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CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

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CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES Powered By Docstoc
					                                PENSNETT HIGH SCHOOL
    Learning Shapes Lives

Tiled House Lane
Brierley Hill
West Midlands
                                    Child Protection
DY5 4LN
Tel: 01384 816435                        Policy
Fax: 01384 816436
                            Contents:
www.pensnett.com
                                  Rationale
Headteacher:
                                  Aims of the Policy
Dave Wood                         Objectives
                                  Procedures
Deputy                            Managing a Disclosure
Headteacher:                      What to do if a person discloses to you
Ian Beddows                       Definitions
                                          Disclosure
                                          Categories of Abuse for Registration
Designated Child                                 Neglect
Protection Officer:                              Physical Abuse
Dave Wood                                        Sexual Abuse
                                                 Emotional Abuse

                            Appendices:
                                 Appendix A: Child Protection – At a Glance


                            Draft Consultation completed:

                            Taken to Governors:

                            Adopted:

                            Due for Review: October 2009
                    Pensnett High School
                 “Where Learning Shapes Lives”
                            Our Aims
Our aim is for the school to be a centre of educational excellence
in the Pensnett community, providing a high quality educational
experience for all students, encouraging them along the path of
life long learning and using our specialist technology status to
achieve the highest standards.
                           Our Values
At Pensnett High School we believe there are no boundaries to
achievement. At the heart of the school is a desire to raise the
aspirations of our learners so that they develop the independence,
skills and personal qualities required to meet challenge and become
successful.

Ours is an inclusive culture which encourages each and every
learner to recognise their individual talents. We strive to offer a
purposeful learning experience which personalises opportunity and
inspires them to reach their potential and beyond.

We want the best for everyone in our learning community but
equally we expect their commitment to values which show respect
for others and tolerance for diversity; who preserve our caring and
supportive ethos through their contribution as individuals and as
members of a team.

In meeting the ever changing demands of the modern world we
seek to foster creative and adaptable young people who can grasp
life and face their futures with the confidence, humour and
resilience to become the best they can be.
                             Pensnett High School


                            Child Protection Policy


Rationale
As adults taking responsibility for the Health and Safety of students during the
school day, we are obliged to accept responsibility for the disclosure of any
event, observation or dialogue that could suggest that a student is at risk. It is
not our responsibility to make value judgements about the extent of that risk.


Aim of the policy
To describe the processes and structures existing within the school which
enables an effective system of support and intervention to operate for
students who may be at risk.


Objectives
This policy will enable staff within the school to
   adopt consistent approaches to the handling of disclosures
   understand their role and responsibilities regarding child protection as
    adults in the school


Procedures
The correct procedure in cases of disclosure should be known to all
adults who are in regular contact with young people. (Adults should
never give a youngster an undertaking that a disclosure can be ‘kept
secret’.) Many cases of abuse are criminal offences against the young
person, the young person could be in serious physical or emotional
danger.

As an adult in charge of children, as a partner in what is frequently a quite
unique relationship and as a citizen upholding the law, it is the duty of the
teacher to be aware of the possibility that some of their students are being
abused and it is a responsibility to report any disclosure to the appropriate
body.

There are likely to be cases of child abuse in most schools. Adults working
with children should be in the alert for symptoms and indicators of such
abuse.

During what appears to be a disclosure, adults should remain calm, not
asking leading questions, but rather, whilst comforting the youngster,
remember exactly what was said, and as soon as possible, record it. The
record should include date, time, place as well as what was said.
The information should immediately be passed to a line manager or to the
Child Protection Co-ordinator, Dave Wood. A written record of all
circumstances pertaining to the case will be kept. Record sheets are
available from the Child Protection Procedures Folder.

If it is considered that there are grounds for concern, the Child Protection Co-
ordinator will inform the appropriate Team Leader or officer at the local Social
Services Department without delay. A child should not be allowed to go home
before a case of suspected abuse has been reported to the appropriate body.

Strict confidentiality must be maintained at all times. If the case does go to
court anybody in any way involved could be called to give evidence.
The Headteacher or Teacher-in-Charge will liaise with Social Services and
attend case conferences.

Members of staff involved will be informed as and when appropriate.

