2 What is Child Protection? No single piece of legislation but many laws, which are subject to continual amendment.Part of ‘safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children’, a term that is included in the Education Act, 2002.Welfare includes:Health and safetyBullyingMedical needs and first aidDrug and substance abuseSchool security
3 Education Act 2002 – section 175 LEAs and schools (including independent and FE establishments) have a statutory duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This means:Providing a safe environment for children and young people in their careBeing able to identify children and young people who are suffering, or likely to suffer, abuse or neglectTaking appropriate action to make sure those children and young people are kept safe both at home and at schoolReporting concerns about a child’s welfare and playing their part in multi-agency work to protect them
4 Abuse and NeglectSomeone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional/community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.Just over 90% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the child.Children can be abused regardless of their age, gender, culture, disability, racial origin or sexual identity;Children with special needs are 3 times more likely to be abused.
5 Child Protection Statistics 1 or 2 children die each week as a result of abuse or neglect.In March, 2010 there were 46,705 children in the UK who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan, meaning that these children had suffered or were at risk of suffering from significant harm.Abuse can occur over lengthy periods of time, much of which goes undisclosed at the time it is occurring.
6 Principles of the Children Act Paramountcy: The child’s welfare is of paramount consideration.Parental Responsibility: The duty of parents to care for their child physically, emotionally and morally.Partnership: Professionals and families to work together for the welfare of children.Participation: Children’s wishes and feelings taken into account.
7 Provision: Section 17 - ‘Child in Need’ Enquiry Services necessary to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need.A child shall be taken in need if:S/he is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him/her of services by the local authority;His/her health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him/her of such services.S/he is disabled.
8 Protection: Section 47 - Child Protection investigation Children’s Services must carry out an investigation when they have reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm.A Child Protection Conference may be convened to consider whether significant harm has been reached.If the child is considered to be at continuing risk of harm, s/he will be made the subject of a Child Protection Plan.
9 Determining AbuseCan be a single event, such as poisoning or violent assault, which may constitute ‘significant harm’.More likely to be a compilation of events, both acute and longstanding, which interrupt, change or damage the child’s physical and psychological development.The Children Act 1989 defines ‘harm’ as “ill treatment or the impairment of health or development”.‘Significant’ is not defined but invites comparison with “…that which could be reasonably expected of a similar child”.#
10 Categories of child abuse Physical abuseEmotional abuseSexual abuseNeglect
11 Definition of Physical Abuse May involve:Feigning the symptoms of ill health in a child or deliberately causing the ill health (Factitious or fabricated illness by proxy)HittingShakingThrowingPoisoningBurning /scaldingDrowningSuffocation
12 Definition of Neglect: The persistent 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. It includes parents/carers failing to:Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)Protection from physical/emotional harm.Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.It may involve the neglect of or lack of responsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs
13 Definition of Emotional Abuse The persistent emotional ill-treatment so as to cause severe and adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. [Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment although it may occur alone]It involves conveying to the child that s/he is:WorthlessUnlovedInadequateLoved only insofar as they meet another persons needsIt also involves:Age or developmentally inappropriate expectationsThe exploitation or corruption of childrenSeeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another (including domestic violence)Serious bullying, causing children to feel frightened or in danger.
14 Definition of Sexual Abuse Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities - whether or not the child is aware or what is happening.It may include:Physical contact including penetrative actsrapebuggeryNon–penetrative actslooking at/producing pornographic materialwatching sexual activityencouraging children to behave in sexuallyinappropriate ways
15 Possible signs of physical abuse Unexplained injuries or burns, particularly if they are recurrentRefusal to discuss injuriesImprobable explanations for injuriesUntreated injuries or lingering illness not attended toAdmission of punishment which appears excessiveShrinking from physical contactFear of returning home or of parents being contactedFear of undressingFear of medical helpAggression/bullyingOver compliant behaviour or a ‘watchful attitude’Running awaySignificant changes in behaviour without explanationDeterioration in workUnexplained pattern of absences which may serve to hide bruises or other physical injuries
18 Possible signs of neglect Constant hungerPoor personal hygieneInappropriate clothingFrequent lateness or non-attendance at schoolUntreated medical problemsLow self-esteemPoor social relationshipsCompulsive stealing and scroungingConstant tiredness
19 Possible signs of emotional abuse Continual self-depreciationFear of new situationsInappropriate emotional responses to painful situationsSelf-harm or mutilationCompulsive stealing/scroungingDrug/solvent abuse‘Neurotic’ behaviour – obsessive rocking, thumb-sucking, and so onAir of detachment – ‘don’t care’ attitudeSocial isolation – does not join in and has few friendsDesperate attention seeking behaviourEating problems, including overeating and lack of appetiteDepression, withdrawal
20 Possible signs of sexual abuse Bruises, scratches, burns or bite marks on the bodyScratches, abrasions or persistent infections in the anal or genital regionsSexual awareness inappropriate to the child’s age – shown, for example, in drawings, vocabulary, games, and so onFrequent public masturbationAttempts to teach other children about sexual activityRefusing to stay with certain people or go to certain placesAggressiveness, anger, anxiety, tearfulnessWithdrawal from friends
21 Possible signs of sexual abuse in older children Promiscuity, prostitution, provocative sexual behaviourSelf-injury, self-destructive behaviour, suicide attemptsEating disordersTiredness, lethargy, listlessnessOver-compliant behaviourSleep disturbancesUnexplained gift of moneyDepressionChanges in behaviourPregnancy – particularly in the case of young adolescents who are evasive concerning the identity of the father
22 Why children don’t tell about abuse They may not know they are being abused; they may think this happens in all families.If they do know, they may be too ashamed to tell.They may not wish to admit that their families are different.In many cases, the abuser is known and trusted.They are worried they won’t be believed.The abuse is ongoing so it becomes harder to tell.The abuser may have bribed the child or threatened that something terrible will happen if s/he tells.They may have told in other ways.They may think that adults know about the abuse already.People around them may make it difficult to talk.Sexual abuse can make some children feel special.They are confused about the mixed message they are getting.
23 Why children do tell about abuse The continuation of the abuse becomes unbearable and fear of abuse becomes greater than the fear of what will happen if the child tells.A younger sibling is at risk of or is being abused.The child finds someone who is strong and confident, whom s/he feels can overcome the abuser.A physical injury has occurred that needs medical attention.They have a feeling that someone already knows and will not be horrified at what they have to say.Pregnancy or physical injury is a threat.A change occurs in the child’s support network.
24 Talking to Children: Dos and Don’ts….. DO be open to anything the child might tell you.DON’T be afraid to talk to the student; however, if you prefer not to do this alone…..DON’T worry about including someone else.DO ask open questions, i.e. ones that do not require a ‘yes’/’no’ answer.DON’T try to investigate or ask leading closed questions.DON’T promise confidentiality or make any other promise you can’t keep.DO explain what you are going to do next.DO pass on the information to the designated person as quickly as possible.DO write everything down as quickly as possibleDON’T judge or condemn the alleged abuser.
25 Logging a concern Must be written within 24 hours of disclosure. Include your name & position and the child’s name & dob.Be as factual as possible; give details of physical injuries.Opinion should be stated as such, with evidence.Parents have the right to read the report.Poor logging can affect the outcome of an investigation.
26 All staff need to know…Who is the designated person(s) in their settingWho to speak to about CP concerns if the designated person is not availableHow to report and record concernsHow to listen and talk to childrenWho is the CP governor.