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Child Protection and Child Abuse. Protocols for School Division Staff 2004. SCHOOLS SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN NEED OF PROTECTION. Responsibility to report Definitions Record keeping Reporting Talking to Children about Child Abuse Indicators of Child Abuse and Assault
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Child Protection and Child Abuse Protocols for School Division Staff 2004
SCHOOLS SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN NEED OF PROTECTION • Responsibility to report • Definitions • Record keeping • Reporting • Talking to Children about Child Abuse • Indicators of Child Abuse and Assault • Child Abuse Prevention
“Opening the Window of Opportunity” RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT • Reasonable suspicion of current or past abuse, or that child needs protection or might be in need of protection, is sufficient for reporting • Every school division staff must report, or cause to to be reported, any case of suspected child abuse relating to a child attending the school (Section 17, CFS Act 1999) Benefits of Reporting: • Shows you care about the child -- to the child, to the parent • Early intervention opportunity to reduce potential harm • Helps parent get assistance/support/education in parenting and positive relationship-building
DEFINITIONS • A Child in Need of Protection: • is without adequate care, supervision, or control • is in the care, custody, control or charge of a person • -unable/unwilling to provide adequate care, supervision, or control • -whose conduct endangers or may endanger the well-being of the child • -who neglects or refuses recommended medical or remedial care • is abused or is in danger of being abused • is likely to suffer harm or injury due to their environment
DEFINITIONS • A Child in Need of Protection (cont’d): • is likely to suffer harm or injury in the home environment • is subject to aggression of sexual harassment • being under the age of 12, is left unattended and without reasonable provision for supervision and safety • is subject, or is about to become subject to an unlawful adoption
DEFINITIONS Child Abuse: is an act or omission by any person where the act or omission results in any of: a) physical injury to the child (physical abuse) b) emotional disability of a permanent nature in the child or is likely to result in such a disability (emotional abuse) c) sexual exploitation of the child with or without the child’s consent (sexual abuse)
RECORD-KEEPING • Date and time of entry • Full name and birth date of child referred to in entry • Signature of person making entry • Any of the following objective data:
RECORD-KEEPING • Description of injury • Drastic changes or chronic problems with child’s health or behaviour • Direct quotes from child/parent/adult • Acting out, direct quotes, explicit drawings concerning protection or abuse issue
1. Place a call to CFS. REPORTING 2. Ask for the worker for child protection investigations. Record the name of the worker, the time of your call and the date. 3. Give the information recorded on your Child Protection/Suspicion of Abuse Report 4. Indicate your opinion on the urgency of the situation in terms of the child’s safety.
5. Indicate the expected time of dismissal from school and whether a parent is expected to pick up the child. REPORTING 6. Provide your name, professional address and its phone number, and your professional duties in relation to the child. 7. Submit your Written Report based on school division protocol.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT SURE whether a report is needed……. REPORTING Trust your instincts. Your hesitation suggests there may be a safety concern. Consult CFS to discuss your concerns. Based on their experience, they can advise you about the need to report and to whom. Record the date, time and name of the worker with whom you consulted if the decision is made to not report.
RESULTS OF FAILURE TO REPORT when a report is required……. REPORTING The child may not receive the protection required and/or may sustain further abuse The family situation may continue to deteriorate, putting the child (and any siblings) at further risk The educator (or other adult in a position of authority) could face both legal and professional penalties The educator (or other adult in a position of authority) could face issues related to self-reproach
REMEMBER: REPORTING Not all adults in the school building may have had training in the signs and symptoms of child assault or child abuse. If training has not yet occurred: Custodians, office support staff, educational assistants, librarians, lunch supervisors and many other adults may need your guidance and support in reporting suspected assaults or abuse.
Generally, children display their situations through play, artwork, or disclosure at school because they feel safe. TALKING TO A CHILD ABOUT ABUSE AND PROTECTION NEEDS During a disclosure, follow these guidelines: • listen • convey a sense of support and belief • do not “take sides” • report the disclosure
Clarify the child’s communication TALKING TO A CHILD ABOUT ABUSE AND PROTECTION NEEDS Following a disclosure: • Reassure the child that you believe him/her • Inform the child that you will help • Remember: CFS, the police and medical child abuse units are trained in interviewing about alleged or possible abuse or assault.
Caveat: No single list applies to all types of abuse or to all responses to abuse. Indicators should be used as guidelines only. INDICATORS OF CHILD ABUSE AND ASSAULT Activity: (ten minutes) In small groups, brainstorm and list signs and symptoms that you believe are effective indicators of abuse or assault.
Caveat: No single list applies to all types of abuse or to all responses to abuse. Indicators should be used as guidelines only. INDICATORS OF CHILD ABUSE AND ASSAULT Activity Feedback: (ten minutes) large group sharing of common indicators See distributed sheets from the Child Protection and Child Abuse Manual(s) to confirm common indicators
School climate Classroom/school rules Relationship building Programs Counselling Team planning Open communication CHILD ABUSE and ASSAULT PREVENTION
The principles that guide prevention and early prevention initiatives are: CHILD ABUSE and ASSAULT PREVENTION • Build capacities of individuals, families and communities to promote healthy relationships • Enable people to take control of their health and social well-being • Focus on underlying factors and conditions that affect health and social well-being • Develop policies and practices that support well-being and safety of all children
The principles that guide prevention and early prevention initiatives are based on: CHILD ABUSE and ASSAULT PREVENTION • Problem-solving at the most immediate levels of intervention through consultation, collaboration and confidential information-sharing • Increased awareness often brings increased advocacy, involvement and responsibility-taking • The school is one part of a larger community: effective preventive programs exist beyond the school • Cultural and linguistic heritage must be respected in all interventions
Table discussion DIVISION PROTOCOL
Because we care... We work with children. It is not easy. We often work with hurt, untrusting, wary children with equally hurt, untrusting parent(s). As professionals, we need to recognize our reactions and feelings associated with our personal stories and separate them from our professional duty to report a suspected child abuse or child protection concern.
Because we care... • We are more inclined to dismiss our own feelings. REMEMBER: When we have feelings disproportionate to the event (sadness, anger, frustration, helplessness, unworthiness), our own childhood memories and fears may be reawakened -- seek the support of colleagues. As a colleague, provide support unconditionally. • We worry that by reporting, the situation may worsen. REMEMBER: No one can predict the future. We must focus on improving the present situation.
RESOURCES for children Crary, E. My name is not dummy. Seattle, WA: Parenting Press. Daigle, M. You are not the boss of me. Ontario: Outreach Child Abuse Prevention. Jessie. Please Tell! A child’s story about sexual abuse. Early Steps. Kehoe, P. Something happened and I’m scared to tell. Seattle, WA: Parenting Press. Satulla, J. It happens to boys too…Rape Crisis Centre of Bershire County, Inc.
RESOURCES for children Booklets National Clearing House on Family Violence, Health Canada Sexual Abuse Counselling: A guide for parents and children When Children Act Out Sexually: A guide for parents and teachers When Boys Have Been Sexually Abused: A guide for young boys When Teenage Boys Have Been Sexually Abused: A guide for teenagers Sexual Abuse - What Happens When You Tell: A guide for children
CONTACTS School Support Unit • Coordinator of SSU: • Joanna Blais: 945-7922 / email@example.com Help for: Student Services Administrators: Allan Hawkins: 945-2757 firstname.lastname@example.org Social Workers: School Psychologists: Donna Martin: 945-5294 Connie Boutet: 945-6761 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org School Counsellors: Resource Teachers: Lorna Martin: 945-7964 Roland Marion: 945-5563 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org