Any member of staff who is questioned by a solicitor or other representative
either inside or outside the courtroom must keep strictly to the facts, as they
have been recorded.

The Child Protection Officer in charge of Child Protection issues is Mr Wood
(Headteacher). In the event of hisr absence, the matter should be reported to
Paul Taylor.

Managing a Disclosure

Often a child will begin by testing you out, e.g. “If I tell you something will you
promise not to tell anybody else?” As you cannot give such an undertaking,
you should find alternative strategies to encourage the continuation of the
conversation. Some of the remarks which could help the youngster to
continue with a disclosure might be –

       “I realise how difficult it must be for you …..”
       “You cannot go on taking this kind of treatment …..”
       “You must not take the blame…..”
       “I will get help for you from people who have the right kind of
       knowledge”.
       “Would you prefer to talk to someone you don’t know?”

If a teacher or other adult feels unable to accept the confidentiality, it should,
with the approval of the child, be handed over to another responsible adult.
What to do if a person discloses to you

Believe –
There is obviously much concern amongst professionals about the possibility
of false allegations. However, in the vast majority of cases, children who
disclose are telling the truth. Lies are unusual, and it is not the teacher’s job
to decide on the veracity of any allegations.

Think –
It may well have taken a great deal of courage for the youngster to make the
momentous decision to approach you. Signs of shock, horror or alarm will not
help to make it easier for the child to continue the disclosure.

Support –
Listen quietly, reassure, be patient, say –
       You were right to tell me.
       You are not alone.
       I will certainly do all I can to help you.

Ask –
Open questions if you need clarification ……… Can you add to that…. ? Is
there anything else you want to say?

Avoid –
Giving an undertaking you will not tell anybody,
Asking leading questions e.g. Did your uncle get into your bed?
Apportioning blame to anybody.

Remember –
What was said, even small details can help experienced people to make the
correct decisions for the child.

Write –
Everything that was said before you forget.

Communicate –
The information to the appropriate person immediately after the disclosure.

If the case is taken further, you could be questioned by a social worker, a
solicitor or the police; you should keep to the facts as they were related to you
and any relevant background knowledge you have of the child.
Definitions

Disclosure
A disclosure is the term used to define the communication between a member of staff
at the school and any another person, during which, information is exchanged which
could be used to provide evidence that a student is at risk and may require protection
from that risk.

Categories of Abuse for Registration

Dudley Area Child Protection Committee has adopted the following definitions of
Child Abuse as laid down by the Department of Health:-

NEGLECT:                     The persistent or severe neglect of a child, or the
                             failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of
                             danger, including cold or starvation, or extreme failure
                             to carry out important aspects of the child’s health or
                             development, including non-organic failure to thrive.

PHYSICAL INJURY:             Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to
                             prevent physical injury (or suffering) to a child including
                             deliberated poisoning, suffocation and Munchansen’s
                             syndrome by proxy.

SEXUAL ABUSE:                Actual or likely exploitation of a child or adolescent.
                             The child may be dependent and/or developmentally
                             immature.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE:             Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional
                             and behavioural development of a child caused by
                             persistent or sever emotional ill-treatment or rejection.
                             All abuse involves some emotional ill-treatment. This
                             category should be used where it is the main or sole
                             form of abuse.

Neglect

Neglect is often difficult to detect as it is usually a slow, ongoing process.
Professionals may, out of familiarity, start to unknowingly tolerate lessening
standards of child care, and each one of us has different parameters of what is
acceptable or unacceptable. It is therefore essential that a regular, objective
appraisal of the child’s presentation and condition is made. Parents are responsible
for giving love, care and protection. Parents are responsible for providing adequate
food, shelter, clothing, medical care, supervision and protection, education, social
guidance. If aspects of these components are missing it is likely a child is being
neglected.

