Unit 11: Understand How to Safeguard the Wellbeing of Children and Young People
Outline current legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures within own UK Home Nation affecting the safeguarding of children and young people
As adults who work in a profession where we are critical to the development of student’s educational and social development, we must also understand that the safeguarding and wellbeing of all children should be at the centre of everything we do.
The Children Act 1989
This legislation was introduced to identify the responsibilities of parents and of those who work with children to ensure their welfare and safety. This still remains a major legislation due to the amount of focus it has on safeguarding children.
The main aims of the Act are as follow:
• Redefine the perception of parental responsibility
• To encourage partnerships between parents and statutory institutes
• To achieve a balance between the safety of children, and the parents right to challenge state interventions.
Another, legislation which came into place was The Every Child Matters Act, which lead to the creation of The Children Act 2004. This Act was introduced due to the unfortunate incident of Victoria Climbie. A Laming Report following the tragedy was massively critical to the way in which the Act was to be overhauled and it made 108 recommendations to improve child protection in the United Kingdom.
The main points which emerged are;
• There should be a much closer working relationship between agencies such as schools and welfare services
• There should be a children and families board, which is chaired by a senior government member
• There should be a database containing records of all children and whether they are known to a different service
• Ofsted will set the framework which monitors children services
The legislation required that the recommendations are made legal requirements. In addition, the legislation Working together to Safeguard Children sets out the guidelines in how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard young people.
Furthermore, the UNCRC (The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) is an international committee which sets out the guidelines of that the rights of every child under the age of 18 is to be treated equally. Also, these include the complete range of human’s rights (civil, cultural, social, political and economic). This is shown through articles as follows.
• Right to special protection measures and assistance
• The right to services such as health care and education
• The right to be raised in a loving and understanding environment
• To be able to develop their unique personalities to their own potential
It is important to understand that the UK signed this legally binding Act in 1990. This ensures that in the UK it is required to implement this legislation.
Additionally, the CAF (Common Assessment Framework) is used throughout the child services in England, this is used as a way to find out children’s additional needs and how the can be met. The aim is to identify children’s needs at an early stage and then to find a way to support them which suits the child. It is important to know that CAF should only be used if practitioners think that the child will not make any or insufficient progress. But it should never be used when the welfare of that child is at risk. The DFE (Department of Education) also produces guidance and supporting documents for schools and local authorities regarding safeguarding.
Child protection within the wider concept of safeguarding children and young people
Child protection is more frequently being replaced by the term ‘safeguarding’ which has been used as a broader definition in the variety of ways in which adults working with children need to act when managing child protection. This is in place to prevent the risk of harm to the welfare of children rather than having to react to them further down the line. Moreover, the term ‘child protection’ is now tends to be used as policies and procedures which are used in an event of suspected harm or abuse.
How national and local guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding affect day to day work with children and young people
As practitioners who work in an environment where we are a critical part to the development of student’s educational and social development, we must also ensure that the safeguarding and the welfare of all children should be at the centre of day to day work. Some examples of day to day work are as follows:
• Risk assessment – Individual risk assessments must be carried out prior to any activities in which young people are involved and have a risk of harm. A way in which this would impact our day to day work is by any resources within in the school such as a food technology room which contains dangerous equipment. A school should have a procedure to carry out risk assessments on a regular basis.
• Child protection – It is imperative to know that child protection falls under the responsibility of anyone who work with or around children. It is important that every adult in the school know where the school policies are for child protection as in the policy there should be a clear method of how staff in the school should report and record and concerns over children.
• Ensure that every child’s voice is heard – As adults who work in a school environment we must understand that every child’s voice is heard and taken into consideration. A way in which my school ensure that students get a say is by allowing them to have school council meetings and giving them the voice to put across what ideas or improvements the children have for the school.
• Supporting children and young people who may express concerns – As professionals we need to understand what to do when a child is expressing a concern they have with us. For example, in our school policy relating to child protection it states that we must carefully listen to what the child is saying to us and record it in the exact way the child explained it to us using the same language.
Explain when and why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how the sharing of the findings informs practice
It is important to know that serious case reviews are carried out due to The LSCB Regulations 2006, where there has been a death of a child due to abuse, neglect or when a child has been seriously injured. The purpose of the LSCB regulations is to get agencies to share information. This affects me and other teaching members of staff because we need to report any situation where a child may be at risk to prevent any further harm.
How the processes used by own work setting or service comply with legislation that covers data protection information handling and sharing.
