Unit 16 – Understanding safeguarding of children and young people (for those working in the adult sector
1.1 Explain the policies, procedures and practices for safe working with children and young people.
When working with children and young people is it essential to make sure that safeguarding is in place and each staff member has been trained, also to be trained on a regular basis. Policies and Procedures are in place to ensure that safe working is carried out in practise at all times. The policies and procedures are in place to ensure that every staff member is working in the correct and same way. It essential for all staff members to know of these procedures and know what will happen in different events.
Some of the procedures and systems in place should include;
A process for recording incidents, concerns and referrals and storing these securely in compliance with relevant legislation and kept for a time specified by your insurance company.
Guidance on confidentiality and information sharing, legislation complaint, and which clearly stated that the protection of the child is the most important consideration.
A code of behaviour for trustees, staff and volunteers; the consequences of breaching the code are clear and linked to disqualifications and grievance procedures.
Safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures that include checks into the eligibility and the suitability of all trustees, staff and volunteers who may have contact with children within the work setting.
Systems in check to ensure that all staff who work within setting are monitored and supervised and that they have opportunities to learn about child protection in accordance with their roles and responsibilities; safeguarding induction training is now mandatory for all those who work directly with children, young people, their families and/or carers.
2.1 Describe the possible signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern in the context of safeguarding
The different types of abuse such as; physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and also neglect. These are all categories that come under abuse.
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to someone, this can be by kicking, punching, burning, biting, shaking, throwing, beating with objects such as sticks, belts or whips. It also includes drowning or suffocation. Physical abuse may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness of the person.
Possible signs of physical abuse are unexplained marks, bruises of injuries which are in places which do not usually occur from a fall or a rough game, a possible sign could also be when someone gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of abuse.
Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a severe adverse effect on a client’s emotional development. It includes conveying to them that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued as long as they meet the needs of the other person. Emotional abuse may include not giving someone the chance to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment, or it may occur alone.
Possible signs of emotional abuse are saying negative statements about themselves, being extremely shy or passive, suddenly becoming highly aggressive or cruel to others, or even stealing and lying.
Sexual abuse involves forcing someone to take part in sexual activity, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. This may involve physical contact including penetrative sex, oral sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as encouraging to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Abuses can be both men and women.
Possible signs of sexual abuse may be any allegations made concerning sexual abuse, repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains, and severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares which sometimes have overt or veiled sexual connotations.
Finally we have neglect which is the persistent failure to meet basic physical or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of someone’s health or development. Neglect is when a carer or parent fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or protection from physical and emotional harm or danger.
Possible signs of neglect are frequent diarrhoea, frequent tiredness, untreated illnesses, infected cuts or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to. Clothing that is dirty, too big or small, or inappropriate for weather conditions.
2.2 Describe the actions to take if a child or young person alleges harm or abuse in line with policies and procedures of own setting.
The actions to take if a child alleges abuse are to follow the following guidance; policies and procedures;
Listen to the child and take whatever he/she is saying seriously as the child will only disclose such information to somebody they feel they can trust
Offer support without judging or criticizing anything they are saying, try not to display shock or disbelief
Try to clarify information without over questioning or asking direct questions, writing down word for word what the child discloses
Do not criticize the perpetrator as the child may still love this person.
Be honest about your responsibilities and try to explain what happens next.
Explain your responsibilities and confidentiality, and do not promise confidentiality.
Wherever possible, consult with your manager or nominated safeguarding person.
Make sure there are no delays in protecting the child
Record relevant information including dates and times in our incident record book along with drawings of the child’s injuries that that we have witnessed.
Finally the safeguarding officer will immediately report to social services who would then hopefully take matters further, whether that is contacting the police, health visitor and/or the child’s family.