Child Protection Policy

Untitled document

INTRODUCTION

General Policy Statement

This mandatory policy is approved and endorsed by the Board of Trustees of Fresh Hope Ministries International (heareafter refered to as FHMI) and makes clear FHMI's position on child protection. It applies to all staff and trustees and includes visitors and volunteers involved in the overseas aspect of FHMI's work.

All FHMI representative's overseas will be expected to assist in the translation of this policy into local languages and adapt the policy and procedures to ensure it is made relevant to their work.

Overseas partners will be encouraged to develop a child protection policy and procedures. Future partnership agreements will include such a policy as part of the agreement.


CHILD PROTECTION

 Introduction

FHMI is committed to the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (heareafter known as UNCRC) and will strive to encourage and ensure the protection and welfare of all children in the UK and overseas.

FHMI also has a duty in UK law and specifically in Northern Ireland to protect children and young people from abuse and harm, if alleged or suspected.

It is our responsibility to protect children and young people who come into contact with staff, volunteers and members. Through the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 (POCVA) and the Implementation of the Children (NI) Order 1995, As a Christian based organisation we also have a duty to protect staff, volunteers and members.

FHMI recognises that parents have primary responsibility for the protection of children.

In order to fulfil the commitment to protect children from abuse and harm, it is mandatory that these policies and procedures be followed and adhered to by all staff, volunteers and members. This policy also strives to protect children and workers in our overseas operations. The overseas aspect has drawn on the publication 'Setting the Standard - A Common Approach to Child Protection for International NGOs' and seeks to implement those standards.


Policy Statement on Child Protection

In following and adhering to our aims and values, FHMI want to ensure all children and young people, who come into contact with staff, volunteers and members within FHMI are protected and kept safe from harm and abuse.

In order that children and young people are protected from harm and abuse, we will:

  • Raise the level of awareness of child protection for all staff, volunteers and members, through provision of training opportunities.

  • Provide opportunities for staff, volunteers and members to familiarise themselves with our Child Protection Policy and Procedures. It must be recognised that while the focus of the procedures is to protect children, simultaneously these also protect staff, volunteers and members.

  • If child abuse is suspected report our concerns to the appropriate statutory authorities.

  • Treat children and young people with respect, sensitively, dignity and equality.

  • Let children and parents know how to voice complaints and concerns.

  • Respect confidentiality, without promising to keep secrets.

Confidentiality

Throughout the course of any employment, placement, volunteering, membership or any other involvement with FHMI, you may become aware of information which is confidential. All such information must be treated as confidential, during and after your period with FHMI. No communication or information should be discussed or given to anyone external to FHMI or to another member of staff unless it is appropriate to do so, i.e. in instances of actual or alleged child abuse when any incidents must be reported immediately to the Child Protection Officer who will then take appropriate action.


Policy Statement On Child Protection For Volunteers

FHMI is fully committed to protecting all children and young people at home and abroad.

‘Volunteers involved in FHMI's initiatives and activities have a duty to protect children and young people with whom they have contact. Volunteers therefore should respect the rights, safety and welfare of all children and young people. FHMI has a duty and responsibility to inform the appropriate statutory authorities, if we suspect a child / young person is or may be suffering abuse and harm'.

Volunteers with FHMI will be bound by our Child Protection Policy and Procedures.


Child Protection Statement For Young People

Young People within FHMI are to be protected from abuse and harm.

As a young person you may wish to talk to a member of staff or volunteer about an unhappy past or present experience. If this relates to abuse, it is important that you understand that the staff member or volunteer whom you tell may have to pass on this information to people who can help (for example, FHMI's Child Protection Officer, Social Services or the Police). This does not mean that what you tell a member of staff/volunteer, will lead to them talking about it behind your back or spreading rumours and gossip. Whatever, you tell a member of staff will be kept in strictest confidence, and will only be shared with those who need to know.

If you need or wish to know any thing about FHMI's Child Protection Policy and Procedures, please ask the member of staff with whom you have contact or the Child Protection Officer and they will be only to happy to answer your questions.


Principles

  • FHMI has adopted the following principles to highlight its commitment and obligations as defined by law, to protect children and young people from harm and abuse.

  • FHMI seeks to promote the general health and welfare of children and commits itself to protect them from all types of harm and abuse, irrespective of the situation or context of where it occurs.

  • FHMI aims to promote a positive disciplinary environment. Physical striking the child with the hand or an implement is absolutely forbidden. In an overseas environment discipline cannot be merely a reflection of local behaviour, if that behaviour permits abuse.

