All practitioners working to safeguard children must understand their responsibilities and duties fully as set out in government, legislation and guidance. There is no piece of legislation that covers safeguarding children and young people in the UK different guidelines cover different parts of the UK England, wales, Scotland and northern Ireland. It includes the rights to protection from abuse, express their views and to be listened to
Current legislation for Wales for safeguarding of children is found primarily in principles of:
- UN Convention
- Data protection act
- Human rights act
- Children act
UN Convention on children’s rights 1989
Governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These rights describe what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. They apply equally to every child, regardless of whom they are or where they come from.
A child is defined in the UN Convention as a person under the age of 18 years. The UN Convention acknowledges the family as the fundamental unit of society. It stresses the role of parents as the primary care-givers with responsibility for the up-bringing of their children and obliges governments to support parents in fulfilling their essential role.
The four general principles are:
- That all the rights guaranteed by the Convention must be available to all children without discrimination of any kind
- That the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children.
- That every child has the right to life, survival and development.
- That the child’s views must be considered and taken into account in all matters affecting him or her.
- Treated equally within society, regardless of their race, colour, language, sex, religion, disability, origin, political or other, property, birth or any other status.
Human rights act
The Human Rights Act 1998) came into force in the United Kingdom in October 2000. It is composed of a series of sections that have the effect of codifying the protections in the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.
All public bodies (such as courts, police, local governments, hospitals, publicly funded schools, and others) and other bodies carrying out public functions have to comply with the Convention rights.
This means, among other things, those individuals can take human rights cases in domestic courts; they no longer have to go to Strasbourg to argue their case in the European Court of Human Rights.
These fundamental human rights covered by the HRA fall under 15 headings which are:
- Right to life
- Prohibition of torture
- Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to a fair trial
- No punishment without law
- Right to respect for private and family life
- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of assembly and association
- Right to marry
- Prohibition of discrimination
- Protection of property
- Right to education
- Right to free elections
Everyone in the United Kingdom is protected under the Act. Under its provisions government and public authorities are obliged by law to respect the basic human rights of all citizens.Children’s act 1989
The act aims to ensure the welfare of the child is paramount.it aims to protect the child within partnership with parents. If any work involves children and young people, organisations must develop a child protection policy and procedure to ensure that all children and young people are safeguarded from harm.
They have been updated to incorporate the important changes since they were first issued, in particular the recommendations of the Victoria Climbie Inquiry Report, Children Act 2004 and the accompanying guidance, Safeguarding Children: Working Together under the Children Act 2004.
The procedures clarify how individuals and agencies should communicate and work together effectively in partnership in order to identify vulnerable children, keep them safe from abuse and neglect and improve outcomes for them.
Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government. Everyone responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. They must make sure the information is:
- used fairly and lawfully
- used for limited, specifically stated purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
- kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary
- handled according to people’s data protection rights
- kept safe and secure
- not transferred outside the UK without adequate protection
- ethnic background
- political opinions
- religious beliefs
- sexual health
- criminal records
Practitioners have a legal duty of confidence with regarding personal information they receive about children and young people and their families. This information is allowed to be shared within appropriate professional contexts. All information including child protection records should be kept securely. The safety and wellbeing of children must always be the practitioner’s first consideration. It is important to work in partnership with other organisations to safeguarding children. A range of professionals all share the responsibility , therefore different agencies should work together in order to help the child /young person and family early on when they are in difficulties .
Multi-agency working brings together practitioners from different sectors and professions to provide an integrated way of working to support children, young people and families. It is a way of working that ensures children and young people who need additional support have exactly the right professionals needed to support them.
Multi-agency working provides benefits for children, young people and families because they receive tailor-made support in the most efficient way. The benefits of this include:
- early identification and intervention
- easier or quicker access to services or expertise
- improved achievement in education and better engagement in education
- better support for parents
- children, young people and family’s needs addressed more appropriately
- better quality services
- Reduced need for more specialist services.
Action for children
Action for childrenwork directly with over 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers, they deal with issues such as child neglect and abuse, action for children offer a wide range of innovative services such as children in care, disabled children and young people. Action for children offer a range of high-quality, flexible and innovative services right across the UK that are responsive to local needs, and which meet the complex and diverse requirements of children and young people in care or the edge of care .
They offer a wide range of integrated services such as:
- Fostering – we offer a range of placement types and specialize in helping children and young people who have encountered severe disruption or emotional trauma
- Adoption – we are able to offer a wide range of assessments, support packages, training and counseling services. We find caring adoptive families for children of all ethnic backgrounds and ages, disabled children, sibling groups and older children
- Family-based short breaks
- Schools – offering a range of packages from day placements through to 52-week care
- Residential care – range of residential short breaks and residential permanent homes for those unable to live with their families and who need a supportive home leaving care and edge of care support
- Leaving care and edge of care support
Barnardo’s transforms the lives of the most vulnerable children across the UK through the work of our services, campaigning and research expertise they believe that they can bring out the very best in every child whether the issue is child poverty, sexual exploitation, disability or domestic violence. As one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, Barnardo’s works directly with over 200,000 children, young people and their families every year. they runover 900 vital services across the UK, including counselling for children who have been abused, fostering and adoption services, vocational training and disability inclusion groups.
