1.1 Explain the policies, procedures and practices for safe working with children and young people.
The 2nd Joint Chief Inspectors Report defined safeguarding children and young people as the act of taking reasonable measures to ensure that the threats of harm to children & young people’s welfare are diminished by all those who work with children. The document expressed that all agencies involve with the provision of services to children and young people should take appropriate actions to raise and address issues of concerns whilst working to agreed local policies and procedures established by Local Safeguarding Children Board, and in partnership with other local agencies to safeguard a child or young person. (CQC archive (2005)).
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The second joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on Arrangements to Safeguard Children. In short all those that work with children & young people have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their wellbeing.
Children & Young People’s Safeguarding Guidelines and Legislations
The Children Act 1989
This act was introduced to make child protection a paramount issue whereby parents are responsible for ensuring the safety of their children and local authorities are charged with the duties of identify children at risk of harm and to safeguard and promote their welfare. This act places responsibility on all agencies including those providing services for adult to protect children and young people.
The Children Act 2004
This act saw the creation of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, for local government to enforce children’s safeguarding and to investigate alleged cases of abuse. The Act stipulates that though a service might cater to the needs of adults, its staff has the duty of care to safeguard all the children and young people they come in contact with. The act places a burden on all agencies that works with children to work collaboratively in raising concerns and addressing allegations of abuse.
- The Every Child Matters Green Paper.
- This guidance was introduced to improve outcomes for children and young people in the following 5 areas as a result of the serious case review into the death of Victoria Climbie Being healthy
- Staying safe.
- Enjoying and achieving.
- Making a positive contribution.
- Achieving economic well-being.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010)
This act emphasis on the need for individuals and inter-agency to work jointly to safeguard and promote the welfare of children & young people as stipulated by the Children’s Act 2004. The act stresses the importance for practitioners working with children & young people to be aware of their responsibility and be competent in their duties.
Safeguarding Disable Children (2009)
Due to the vulnerability of disable children as they are dependent on others for their personal care and are perhaps prone to being isolated socially through bullying, the act ensures that there are robust complaints and representations measures in place that are accessible to disabled children and their families across all agencies. The act seeks to ensure that all staff working with disable children are adequately trained to safeguard and guarantee the well-being of their service users. (Department for children schools & family (2009) Safeguarding disabled children
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190544/00374-2009DOM-EN.pdf (accessed 22/08/13).
The Protection of Children Act 1999
This act introduces the concept of pre-employment screening to prevent those who are unsuitable to work with children from being employed through the following checks. verifying identity:
- verifying the right to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
- confirming employment history and qualifications.
- verifying criminal record.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
This act reinforces the need for employers to screen potential employees to ensure that they do not pose a threat to the safety and welfare of children & young people along with vulnerable adults. An essential aspect of this act is that it stipulates employers duty to conduct on going suitability checks instead of one-offs checks to identify those who commit an abuse during their employment.
The Children and Young Person Act 2008
Though children under the age of 16 are assume to lack capacity to consent, young people 16 and over are able to give consent. This act ensures that children and young people’s voice are heard in relation to all decisions patting to the provision of their services. It certifies transparency in the quality of care given by agencies, the act safeguards the stability of children by ensuring that they are placed in suitable accommodations that promotes their safety and welfare.
The act provides supports to young adults leaving care and to ensure that they are not forced out of state funded care facilities before they are ready. (National archive (2013) Children & Young Person’s Act 2008 http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100202100450/dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/publications/childrenyoungpersonsact2008/ (accessed 22/08/13).
2.1 Describe the possible signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern in the context of safeguarding
According to information published by the NSPCC there are four types of child abuse which are described in the below table (NSPCC (2010) Child Protection Fact Sheet http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/trainingandconsultancy/consultancy/helpandadvice/definitions_and_signs_of_child_abuse_pdf_wdf65412.pdf (accessed 22/08/13).
Type of Abuse
- Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on body
- Bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips (from slapping or pinching) Cigarette burns
- Bite marks
- Broken bones
- Fear of parents being approached for explanation
- Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts
- Flinching when approached or touched
- Reluctance to get changed, for example wearing long sleeves in hot weather
- Withdrawn behaviour
- Running away from home
- A failure to thrive or grow
- Sudden speech disorders
- Developmental delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress Neurotic behaviour, e.g. hair twisting, rocking
- Being unable to play
- Fear of making mistakes
- Self harm
- Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour
- Pain or itching in the genital/anal areas
- Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Vaginal discharge or infection
- Stomach pains
- Discomfort when walking or sitting down
- Arrange marriage
- Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour, e.g. becoming aggressive or withdrawn Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people Having nightmares
- Running away from home
- Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or development age Sexual drawings or language
- Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about
- Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts Eating problems such as overeating or anorexia
- Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from others
- Constantly dirty or ‘smelly’
- Loss of weight, or being constantly underweight
- Inappropriate dress for the conditions
- Complaining of being tired all the time
- Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments Having few friends
- Mentioning their being left alone or unsupervised
2.2 Describe the actions to take if a child or young person alleges harm or abuse in line with policies and procedures of own setting
In situations where I am Concerned about a child’s safety I will Take the following actions Listen to the child’s allegation & respect his/her point of view reassure the victim
clarify information without over questioning;
make a written statement of their allegation or support them with writing it down Explain my duty of care to ensure their safety and if the information shared suggested that they are being abuse I have to share it with the relevant people (only those that needs to know) Explain the safeguarding process consult with manager immediately
Record all relevant steps taken.
The below chart is a flow chart for refereeing allegations of abuse to the local safeguarding board
2.3 Explain the rights that children, young people and their families have in situations where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged
Under the Children’s Act 1989 and the Human right Act 1998, children and young people have the right to be protected from significant harm. In cases of alleged abuse the initial step should be protecting the children by removing them from the environment where the abuse occurred, and taking actions to investigate the allegation so the perpetrator could be prosecuted. The storing and processing of personal information about children and young people is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998, which states an individual has the right to privacy and for their personal sensitive details to be held confidentially.
The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms also declare that children & young people have a right to privacy. The data protection act provides guidelines on the safe processing and sharing of confidential details. An aspect of the data protection act is to seek the consent of the individual for their information to be used, as children & young people under the age of 16 are presumed to lack the capacity to give consent, their advocate will have to consent on their behalf. There are various legislative guidelines and best practice tools promoting joint delivery of service in safeguarding adults, it is inevitable that information recorded by one agency will be shared with other professionals.
In such situation the guidelines issued by the data protection act should be adhered to, not only to maintain the rights of the vulnerable child but to also maintain the privacy of the family (siblings parents etc). The protection of children which is public interests out-weighs the family’s right to privacy, and as such information about the family might be shared amongst agencies when investigating allegations of abuse.
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