1.1. Identify current legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. All children have the right to be kept safe and looked after. The United Nations Convention on the rights of a child (1989) is a treaty that sets out the rights and freedoms of all children in a set of 54 articles. Children’s Act 1989: Identifies the responsibilities of parents and professionals who must work to ensure the safety and welfare of the child/young person. Two important sections included in the act are: Section 47- the local authority has “a duty to investigate when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer, significant harm.” Section 17 – services must be put into place to “safeguard and promote the welfare of children within the area who are in need.” The Education Act 2002: Sets out the responsibilities of L.E.A’s, governing bodies, head teachers and all those working in schools to ensure that children are kept safe and free from harm. Children’s Act 2004: Provides the legal framework for EVERY CHILD MATTERS. Requirements include
– Services to work more closely, thus forming an integrated service.
– A common assessment of children’s needs.
– A shared database of information which is relevant to the safety of children/young people.
– Earlier support for parents who are facing problems.
The Safeguarding Policy in my setting is laid out to ensure all staff in our school are clear about the actions necessary with regard to a child protection issue. It aims to: – Raise the awareness of all staff and identify responsibilities in reporting possible cases of abuse. – Ensure effective communication between all staff when dealing with child protection issues. – Lay down the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of child protection. The policy lays out the correct procedure to follow if anybody suspects a child may be the victim of abuse. The policy names the appointed child protection officers in school, and outlines the procedures that will be taken. If I had any concerns about the safety or welfare of any child in my setting, I would go to any of the 3 child protection officers, and state my concerns. This would then be referred to the appropriate agency, who will then take action. The E-Safety policy highlights the need to educate children/young people about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
1.2: Describe the roles of different agencies involved in safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. Schools: Each adult at school has a responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of all children. There must be a named member of staff to undertake responsibilities in regards to safeguarding children, and also for e-safety. Responsibilities include: – developing awareness so the child knows what is acceptable. – know, support and protect children who are known to be on the “at risk register.” – observe for signs that abuse may be happening.eg, changes in behaviour, and refer any concerns. – monitor, keep records and share appropriate information with other agencies. Children’s Social Care: Key role to safeguard and promote the safety and welfare of a child in need. If found that a child is at risk, social workers will: – carry out an initial assessment of child thought to be at risk. – meet and interview the child and family members.
– liaise with and gather information about the child and circumstances from other agencies involved. – take action when a child is thought to be in immediate danger. Police: Must work closely with children’s social care to protect children from harm. Each force has a child abuse investigation unit. Roles and responsibilities include:
-making decisions on whether a crime has been committed, and if so, beginning an investigation.
– working with other agencies to gather information.
– take immediate action if the child is in imminent danger.
– attending court to give evidence.
Health Professionals: have a duty to report any injuries which they suspect are non-accidental. They must also:
– contribute to children’s social care records.
– carry out medical examinations/observations of a child thought to be at risk of abuse. – give evidence in court, if a crime has been committed.
2.2. Describe the actions to take when a child/young person is ill or injured. Every school must have at least one fully qualified first aider. In my setting, every member of staff has an emergency first-aid in school certificate, myself included. If a child suffers a minor injury, these can normally be dealt with in school, e.g. a bumped head may require an ice-pack or cold compression. Cuts and grazes cleaned with water, and a plaster applied, if applicable. An accident form must be filled in and a copy kept for school records and a copy sent home to the parent/carer. If you have witnessed the incident, you should note the details and action taken. If it is a more serious injury, the parent/carer will be contacted. This might include if a child has vomited or has a cut that may require more urgent medical attention, e.g. Stitches.
2.3: Identify circumstances when children and young people may require urgent medical attention. Circumstances when a child may require urgent medical attention are: – suspected fracture
– Epileptic seizure
– breathing difficulties
– Head injury
– Severe bleeding
If a child requires urgent medical attention, there are certain procedures that must be adhered to
– reassure the child
– If a child is unconscious, put them in the recovery position
– do not give them anything to eat or drink
– ensure any other children are not at risk of being hurt or injured.
2.4: Describe actions to take in response to emergency situations. Fires: In my setting, in the event of evacuation, all children and staff must leave the building with their class under the supervision of the class teacher/teaching assistant in the class at that time. They must leave by the nearest fire exit and assemble on the playground, in the designated area. Once there, a register call will be taken to ensure all persons have left the building. Security Incidents: In my setting, security is taken very seriously. We have one main entrance into school for visitors during the day. This entrance is operated by the receptionist, and opens into a sealed foyer. To gain further access into the building, another door release must be activated by the receptionist. All visitors must sign in before entering the building, and declare who they are visiting and the company they represent. They then sign out when they leave; this also helps in the event of an evacuation.
