1.1- For this assignment, I will be explaining my role in safeguarding children and young people. I am aware that I do not work with children or young people, however the protection and advocacy for this sector of society is, I believe, everyone’s responsibility. In 2013, the Government published ‘Working together to safeguard children’. Within this document, the term safeguarding is defined as follows
Protecting children from maltreatment.
Preventing impairment of children’s health or development. Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care. Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcome The action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
Prior to this document being developed, in 2003, the Government formulated a policy called ‘Every Child Matters’. Within this document, there are 5 main rights that the government believe that every child has the right to, this is also called the change for children framework: 1) stay safe, 2) be healthy, 3) enjoy and achieve, 4) make a positive contribution and 5) to achieve economic well-being. Each point within the framework will require partnerships with different members from multi-agencies, however, my role as a carer for adults, I can partake in the implementation of points 1 and 2 in particular. I could implement point one: to stay safe. As a carer for adults, the residents I care for often have family members come to visit them, this can include grand-children and even great grand-children.
I have the opportunity at this point to look out for possible signs of neglect and abuse. It is my responsibility to pass on any concerns onto my manager to then pass on to the relevant agencies. Although confidentiality is important to maintain when working within care, if somebody’s safety is at risk or at potential risk, I have a duty to break that confidentiality. My role in implementing the second point, of being healthy, is not something I could directly be involved in, but rather my actions could lead to the continuing health of a child. The health of a child can consist of physical health, mental and emotional (and sexual in some cases of young people). If I suspect that abuse or neglect is present within a child’s life, and I correctly intervened, I could maintain or return many forms of health back to that child’s life.
2.1- For the purposes of this assignment, I am going to focus on explaining the signs and symptoms of physical abuse and physical neglect. The symptoms of physical abuse can be bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns and other physical injuries. These physical symptoms can be a result of hitting, shaking, burning and slapping. When looking for signs of physical abuse of children or young people, I would need to look at both the child/young person as well as the adults (possibly) involved. Signs that the child/young person may display could be: fading bruises, seems frightened around parents or certain adults, and may cry or protest when told that it is time to go home. The child/young person my ‘shrink’ at the approach of certain adults. On some occasions, a child or young person may be brave enough to report an injury by a parent or another adult or caregiver. These instances should never be dismissed. The parent or caregiver may also display signs that may suggest abuse: they may deny the existence of bruises or how the child came to have the injury, will use harsh discipline if the child misbehaves, and also tells others to use disciplines just as harsh they may also show the child little concern.
2.2- Within my work place, if I saw something or had reason to believe that a child or young person was being abused or neglected, I would need to pass this information onto my line manager. I would then be asked to formulate a statement as to why I have disclosed this information and what I had seen. The information I give to my manager should remain confidential, and only passed on to the relevant agencies, such as children’s services or possibly the police.
2.3- A child in a possible abuse case has the right to feel safe and listened to, for this reason, sometimes interviews with the child(ren) will be videoed or audio recorded, this is to reduce the possible trauma of being interviewed too many times. The parents in these cases also have the right to be listened to and understood and supported. The child and parents have a right to be informed about the stages in the investigation and have their choices listened to and when possible, allow their choices to be acted upon. Parents do also have the right to complain if they feel they are being unfairly treated or investigated.