Actions to take when responding to abuse
If any member of staff suspects or has evidence that a child/young person is suffering/likely to suffer any form of abuse they must report it to the headteacher/child protection co-ordinator or the person in charge for the day immediately.
1. Once informed the headteacher/person in charge should inform by telephone the duty social worker at the Children and Family Services. The referral needs to be made with reference to the child protection.
2. Information should be provided about the child??™s name, address, date of birth, name and address of person who has parental responsibility and reasons for the concern.
3. All referrals need to be confirmed in writing within two days using the form ???Referral to Children and Family Services??™ A copy of the referral should be sent to the Statutory Head of Education marked ???confidential??™ for the attention of the Child Protection Co-ordinator for Education Services.
4. The Children and Family Services should advise what action will be initiated, and must advise the referrer in writing, of their decision. The referrer and an Education Services representative will normally be required to attend any resulting child protection conference and must provide a written report whether they are able to attend or not. The report must be based on fact and not opinion or rumour.
Where it is alleged that the abuse has been made by a member of staff then these are the following procedures must be taken:
1. The headteacher/person in charge must been informed immediately.
2. All suspected/alleged abuse must be reported to Children and Family Services or the Police.
3. Agencies must not undertake their own internal enquiries but must refer on as described above. They must not decide if the concern is a disciplinary issue or a child protection issue. This complex decision should only be made with the involvement of Children and Family Services and the Police.
4. Advice should also be sought from a senior officer in the Education Services and the Education Services child protection co-ordinator.
Where it is alleged that the abuse involves a headteacher then there following procedure must be taken. A senior officer of the Education Services needs to be informed without delay; alternatively a confidential interview can be request with the Statutory Head of Education Services.
When dealing with any bullying accusations involving another child/young person all staff must comply with the school??™s anti-bullying policy.
Below is a table of Do??™s and Do Not??™s when a child/young person disclose that they are being abused, bullied or self-harming.
|Do |Don??™t |
|Listen to the child/young person rather than directly questioning |Stop a child who is freely recalling significant events. |
|him/her. | |
|Encourage the child/young person to allow another person to be present. |Show shock or disquiet. |
|Reassure the young person that they are not to blame and are right to |Guarantee confidentiality. |
|tell. | |
|Inform the child/young person that you will have to pass the information|Put words into the child/young person??™s mouth. |
|on. | |
|Make a written record of the discussion taking care to record the |Be afraid to seek support for yourself from the line manager. However, it is |
|timing, setting, personnel/other staff as well as what was said. |not appropriate because of the high standard of confidentiality that must be |
| |maintained in child protection to discuss individual cases with personal |
| |friends or acquaintances. |
|Be clear about your own position, you work for a department that has a |Interrupt the child/young person with any questions; as this must be done by |
|responsibility to report any form of abuse. |specially trained professionals. |
|Keep any drawings, paintings etc, which the child/young person may do to|Expose the child/young person to mass examination by staff to verify injuries|
|show what has happened to them. |but remain calm and reassuring. |