Barnardo’s work with many other services such as:
Kidscape’s values are based on the beliefs that:
- All children have the right to lead their lives free from bullying and abuse.
- All adults have a responsibility to support, nurture and care for children enabling them to reach their full potential.
- All children should have the opportunity and confidence to report bullying and abuse.
- Bullying and abuse in all forms are not acceptable and should not be tolerated.
- Children, confidentiality and trust are at the heart of everything we do.
Kidscape help children and young people from 6 to 19, concerned parents and grandparents, teachers and carers. And they come from every background and every part of the country: from inner-London comprehensives and from public schools; from rural villages and from major cities. The children we work with aren’t all being bullied – some of them are bullies themselves, and need help to stop.
Whatever the situation, we listen without judgment and offer sound advice based on years of experience and the counsel of some of the most experienced and respected psychologists in the field.
As practitioners it is our duty to ensure that children and young people’s welfare is safeguarded regardless of the circumstances (Where they are, who is looking after them). Practitioners must ensure continuity and coherence by sharing relevant information with each other and with parents or the carers. Understanding that identification of the children’s needs and being able to provide a quick response to any particular difficulty to a child’s wellbeing and being able to support relationships by sharing information and offering support for extending learning in the home. It is also important for a practitioner to understand that they will work with professionals from other agencies .it is suggested that as practitioners we should cooperate well as a team with different members of staff showing our enthusiasm and that we all have the same aspects when caring for children, being able to respect differences and understanding there is a common goal to be developed, communicating effectively , having a great understanding of our own role , taking advantage of any joint training schemes or discussion groups to help overcome ignorance and prejudice.
It is important to have policies and procedures in a setting to ensure children and young people’s safety and protection is maintained, ensuring that a type of service provided for the child is designed as a child protection officer. Having an outline with the main legislation and guidance relevant to the UK. Everyone within the setting has a responsibility to be active in safeguarding and preventing abuse or neglect, the setting should meet this obligation through safer recruitment of staff and provide support with other policies such as having an equal opportunities behaviour and partnership with parents. The procedures should set out an insight to how the policy will be put into practice on a daily basis making clear the responsibilities set out designated to a child protection officer and what the roles of the practitioner as individuals should be aware of following. If as a practitioner you are not aware of these policies and procedures on a day to day basis this shows how unaware your actions could become when working in a setting, CBR checks should be properly vetted and carried out when checking if practitioners are suitable when working amongst children checking that they don’t have any criminal convictions, risk assessments are important factors in safeguarding in all circumstances it is required to become aware when setting out activities and provided that they are safe to carry out a good example of a risk assessment would be if you was providing scissors within an activity , it is the practitioners duty to observe the children at all times making sure they do not harm themselves or any other child with the sharp object .
The duty that a setting has to safeguard its children, staff, and parent’s carers and support its community and regulators in their inspection processes is paramount; this means that recommendations within serious case reviews offer the opportunity to examine current practice, what’s happening and how it happens, within the setting and externally with other organisations/agencies/service providers. Practitioners can pass on information during meeting or promotion of their open door policy for raising concerns about practice or other that anyone who feels to having a potential to contribute to or cause children’s vulnerability. It helps everyone to look at information and sharing it, storing it, transporting it, data protection and freedom of information act, the referral, reporting procedures and contact lists that are in place. If anything within a review reflects a setting’s practice and has recommendations that would improve safeguarding measures you’ll be able to identify them and see ways to implement, discuss and adapt the way things currently go on, ensuring a setting continually maximises what it does to safeguard well-being and welfare. The purpose of SCR is to identify what lessons are to be learned from a case about why in which way local professional and organisations work individually and together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people being able to identity clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies and what is expected to change as a result. Understanding that if a child or young person confides in you and requests that information is to be kept a secret, it is important to explain to them in a sensitive manner that you have responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies for their safety and well-being.
