THE BECK COMMUNITY CENTRE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
This document is the Child Protection Policy for The Beck Community Centre which must be followed by all user groups and the management committee and followed and promoted by those in the position of leadership within each user group.
Some groups using the Beck Community Centre will have their own Child Protection Policy, however we recognize that other groups will not have a policy and we therefore expect those groups to read and accept this policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline the duty and responsibility of The Management Committee, Staff, volunteers and all user groups at The Beck Community Centre in relation to Safeguarding Children.
All children have the right to be safe from harm and must be able to live free from fear of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
To explain the responsibilities the Management Committee and all User Groups have in respect of child protection.
To provide all user groups with an overview of child protection
To provide a clear procedure that will be implemented where child protection issues arise.
A child is defined as any individual under the age of 18 years
The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult within each user group are transparent and that they safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people.
This document is written in accordance with Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board Policy and 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' produced by the Department of Health in 1999.
Principles upon which the Child Protection Policy is based.
The welfare of a child or young person will always be paramount.
The welfare of families will be promoted.
The rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and their families will be respected and listened to.
Those people in positions of responsibility within the user groups and committee will work in accordance with the interests of children and young people and follow the policy outlined below.
RECOGNITION OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT
Abuse or neglect of a child is caused by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting: by those known to them or more rarely by a stranger.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is commonly described using terms such as, Fabricated and Induced Illness (FII) fabricated illness by proxy or Munchausen Syndrome by proxy.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (eg rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.
Immediate Action to Ensure Safety
Immediate action may be necessary at any stage in involvement with children and families.
IN ALL CASES IT IS VITAL TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION IS NEEDED TO SAFEGUARD THE CHILD/REN ie:
Individuals within the user groups need to be alert to the potential abuse of children both within their families and also from other sources including abuse by members of that organisation.
Each Leader should know how to recognise and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children. There is an expected responsibility for all members of each user group to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child in accordance with these procedures.
It is good practice to be as open and honest as possible with parents/carers about any concerns.
However, you must not discuss your concerns with parents/carers in the following circumstances:
What to do if children talk to you about abuse or neglect
A child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk individually or in groups when you are present. In these situations you must:
Consulting about your concern
The purpose of consultation is to discuss your concerns in relation to a child and decide what action is necessary. You may become concerned about a child who has not spoken to you, because of your observations of, or information about that child.
It is good practice to ask a child why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a child wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.
If you are concerned about a child you must share your concerns. Initially you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for child protection within your own group. If no one has this role within your group then talk to the designated member of the Management Committee
This person is... tel: .
(If one of those people is implicated in the concerns you should discuss your concerns directly with Children's Services. )
You should consult externally with your local Children's Services Department in the following circumstances:
Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Children's Services or the Police should progress.
5. Making a referral
A referral involves giving Children's Services or the Police information about concerns relating to an individual or family in order that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary
In certain cases the level of concern will lead straight to a referral without external consultation being necessary.
Parents/carers should be informed if a referral is being made except in the circumstances outlined on page2. However, inability to inform parents for any reason should not prevent a referral being made. It would then become a joint decision with Children's Services about how and when the parents should be approached and by whom.
IF YOUR CONCERN IS ABOUT ABUSE OR RISK OF ABUSE FROM SOMEONE NOT KNOWN TO THE CHILD OR CHILD'S FAMILY, YOU SHOULD MAKE A TELEPHONE REFERRAL DIRECTLY TO THE
POLICE AND CONSULT WITH THE PARENTS.
If your concern is about abuse or risk of abuse from a family member or someone known to the children, you should make a telephone referral to your local Children's Services Office. (01539 71
Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available). Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral.
Action to be taken following the referral
The organisation should ensure that any records made in relation to a referral should be kept confidentially and in a secure place.
Information in relation to child protection concerns should be shared on a “need to know” basis. However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to a child's need for protection. If in doubt, consult.
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
Six key points on information sharing
You should explain to children, young people and families at the outset, openly and honestly, what and how information will, or could be shared and why, and seek their agreement.
The exception to this is where to do so would put that child, young person or others at increased risk of significant harm or an adult at risk of serious harm, or if it would undermine the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime including where seeking consent might lead to interference with any potential investigation.
You must always consider the safety and welfare of a child or young person when making decisions on whether to share information about them. Where there is concern that the child may be suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm, the child's safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration.
You should, where possible, respect the wishes of children, young people or families who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information, if in your judgment on the facts of the case, there is sufficient need in the public interest to override that lack of consent.
You should seek advice where you are in doubt, especially where your doubt relates to a concern about possible significant harm to a child or serious harm to others.
You should ensure that the information you share is accurate and up-to-date, necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, shared only with those people who need to see it, and shared securely.
You should always record the reasons for your decision - whether it is to share information or not.
Taken from "What to do if you are worried a child is being abused" which can be viewed on www.cumbrialscb.com
Information can also be found on the government website www.dcsf.gov.uk
Working Together to Safeguard Children
Beck/Governance, Policies and Forms/Child Protection Policy 131128/ Reviewed 160301