  • FHMI believes that children have rights and are therefore committed to treating them with dignity, equality and respect.

  • FHMI is committed to raising awareness about what children need as individuals who have a right to be protected from abuse.

  • FHMI has adopted principled and clearly defined processes and procedures for the recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers to meet FHMI's aims and values.

  • FHMI seeks to plan and organise all areas of its work, to ensure the risks of abuse are minimised for children and young people coming into contact with staff, volunteers, members and the work of FHMI.

  • Effective procedures in responding to alleged and suspected incidents of harm and abuse have been put in place by FHMI and will be continually reviewed.

  • FHMI will continue to establish and maintain links with parents and other relevant organisations in its work and will continually strive to protect children from all forms of harm, abuse and exploitation.




    Policy Objectives

  • The child protection policy and procedures of FHMI are a framework which seek to provide for all children a secure, welcoming and abuse free environment, irrespective of the child's religion, culture, ethnicity, gender or disability. It must be remembered they are there also to safeguard and protect staff, volunteers and members.

  • The child protection policy and procedures adopted uphold the principles and commitments as laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children (NI) Order 1995 and The Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 (POCVA) in protecting them from harm and abuse. FHMI has also adopted the standards laid down in 'Setting the Standard - A Common Approach to Child Protection for International NGOs' published by Tearfund and the NSPCC. FHMI's commitment to the principals will be achieved by:

  • Treating children as individuals and creating a secure, safe and harm free environment, by pursuing the development, health and well-being of the child.

  • Staff and volunteers according children respect and dignity at all times and making children aware that as individuals, they too have rights. Equally, children will be made aware of and encouraged to respect the dignity and rights of others.

  • Monitoring the recruitment procedures for the selection of staff and volunteers.

  • Providing clear guidelines for staff and volunteers in working and communicating effectively with children by having clearly defined roles and responsibilities and providing regular staff supervision.

  • Informing staff of the procedures to be implemented in detecting and reporting alleged or suspected abuse by ensuring they are aware of the content of procedural guidelines of FHMI, FHMI's role and those of the appropriate statutory authorities, in preventing and protecting children from abuse.

  • Sharing information and working in partnership with parents and other voluntary agencies and appropriate statutory authorities in protecting children from harm and abuse, by keeping in mind at all times the welfare of the child is of paramount consideration.


 Signs Of Abuse

There are many situations where child abuse of an emotional, neglectful, physical or sexual nature can occur. Children who have suffered or are suffering from abuse may not readily disclose or wish to talk about their experiences. Where abuse is alleged, the disclosure may take place in any setting and it may be forthright, or occur in the context of a general conversation. Alternatively, you may suspect a child is being abused.

While child abuse, alleged or suspected, can be an unpleasant and overwhelming issue to deal with, it must always be remembered that the child or young person is the victim.

Definitions of Abuse

For the purpose of the Policy and Procedures adopted by FHMI in protecting children from harm and abuse, a child will be defined as a "child or young person under the age of 18", as specified in the Children Order 1995 and Article 1 Of the UNCRC.

Abusers are potentially any adult although there is evidence to suggest older children have also the same potential to abuse. Bearing this in mind, abuse should be a major concern for all staff, volunteers and members of FHMI.

There are four categories of abuse, the definitions of which are based upon those contained within the Guidance and Regulations, Vol.6. "Co-operating To Protect Children", Children (NI) Order 1995 and "Setting the Standard - A Common Approach to Child Protection for International NGOs" published by Tearfund and the NSPCC. These are:

Neglect: The actual or likely persistent or significant neglect of a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold or starvation, or persistent failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child's health or development, including non - organic failure to thrive.

Physical Abuse: Actual or likely deliberate physical injury to a child, or wilful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child. This includes hitting or smacking Children with any implement. All disciplinary measures/sanctions must be non-violent as stated in Article 19 of the UNCRC..

Sexual Abuse: Actual or likely exploitation of a child. The involvement of children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate the social taboos of family roles.

Emotional Abuse: Actual or likely persistent or significant emotional ill- treatment or rejection resulting in severe adverse effects on the emotional, physical and / or behavioural development of a child. All abuse involves some emotional ill-treatment. Persistent humiliation of a child would also come under this section.

Suspicion of abuse

Suspicion of abuse is difficult for untrained personnel to detect.