Furthermore, the act which outlines the way in which schools and organisations need to handle information is The Data Protection Act 1998. This means as staffs any information which we collect regarding children’s personal information we must only use it for the purpose that was intended. But, it is important to know that if anyone who are concerned about a child wish to see it which would mainly be an immediate family member they have a right to see the information or any information about their child’s own educational record.
Some instances where this is not implacable are as follows:
• Child is at harm or risk of abuse
• Unstructured personal information or information that’s held manually
• Copies of examination scripts or marks prior to their release
The importance of safeguarding children and young people
As professionals within an educational system it is imperative that we know our duty to safeguard young people against physical or emotional harm. Furthermore, we must also follow the school procedure if there are any concerns about a child. As staff it is our duty to attend safeguarding training sessions and meetings set by the school to keep up to date with all the current procedures. Also, it is the schools duty to make sure that the schools policies are accessible to governors / parents and also they need to make sure that all staff are fully trained in regards to safeguarding .Furthermore, schools and staff also have duty to teach children awareness or suitable and unsuitable behaviour and how to come forward if they are struggling with an issue. Also, when writing policies schools will need to consider and include within the policies.
• E- safety and security when using the internet
• Staff awareness and training
• Children safety whilst in a home environment
• Children’s safety on and off the school grounds
The importance of a child or young person centred approach
Furthermore, it is imperative that all agencies and companies need to consider how everything they do is centred on child protection. A way in which my school achieve this is by asking their opinions on the school and situations which could affect the school, also my school include children in meetings to discuss certain issues relating to them.
Explain what is meant by partnership working in the context of safeguarding
In schools there are various organisations that are involved in regard to safeguarding children and young people. Due to there being various organisations it is very important that all involved communicate and work together to ensure that children and young people are protected. If there arises an issue with a child it is important that all organisations involved opinions are considered when discussing the issues around safeguarding.
Explain the Roles are Responsibilities of different organisations involved when child or young people has been abused or harmed
It is important to understand that there are many different organisations that could get involved in regards to safeguarding children.
Social services are an organisation that are concerned about the immediate care of the child, and they work with schools, parents and other agencies to keep children out of harm. Furthermore, there may be some cases where schools may need to contact social services without the parents having knowing, this would be when we think that the child is at immediate risk from their parents or at risk of going home.
The psychology services would be called into service if a need comes up where a child needs to be assessed in cases where harm or abuse happen. After they have assessed the child they would make recommendations and suggest a course of action which is suitable for the child.
The police and probation services always work closely with all organisations to ensure that children and young people are kept out of harm. It’s also key to know that all police units have a dedicated unit a Child Abuse Investigation Unit, this unit decides whether a criminal investigation needs to happen or whether they take action straight away.
Health officers are professionals who may be involved to examine young people and children to decide whether injuries sustained are an accidents. Furthermore, if they find a instance where they determine that the child’s injuries were not accidental they will inform the appropriate authorities.
Explain why it is important to ensure children and young people are protected from harm within the
We must know that as adults who are in a position of responsibility, it is imperative that we keep safeguarding children at the centre of everything that we do and know the importance of keeping them safe. A way in which I do this is by making sure that I’m always keeping in line with my schools policies around safeguarding and making sure I implement it on a daily basis. Furthermore, we also need to make sure that we keep them safe not just within schools times it also means keeping them safe when they are online, when they are at home and also safety when they go on school trips.
Explain policies and procedures that are in place to protect children and young people and adults who work with them.
Policies and procedures are set in place to not only protect children, but it is also there to help adults who work with young people. Furthermore, it’s imperative that all professionals who work within a school system follow the safe working practices that are set out by the school in the school policies to ensure that children and adults are protected. For example, if a disclosure is made by a child to a staff it is very important that it is always taken seriously even if it is proven to be untrue or inaccurate. Also, the child / young person should be listened to in calm and supportive manner which will allow them to talk freely and openly, it is also vital that they are reassured about telling someone. Once the disclosure has been made and the child is safe and calm staff should follow the school procedure which is to fill in a pink incident slip and refer the safeguarding lead immediately.
Evaluate ways in which concerns about poor practice can be reported whilst ensuring that whistle-blowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned are protected
Furthermore, staff in schools should be aware of ways in which they should report any suspected poor practice concerns or any illegality should be reported, staff members in all schools should be able to access this (my school policies are found in the staff room and on the school website) as it should be included in the school whistle blowing policy. In addition, every school needs to have a whistle blowing policy and procedures, these policies are put in place to provide protection for the person against victimisation or reprisals from other members of staff (physical or verbally) when the concerns are genuine and accurate. If any concerns about malpractice or misconduct in a school setting are raised against another member of staff then this should be reported to the safeguarding lead officer of the school. If concerns are raised then the member of staff need to follow the schools procedures which are found in the policy.
