Document Sample


       JANUARY 2003


 1.        Introduction

 2.        Implementation

 3.        Responsibilities

 4.        Definitions of child abuse

 5.        Recognising abuse

 6.        Responding to allegations of suspicions of abuse

 7.        Responding to the child

 8.        Recruitment and Selection

 9.        Professional Behaviour

10.        Physical Contact

11.        Code of Ethics

12.        Monitoring and Evaluation

13.        Acknowledgements

Appendix 1            Derbyshire Dales Child Protection Policy Statement

Appendix 2            Code of Conduct

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 Child Protection Procedure for Derbyshire Dales
                 District Council

1.         Introduction

           Anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way. Children are
           abused regardless of class, age, race, origin, disability or sexual identity.

           Derbyshire Dales District Council has a general duty to safeguard and promote
           the welfare of children.

           Currently there is no legal framework to ensure that Local Authorities adopt or
           establish a child protection procedure. However it is identified as an example of
           good practice and vital to the development of opportunities for young people to
           ensure a procedure is in place. Within the Council's Health and Safety Policy the
           protection of employees from harm is key and this procedure will also help to meet
           those needs.

           It is the responsibility of every adult to protect all children from abuse. Abuse can
           occur at home, school or in the leisure and recreation environment. Some people
           actively seek employment or voluntary work with children so that they can harm

           We need to ensure that procedures are in place, which will prevent unsuitable
           people from working with children and that staff, whether paid, or working in a
           voluntary capacity, have a basic knowledge and understanding of child protection.

           This document details Derbyshire Dales District Council's position with regards to
           the protection of children. The implementation of the procedure will be sustained
           by ongoing training and support.

2.         Implementation

           All elected members, staff working full time, part time or in a voluntary capacity
           must be made aware of the procedure. Training should be provided so that, as a
           minimum, staff have knowledge and understanding of the following:
                      •    definition of child abuse
                      •    main forms of abuse
                      •    effects of abuse
                      •    recognising abuse
                      •    responding to allegations of abuse
                      •    selection and recruitment of staff working with children
                      •    code of ethics

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           All Derbyshire Dales District Council facilities will display a copy of the Child
           Protection Policy Statement. Clubs and organisations who use District Council
           facilities will be encouraged to adopt a written Child Protection Policy if their work
           involves children.

3.         Responsibility
           The Council is responsible for approving and revising the procedure and Officers
           of the Council are responsible for implementing the procedure.

4.         Definition of child abuse
           "Child abuse consists of anything which individuals, institutions or processes do or
           fail to do which directly or indirectly harms children or damages their prospects of
           a safe and healthy development into adulthood." (National Commission of Inquiry
           into the prevention of child abuse 1996).
           What is child abuse?
           Neglect includes situations in which adults:
                      •    fail to meet the child's basic needs (e.g. food, warm clothing)
                      •    constantly leave a child alone and unsupervised
                      •    fail or refuse to give their children love and affection
           Neglect could include a sports coach failing to ensure the safety of the children,
           exposing them to undue cold or heat or to unnecessary injury.

           Physical abuse is usually used to describe situations in which adults:
                      •    physically hurt or injure children, (e.g. by hitting, shaking, biting,
                           squeezing or burning)
                      •    give children alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poisons
                      •    attempt to suffocate or drown children.

           Sexual abuse is when adults, (male or female), use children to meet their own
           sexual needs. This might be through:
                      •    full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse or
                      •    showing children pornographic books, photographs or videos
           Sports which involve physically supporting children during the learning skills may
           potentially create situations in which sexual abuse may go unnoticed.

           Emotional abuse is when children:
                      •    persistently lack love and affection
                      •    are constantly overprotected denying them the opportunity to mix and
                      •    are constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted making them
                           withdrawn or negatively influencing their feelings of competence and
                           self worth
                      •    are affected by neglect or physical or sexual abuse.