You must be:

  • Vigilant and observe any physical injuries such as bruising, changes in a child's behaviour or emotional state for which there appears to be no apparent reason (see Appendix 1 as a general guide).

  • Take written notes detailing your observations, including the day(s), time(s) and place where your suspicion was alerted.

In a case of suspected abuse, there are no definitive guidelines for recognising the signs and/or symptoms. It must be remembered more than one type of abuse may be taking place or has occurred, therefore, a child may show a combination of signs and symptoms from one or more of the categories listed.

There are various ways in which you may become aware of the actual or likely occurrence of abuse:

  • a child may tell you

  • someone else may tell you that a child has told them or that they strongly believe a child has been or is being abused

  • a child may show some signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no satisfactory explanation

  • a child's behaviour may indicate to you that it is likely that he or she is being abused

  • something about a person's behaviour or the way he/she relates to a child alerts you

  • Your awareness of or suspicion about abuse may come about as a result of something disclosed to you by a third party who suspects or has been told of the abuse

  • You suspect an inappropriate or harmful relationship between an adult and a child


 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.


Additional procedures for Homegroup Staff

FHMI define a Homegroup as a group of young people meeting together under the supervision of 2 or more adults for the purposes of fellowship, sharing, Bible study and prayer. These groups will meet in various residential homes.

Homegroup staff will be expected to adhere to the main guidelines as specified previously. Like all staff working in child centred areas, Homegroup staff are more likely to be in a position to recognise signs and symptoms of child abuse (see Appendix 1).

Children in the Homegroup must be supervised by those appointed by FHMI to work as Homegroup workers.

  • Children must never be left unsupervised or be left with those other than Homegroup workers, so that potential harm and abuse is restricted to a minimum and that children are afforded protection at all times.

  • Where cover for the Homegroup is required due to staff illnesses or staff shortages, the staff to be appointed for temporary cover must be agreed by the Child Protection office or assistant and the homegroup Co-ordinator.

  • In order to protect children and staff, and to satisfy parents or guardians, staff should also comply with the Care Guidelines and make parents aware of them.

  • Staff should work in partnership with parents and where appropriate discuss care and control issues which may arise from time to time with other Homegroup staff and parents.


 Additional Procedures for Residentials

All staff and volunteers are referred to the main Guidelines in the earlier part of this document. However, there are additional guidelines specifically for residential work. By residential work it is meant that the purpose will be similar to a Homegroup but will mean the child being away from home for at least one night. This will always be in suitable accommodation where separate sleeping arrangements are provided for boys and girls.

  • Where an allegation or suspicion of abuse arises in a residential situation, it is the duty and responsibility of the Person in Charge to report and consult with the appropriate child protection agencies, i.e. Contactors Bureau (Duty Social Worker) or the Police. (see Appendix 2)

  • The Person in Charge should, as soon as possible, inform the Child Protection Officer of the relevant details.

  • The parent of the child should be informed as soon as possible. However, before doing so the Person in Charge must seek the advice of the appropriate child protection agencies.

  • Where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff, volunteer or another young person, the person causing concern has a right to be informed. Before confronting the person about the allegation/suspicion, advice must be taken from the appropriate child protection agencies in handling this matter.

Where a young person is participating in a residential weekend, staff and volunteers are reminded they are responsible for the health, well-being and safety of young people entrusted to their care.

Staff and volunteers are reminded that in any event where a child/young person comes to harm and/or abuse, it is the responsibility of all staff and /volunteers to ensure the Child Protection Officer is informed and he/she will take appropriate action.


Code of Behaviour for Homegroup and Residential Staff

In order to minimise harm and abuse of young persons participating in the activities of the Youth projects, staff and volunteers are drawn to the attention of the following additional steps to protect children and themselves:

  • Do not spend excessive time alone with young people, out of sight of other staff/ volunteers.

  • Do not take young people to your home or that of any of your friends and/or relatives unless it is a designated venue for the event.

  • Where any of the instances outlined in (a) to (c) cannot be unduly avoided, always inform the Child Protection Officer of the situation.

  • Do not engage in games where there is likely to be excessive physical contact. It is advisable for staff to refrain from any games in which physical contact may occur.

  • Do not engage in games that are of a sexually provocative nature and discourage any games among young people where this behaviour is likely to take place.

  • Do not inappropriately touch or allow a young person to engage in such behaviour.

  • Do not use inappropriate language which includes sexual innuendoes or suggestive remarks, or is expletive in nature. Also, discourage young people from using such language and challenge those who do so.