If employment is terminated or a person suffers as a result of whistle blowing they are then protected by law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, this law was brought in to protect whistle blowers from detrimental treatment by their employers. Although whistle blowing may be an uncomfortable experience to act upon, it is imperative that the child’s safety is always put first.
Explain how practitioners can take steps to protect themselves within their everyday practice in the work setting and on off site visits
A major element of a professional’s role to protect themselves when working within a school environment is that they need to ensure that they have read the schools policies and procedures that have been put in to place to safeguard them and children / young people whilst in their care. Some examples of how i protect myself whilst in a school setting are as follows;
•Avoid being alone in a closed room with a child.
•Two members of staff must be present if a child needs to be undressed in the event of an accident.
•If a child is collected late by a parent/carer then two staff members must stay until the child is collected.
•Always be seen to working in an open and transparent way where there is either visual access or an open door, especially in one to one situations.
•Avoid meetings with students in an isolated or private area of a school.
Furthermore, all members of staff within the school need to be careful when it comes to physical contact with children, especially when it comes to young children. Staff should be fully aware of how they allowed to touch children either in emergencies or various different situations for example, a fight being stopped between 2 children. But all this should be in school policies or staff should have training on it.
In addition, in the case of educational visits (school trips), members of staff need to carry out a full risk assessment of that visit, under the Health and Safety at work regulations Act 1999 it requires staff to assess the risks of activities on the site of the trip and introduce measures to control these risks and inform staff of these measures that have been set. Before a trip can be arranged employers must follow the necessary policies and procedures which are listed as follows:
• Age, competence, fitness and the standard behaviour of the pupils.
• Any special educational or medical needs of the children.
• Adult to student ratio.
• The competence and qualifications of the accompanying adults.
• Modes of transport and location of visit.
• Emergency procedures.
• Permission from parents.
• Relevant medical or dietary needs of children.
Describe the possible signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern in the context of safeguarding
As adults who work in a school community we need to know the signs of child abuse aren’t always obvious, and a child might not tell anyone what’s happening to them. Children might be scared that the abuser will find out, and worried that the abuse will get worse, or the child might think that there’s no one they can tell or that they won’t be believed if they tell someone. Sometimes, children don’t even realise that what’s happening is abuse. The effects of abuse could have short term or may last a long time sometimes into adulthood. Adults who were abused as children may need advice and support so it is important that we support as well.
Children who have been abused or neglected may experience physical or emotional harm. The effects can be short term but sometimes they last all the way into adulthood. Furthermore, if someone who has been abused as a child, it is more likely that they will suffer abuse again.
Some long term effects of abuse and neglect are as follows:
• Emotional difficulties such as anger, anxiety, sadness or low self-esteem
• Mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-harm, suicidal thoughts
• Problems with drugs or alcohol
• Disturbing thoughts, emotions and memories that cause distress or confusion
• Poor physical health such as obesity, aches and pains
• Struggling with parenting or relationships
• Worrying that their abuser is still a threat to themselves or others
• Learning difficulties, lower educational attainment, difficulties in communicating
• Behavioural problems including anti-social behaviour, criminal behaviour.
Furthermore, there are different types of abuse as listed below;
Physical/ sexual abuse –
Physical/ sexual abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This may involve physical contact including sexual acts, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as involving children in watching inappropriate activities, producing or looking at sexual images, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Also, some signs of physical abuse are if the child has bruises, injuries which they can’t explain or if a child is distressed. In addition, some more discreet signs may be if a child is suddenly uncomfortable to get changed for P.E and sudden change in behaviour for example an increased aggression in the child’s behaviour.
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. Furthermore, it is also harder to spot the signs of emotional abuse as it can’t be physically seen like physical abuse and could sometimes be over looked for something else. But some examples of what emotional abuse can be are as follows;
• Humiliating or constantly criticising a child
• Threatening, shouting at a child or calling them names
• Making the child the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt a child
• Blaming, scapegoating
• Making a child perform degrading acts
• Not recognising a child’s own individuality, trying to control their lives
• Pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations
• Exposing a child to distressing events or interactions such as domestic abuse or drug taking
• Failing to promote a child’s social development
• Not allowing them to have friends
• Persistently ignoring them
• Manipulating a child
• Never saying anything kind, expressing positive feelings or congratulating a child on successes
• Never showing any emotions in interactions with a child, also known as emotional neglect.