Possible Signs of Neglect

          Constant hunger
          Poor personal hygiene
          Constant tiredness
          Poor clothing
          Emaciated
          Frequent lateness, earliness or non-attendance at school
          Destructive tendencies
          No social relationships
          Compulsive stealing
          Scavenging for food and clothes
          No carer at home
          Very low self-esteem

Physical Abuse

Most children suffer accidents form time to time which result in physical injury and
this presents difficulty in diagnosing child abuse. We must also accept that some
people believe children must never be hit, whereas others feel physical chastisement
is acceptable. The professional when faced with an injured child must consider
whether the injury is of an accidental origin or not. Some injuries may seem
insignificant by themselves, but repeated injuries, even of a very minor nature,
especially in a baby or young child may be symptomatic of child abuse, and if no
action is taken, the child may be injured more seriously.

It must be emphasised that if child abuse is suspected a thorough medical
assessment must be undertaken with the minimum of delay. This can best be
achieved by either presenting the child to the Accident and Emergency Department
at Russells Hall Hospital or to the Consultant Paediatrician on call.

Physical Signs

          Unexplained injuries including improbable explanations
          Untreated injuries
          Recurrent injuries
          Injuries with a pattern e.g. hand/finger marks, discernible belt marks
          Burns/scalds e.g. cigarette marks, “dipping” scalds
          Bite marks
          Symptoms of unexplained concussion
          Admitted injuries caused by excessive punishment

Behavioural Signs

          Fear of adult/carer including fear of returning home
          Refusal to change for PE; keeping limbs covered
          Fear of medical help
          Self-destructive tendencies
          Aggression towards others
          Sudden, unexplained change in behaviour
          Learning difficulties
          Very low self-esteem including failure to respond to praise
          Inhibited, cowers

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse of children is now known to be more common than previously
recognised. Both boys and girls can be victims. The perpetrators are most
frequently male figures known to the children. The nature of the abuse covers a
broad spectrum from fondling and caressing to full anal and vaginal intercourse. It is
most likely the abuse has been taking place for weeks, months and sometimes years
and may involve a number of children.
Sometimes there are physical signs or symptoms which may indicate sexual abuse,
these are:
        Injury to the genitals or anal area. e.g. bruising, tearing
        Infection or abnormal discharge in the genital, anal, oral area
        Pregnancy (real or imagined)

Sometimes there are psychological or behavioural signs or symptoms which may
indicate sexual abuse, these are:-
         Sexualised behaviour
         Sexualised drawings or play
         Sudden decline in school performance
         Regression i.e. soiling, wetting
         Low self-esteem, unkempt appearance
         Psychosomatic disorders
         Suicidal acts or threats
         Sexual victimisation of others
         Promiscuity and precocious behaviour
         Eating disorders
         Sleep disturbance and nightmares
         Depression
         Absconding or running away

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can exist on its own and emotionally abused children are not
necessarily physically abused as well.

Emotionally abused children find their needs met with indifference, hostility, ridicule,
sarcasm, shaming, belittling, frightening, tantalising. This may lead to cruel
treatment, like locking children in their bedrooms or cupboards, or making unrealistic
demands of them. Sometimes basic needs like food, warmth or clothing are withheld
as punishment. These conditions may lead to physical, emotional and intellectual
development delay or stunting.

Possible Signs of Emotional Abuse

          Developmental delay (physical, mental, emotional)
          Admission of punishment which seems excessive
          Over reaction to mistakes
          Sudden speech disorders
          Rocking, hair twisting/pulling etc.
          Self mutilation
          Extremes of passivity or aggression
          Drug/solvent abuse
          Repeated running away
          Scavenging for food or clothes
          Extreme attention-seeking
          Bedwetting
Appendix A:           Child Protection – At a Glance



   C                           AWARENESS OF PROBLEM

  O

   N                           BE CALM AND CONFIDENT
                              DO NOT PROMISE SECRECY
   F

   I                    LISTEN AND REMEMBER WHAT IS SAID
                              KEEP QUESTIONS OPEN
   D

   E                    RECORD INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY

   N

   T                    INFORM CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER
                        HEADTEACHER TO BE FULLY BRIEFED
   I

   A            CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER DECIDES IF FURTHER
                           ACTION IS NECESSARY
   L

   I
              APPROPRIATE STAFF TO ATTEND CHILD PROTECTION
   T                       CASE CONFERENCE
                             AS NECESSARY
   Y




N.B.   If questioned by solicitor/police keep strictly to the facts as recorded.

				
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