Safeguard protects children from mistreatment, avoids injury of children’s health and development and guarantees that children grow up in conditions consistent with the providing of
. Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. “Everyone who works with children – including teachers, GPs, nurses, midwives, health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, police, Accident and Emergency staff, paediatricians, voluntary and community workers and social workers – has a responsibility for keeping them safe. All this work with children and families falls under the umbrella term of safeguarding.”
Working together to safeguard children preserves much of the responsibilities and procedures about protect children welfare.
Protection of children Act.1999 is practical guide. It came to introduce the Protection of Children Act.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) supports employees make safer enrolment choices and avoid inappropriate people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
The Children Act. 2004 placed a duty, the lawful foundation, for how local authorities, social services and other agencies deal with problems involving children. “The Act also revised the legislation on physical punishment by making it an offence to hit a child if it causes mental harm or leaves a lasting mark on the skin.”
Policies and procedures
Policies and procedures on safeguarding dictate what the early years setting must have. In UK, all the settings must be registered by the suitable organization and frequently examined.
“A safeguarding policy is a statement that makes it clear to staff, parents and children what the organisation or group thinks about safeguarding, and what it will do to keep children”
All setting must show how they are doing to ensure they are following the legislation and if they are reaching the criteria to be opened.
All early years setting must have a safeguarding and child protection people nominated. The person must be fully trained to this role.
All adult working in the setting (staff, volunteers, cook, etc) must be a suitable person to work with young children and must be full DBS clearance.
Early years settings are places where children spend a considerable amount of their time. These settings performances a substantial part in encouraging children’s welfares.
The way to keep the children safe is having some strict procedures around recruitment, administration and it is functioning policy.
Other way is ensuring that children’s intimate care – hygiene procedure as changing nappies, toileting, etc.
Child protection in relation to safeguarding
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
Child Protection is part of safeguarding, it is the procedures and actions to protect children. It involves events and constructions planned to avoid and answer to abuse and neglect.
All the work to protect children are under the safeguard umbrella.
“Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial, or psychological abuse. Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships.”
Neglect is when the child’s basic needs are not supplied. Children could be left hungry or dirty, no medical or health care are provided. Children could be put in dangerous situations. Children could not receive the love, care, attention and respect they supposed to receive from their parents.
Physical abuse is intentionally hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
“Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment of a child. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s emotional health and development.
Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them.”
Kinds of emotional abuse are humiliation, constantly criticism, shouting at a child, calling bad name to them, using sarcasm to hurt a child, exposing a child to distressing events as domestic abuse, not permitted they have friends, being absent, manipulating a child and never saying good things, complements or kind words.
Sexual abuse is when the children are forced or manipulated to take part in sexual activities (touching intimates’ parts of a child, making a child touch intimate part of other person, watching sex or inappropriate movies, hearing sexual words or sexual activity, expose the child body online, rape, etc). Any kind of sexual activities is considerate sexual abuse.
Signs and behaviours that may cause concern
Witnessing domestic violence is considerate of child abuse. Living with domestic abuse can have an important influence on a child’s growth, health, and well-being. It can also harm the relationship a child has with their abused parent.
Children neglected could have signs of poor hygiene and appearance, health and development problems or housing and family issues.
Children who have been neglected may involvement short-term and long-term effects that last during their life.
Children who have been physically abused might feel the effects long after their hurts have restored.
“Being shaken, hit or physically abused in any way as a child can lead to poor physical or mental health later in life, including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, childhood behavioural or conduct disorders, drug use, suicide attempts, obesity, sexually transmitted infections and risky sexual behaviour”.
Children suffering with physical abuse can show learning problems, seizures, hearing and speech impairment, visual impairment, blindness, bruises, cuts, broken bones, behaviour problems or changes of their personality.
Some signs of emotional abuse are significantly underweight but eats well when given food, late development to learn (without medical condition), a child doesn’t respond to parents’ presence or absence (looks like child doesn’t care), a child doesn’t have many friends and it is not interested to have, a child acts with violence with other children or adults and a child can talk saying they were left alone at home or with strangers.
One the most common sign about sexual abuse is when a child shows sexual behaviours that’s inappropriate for their age or use sexual language. Physical signs are anal or vaginal soreness, unusual discharge, or sexual transmitted infection.
The benefits of partnership
Partnership means different professionals and agencies working together to help child and family on their difficulties. The help must come in early stage, in difficulties, we should not wait until something serious happens.
“Early intervention: this approach seeks to offer extra help and support to a family before the child starts to lag behind in development or experience neglect or abuse. Early intervention is about working cooperatively with parents and carers, giving them a chance to make choices about which services they need.”
When the difficult is detected, an initial assessment is done. An initial assessment is conducted by specialist children’s social workers.
The initial assessment says which decision would be done. Some decisions could be offering services to care the child and family, urgent action to defend child from injury or holding a strategy discussion.
In this situation the early year practitioners are responsible to discuss worries to children’s social care, contribute to the initial assessment and join meeting as demanded.
The initial assessment can conduct to: Core assessment, Child Protection Conference or help being offered on voluntary basis (Charity Aid Foundation).
Child Protection Conference uses the initial assessment and looks at all the important information and situations to determine how we can do to provide the best protection to the children and promote their welfare.
“It is possible to hold a Child Protection Conference pre-birth if there are significant concerns that the new-born baby will be at risk of immediate harm.”
If it is determinate the child needs a protection, then an inter-agency child protection plan will be done. The school or early years setting must be informed, and the setting duties could be cautiously nursing the child, making appointments to specialist agencies, offering support and services to the parents, monitoring the child’s development in contradiction of the planned results in the decided plan.
“Core Group: a group made up of the child (if appropriate), family members and professionals who are responsible for developing and implementing the child protection plan”.
After the child protection plan be done, the core group of professionals (early year practitioners are included) and child’s parent must meet within 10 working days. The Core Group is responsible for the application and evaluation of the child protection plan with the aim of making sure that the child is safe.
The group will discuss child’s development needs, parenting capacity and family and environmental factors.
Every 3 months must be a new child protection conference to review the initial conference.
The plan just can be ended of it is judged that there are no more reason and the dangerous situation had improved or finished and the child is totally safe and no more “in need”. All the agencies must agree with this end.
Just with all agencies working in partnership we can have a clear picture of all situations and make the best decision in name to protect the child.
The rights of children and parents/carers
Every time it was contacted a child has been abused or harm, it is child’s right being protected against significant harm, not have many medical examinations, children can’t be involved in decisions about them, however they can express their point of view and feelings. If the child is suffering physical or sexual abuse, they must be removed straight away from their homes and put in safe place.
“The rights of parents are modified by their responsibilities towards their children (…) parents and carers have a right to be informed about what is being said and to contribute their own views (…) however, if the child is suffering significant harm, then the parents or carers have no immediate rights”.
TASSONI, Penny. Early Years Educator- For the work-based learner. CACHE level 3