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5.         Recognising abuse
           There are signs which could alert you to the fact that a child might be being
           These could include:
                      •    unexplained or untreated injuries or bruising
                      •    sexually explicit language or actions
                      •    a child describing an abusive act to you
                      •    unexplained changes in behaviour
                      •    a change observed over a long period of time
                      •    increasingly dirty or unkept
                      •    a distrust of adults
           This list is not exclusive and the presence of one or more of the indicators is not
           proof that abuse is actually taking place.

6.         Responding to allegations of suspicions of child abuse
           It is not the responsibility of individual staff to decide whether or not child abuse is
           taking place. However, individuals do have a responsibility to report any
           allegations or suspicions to their supervisor, who in turn must inform their line
           manager immediately.
           Where any kind of abuse is suspected, it is the responsibility of the supervising
           officer to ensure that he/she:
           1. is well informed in child protection issues
           2. can advise and support staff on all child protection issues
           3. report any suspicions or allegations to Derbyshire County Council Social
           Derbyshire County Council Social Services will then decide on the appropriate
           course of action.

7.         Responding to the child
           If you have been alerted to the possibility that abuse is occurring it is important
           that you are aware how to respond in the situation. By listening carefully and
           taking seriously what you are being told you are already beginning to protect the
           child. It is important to:
           Create a safe environment by ensuring that you:

                      •    stay calm
                      •    understand how difficult it is for the child to confide in you
                      •    provide reassurance and stress to the child that he/she is not to blame
                      •    listen and believe what you are being told
                      •    make an accurate record of what has been said including dates and

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           Be honest and do not make promises you cannot keep. Explain that others may
           need to be told to stop the abuse happening.
           Record exactly what has been said to you by the child, your observations of the
           child and the action you have taken. Questions should only be asked to clarify
           information and not to investigate the situation.
           Ensure that you keep a signed and dated copy of the report and provide a copy to
           the investigating officer.
           Maintain confidentiality - this will ensure that any subsequent investigations are
           not undermined. However, do not take sole responsibility. Consult your
           supervisor so that the child can be protected and you can gain support in what
           could be a difficult situation.

8.         Recruitment and Selection
           When selecting and recruiting staff the standard Derbyshire Dales District Council
           procedures should be followed.
           In addition an appropriate level of disclosure will be required, from the Criminal
           Records Bureau, for all posts listed in the Council’s Child Protection Policy – List
           of Exempted Posts. The Council will also require that the holders of these posts
           be rechecked every three years.
           This list of posts will be held by the Personnel Officer and kept under constant
           review. Any additions or deletions will be at the discretion of the appropriate Chief
           However, research has shown that criminal record disclosures alone are often
           insufficient in deterring potential abusers from working with young people. This is
           because many abusers move on once suspicion is aroused to prevent
           investigations and criminal procedures being taken against them. Because of
           this, all staff should be alert to and be able to recognise the signs of abuse.
           In addition to the Council’s standard policies and procedures, appointed leisure
           staff will receive a Sports and Leisure Employees Information Booklet and a
           Coaches Code of Conduct.
           Staff will also receive appropriate training within the roles and responsibilities
           given. If necessary, they will receive ongoing training in the protection of children.
           The same procedure will be carried out for all applicants whether they are being
           considered for paid or unpaid employment, working in a full, part time or casual

9.         Professional behaviour
           By promoting good practice, you will help to protect staff and volunteers whilst
           also minimising the risks to a child.

                      •    spending a lot of time alone with a child away from other staff
                      •    taking a child alone in a car, however short the journey
                      •    taking children to your home where they will be alone with you.

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                      •    engage in rough, physical or sexually proactive games or horseplay
                      •    allow or engage in needless touching
                      •    allow children to use rude or coarse language unchallenged
                      •    make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
                      •    ignore allegations that a child makes
                      •    do personal things that a child can do for themselves.