The processes used within own setting complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 where by all information gathered within the setting is kept confidential and locked away from the view of others i.e. parents/ carers, staff, students, volunteers and any other visitors to the setting the only persons who have access to this information is the head teacher, all information gathered is kept up to date and is accurate , School only collects information that is used for a specific purpose, i.e. the children’s address and parent/carer contact information. School also holds files containing staff details and training courses attended which are again kept electronically with a password protection. The school ensures the information they require is relevant and accurate and they ensure the information is kept up to date, by sending letters out to parent/carers to remind them to update information since the last academic year. The information is kept for the duration the child is in attendance at the school and after which they will delete the files containing the personal data and shred any paper documents. Personal information is available to the pupils and parents should they wish to view their own details. Staff has access to the shredding machine and can use at any time, to shred scribble notes during meetings that may not be needed anymore, but may contain children’s names. Sharing information is the solution to improving beneficial outcomes for all children. It is essential to facilitate early intervention and preventative work for safeguarding children. All professionals involved with children must know and understand what to do and the most effective ways of sharing information about children who are at risk of abuse or neglect. In some situations, sharing information with a family about their child could seem good practice, but it is not crucial, where evidence of abuse or neglect could be destroyed or removed by a parent/carer or where a child could be placed at an increased risk when parents/carers have this knowledge. A schools policy on safeguarding children should be used as a guideline when sharing or handling information.
The importance of safeguard children and young people is highly important because no child deserves to be abused or harmed in anyway whether it may be physical, sexual or emotional abuse, it is important to understand that a child or young person does not deserve to be neglected and as a society we have a duty to protect them all children and young people from all types of harm.
Every child deserves to live a good life without any fear of harm from abuse. When we protect children from harm they are more likely to grow up into confident members of society as practitioners it is our duty to be able to able to recognise any signs and symptoms of any child being abused and should find ways to stop the abuse from happening again. Within the United Nations convention it states that ‘A Child should suffer no significant harm’ as practitioner when we take action and do something about these situation then it will enable children and young people to have the best outcome in throughout their development and will be able to protect them from any type of harm.
it is important to understand that anyone who come into any type of contact with children and families has a role to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect and ensuring that they grow up with the safe provision and effective care that enables children to enter adulthood successfully.
The importance of a child or young person’s centred approach is to understand that every child is different. The national framework of Every Child Matters was set up to support the joining up of services to ensure every child can achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes.
Support is offered to children to enable them to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. All services aimed at children or young people are based around the planning and meeting of the individual needs.
Children’s wishes should be taken into account during decision making to give them a sense of belonging and not to be made to feel as though its them who’s to blame this should be done in a sensitive manner and they should be listened to, to find out how they are feeling and what they would like.
A child-centred origination focuses its practice by improving outcomes for children and young people by working with others to promote and contribute better outcomes for all children and their families , this practice involves more than focusing on the rights and responsibility of the child but to reflect a genuinely child-centred approach practitioners should place observation, planning and assessment at the heart of their practice and to acknowledge and value the child or young person’s voice in the planning process where possible. It is important that as a practitioner that every child needs to be included and have full access to the curriculum, regardless of his or her ethnic background, culture , language , gender or economic background. No child so ever be held back in their learning because of restricted access to learning will be assessed using extra tools. Meaning that all children including those with special educational need and disabilities are in the focus of learning and all-round development. As practitioners we need to listen carefully to children and show interest, this will help children and young people to feel valued and appreciated and to help them communicate well with others.
Partnership working is important to ensuring that children and young people’s welfare is safeguarded , regardless who is looking after them and who they are, where children receive education and care in more than one setting ,practitioners must ensure stability and reason by sharing relevant information with parents or carers. Practitioners should support this important relationship by sharing information and offering support, Practitioners often work alongside with other professionals from other agencies such as local and community health services.
Different professionals and agencies should work together in order to help the child , they should not wait until something becomes serious before taking action, early intervention might involve talking to the mother ,showing sympathy and maybe finding support for her at local children’s centres or setting up home visits , this would then make the situation become better before it got worse, having initial assessments informs the decision of what to do next for example , offering services to support the child and family, a child is not at risk of harm but at risk of poor developmental outcomes, and that and urgent action is to protect the child from harm such as applying for a court order to take the child into care, only the court can direct if the child is to be taken away from their mother not the social workers.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children depends on effective partnership working between agencies, different professionals and all the people involved in the welfare of a child’s duty to safeguard children and young people, it is important that we all work and communicate together.
It is important to have clear policies and procedures to ensure children and young people’s protection in the setting, as practitioners when we first find out when a child has been abused or harmed then the enquiries will begin with the person who made the discovery and the help from other organisations will begin, there are plenty of organisations who offer help and support such as Social Services that have statutory responsibility to provide support to vulnerable children and families in need. Most Social Workers are employed by Social Services and can provide caring support for a range of problems.
Health Visitors have a responsibility for the health of babies and young children under five. They can provide support to parents of the children and carry out child development assessments. They recognise any risks that the child might be in and visit the homes so they will gather information such as signs and symptoms this will enable a health visitor to start the process of the signs and concerns of abuse or neglect.
