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Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN & INNAPPROPRIATE CHASTISEMENT DS Vicky Washington DC Tina Pearce Partnership.

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Presentation on theme: "Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN & INNAPPROPRIATE CHASTISEMENT DS Vicky Washington DC Tina Pearce Partnership."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN & INNAPPROPRIATE CHASTISEMENT DS Vicky Washington DC Tina Pearce Partnership Team /3813 1

When is chastisement inappropriate? What is child abuse? What is child protection? How does this affect me as a parent? How does this affect me as a faith leader / teacher?

3 Parents want the best for their children and to protect them from harm.
As children grow and develop, there are times when it is appropriate to discipline them. Consider ; How do I discipline my child(ren)? How do others discipline my child(ren)? How does it make my child feel? Consider the physical and psychological effects on your children. What are they learning from the way they are disciplined? Will they thrive or will they respond negatively?

4 Lawful Chastisement - Section 58 Childrens Act 2004
IT IS ILLEGAL TO HIT A CHILD - a defence of “reasonable punishment” exists when charged with common assault There is no defence of reasonable punishment for acts of GBH, ABH and CRUELTY There is a misunderstanding that it is legal to smack a child. Not designed to criminalise parents but to safeguard children by way of early intervention by police and social services. "Reasonable punishment" subjective term. What is reasonable to you may not be reasonable to someone else.

5 Smacking or otherwise physically chastising a child is an assault
“Any intentional or reckless act which causes a person to apprehend immediate unlawful force or personal violence” Common Assault Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) Grevious Bodily Harm (GBH) Smacking or otherwise physically chastising a child is an assault They are classified by the level of injury. Common assault can be a threat of violence.

6 Criminal offences may be committed when there are injuries such as
Grazes Scratches Abrasions Minor bruising Swelling / reddening of the skin Superficial cuts The use of implements (belts, slippers, canes, tree branches), strikes to the head / face, multiple strikes are NOT considered reasonable If any injury caused amounts to more than reddening of the skin that is transitory, it is likely to be considered ABH or above. In cases where it is apparent the child has been hit with an implement, struck about the head or face or been struck repeatedly, there WILL be a police and social services investigation.

7 Child Cruelty If a person of 16 years who has responsibility for a child or young person under 16 WILFULLY; Assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons, exposes him/her, or causes or procures him/her to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned, or exposed In a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health, that person is guilty of a misdemeanour The following will be presumed to have responsibility for a child or young person: (a) any person who: (i) has parental responsibility for him; or(ii) is otherwise legally liable to maintain him; and (b) any person who has care of him. If there are concerns that a child has been subjected to any of the above, it is likely that there will be a joint police and social services investigation

8 What is child abuse and neglect?
All ill treatment of children Causing harm Failing to prevent harm Harm = “ill treatment or the impairment of health and development” Health= physical or mental health Development= physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development

9 There are four categories of abuse, which often overlap
Emotional Physical Sexual Neglect

10 Emotional Telling a child they are worthless, unloved, inadequate, undervalued Making them feel excluded, ashamed, humiliated Telling them you expect more of them than they able to do (given their age and ability) Causing a child to feel frightened or in danger (threats of violence towards them, or exposing them to violence between others - e.g. domestic violence) Exploitation / corruption Consider how this will make the child feel. If they have negative feelings about themselves or the adults they should trust - will they thrive and succeed? Is their perception of themselves or fear of others causing them to behave in a negative way? Emotional suffering can have far reaching, long term effects

11 Physical Hitting - (Strike, thump, slap, knock, beat, punch, smack)
Shaking Throwing Biting Burning / scalding Drowning Suffocating Poisoning Even if there are no visible injuries, physical harm is likely to lead to emotional harm also

12 Sexual Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities Involving a child in looking at sexual acts (penetrative and non penetrative) Encouraging a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways Sexual offences will be committed if a person in authority / position of trust engages in sexual acts with a person under the age of 18

13 Neglect Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic and / or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health and development Failure to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing Failure to protect from physical harm or danger Failure to access medical care or treatment Failure to meet child’s basic emotional needs

Thresholds of Assessment CAF – Common Assessment Framework S17 – Child in Need (CIN) S47 – Local Authority Duty to Investigate (Significant Harm) Children act 1989 The Children act 1989 to introduce the concept of significant harm in order to assess the need for compulsory intervention in family life in the best interest of children. 14

15 S17 Child In Need General duty for Local Authority (LA) to provide services appropriate to those children's needs: The child 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 of services by a LA The child’s health and development is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired, without provisions of children's social care The child is disabled This outlines the general duty and inform the class how similar it is to the CAF process it self and how fine the line is between the common assessment framework and S17

16 S47 Children Act 1989 Is basically where significant harm or likelihood of significant harm is suspected and requires investigation either jointly or by single agency This is the legislative requirement for social services to intervene in family life when significant harm or likelihood of it is suspected. This does not always require a police investigation although these matters can be investigated jointly when there is an allegation of crime. Sometimes sig harm can actually be poor parenting or due to behaviour that can be changed through children social care intervention.