10. Physical Contact
           At times it is inevitable that physical contact will occur between yourself and a
           child. Instances of when contact may take place include:
                    •     administering first aid - be aware of sensitive and delicate areas of a
                          child's body. Always tell a child what you are going to do and ask
                          permission to touch or expose covered areas. If possible have a
                          colleague with you and always inform your manager immediately an
                          accident has occurred. Complete an accident/incident report form and in
                          the case of major injuries follow the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and
                          Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, (RIDDOR)
                    •     coaching - when sport requires physical contact, (for technical support or
                          correction), make sure there are clear guidelines of what is and is not
                          acceptable. Adopt a coaching style which maintains distance between
                          yourself and the child. Seek permission to invade the child's personal

11. Code of Ethics
           For the safety and security of young people, employees, coaches, teachers and
           leaders, a sound ethical framework for all work should be set. Derbyshire Dales
           employees will be; strongly motivated, well trained and guided by sound
           All individuals should:
                      •    demonstrate respect for young people
                      •    promote fair play and the positive aspects of sport and physical activity
                      •    display good standards of behaviour
                      •    understand the individual needs of each child
                      •    conduct sport and physical activity in a safe, fun and progressive
                      •    ensure that all children have equal opportunities to participate at a level
                           which is appropriate to their own level of experience and development.

12. Monitoring and Evaluation
           This policy will be monitored and reviewed, in conjunction with other relevant
           Council Policies, on an annual basis or as necessary to ensure that it is being
           applied correctly.

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           Evaluation will be an ongoing process of policy implementation and review with
           the following being used as the framework:
                      •    Do employees understand the procedure?
                      •    Is the procedure able to be implemented or is further advice, support or
                           training required?
                      •    Are the necessary resources available to implement the procedure?
                      •    How can the procedure help in practice?
                      •    Who or what might help with concerns?
                      •    Are any concerns not covered by the procedure?

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13. Acknowledgements
           The following organisations have assisted in the production of this document:

           Derby City Council (Social Services)
           Derbyshire County Council (Social Services)
           Greater Manchester Coaching Development Project
           Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management
           National Coaching Foundation
           North Lincolnshire Council
           Oxfordshire Sports Development Consortium

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                                                                                  Appendix 1



Derbyshire Dales District Council is committed to creating and maintaining the
safest possible environment for children and young people. We acknowledge that
all children have the right to be protected from harm.

We aim to do this by:
•     Promoting examples of good practice when working with children to ensure a safe
      and healthy environment.
•     Ensuring that all staff and volunteers are carefully selected, receive appropriate
      training and accept responsibility for helping to prevent the abuse of children in their
•     Responding swiftly and appropriately to suspicions or allegations of abuse including
      following standard reporting processes.
•     Providing an opportunity for parents and children to voice any concerns they may
•     Ensuring that standard procedures are in place to protect the child and that the
      opportunity to review these procedures takes place annually.
•     Ensuring access to confidential information is restricted to the nominated officers or
      appropriate external authorities.
•     Nominating a child protection officer who will take specific responsibility for child
      safety within each service area.

Our Child Protection Officer is: ______________________________________________

                                  Job Title ______________________________________________

                        Contact Details ______________________________________________

                               Service Area ______________________________________________

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                                                                                  Appendix 2

                               CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

                                Code of Conduct for Staff

Any employee working with young children must comply with the principles of good
ethical practice.

As an employee you must:

•     respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person and treat everyone
      equally within his/her activity.

•     ensure that the safety of each child is placed above the development of

•     develop an appropriate working relationship with children based on mutual trust and

•     never ridicule or belittle children. Ensure that every child is valued.

•     ensure that the activities carried out are appropriate for the age, maturity, ability and
      experience of each individual.

•     hold up-to-date nationally recognised governing body qualifications with commitment
      to Continuous Professional Development.

•     ensure that where physical contact is required between the coach and the child, the
      coach's actions cannot be mistaken.

•     emphasise and reinforce fair play and sportsmanship at all times. Ensure you set a
      good example to participants.

•     agree targets and individual expectations with each child at the outset.

•     consistently maintain high standards of behaviour and appearance and always
      display an enthusiastic attitude.

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