Some of the signs of emotional abuse are as follows;
• Child seems withdrawn from the class
• Lack of confidence
• Sudden change of behaviour
• Child isolates themselves
• They become distracted quickly
• Low self-esteem
Describe the actions to take if a child or young person alleges harm or abuse in line with policies and procedures of own setting
As professionals we need to know the schools policies and procedures when a child tells us something which could become abuse or has already been involved in abuse, all of these policies should always be accessible to all staff at all times. My schools procedure is that we need to make sure that we are in an open or visible place to protect myself and that we record exactly what the child has told us even using they’re language, once we have recorded what the child has said and made sure they are safe at that moment in time we need to alert or safeguarding lead and if she is not on site then we need to go see one of the deputy safe guarding leads in the school which all staff should know who they are.
Explain the rights that children, young people and their carers have in situations where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged
Furthermore, in cases of alleged abuse or harm children and young people have the right to be protected from significant harm under The Children’s Act 1989 and The Every Child Matters Act 2004 and the UNCRC. This means that they have the right to be involved in decisions that are being made about them and that they should be kept fully informed of processes which involve them. This also means them being allowed to express their own views and opinions of the situation. For a child or young person who is suspected of being abused, and then the main concern will to ensure that the child is protected from any further abuse and that the child’s welfare is priority. Wherever possible the child may be allowed to remain in their family home and protection will be achieved by working with the child’s parents or carers without the need to remove the child. However, if they are suffering from physical or sexual abuse then they will be removed from their home to protect them from any additional harm. In addition, parents and carers have a right to be informed what is being said and to contribute their own views and opinions. However, if the child or young person is suffering significant harm then the parents or carers have no immediate rights. Furthermore, it is also key to note that any other individual who may be involved also needs to be investigated.
Explain different types of bullying and the potential effects on children and young people
Due to working in an educational environment it is more than likely that at one stage we will encounter a form of bullying in some form. Some instances may be when you see a child picking on another pupil or if asked to keep an eye open on a situation. Also, as everything else within the school it is important to follow the correct school policy and procedure for the situation. In addition, members of staff need to be aware of different types of bullying that may happen which are as follows;
Physical bullying can happen to any age of person whether it is children, young adults and can happen at any time. Physical bullying can be anything that has physical contact between one individual to another and any form of violence or threats. For example, pushing, kicking, poking, choking, and slapping
Some of the potential effects of physical abuse on children and young adults could be:
• Children/young people scared of walking to and from school
• Attempt suicide
• Truanting from school (to escape bullies)
• Hungry very often (due to dinner being taken by bullies)
• A child becomes isolated from others, lacks confidence
• The child becomes distressed, anxious or depressed
• The child crying more (maybe at bed times or when alone) or suffers nightmares which could lead to the child being sleepy in school
• The child suffers bruising, cuts, scratches
Verbal bullying is when somebody says something that is hurtful to another person to cause deliberate upset, this can include name calling, insults, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing, gossiping, talking about someone behind their back, saying hurtful things about their appearance, race and colour.
Some effects that verbal bullying can have on a child are as follows :
• They show aggressive tendencies
• Delayed development.
• Become depressed or anxious.
• Low self-esteem.
• Lacks confidence.
• A child becomes isolated.
• A sudden change of character
Emotional bullying is when they verbally tell a child or young person things which make them feel bad about themselves; this can be by putting you down or making you scared. This may be done on purpose or without realising that they are doing or saying. They could be telling you that you are fat, ugly, stupid, worthless or wish you had never been born, it is still wrong even if they don’t realise they are doing it.
Some the potential risks associated with emotional bullying are as follows
• Self harming.
• Lack confidence
• Mental health problems in children.
• Not wanting to go to school
• A child becomes withdrawn and isolated.
Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technology, particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone. Furthermore, it is when a person or a group of people sets out deliberately to upset them by making threatening, nasty or untrue comments through the use of social media.
Some of the effects which cyber bullying could have on a child ae as follows;
• Low self-esteem
• Self harming.
• A child becomes withdrawn and isolated.
Outline the policies and procedures that should be followed in response to concerns or evidence of bullying and explain the reasons why they are in place
It is compulsory that all organisations write up a policy and procedures to deal with situations of bullying due to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. It is also vital that both staff and parents have access to this policy.
