Minimising Risks of Harm to Children’s Welfare Essay Sample

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1.1 Safeguarding in schools is very important when working with children, young people and their families. They need to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised. Where there are concerns about children and young people’s welfare, all schools or agencies working with children take appropriate actions to address those concerns, working to agreed local policies and procedures. Children act 2004 provides the legal framework for Every Child Matters. It includes the requirement for services to work more closely, forming an integrated service, a common assessment framework to help the early identification of need, a shared database of information which is relevant to the safety and welfare of children and earlier support for parents who are experiencing problems.

The Date Protection Act 1998 will also be an important legislation as any information concerning children’s and young people’s welfare is highly confidential. Schools will need to keep and use information only for the purpose for which it intended. Education Act 2002 sets out the responsibilities of local education authorities governing bodies, head teachers and all those working in schools to ensure that children and safe and free from harm. Policies with safeguard

Schools must develop a range of polices which ensure the safety, security and well-being of their pupils. Policies may be separate or incorporate into one health and safety policy, but they must include sections which cover the following issues of safeguarding and protecting, and procedures for reporting, e-safety and bullying, including cyber-bullying. Example of polices

* A key member of staff being the ‘named person’ as the main contact for all safeguarding issues * Procedures for managing personal care (helping them with toileting) * Clear procedures about physical contact or restraining young people * Taking pictures or filming children in school

E-safety is a UK council for child internet safety which was launched in 2008 in response to concerns about internet safety. Its role is to safeguard children in relation to this issue. The council has produced a strategy to increase awareness of internet safety, set out measures to protect children from unsuitable sites and establish code of practice. Working together to safeguard children 2010 is a guidance which sets out the duties or organisations and how they must work together to safeguard children and young people. What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2006 is a guidance to help those working with children to safeguard and promote their welfare. It also looks at the actions which all adults working children should take if they are concerned. 1. Be healthy

2. Stay safe
3. Enjoy and achieve
4. Make a positive contribution
5. Achieve economic wellbeing

1.2 Children’s social care has a key role to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need. There are responsible to decide on the course of action to take. If the child is at risk of harm or abuse social workers will carry out an initial assessment of children who are thought to be at risk to find out about the child’s needs, ability of parents to meet the child’s needs and family and environmental factors. Social working will meet and conduct interviews with the child and family members and take lead during the child protection conference then take action when a child is thought to be in immediate danger. Police will work closely with children’s social care to protect children from any harm. There have particular role to play. All forces have a Child Abuse Investigation Unit. Their role and responsibilities include making a decision on whether a crime has been committed and if so, to begin a criminal investigation. The police will gather evidence from children’s social care and other agencies involved and take emergency action if children are in danger. Their role is also to attend court to give evidence when a crime has been committed.

Health professionals in particular GP’s and emergency department may examine children with injuries which they suspect may be non-accidental. They have a duty to alert children’s social care when abuse is suspected. They may also carry out a medical examination or observations of a child thought to be at risk of abuse or who has suffered abuse. They will contribute to children’s social care reports and give evidence in court if a crime has been committed. The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty is a third sector organisation. Its role is to work to protect children from harm. They provide services to support families and children and a helpline for children in distress or danger. NSPCC raises awareness of abuse and works to influence he law and social policy to protect children better. They also share expertise with other professionals.

2.1 As a teaching support assistant I will often work closing to individual children. I will likely to come across or notice when a child feels unwell. This could take place over a period of days. The things to look out for would be

* Looks pale
* Has dark rings around eyes
* Appears more tired or lethargic
* Is quiet or irritable
* Loss of appetite
* Looks flushed or has a rash
It’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms, but it is not my role to diagnose or jump to conclusions. Examples of common illness
Flu -headaches, weakness, fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles Tonsillitis- very sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, pain in ears and neck Diarrhoea/vomiting- diarrhoea, stomach pains/vomiting, dehydration Chickenpox- itchy rash with blister like appearance, fever

Glandular fever- fatigue, sore throat, swollen glands, fever 2.2
All schools will have a qualified first aider, it’s important to know who they are and how to contact them. Minor injuries can be dealt with in the school and do not require the children to be sent home. These can be washed with clean water and lotion and creams should never be applied. If a child is feeling ill during the day or has a minor injury, the school needs to send a report home to the parents or carer of the child especially if child had a bump on the head. All incident or accident in school grounds must be recorded in accident book. Serious accidents have to be reported to the health and safety executive by law. 2.3

It is important to recognise the signs and circumstances when you must summon immediate help. An emergency situation which requires urgent medical attention includes: * Server bleeding
* Unconsciousness
* Choking
* Breathing difficulties
* Head injuries
* Epileptic seizure
* Suspected fractures
* Suspected that children have taking drugs
* Disorientation
When accidents occur you must always call for immediate help, even if you are a first aider yourself. You must find out what has happened so you can inform urgent medical attention by calling 999 and always remain calm. You need to reassure the child and do not move the child unless it is necessary. If the child is unconscious they should be put into recovery position and make sure they are warm. Always be aware that other children are not at risk of being hurt. Examples of urgent medical attention

Asthma is most common in schools. The symptoms are wheezing and coughing, if the children has no help with their inhaler it is essential to seek medical help. Always make sure you nowhere the Childs inhalers are kept. Epilepsy in children may rarely have attacks, but it is important that you are aware of what to do when it happens. A first aider should be called, and child needs to be reassured with urgent medical help if they do not recover the seizure immediately. 2.4

