C An Introduction to Child Protection – for Schools Delivered on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset Local Safeguarding Children Board
C Aims & Objectives At the end of this session participants will : • Be clear about key roles and responsibilities in and for schools • Understand the safeguarding agenda for schools and where child protection fits into it • Be aware of different types of abuse and possible signs and symptoms • Be clear about what to do if they are concerned about a child • Be clear about how to respond to a child who tells them about possible abuse
C What has child abuse got to do with me?
C Safeguarding in Education ICT / E-safety Safe Recruitment & Selection Child protection Duty to Safeguard & Promote Welfare Whistle-blowing SEN and CiC Behaviour Management Managing Allegations Extended Services School Security & Physical Environment PSHE & Curriculum Attendance admissions exclusions Anti-Bullying Staff Conduct (inc. volunteers)
Group Discussion / Exercise • How do we decide what is ‘normal’ / ‘abusive’? • What are our thresholds and what shapes them? • What is and is not negotiable and why?
Lauren Wright • Died in 2000 age 6 • Lost four stone and weighed just over two stone at time of death • Often appeared with bruises which were explained away • Killed by step-mother who was a member of school staff • DTCP had left and governor offered to take on this responsibility • No referral made to Social Services
“…lots of times she was covered with lots of small bruises and with major bruises about once a month. These included black eyes, bruising on her face and scratches on her back.” (Lauren’s class teacher) “… her physical deterioration had been apparent for at least five months before she died.” (Head teacher)
Victoria Climbié • Died February 2000 “… the food would be cold and given to her on a piece of plastic while she was tied up in the bath. She would eat it like a dog … … Except, of course, that s dog is not usually tied up in a plastic bag full of excrement. To say that Kouao and Manning treated Victoria like a dog would be wholly unfair; she was treated far worse than a dog.” • Authorities had 12 separate opportunities to intervene
Barriers to taking appropriate action
C Taking action What if I’m wrong I could make things worse Fear Not my job I don’t know what to do CHILD Disbelief What do I know about child abuse? Protection of Child
Potential Pitfalls • Losing sight of the child e.g. Unwillingness to challenge where we have concerns • Mindsets e.g. It doesn’t happen here • Failure to share information • Unclear about roles / responsibilities • Failure to seek appropriate advice / support • Failure to record • Assumptions e.g. someone else will act, about the family, explanations etc • Not acting promptly where we have concerns e.g. same day
C Main Legislation & Guidance • Children Act 1989 • Education Act 2002 • Children Act 2004 • Bichard 2005 • ISA? • Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2010 • DfES ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’ (January 2007) • Guidance for Safer Working Practices 2007 • B&NES Safeguarding Children Procedures • School’s CP Policy / Procedures • www.swcpp.org.uk • Framework for Schools Inspections
C Legal Responsibilities under Section 175 (S157 – Independent Schools) • ‘Safeguarding & Promoting Welfare’- covers more than the contribution made to child protection in relation to individual children e.g. bullying, medical needs, school security etc • LAs, Governing Bodies and establishments must have in place relevant policies and procedures • Must have DTCP for child protection (and back-up person recommended) • DTCP to update their cp training every two years • All staff to receive training every three years and on induction • Safe recruitment procedures • Not about increased individual liability. Legislation refers to making and having in place ‘arrangements … … ‘
C DTCP Role and Responsibilities • Responsible for maintaining child welfare and child protection records centrally, securely and, where appropriate (i.e. CP records), confidentially • Responsible for sharing records appropriately when children leave or move schools • Responsible for co-ordinating action in child protection situations e.g. monitoring and support plans in school, referring to other agencies, attending Child Protection Conferences and other meetings • Ensures that a CP policy is in place and that staff are aware • Reviews policy annually and ensures sign-off by Governing Body • Attends refresher training every 2 yrs (inc. multi-agency training) • Ensures all staff receive induction and an update every 3 yrs • Offers support and advice to staff , day to day, who may have concerns about children in school.
Different Levels of need and 'Significant Harm'
Duty to Make Enquiries (s.47) The Local Authority (Social Services) has a duty to make enquiries wherever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.
Significant Harm (s.31(10)) • The threshold which justifies statutory intervention into family life • Significance is measured against a child’s health and development and what might reasonably be expected of a similar child • Physical, social, intellectual, emotional and behavioural development • Harm means ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development • Physical and mental health
Common Assessment Framework CAF and Lead Professional
Information Sharing and Assessment Benefits Tools and processes Cross Government Information Sharing Guidance Earlier, holistic identification of needs Common Assessment Framework Earlier, more effective intervention Lead Professional Improved information sharing across agencies Children’s Services Directory Better service experience for children and families
Cross Government Information Sharing Guidance Aim: Improve practice by giving practitioner’s across children and young people’s services clearer guidance on when and how they can share information.