GP’S or school nurses can refer children to the different agencies and may identify possible abuse signs when the child attends an appointment They can provide support to the families to help them achieve better parental skills.
Police might become involved in the criminal proceedings that might result from safeguarding issues, the main role of the Police is to prevent crime and disorder and protect all individuals. The police have legislation to protect the children.
Child Psychologist: This service will often be used to support the children who have been abused or harmed. School: Schools and colleges are the key to identifying and supporting children when they are in need of help and all staff in school / colleges must be trained in safeguarding and child protection.
As a practitioners we need to ensure that we actively promote the wellbeing of every child effectively this would include providing great opportunities for children and young people developing and being able to learn how to play ,communicate and socialise with others in the setting also being introduced to enjoy health, nutritious and enjoyable foods which allows them to be given opportunities to move and exercise their bodies and allowing a great level of independence that is appropriate to their age and development.
Being able to provide extra support to children who needs are not being met is what practitioners also have a responsibility for, working with parents and other professionals, there may be some children with delayed development or emotional and social difficulties which may vary from early experiences like witnessing domestic violence, or growing up with a parent who has mental health difficulties ,the setting could then arrange for extra support to be provided such as ‘stay and play’ where a mother could stay and interact by making friends or finding the support that she needs for example the clinical psychology service can give advice about bedtimes or mealtimes,.
Children who may be at risk of significant harm from their home and family also need to be protected by practitioners, some children are at risk because of the actions of their parents this could result as physical abuse like hitting ,sexual abuse or because their parents fail to act to keeping them safe and well for example , neglect different agencies will then work together to provide support and help to the parents but now their actions that the parent must be willing to take which can be checked through unannounced visits and compulsory medical, developmental and psychological assessments.
Policies and procedures are put into place to ensure that children and young people’s safety and protection is placed in the setting, Policies and procedures are in the place setting not only protect children and young people but also adults who work with them. It is important that all professionals follow safe working practices to ensure that not only children are protected but also themselves.
Also a child or young person should be listened to in calm and supportive manner which will allow them to talk freely and openly, when the disclosure has been made and the child is calmed and secure, the employee or adult should inform the designated safeguarding officer. Important notes should be written down in the child’s own words including names that were mentioned, time and place of disclosure and place and background of the disclosure.
Also its very important for parents to know that who is looking after they child and the main areas of gaining trust is by having an CRB completed so every staff should be CRB checked and no other person should be left alone with children e.g. training staff, voluntary or work experiences.
The procedures should set out how the policy will be put into practice on a daily basis making a clear understanding of what responsibilities of the setting’s designated child protection officer is and the responsibilities of practitioners both as individuals and as a member of the team being clear about the duty to respond appropriately, and in a timely way, to any concerns, whom so ever raising them also understand how effective safeguarding includes helping children and young people learn skills of personal safety for example, explaining rules about the internet use and e-safety.
Whistleblowing is when someone who works in or for an organisation that wishes to raise concerns about malpractice, wrongdoing, illegality or risk in the organisation for example crimes, civil offences, miscarriages of justice.
It applies to raising concern within the organisation as well as externally, such as to a regulation it is intended to promote internal and regulatory disclosers and encourage workplace accountability and self-regulation. The concern may relate to something that is happening or has happened in the past or something that you fear may happen in the future for example sometimes a person inside an organisation know that something is going wrong and is being covered up , this then could affect the safety and well-being of children and young people. Whistle blowing is in the case of local authority safeguarding services, allegations are likely to be about a dangerous or illegal activity or a systemic failure in the provision or management of services for children and young people, the term whistleblowing generally applies when you are acting as a witness to misconduct or malpractice for example a member of staff has reported a number of concerns about a child’s welfare, the child’s parents are on the management committee of the nursery and the manager says’ they are not the sort of people who would harm their child’’ or when the local authority come to visit supply staff are hired, and during Ofsted inspection, management and office staff are brought into the room so that legal ratios are met. It is very important that action is taken before there is a serious accident, if a member of staff has spoken to the manager, head teacher or other appropriate person and no action is taken into consideration after explaining that the situation may be dangerous and illegal then it is necessary to ‘blow the whistle’ and report the concerns directly to an outside body such as then local Children’s Services ,Ofsted or the NSPCC keep in mind that if you are making a complaint you are saying that you or someone close to you has personally been poorly treated and you are then seeking redress justice for yourself or that person.
In every setting there should be a policy and procedures on whistle blowing. The whistle blowing Policy is put into place to provide protection against the person in the work place against victimisation or any form of punishment (physical or verbal) when concerns are genuine. If you suffer any victimisation or punishment due to whistleblowing you may be able to take your case to an Employment Tribunal. If you have any concerns about misconduct or malpractice that is occurring in your work setting you should report it to your manager/supervisor. All information given is confidential. The whistle-blower is a person that discloses wrongdoing that threatens others, rather than a complaint about their own treatment. An explanation of how practitioners can take steps to protect themselves within their everyday practice in the work setting and on off site visits. An important part of a practitioner’s role would be to read all policies and procedures these are put into place to protect them and the children that you look after.
