1.1 Student Privacy and Rights:
The student should be treated with respect, consideration, and dignity. The student has the right to privacy and confidentiality. Student or his/her guardian should be provided with information concerning the evaluation and treatment options.
The student should be given the opportunity to participate in decisions involving their healthcare when such participation is not contraindicated. The student has the right to refuse any treatment or diagnostic procedures if he/she advised of the medical consequences of that refusal.
The persistent or severe neglect of a child which result in impairment of health or development
Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury or suffering
Actual or likely exploitation of a child by involvement in sexual activities without informed consent or understanding, or that violate social taboos or family rules.
Actual or likely severe adverse effects on the emotional and behavioral development of a child by persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment, inappropriacy, or rejection.
Situations where children may not have been abused but where social and medical assessment indicate a high degree of risk that they might be abused in the future, including situations where another child in the household has been abused, or where there is a known abuser.
1.3 Responding to possible abuse:
A guide for considering information giving rise to doubts about a child`s safety or welfare.
- Decision Making:
You must record the grounds for your concern, either in patient`s records or in another appropriate way
You should raise questions with the family and be open about your concern unless to do so would put the child at risk of harm.
You may wish to organize further contacts by other members of your practice team or by suggesting a further appointment.
You may discuss your concerns with the social services team on a `what if…` basis.
You may wish to discuss your concerns with the designated nurse or doctor for child protection.
- Taking Action:
You may decide, after consultation, to make contact with social services. This could mean contacting them for a discussion or making a direct referral.
You should have a clear mind
What information, allegation or observation leads me to be concerned at this moment?
What other information or observation might support this concern, drawing ….?
Upon previous experience with the child or their family?
Is the situation urgent?
What are your expectations of making the referral?
1.4 Roles and Responsibilities:
- Class Teachers
Class teachers will, in most cases, be the first person that a concern is raised by. They will collate detailed/accurate/secure written records of concerns and liaise with the designated child protection committee member
- The School Nurse
Their role is to ensure that relevant information obtained in the course of their duties is communicated to the designated CPCM. Types of injuries, attendance and frequency are recorded
1.5 Responsibilities of the whole school staff
- All school staff has a responsibility to identify and report suspected abuse and to ensure the safety and well-being of the pupils in their school. In doing so they should seek advice and support as necessary from the principle /designated teacher
- The staff is expected to provide a safe and caring environment in which children can develop the confidence to voice ideas, feelings, and opinions. Children should be treated with respect within a framework of agreed and understood behavior.
- All school staff is expected to:
- Be aware of signs and symptoms of abuse
- Report concerns to the designated teacher as appropriate.
- Keep clear, dated, factual and confidential records of child protection concerns.
1.6 School Procedures:
- Any member of staff concerned about a child must inform a designated child protection committee member immediately
- The member of the staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observation.
- The designated CPCM will consult the principle who will decide whether the concerns should be referred to the child protection officer. If it`s decided to make a referral to the child protection officer, this will be done, if necessary, without prior discussion with the parents.
- If a referral is made to the child protection officer, the designated teacher will ensure that a written report of the concerns is sent to them within 48 hours.
- Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child who has been identified as at risk.
- If a pupil who has been identified as at risk changed school, the principal will inform the child protection officer and consider the transfer of appropriate records to the receiving school.
1.7 When to be concerned:
Staff should be concerned if a pupil:
- Has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children`s activities?
- Regularly has unexplained injuries
- Frequently have injuries, even when apparently reasonable explanations are given.
- Offers confused or conflicting explanations about on how injuries were sustained.
- Exhibited significant changes in behavior, performance or attitude.
- Indulges in sexual behavior which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate to his or her age.
- Discloses an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed.
1.8 Dealing with a disclosure:
If a pupil discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff should:
- Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief.
- Accept what is being said.
- Allow the child to talk freely.
- Reassure the child, but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep.
- Not promise confidentially, as it might be necessary to refer the case to the child protection officer.
- Reassure the pupil that what has happened is not their fault.
- Stress that it was the right thing to tell.
- Listen, rather than ask direct questions.
- Ask open questions rather than leading questions.
- Not criticize the perpetrator.
- Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told.