17 What is Significant Harm:
Severity of ill treatment Duration and frequency of abuse and neglect Presence or degree of threat, coercion, sadism, bizarre or unusual elements. Sometimes a single traumatic event may constitute significant harm Compilation of events, both acute and long standing, significantly impacting on their physical and psychological development.

18 Children have a right to be protected from harm
Parents have a right to expect that organisations to which they entrust their children are diligent Awareness of health and safety issues Some professionals might lack knowledge training and experience Statutory authorities should engage community and faith organisations to ensure that all children are protected from harm In making sure that all their activities are carried out in a safe and secure environment. Most Madressahs have supported this work and many have implemented health and safety policies/ attended child protection training . However there are challenges ahead with language barriersand recent arrivals to the UK who are unfamiliar with the law and practice associated with safeguarding children. For example, these include physical punishment as the "price" of religious and cultural education It is therefore necessary to address complaints of poor or illegal practice with organisations even if no criminal enquiry or prosecution. The setting up of madressahs and supplementary schools is a huge investment by the relevant communities and a sign of their determination to complement their child's education

What to do if you suspect your child is being mistreated outside of the home REPORT CONCERNS TO POLICE OR SOCIAL SERVICES It may be tempting to speak directly to the person you have concerns about or to the organisation so it can be dealt with internally. Consider – are there other children at risk that need to be protected.

20 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is everybody's responsibility.The focus should be on the needs of the child. The governments's Every child Matters programme is intended to make significant positive changes for children. The programme has identified 5 outcomes for all children; Stay safe Be healthy Enjoy and achieve Make a positive contribution Achieve economic well-being The government has introduced legislation and guidance that requires all agencies and professionals working with children to make sure their working practices improve these outcomes. The children Act 1989 is the law which directs what local authorities must do, it' guiding principle is that the welfare of the child is paramount and must always come first.

21 Faith communities should ensure that all staff and volunteers who have regular contact with children:- Have been checked for suitability in working with children and understand the extent and limits of the volunteer role; Should have a named safeguarding officer who will have the knowledge and skills to support other staff and work closely with statutory agencies. The Children act 2004 creates a duty for the key agencies who work with children to put in place arrangements to make sure that they take into account of need to promote the welfare of children.

22 Have access to training opportunities to promote their knowledge;
Know how to report any concerns about possible abuse or neglect; procedures in place. Are aware of the possibility of child abuse and neglect; Are vigilant about their own actions so they cannot be misinterpreted. Procedures are in place about responding to any allegations against staff and volunteers, for staff and volunteers explaining clearly how to respond to concerns for childrene. and procedures for the safe recruitment and selection procedures are in place for all staff and volunteers. Para

23 Organisational Responsibility
The London Safeguarding Children Board has produced a document entitled "Competence Still Matters: Safeguarding training for all employees and volunteers" This is a guide to the responsibilities of all organisations and identifies the training requirements for each group; subgroup

24 Access Training in Tower Hamlets
For free advice and training for voluntary and community organisation in Tower Hamlets contact; Cobita Telephone

25 What to do if you suspect that a child is at risk
Clarify what exactly the child is saying Do not give undertakings of confidentiality Be aware that recordings of incident might be used in court proceedings You must contact children's social care or the police directly if you think the child is at risk of immediate harm It is not the responsibility of staff to investigate suspected abuse, do not conduct an interview. As there is a risk that by asking leading questions this could undermine any criminal investigation. listen and don't interrupt. Make a detailed note to pass onto the named safeguarding children officer Record time, place and people present as well as what was said. The staff and volunteers must not talk about any allegations with any other people, the child and family have a right to confidentiality, with information being shared with people who need to know. The child may be frightened about what will happen but it must be explained that you cannot keep what they say a secret. People can only help if they know what is happening.

26 Faith organisations can seek advice on child protection issues from the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS). Para

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