In the workplace you can protect yourself by Always following your settings policies and procedures by following the settings policies and procedures it then keeps yourself safe from an allegations made , you should also avoid being alone in a closed room with a child , this can cause concern for any member of staff who walks into the room and more allegations can be made , as a practitioner you should make sure that there is at least two members of staff in the room with you to protect yourself, also this links into If a child is late and is being collected then two members of staff should stay with the child until parents/carers arrives this stop any adult coming into the setting to pick up the child it helps if both the adult present doesn’t recognize the person so the child stays protected until a carer who is recognized comes and collects the child. If or when incidents or accidents occur always get a witness to sign , this then protects the settings if any parent or carer wish to take an allegations further if a child go home with a cut or bruise.
all practitioners have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves or others and to make sure that statutory duties and obligations are fulfilled, as a practitioner you can protect yourself by always following your settings policies and procedures. There should always be a minimum of two adults with any group involved in an off-site visit or activity, depending on the children’s ages and should be appropriate for the needs of the group and in line with relevant guidelines or carrying out full risk assessment it is useful to think of age/stage of children and where and when and how you are getting to the venue and as a practitioner is it your duty to always have the child’s safety in mind, as a safeguard to children and young people, volunteer helpers on off-site visits must be appropriate people to supervise and should be trained in their duties and have had CRB check, unqualified staff or volunteers must not be left in sole charge of children/young people except where it has been previously agreed as part of a risk assessment. Also to make sure insurance covers the outing and that you should always take emergency contact numbers, mini first aid box and any medical notes that could be relevant in case of accidents or emergencies.
Practitioners are good at recognising when something is wrong with a child or young person, the biggest has not yet been recognizing problems but in ways which communicating concerns to others and then acting on them, as a practitioner you often worry about the consequences of passing on information and worry that it may to families being split up it is important to understand that in vast majorities of cases different services will work with the family to ensure the child or young children safety is protected, but understanding that what’s best for the child should be made up by a trained social worker ,acting on the best information possible, if a practitioner is feeling worried but does not communicate their concerns to others, a child may be put in danger . Bullying is not defined as a form of abuse in Working Together but there is clear evidence that it is abusive and will include at least one, if not two, three or all four, of the defined categories of abuse.Recognising child abuse is not easy. It is not our responsibility to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place or if a child is at significant risk of harm from someone. We do however, have both a responsibility and duty, as set out in your organization’s child protection procedures, to act in order that the appropriate agencies can investigate and take any necessary action to protect a child. A symptom is something you complain of if you are unwell or injured. For example, a child who has been abused may complain of pain, soreness, bleeding or a discharge. The child may be irritable or vomiting. A sign is an altered state of the body that you can actually see when the child or young person is examined, for example a bruise, an altered shape of a limb because of a fracture or redness and blistering due to a burn.
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child or young person ,this might involve punching, kicking, biting, burning, scalding, shaking, throwing or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child.
There are many signs that need to be recognized when suspicion arises that physical abuse is occurring such as any injuries not consistent with the explanation given to staff or Injuries which occur to any part of the body but usually in places which are not normally exposed to falls or rough games practitioners could become suspicious if a child is reluctance to change in the heat, or to change/participate in activities such as, PE or swimming.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (eg. rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
It is important to understand that older children understand that disclosure may destroy the family, so continued silence and guilt can seem a logical outcome. After disclosure, there is sometimes such pressure from the family that the child retracts, but usually disclosure begins the long process of treatment of the child, the family; and perhaps also the abuser, who may move gradually from denial to acceptance of responsibility.
Emotional abuse is part of all the other abuses but also occurs without them. A child witnessing family violence may be physically well cared for but emotionally distraught. Emotional abuse includes discouragement, unfairness, or hostility threats and bullying: things such as a parents saying “you are bad, stupid, and useless and I don’t love you”.
As a practitioner it is our duty to provide the best care possible to all children this include knowing the right actions to take if a child or young person alleges harm or abuse our job is to then involve organisation such as social services to handle the situation by taking things further ahead in order to protect the child. Before we take action we should show concern by asking question such as ‘does this happen every day?’ because a child might just agree or repeat your words our job is then to observe and listen and to remember that the practitioner is not the investigator however if a child alleges to you or if you are worried for one or more reason listed by the NSPCC the action to take would be to a ‘ no action’ for example if a parent gives a reasonable explanation for their child’s injury or behaviour also ‘Advice given’ a parent is advised on what sorts of clothes will keep their child warm enough in the winter, staff can then check that the child is appropriately dressed on the day m ‘Support offered’ would be where a parent might agree that she is finding it difficult to manage the child or young person behaviour and might welcome to the offer of support from a parenting group. ‘Referral to children’s social care (social services)’, if the named person judges that the child is as risk of harm, a written referral will be made to children social care. Having a raised concern can become difficult in many ways as a practitioner if you think that the action that’s been taken is inadequate then meet the named person again and explain your opinion referring to what you have heard, even if the conversation may seem difficult they are essential to uphold to the principle that the child or young person welfare and safety comes first.
