Child Protection Policy - Procedures

 Procedures

Where abuse of a child or young person is suspected or alleged, you should always:

Listen and Reassure

  • Remain calm and where an allegation of abuse has been made, the child must be reassured they were right to tell you.

  • Take the allegation of abuse seriously.

  • Listen carefully to what the child has to say and do not attempt to question the child or investigate further. Investigations of child abuse are conducted by qualified experts from within the relevant statutory authorities (see Appendix 2). Do not make a child repeat the story unnecessarily.

  • Do not make comments derogatory or otherwise with regard to the alleged perpetrator of the abuse, as child could possibly have mixed emotions about him and/or her.

Protect
  • Respect the trust and confidence the child has placed in you. However, while respecting confidentiality, tell the child that it is your duty to report the incident the Child Protection Officer , who will contact the appropriate child protection agencies.

  • Tell the child it is in his / her best interests that you report the incident and that you are duty bound to do so. Do not promise to keep secrets.

  • In the case of an allegation of abuse, record in writing as quickly as possible what the child has told you. (Appendix 3)

Report
  • Report immediately to the Child Protection Officer when an allegation of or suspicion of abuse occurs.

  • In cases of an emergency, and where neither the Child Protection Officer nor a senior member of staff is available, contact the Police or nearest Social Services (Duty Social Worker) immediately through Contactors Bureau.

Record details of any decision and/or action. All records should be kept in a secure place as directed by the Child Protection Officer, as this information is strictly confidential.

FHMI's Child Protection Officer is: Audrey Thompson

The Child Protection Officer will:

  • Contact Social Services and the police as soon as possible. Social Services have a duty to carry out an investigation where they receive a complaint of child abuse.

  • Share the information ‘on a need to know basis'.

  • Attend the Child Protection Case Conference, if requested.

  • Inform the parent(s) of an allegation/suspicion of abuse. However, before doing so, seek advice from the appropriate child protection agencies on how to deal with this situation.

  • Discuss with the relevant statutory child protection authority, if the alleged perpetrator of child abuse is to be informed and by whom. Also if appropriate, whether other organisations and agencies with whom the alleged perpetrator has connections, should be informed.