* Evacuated quickly to nearest assembly point
* Raise alarm in the event of a fire, gas leak or bomb scare
* Always know the different routes of exits in school
* Escort the children safely and calmly
* Do not collect personal belonging
* Do not re-enter the building until you have been informed Security incidents
* Make sure you sign in and out of building
* Where a visitors badge so everyone knows who you are
* Report someone if you are unsure who they are
* Security locks on doors to prevent unknown people to enter without permission
* Procedures for collection of children (password)
* Registration

Missing children or young people
* Always follow the above security procedures
* Report to the teacher responsible
* Ensuring that other children are present and safe
* Check the register
* Checking all areas of the school
* Inform the childs parents or carers
* Inform the police

3.1 Physical abuse happens when a child is physically hurt or injured. Physical signs| Behavioural signs|
* Burns/scalds, bruises * Grasp marks * Bruises to eyes * Bite marks * Marks showing the outline of an implement (such as stick or buckle mark)| * Withdrawn * Aggressive * Fear of parents being approached * Flinching when approached or touched * Depression * Running away from home|

Sexual abuse happens when a child is forced or persuaded into sexual activities or situations by others. This may be physical contact which includes touching or non-physical which involves children looking at pornographic materials or sexual acts. Physical signs| Behavioural signs|

* Bruises or scratches * Difficulty to walk or sit * Sleep problems * Stomach problems * Headaches * Vaginal bleeding or discharge| * Self-harming * Eating disorder * Displaying inappropriate sexual behaviour * Using sexually implicit language * Withdrawn or confused|

Emotional abuse happens when the child suffers persistent ill treatment which affects their emotional development. It may involve making the children feel frightened, unloved, worthless or in danger. Sometimes expectations of the child are inappropriate for their age. Emotion abuse may happen alone but also can take place with other types of abuse.

Physical signs | Behavioural signs|
* Delay in physical development * Delay in emotional development * Speech disorders| * Poor concentration * Difficulty in making friends * Low self esteem * Attention seeking * Overreacting to problems * Thumb sucking/hair twisting|

Neglect abuse happens when there is a persistent failure to provide for child’s health and psychological needs. This can involve not providing food, shelter, clothing or medical care. Neglect can also be not providing for their educational and emotional needs. Physical signs| Behavioural signs|

* Hunger * Poor hygiene * Under or over weight * Tiredness or lethargy * Inappropriate or inadequate clothing * Development delay * Frequent illness| * Difficulty to make friends * Poor attendance in school * Stealing food * Attention seeking * Poor concentration |

3.2 The internet is a very useful tool and can be accessed in schools and mostly at home, but can be used as a vehicle for child pornography. Children and young people can also be exploited through social networking sites and need to be aware of e-safety. Professionals have a duty to protect children by making them aware of the danger and supporting parents and carers may also need advice about how to supervise children’s internet use or how to control access to certain material. Text messaging, emailing, social networking and chat room sites can also be potential for cyber-bullying. There are risks of sexual or emotional abuse when using the internet.

The most common risk is the children may give out their personal detail about themselves like phone number, address and even photos; this could be a serious consequence if paedophile intends to meet up with child or engage in conversation which is in a sexual nature. Children may think this person is the same age and making a new ‘friendship’. A child may also enter an innocent word in the search engine accidentally which may lead to accessing inappropriate information or distributing photographs. It is important that children are aware of this and if it does happen they need to know how to report any concerns. Evidence of Lumley junior school e-safety policy is attached.

3.3 Children spend most of their time in school so as a teacher’s assistant I will build special relationships with children. I will work regularly with children one to one or in small groups so I may be the person the child feels more comfortable to talk to when the rest of the class is not around. I will need to be aware of any concerns but must not jump to conclusions. I may notice physical signs of changes in the child behaviour, or the child could hint or let me know that they are being abused or bullied. Always | Never | Remember |

* Report concerns about any signs or changes in behaviour to the teacher * Take what children say seriously and listen * Reassure children that they are not to blame * Let the child know you will tell someone that will help them * Write down what you have observed or said * Keep all information secure| * Promise the child to keep information a secret * Investigate further * Ask the child questions * Make promises to the child involved| * Your responsibility to draw conclusions * Only report what you have noticed or been told * You can report concerns under the education act 2002 * You can receive support from your tutor, the designated child protection officer or your local children’s social services or NSPCC.|

3.4 All organisations which work with children have a duty to comply with policy and procedures. Failure to comply may put children at risk of harm and abuse, so concerns that a colleague is not following safeguarding procedures will need to be reported to the designated person or head teacher. If you have any concerns that’s a member of staff/colleague is abusing a child, your actions should be exactly the same as if the abuser is a parent, family member or stranger. You must act immediately to protect children by informing the head teacher. Allegation of abuse by a colleague must be investigated within the correct LSCB procedures, and when dealing with any allegation against staff, it is vital to keep the welfare of the child as the central concern. Suspension of the member of staff should be considered and a disciplinary investigation will be carried out. Detailed records must be kept by all parties involved. It is important to not discuss what has happened with others. Evidence from Lumley junior school safeguard policy is attached.

3.5 Staff and colleagues have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals, particularly investigative agencies. If a child confides in a member of staff and wants the information to be a secret, it is important that the member of staff tells the child that they have a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies. However, it is important to reassure the child that only those people who need to know will be told. Ensure that information is only given to the appropriate person. All staff in schools should be aware of confidential and personal information. You should always ask advice before sharing any information. Failure to share information has also been highlight in a number of serious child abuse cases. So be careful and only pass on the information to people who ‘need to know’. Research from Lumley junior schools policies, level 2 book and class work.

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