There may be valid explanations for situations where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged children and young people have the right to be listened and be protected from harm their key person is important for everyone who comes into contact with children and young people it important to have training on safeguarding and knows what to do if they have any reason to be worried about particular child. It is our role to listen to children and respect their choices and that showing concern is good for the child to trust and tell the practitioner things that are worrying or upsetting them , saying that you believe them even if you’re not sure about something a child has said then asking for clarification such as ‘I am not quite sure I understood’ , ‘ did you say it was your arm that hurts’ in general you must keep sensitive information confidential if any type of information circulates too freely, parents may feel exposed and vulnerable and may stop sharing information with staff , the UNCRC stats that ‘In cases of alleged abuse or harm children and young people have the right to be protected from significant harm under the children’s act 1989, every child matters 2004 and the UNCRC They have the right to be involved in decisions that are being made about them and should be kept fully informed of processes involving them, while also being allowed to express their own views and opinions. A child or young person who is suspected of being abused then the primary concern will to ensure that the child is protected from further abuse and the child’s welfare will be the priority. Wherever possible the child may be allowed to remain in their family home and protection will be achieved by working with the child’s parents or carers without the need to remove the child. However, if they are suffering from physical or sexual abuse then they will be removed from their home to protect them from any further harm. Parents or carers have a right to be informed what is being said and to contribute their own views and opinions, however if the child or young person is suffering significant harm then the parents or carers have no immediate rights. If you are a learner discussing your own concerns in confidence with a teacher any worried adult is also entitled to contact Children’s social care or the NSPCC directly, if you have reason to believe your concern is not being acted on then you should do this .
As a practitioner in the setting we are going to come across different signs of bullying, bullying can be defined as a behavior that is deliberately hurtful or aggressive usually repeated over a period of time and children that become the victims of bullying find it difficult to defend themselves against this, there are three main types of bullying but bullying can fall into all different kinds of sectors e.g. Cyber, gay, parental and even disability bullying.
Physical bullying is usually hitting, kicking and taking belongings Physical bullying can happen to any person whether it is children, Young adults, adults or elderly people. The potential effect this can have on children or young people can be anything from.
* Poor academic achievement
* Can be scared of walking alone to school and home.
* Skipping school so they don’t have to see the bullies
* Can become withdrawn from family and friends
* the victim can become distressed, anxious or depressed
* Can suffer nightmares
* could lose their appetite
Where verbal bullying consist of name-calling, insulting or making offensive remarks, name calling is the most common type of bullying the reason why children can be called nasty names is because of their individual characteristics , ethnic origin, nationality, skin colour, sexual orientation or disability , it is mainly boys who experience verbal bullying rather than girls however physical attacks on girls by other girls is beginning to become more common , girls tend to use indirect types of bullying which is spreading nasty stories about someone , exclusion from social groups , being made the subject of malicious rumours , sending malicious emails or text messages on mobile phones this type of bulling can make it more difficult to detect and deal with.
Any child or young person can experience bullying by certain types make bullying more likely, there is never an acceptable excuse for bullying behaviour it is said that children are more likely to experience bullying because they are shy or have an over protective family environment , or they are from a different racial or ethnic group to the majority of children and young people, it could be that they appear to be different in some obvious respect, such as stammering or have special needs such as a disability or learning difficulties or behave inappropriately due to having less developed social and interpersonal skills even children who possess expensive accessories such as a mobile phone or computer games are in target of bullying.
Practitioners need to know the policies and procedures for dealing with certain types of bulling, bullying may amount to unlawful discrimination such as bullying on the grounds of age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation or disability , all settings need to have in place effective systems to deal with problems of this type of serious bullying.Anti bullying policies and procedures are required which can include specific reference to bullying in all forms, including bullying based on body image/size/obesity , also homophobic bullying , racist bullying, faith-based bullying , ageist, disability and sexist bullying , it is important that children and young people are being provided with information and sources of help and support such as Barnardo’s, Child line, the Samaritans and the National Youth Advocacy Service. Schools are legally required to have policies and procedures in place to identify and prevent bullying. Even if sometimes it feels like a particular child or young person keeps coming to you for help it is important to always listen with sympathy and try to help the child or young person, but if the child is being bullied it is usually the parent who first notices that there is something the matter when the child is at home, by working together you may find out what is happening and take further steps to help the child. As a practitioner you may have to remove the child for a situation only if necessary but you can help the child by clearly saying which part of behavior is not acceptable while trying not the be negative to them personally , it is very important that you follow this up by settling the child back into play and then spend time in that area helping all children to play together if bullying is persistent despite your attempts at positive management you will need to seek advice from SENCO in your setting or school , the reasons that policies and procedures are put into place is to make the victim feel safe and that their situation is dealt with in a professional manner , it is the law and by this it can prevent it from happening again in the future.