If any person is found clearly not showing their visitors badge, they are challenged immediately and escorted back to reception to find out who they are and the nature of their visit. The children enter and exit the school through another set of doors that lead onto the playground. During school hours, the playground gates are kept locked to ensure no security incident takes place. Missing children/Young persons: If all security procedures are followed correctly and suitable precautions taken, then it is highly unlikely that a child would go missing from my setting. However, if a child was to be found missing, then the alarm needs to be raised immediately. This would be done calmly and discreetly, so as not to distress the other children. The person who has discovered the missing child would ensure the rest of the children in their care are properly supervised, and then report to the head and office staff, who would conduct a systematic search of the area where the child was last seen. If the child is not found to be on site, both the police and the parents would be informed immediately.
3.1. Identify the characteristics of different types of child abuse. Physical abuse:
– Physically hurting or injuring a child
This could be by
-beating with an object, such as a belt.
-the continuous ill-treatment of a child, so that it affects their emotional development -the continuous put-down of a child, so much so that they often feel worthless and unloved. Emotional abuse often coincides with other forms of abuse, but can occur alone. Neglect:
– Not being properly cared for
– The failure to meet a child’s basic needs. i.e., shelter, food, love
– Not providing adequate health and dental care
– Inappropriate touching of a child
– forcing them to look at sexual images
-placing them in sexual situations.
3.3: Describe the actions to take in response to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been abused or harmed. There may be no physical evidence to suggest that a child or young person is being abused. Children may also suffer from more than one type of abuse, e.g. A child who is neglected may also be suffering from emotional abuse, in the form of bullying because their clothes are dirty or their basic hygiene is not good. As a teaching assistant, I feel that you are in a very good position to notice changes in children’s behaviour, and other signs of possible abuse. The signs I would look out for are as follows:
Physical signs| Behavioural signs|
Grasp marks| May be withdrawn|
Unexplained burns, bruises, fractures| Flinching when touched or approached| Bite marks| Reluctance to undress for p.e|
Marks showing the outline of an implement, i.e. A belt buckle| Aggressive behaviour|
Physical signs| Behavioural signs|
Delay in physical development| Low self esteem|
Delay in emotional development| Difficulty in making friends| Speech disorders| Self-harming behaviour|
| Poor concentration|
Physical signs| Behavioural signs|
difficulty in walking or sitting| Displaying inappropriate sexual behaviour| Bruises or scratches| Withdrawn/confused|
Vaginal bleeding| Using sexually explicit language|
Love bites| Self-harming behaviour|
Physical signs| Behavioural signs|
Hunger| Stealing food from other children|
Poor personal hygiene| Poor school attendance|
Inadequate clothing| Difficulty making friends|
Untreated health problems/poor dental hygiene| Seeking attention|
Bullying and self-harming are also forms of abuse. Bullying is very distressing for the victim, and can take many forms. Physical bullying – hitting or threatening to use physical force Emotional bullying – name calling or spreading rumours
Racial bullying- using inappropriate racial language.
Self-harm is when a child/young person deliberately causes harm to themselves. Signs to look out for are cuts and scratches (sometimes quite deep) to the arms, legs and abdomen, bald patches on scalp, burns or scalds.
In response to any evidence or concerns I may have, no matter how small they seem, I would always:
– listen to the child carefully and stay calm
– Never promise to keep the information a secret
– write down everything that I have been told
– Always explain what will have to be done next
– Never ask open ended questions
– Always reassure the child that they are in no way to blame for what is happening/ has happened to them. It is your duty to report this straightaway to your safeguarding/ child protection officer, who then has a duty to make a referral to the appropriate agency.
3.4: Describe the actions to take in response to concerns that a colleague may be failing to comply with safeguarding procedures, or may be harming, abusing or bullying a child/young person. If I had any concerns involving one of my colleagues, I would follow the same steps as I would if I had concerns that a child was being abused or harmed by a family member or family friend. I would report it to the safeguarding officer, giving a detailed account of what I had observed or had concerns about. I would not discuss my concerns with anyone else as the colleague I had concerns about may have a chance to try and make excuses for their behaviour.
3.5: Describe the principles and boundaries of confidentiality and when to share information. All staff who work in schools has to maintain confidentiality, as they are building trust with the children, their parents/carers and other members of staff. It is not appropriate to discuss personal and confidential information unless required to do so, e.g. If you had any concerns about a childs safety and welfare. Information may then be shared in order to identify the best way to deal with the situation Information may also be shared in staff meetings, or when discussing individual children with your class teacher.