER REPORTS TO DESIGNATED PERSON REFERS TO HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE OR AN GARDA SIOCHANA

20 DESIGNATED PERSON Person Senior position Knowledge of organisation Good listening/feedback skills Familiar with the topic of abuse Accessible Role Provide information and advice Receive and consider child protection concerns Informal consultation with the Health Service Executive Make a formal referral Maintain confidential records Inform parents/carers

21 CONFIDENTIALITY Need to know basis No secrets Paramountcy principle Personal details of families

22 INFORMING PARENTS Any professional who suspects abuse should inform the parents/guardians if a report is to be made to the Health Service Executive unless doing so is likely to endanger the child or place the child at further risk The decision not to inform parents should be recorded and the reasons for not doing so. Children First Chapter 4 OH 24

23 GARDA VETTING SERVICE Garda Central Vetting Unit conducts vetting on behalf of Registered Organisations within the voluntary, community and statutory sector Available for staff and volunteers, over the age of 18, working with children and vulnerable adults The application is validated by the Authorised Signatory and forwarded to the Garda Central Vetting Unit The Garda Central Vetting Unit does not provide ‘clearance’ for persons to work with children or vulnerable adults The function of the Garda Central Vetting Unit is to disclose details regarding ‘all prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, and/or convictions’ in respect of an individual applicant to a registered organisation The organisation is responsible for making the recruitment decision based on the information received. Organisations should have a clear recruitment and selection procedure in place to guide decision making.

24 RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCESS Staff Member/Volunteer roles Job/Role Descriptions Application Form Declaration Form Interview/Meeting Publicity References: Written Garda Vetting Identification

25 CONTEXT There is a concern that many abusers are not known to the police, therefore if properly conducted, the selection and recruitment process is a further essential safeguard. Introduction and Summary 75 Bichard Report 2004

26 THE CHALLENGE TO ORGANISATIONS “For those agencies whose job it is to protect children and vulnerable people, the harsh reality is that if a sufficiently devious person is determined to seek out opportunities to work their evil, no one can guarantee that they will be stopped. Our task is to make it as difficult as possible for them to succeed” Bichard Report 2004

27 Safe Practice Clarify responsibilities with parents, schools etc in advance. Avoid working alone with children. In situations where this is unavoidable put in safeguards. - Be open and non secretive - Inform others- teachers, other staff, parents. - Leave the door open Adhere to the code of behaviour- report deviations.

28 USE OF CODE OF BEHAVIOUR TRAINING SUPPORT DISCIPLINARY ACTION SUPERVISION CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

29 CHILD PROTECTION POLICY, PROCEDURES AND PRACTICE (1) 1.CHILD PROTECTION POLICY STATEMENT 2.DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE 3.REPORTING PROCEDURES 4.DESIGNATED PERSON 5.CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT 6.RECORD KEEPING 7.SAFE RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES FOR WORKERS 8.SAFE MANAGEMENT OF WORKERS Supervision & Support Training & Induction OH 9

30 CHILD PROTECTION POLICY, PROCEDURES AND PRACTICE (2) 9.PROCEDURE FOR ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AGAINST WORKERS 10.CODE OF BEHAVIOUR FOR WORKERS & VOLUNTEERS 11.PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT / SHARING INFORMATION 12.INVOLVING CHILDREN/SHARING INFORMATION 13.COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FOR WORKERS, PARENTS AND CHILDREN 14.TRIPS AWAY 15.ACCIDENTS / INCIDENTS PROCEDURE 16.APPENDIXES OH 10

31 CHILD PROTECTION IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS REMEMBER ! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

32 Q & A


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