Children or young people who are experiencing bullying may be unwilling to attend the setting and then become absent a lot ,they may become more anxious and insecure than others , have fewer friends and often feel unhappy and lonely, children who are experiencing this can suffer from low self-esteem and a negative self-image, seeing themselves as failures, stupid and even be ashamed of themselves there are more possible signs such as the child does not want to go to the setting when he usually enjoys it, unexplained cuts and bruises, professions have unexplained damage or are obstinately ‘lost’ or the child becomes withdrawn or depressed but is refusing to explain ,but they may also symptomatic of other problems such as child abuse. The behavior of some children can lead to them experiencing bullying, although this does not determine the behavior of the bullies, some children may find it difficult to play. Enjoy leisure with others, be hyperactive, behave in way that irritate people, be easily roused to anger, fight back when attacked or even provoked, be actively disliked by most children in the setting. This is when practitioners, parents or the carers should work together to identify any such behavior the child then needs help to improve personal and social skills including assertiveness techniques and conflict resolution, as a practitioner you may be also to provide support for a child or young person who is being bullied by discussing the matter with a senior or a colleague then taking action following the settings policy on anti-bullying it also helps by listening to their problems and providing reassurance that it is not their fault no one deserve to be bullied. If the child or young person does not respond to the strategies then the setting should take action to deal with the persistent and violent bullying , the setting should have a range of sanctions to deal with bullying so therefore everyone in the setting should know what sanctions will be taken these sanctions should be fair and applied consistently you can help to deal with bullying behavior by knowing the settings policy and strategies for dealing with bullying behavior ,using appropriate sanctions for such behaviors such as exclusion from certain activates by providing help for the bully so they can recognize that this behavior is unacceptable , for example discussion, mediation or peer counseling the practitioner could work with child carers and parents to establish community awareness of bullying making sure that all children know that bullying will not be tolerated and understanding that the setting can permanently exclude children and young people who demonstrate persistent bullying behavior, especially physical violence . Resilience is a crucial life skill that children require to survive the ups and downs of life which can quickly turn from positive to negative overnight and can cause harmful effects on a persons’ well-being if they are not well equipped to deal with the situations in a positive way. It is something that they will develop in childhood and take with them into adult hood while continuing to improve their strength of resilience. It is therefore extremely important that adults support the resilience of young people. It teaches them to think and act for themselves and how to rebuild self-esteem when they experience failure or difficulty. These situations can lead to dramatic changes in self-esteem and worth if the person has little resilience. It could lead to acts such as self-harm or suicide. If children are resilient it will help them in everyday life as a child, to overcome issues, hold onto self-esteem if victims of bullying and be better at dealing with misfortune. This leads them to be happier and more stable than a child with little resilience which will continue on through their life as they become adults
Self-confidence and self-esteem within children and young people can be significantly encouraged by allowing a strong key person approach within the setting, many aspects of this approach supports the safeguarding of children. In order to succeed within this approach it is enabling the key person to notice the changes in a child’s behaviour and the emotional wellbeing, by this the key person is able to develop a trusting relationship so that the child can tell you if things are upsetting him or her when taking a child’s concerns seriously and valuing this because they are highly important, when a child has been bullied or abused in some way he or she will try to communicate by what has happened and it is important that the child knows that you are there to listen and most importantly that you will believe what they have told you.Children are allowed to express their sadness and anger as well as their happiness and enjoyment and they may feel more confident that they are able to have a range of emotions children will then be more likely to tell other people how they are feeling this can happen throughout a variety of activities etc. ‘painting, circle time, outdoor play and so on’ .although this involves making a child feel sense of belonging and that he or she are special for having unique qualities ,showing a genuine interest in what a child has to say and being able to praise them for any achievements this being helper of the day or allowing a child to give out the snacks to the class , but keeping in mind that a quick ‘that’s lovely ‘ is really not enough to show a child that you value them. You as a practitioner are in a strong position to note any changes of behaviour or signs of insecurity that could result from child abuse.