Furthermore, as a member of staff that would deal with bullying I need to make sure that I read the schools policy on bullying and if the event of bullying ever happens I need to make sure that I am in line with the school procedures for it. My schools policy is that we must deal with it immediately recording what has happened and then tell a member of SLT ( senior leadership team) about the incident and work with them if needed.
Explain how to support a child or young person and/or their family when bullying is suspected or alleged
Moreover, when as adults in education it is important that we deal with bullying it is important following the schools policies and procedures in order to appropriately support both the child and their families in cases of bullying. It is imperative that children and young people know that they have the right to know that they are protected and that there is also support for their parents if they are a victim of bullying. Children must also know and understand that they have the right to attend school and feel safe and protected and that their school has a duty to keep them safe, a way in which my school do this is by telling children in assemblies or in PSHE lessons.
In addition, if a child or young person approaches me and disclosed any kind of bullying, firstly, I would offer my support and take into consideration how difficult it must of been for the child or young person to have the courage to speak to me in the first instance, as in some cases children may feel embarrassed and ashamed that it has happened to them so it is important that I am sympathetic towards the child’s feelings. Moreover, I would tell the child that they have done the right thing in coming forward. Once I have recorded what the child has said to me I must follow it up with SLT using the correct paper work which is accessible in the staff room.
Explain how to support children and young people’s self-confidence and self-esteem
It is important that we understand that different children have various levels of confidence and we need to be able to manage and deal with all of them. Furthermore, we need to know that we can positively develop a child’s confidence. A way in which I have personally done this is through the use of praise and positive language when speaking to children and young people for example, I will say to a child who got a question “well done, good try but not quite there let’s try it again” rather than “no that’s wrong” as I need to make sure that if they try they will get praised which would encourage them to work harder and try to answer more questions which will lead to their confidence increasing.
Analyse the importance of supporting resilience in children and young people
To ensure that children are able to get through difficult times in their lives we must make sure that staff support them and help them to remain resilient. We need to ensure that we support them effectively so that they a fully able to develop their confidence and self-esteem. A way in which we can effectively support children who are in need of our support is that we need to be sensitive when managing their emotions and feelings and helping them to maintain their confidence is difficult situations. Moreover, we may also need to encourage the child as much as possible to give them reassurance as they learn to manage their emotions.
Explain why it is important to work with the child or young person to ensure they have strategies to protect themselves and make decisions about safety
It is imperative that children grow up in an environment of happiness, understanding and care. Furthermore, all children have the right to be safe and be protected due to The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which was signed by the UK in 1990. This outlines that all children need to be treated equally. Also, children may need strategies put into place to help them to develop. As a member of staff we need to ensure that when we are coming up with strategies for children and young people we need to make sure that we are in line with our schools policies and procedures. We also have a role to teach the child ways in which to not put themselves at risk, a way in which my school do this is by holding assemblies showing the children the risks of what could happen and having PSHE lessons so that the children are able to discuss and understand how to keep themselves safe.
Explain ways of empowering children and young people to make positive and informed choices that support their wellbeing and safety
Furthermore, as well as supporting pupils socially we also need make sure that that they feel empowered about their own self-image. It is key that students have various opportunities to develop their personalities and that they are encouraged as they develop. Moreover, we need to make sure that children feel comfortable with themselves and that they are not at risk of abuse when they’re building their confidence. A way in which my school help students feel empowered about themselves is by the use of assemblies that are focussed on topics that related to certain issues or have outside companies come and do performances for example drama to help the students to look at different situations and show them how to deal with it so that they are able to develop fully.
Explain the risks and possible consequences for children and young people of being online and of using a mobile phone and describe ways of reducing risk to children and young people
Lastly, due to the massive rise in technology and the increase on the amount of exposure children have to online technology, it is imperative that we teach young people and children how they can keep themselves safe online. Students need to understand the serious risks of what can happen when they are not safe online for example, in extreme cases kidnapping and fraud. There are various way which my work place give students opportunities to learn and understand how to stay safe online and the risks and consequences if they don’t. One of the ways in which we do this is that we bring outside organisations to come and do performances about e-safety to show the kids visually the impacts it can have if they are not safe. Another way in which we do this on a more daily basis in school is that during ICT lessons children are also thought how to stay safe online using social media, email, internet use and online safety.
To conclude, as professionals in an environment where we are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of students as well as their educational progress it is imperative that everything we do around school should always be based around the safeguarding of children. Furthermore, we need to make sure that we are always in line with school policies regarding safeguarding.