  • From time to time it may be necessary for staff or volunteers to carry out tasks of a personal nature for young people, for example, in the case of a young person with a disability. Where such a situation is likely to occur, written consent from the parent(s) of the young person must be given.

Staff should also familiarise themselves with the sections titled: ‘Additional Procedures for Residentials' and ‘Procedures for Discovery of Drugs and Illegal Substances'.


CARE GUIDELINES

Care guidelines for Homegroup staff and Volunteers

It is important that all Homegroup staff consider the health and well-being of the child as being the major priority while they are entrusted to their care.

There will be times however, when a child's behaviour is deemed inappropriate. Appropriate care and control should be exercised in accordance with the child's needs, taking into account factors such as age, developmental level, and ability comprehension.

Staff should at all times encourage behaviour which is acceptable to all children, while remembering children themselves are individuals.

In order to maintain a level of control acceptable to all parents, staff should initiate the following action to prevent a child hurting him/herself or others:

Verbal: Treat children with dignity and respect when speaking to and be aware of the needs and sensitivity of the individual child. Children should not be treated in a harsh or derogatory manner. They should be told however, in precise and clear manner to refrain from the action/behaviour, which they are engaging in and explained why the action/behaviour is inappropriate.

Physical: Intervention of this nature must only be used as a last resort in order to prevent a child from inflicting injury to him/herself or others, and/or some forms of damage to property. The type of physical control will be in the form of separation from others.

Where a situation arises and (b) above has been put into operation, staff should record details of the incident and it should then be reported to the Homegroup or Residential Co-ordinator, the Child Protection Officer and the parent(s) of the child.

Inappropriate Behaviour 'Must Not's'

Staff must NOT apply the following methods in controlling this special situation where a child requires to be restrained from carrying out inappropriate behaviour, which is likely to cause harm to themselves and/or others:

  • Must not used any form of physical punishment.

  • Must not deny children basics like food and drink.

  • Must not use inappropriate methods of comfort to a child when they are emotionally upset and/or distressed.

  • Must not use verbal abuse to a child, including shouting and use of degrading and derogatory remarks about the child, his family and his / her general demeanour.

  • Must not carry out any action, which puts the child at risk of danger or harm, or leaves the child open to abuse.

These guidelines should be presented to all parents. Parents wishing to make a complaint should do so by notifying the Child Protection Officer and/or senior member of staff.

The Guidelines should also be made available to all new staff and volunteers who will be working in Homegroups.

Preparation for Residentials

It is the responsibility of the Person in Charge to ensure that before embarking on any trip all necessary information is obtained from the parent(s) of the young person and that information about the trip, for example, the duration, the location, the activities and other relevant details should be given to parents.

Medical Consideration

It is the responsibility of the Person in Charge to obtain all relevant information within reason, regarding any medical condition a young person has or is suffering from. This should include the following:

  • the nature of the condition.

  • medicines and instructions for administering them.

  • any other relevant details a parent and/or young person feels should be shared regarding their condition.

 Accident and Emergencies

Where a young person becomes ill or injured they should be afforded appropriate medical treatment, including initial treatment from a member of staff / volunteer who is qualified in first aid.

Where a young person is given and/or receives treatment, details should be notified to the young person's parent(s) as soon as possible and staff/volunteers should determine, on the advice of qualified medical staff, whether the young person requires to return home immediately.

All illnesses/injury and treatment and the events surrounding it should be recorded and written up immediately, and a copy of the information should be made available to the young person's parent(s).

Special Needs

Staff and volunteers will ensure young people receive proper nutrition and where required, ensure special dietary arrangements are met and catered for.

Young people's religious and cultural beliefs should be respected in accordance with the young person and his/her parent(s) wishes. Staff are therefore reminded, these should be respected at all times and that no remarks and/or actions will be made that may cause upset to a young person.

Privacy

Staff and volunteers should respect the privacy of young people. Equally young people should respect the privacy of others. This means staff/volunteers and young people should not inquire into any person's private details e.g. family background or listen to private telephone calls, or open and read another person's mail.

However, staff and volunteers need to be informed of certain information regarding the family background of a young person and of details of behavioural and/or emotional difficulties, in order to protect a young person from any words and / or actions that may cause offence and upset. Consultation with the Person in Charge should be sought regarding details required about a young persons family background and any details regarding behaviour and emotional state.