Resilience is about being independent, standing on your own two feet or taking back the power. It is important because it can help reverse some of the effects that bullying can have on children and young people. It is also a life skill and will be useful to a child in many areas of life, it will give them confidence not only to stand up for themselves but also to champion the rights of others, it can help to increase the child’s value in themselves and helps to promote and restore self-esteem. It can prevent children taking more drastic action like self-harming or suicide and can send a message to the bullies that what they’re doing is not working. If children are resilient they will be able to cope better with problems, they will have better health and they will be happier and more fulfilled. They will also be less likely to develop emotional problems like depression or anxiety. To get children to become resilient being able to rely on themselves, then they’ve got to believe that they are capable of doing this adults can help them by taking children seriously, listening to them, and making them feel that they are important, it would also help but encouraging children to try things out for themselves then this results often gives them children more confidence to try things on their own when you as practitioners remember to keep praising and encouraging children to help them development these skills to become independent , if they say things such ‘I can’t do it, or it’s wrong again’ when completing a jigsaw, you encourage them by saying they aren’t doing anything wrong they are trying/practising; you can tell them when you learnt knitting/cooking/skiing you had to try many times until you could do something It is vital to encourage resilience in children and young people because it gives them the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, and is based on self-esteem. The more resilient a child is, the better they will deal with life as they grow and develop into adulthood. Resilience is about being independent, standing on your own two feet or taking back the power. It is important because it can help reverse some of the effects that bullying can have on children and young people. It is also a life skill and will be useful to a child in many areas. It will give them confidence not only to stand up for themselves but also to champion the rights of others. Resilience can help to increase a child’s self-worth, and helps to promote and restore self-esteem. It can prevent children taking more drastic action like self-harming or suicide and can send a message to other people, such as bullies, that what they’re doing is not working. If children are resilient they will be able to cope better with problems, they will have better health and they will be happier and more fulfilled. They will also be less likely to develop emotional problems like depression or anxiety. Helping them to deal with disappointment or failure will give them the life skills which in turn will help them deal with things in a positive way. Children who build long lasting strong relationships have a much wider social circle. These strong relationships with other people enriches their lives and social skills, and helps them to deal with disappointment far better, giving them a greater positive outlook on their lives.
Child protection not only contains the detection of abuse and neglect but also the preventatation of abuse by helping children and young people to protect themselves, as a practitioners you part to this preventive role you should help the children and young people by understanding what is and is not acceptable behavior towards them, to stay safe from harm, speak up if they have worries and concerns, being able to develop awareness and resilience , prepare for their futures responsibilities’ as adults, citizens and parents. It helps being actively involved in prevention by keeping them safe both now and in the future , children need to know how to take responsibility for themselves and understand the consequences of their actions they need to understand that they all deserve care and respect, their rights and how to assert them, knowing how to things safely and how to minimize the risk also how to deal with abusive or potentially abusive situations and when and how to ask for help and support , as a practitioner situation could occur where critical thinking and decision making are also essential to help children by keeping them safe by this you can help to develop these skills by making sure that you encourage them to take part in decisions making within the setting and providing opportunities for cooperation, it is also essential to encourage children and young people to trust their own feeling and judgments when coming across into difficult situations by learning to trust their inner feelings they can hopefully avoid many optional risky situations altogether. It is suggest to use role play to help them think about what they should do if their friends want them to do something they dislike or feel uncomfortable about things such like going to a party , getting drunk or feeling uncomfortable about shop lifting, taking drugs etc. , knowing that peer pressure can be very strong toward children and encourage them to make the wrong decisions or even set limits about what they will or will not do so that they know how to cope before the situation arises therefore making sure that children and young people understand the dangers of situations that they may put themselves and their personal safety at risk such as being left at home alone , playing in a deserted or dark places, being out on their own, getting lost, walking home alone , talking to strangers, or even accepting lifts from strangers including hitchhiking. It is essential that as children get older they need to be provided with opportunities to explore their environments and develop independences as an individual , to this safely they will need to know understand about acceptable risk- taking.
When working with children we need to support them to help keep them safe and help support their own well -being. There are different ways to do this such as helping them to understand boundaries by reinforcing issues when they arise in a positive manner such as taking turns , being patient and no pushing. We must understand that some children take more time than others to complete tasks and that everyone has their own individual ways to complete tasks. If a child has a conflict we must let them resolve their conflict when possible. As an adult working with children we must promote positive relationships, whether it’s child to child, child to adult, adult to adult or adult to child. As part of children’s investigation and playing children should be allowed to risk assess for themselves. Allow children to lead their own activity without guided instructions so they can see what needs to be done and how they can achieve this. We all learn by taking risks so when a child wants to take a risk we must be there to help them and support them. This may be physically such as helping a child come down a climbing frame backwards, being there to catch them or helping them reposition arms and legs. We can verbally support children by encouraging them that they can do what they want to do and how they can do it. Sometimes a child may not be able to do something because of their age or stage, we need to explain this to the child and offer them support in doing what they want to achieve.