Children’s Services Directory • Online searchable directory of all children’s services • Contact details for local providers • Eligibility criteria • Geographical location • Access procedures • http://www.1bigdatabase.org.uk/
Common Assessment Framework Definition CAF is a tool to enable early and effective assessment of children and young people who need additional services or support from more than one agency
Common Assessment Framework It is a process for: • recognising the signs that a child may have unmet needs • developing a child/young person’s centred and holistic approach to assessment of needs • recording information using the CAF form and, with consent, sharing information • developing appropriate and timely support plans • may lead to specialist assessment
CAF benefits Benefits: • Multi-agency working and child-centered services • Shared language across agencies • Earlier identification and earlier intervention • Easier, less bureaucratic access to a range of services and less repetition for children and families Where more than one practitioner is involved, one will take the lead
Lead Professional • Two main responsibilities: • act as an single point of contact for the child / young person and family • coordinate support where more than one practitioner is involved to ensure that support is streamlined, effectively delivered and regularly reviewed
Who can be a Lead Professional? • Many practitioners in the children’s workforce could take on the lead professional role • We define the role by the functions and skills needed, rather than by particular professional or practitioner groupings • As the needs of the child, young person or family change, so will the skills, knowledge and competence to carry out the role – not only over time, but also as the complexity or intensity of their support needs change.
Categories, Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
C Child Abuse? When a child is hurt or harmed by another person in a way that causes significant harm to that child and which may have an effect upon the child’s health, development or well-being, via acts of omission or commission.
Arousal – Relaxation CycleFahlberg 1994 NEED TRUST SECURITY ATTACHMENT QUIESENCE DISPLEASURE SATISFY NEED
Discussion Are the ‘rules’ different insofar as safeguarding Children with disabilities and complex needs are concerned? What are the issues for • the young people themselves • parents • professionals
1: Disabled children are in most senses just like other children; they have the same basic needs and general principles of good practice in child protection work apply equally to all children. 2: Disabled children have the same right to protection as all children.
Myths, Stereotypes & Barriers • Not vulnerable – wouldn’t be targeted • Not as harmful as abuse to non-disabled children • Impossible to prevent • More likely to make false allegations • If abuse has occurred, best to leave well alone once child is safe • Parents and carers are saints/reluctance to challenge carers
“Society still seems to be in denial about the fact that disabled children are more likely to be abused than non-disabled children. This may be because generally speaking less attention is paid to their human rights and to providing advocacy services for them. They are still commonly seen in terms of their impairment and the characteristics that make each child unique – age, gender, ethnicity, religion and culture are subsumed in the one label. This has to change so that the systems set up to safeguard all children cover disabled children on equal terms.” Source: Stuart and Baines (2004) p 2122
….child abuse and neglect are inextricably interwoven with disability. The literature is replete with evidence that children who are abused or neglected are at greater risk of becoming emotionally disturbed, language impaired, mentally retarded (sic) and/or physically disabled, while children with disabilities may be at greater risk of abuse and neglect. Cohen and Warren 1990 p254
Increased Vulnerability? • Neglect 3.8 times more likely • Sexual Abuse 3.1 times more likely • Physical Abuse 3.8. times as likely • Emotional Abuse 3.9 times as likely Source : Sullivan & Knutson, 1997
Group Discussion: What factors do you think may increase and / or perpetuate vulnerability?
Increased Vulnerability • Individual characteristics • Assumed that disability ‘protects’ • Medical models, labels etc - disempower • Segregation & isolation • Lack of training and resources • Communication issues • Intimate personal care / variety of carers • Reluctance to complain • Primary focus upon needs of parents • Imbalance regarding need and risk issues • Professional beliefs, feelings …
Private Fostering • Arrangement made privately without the involvement of the local authority • Applies to children under 16 years or 18 if disabled where they have been cared for by someone other than a parent of close relative for 28 days or more
C Physical Abuse • Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
For Accidental Injuries For Non-Accidental Injuries Eyes Forehead Ears Crown Cheeks Mouth Body spinal protuberances Neck Shoulder Chest Elbow Upper Arms Lianacrest (hip) Inner Arms Stomach Genitals Knees Front Thighs Buttocks Shins Back Thighs
C Physical Abuse • Not all bruising or marks are causes for concern • No failsafe checklist exists • No need to investigate / diagnose • What and where e.g. linear, outline, several / recurrent, parallel, soft tissue • Are explanations consistent e.g. child, parent? • Patterns? Circumstances? Life events / changes / behaviour? • Act promptly – same day discussion with DTCP • No photos! Clear records!
C Emotional Abuse • The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. • It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. • It may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or making fun of what they say or how they communicate. • It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
C • It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. • It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying). • causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger. • the exploitation of corruption of children • Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all the types of maltreatment of a child thought it may occur alone.
Group Discussion What are some of the potential problems associated with identifying emotional abuse? What might you observe in a child who was being emotionally abused?
C For example, for a child this can mean: • Persistent ridicule,rejection, humiliation • Living in atmosphere of fear and intimidation • Being allowed no contact with other children • Inappropriate expectations being imposed • Low warmth, high criticism • Being bullied, scapegoated
C Neglect • Is 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. • Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. • Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter including exclusion from a home or abandonment.
C Failure to • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) or • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
C For example, for a child this can mean: • Lack of adequate nourishment/shelter • Not receiving medical attention when necessary • Lack of interest in the welfare of the child • Inappropriate clothing • No boundaries, limits in terms of actions and behaviour • Child’s needs not recognised / prioritised by parents