Disclosure

Where a young person wishes to discuss a matter with a member of staff/volunteer, which they consider to be of a confidential nature, staff and volunteers should respect the young person's request. However, staff should where possible:

  • Ensure the interaction with the young person does not take place behind closed doors and out of view of another member of staff / volunteer. Where this is not possible, the staff member / volunteer should inform another member of staff / volunteer of the name of the young person, where the discussion is to take place, and with the consent of the young person, brief details of what it is they wish to discuss.

  • Where the discussion with the young person leads to an allegation of abuse, or staff / volunteers suspect abuse, staff volunteers should not promise to keep secrets and should advise the young person that you have a duty to report the incident to the appropriate statutory authorities. Staff / volunteers should then inform the Person in Charge or Child Protection Co-ordinator and appropriate action will be taken.

 Privacy

Accommodation on a residential weekend should be segregated into Male and Female sleeping quarters. Similarly, bathing and washing facilities should be segregated, or where this is not possible separate sessions will be allocated. At no time should a member of staff enter a young person's room or young peoples washing and bathing area. The following steps should be adhered to:

  • Where staff need to enter a young person's room they should be accompanied by another member of staff / volunteer and should do so only when the door has been knocked and they have been invited to enter.

  • Where another member of staff / volunteer cannot accompany them, the staff/volunteer should inform another member of staff of their intentions and reasons for the need to enter the young person's room.

  • When and if an invitation to enter the room has been granted staff should, upon entering the young person's room make clear immediately the reasons for doing so, in a concise and polite manner. They should leave the room as soon as the task has been carried out.

  • Young people also must comply with others' wishes and only enter the room of another person if invited. They should not enter staff rooms except in very exceptional circumstances.

  • Young people of the opposite sex are not allowed in each others rooms day or night.

Staff should make the above procedures in relation to accommodation, clear from the outset of the weekend.

Health & Safety

Staff/volunteers should remind young people of the necessary security arrangements which should be carried out when leaving the accommodation unattended. The following should be complied with in the interests of all young people concerned:

  • Ensure all windows and doors are locked.

  • When leaving the building remove all personal valuables.

  • Ensure Lights are switched off and plugs are removed from sockets. Any heaters such as storage heaters should be turned off.

  • There is a no Smoking Policy in force within the building used for the residential and on any transport used.


 Procedures for discovery of drugs or illegal substances

Staff and volunteers may find themselves in a situation whereby they may discover substances, which they consider harmful and illegal. Staff and volunteers may remove such substances (from the place or the person) when the person is participating in any activities which are part of the work of the FHMI, whether this is in any premises of FHMI or any premises FHMI is using, for example, on residential weekends. Staff and volunteers should refer to the following guidelines.

  • When removing substances whether from the place or the person, always attempt to do so in the location in which it was found. Where possible, this should be done in the presence of a witness. In the absence of a witness, do not delay in retrieving substances from the person's possession nor should you leave the substance in its location.

  • Note the date, time, place and/or person where the substance was discovered and came into your possession, together with a description of the substance.The witness should countersign a record of the event.

  • The substance should be taken to the Person in Charge and written details should be passed to him/her immediately. Failure to do so places you at risk.

  • The Youth Project Co-ordinator, in the presence of the staff/volunteer who recovered the substance should ensure that it is immediately placed in an envelope or sealable container. The Person in Charge or Child Protection Officer and witness(es) should sign across the seal and date the package before placing in a secure place.

It is the responsibility of the Person in Charge/Child Protection Officer to report the incident to the police. An official report of the incident should be completed using the recorded notes.

Where associated equipment is discovered, e.g. needles and syringes, young people should be kept away from such items by staff/volunteers due to the possible risks of infection. All associated items should be handled with care by staff/volunteers and put away in a secure place to await collection by the Drugs Squad.

The same procedures should be followed if the person responsible for possessing and handling harmful or illegal substances is a member of staff/volunteer.

As part of the protection of young people from drugs, young people on medication must ensure that they or their parents inform the Person in Charge of their condition and hand over any medication for safekeeping. They will be issued with a receipt and the Person in Charge will ensure the medication is administered appropriately.

All young people, their parents and staff / volunteers participating in the Residential should be made aware of these guidelines.


Appendix 1 - Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Physical Injury

  • Where the explanation of an injury is not consistent with the injury or with the stage of development of the child.

  • Where there are changes of explanation or no explanation.

  • Where there has been an unreasonable delay in seeking medical advice.

  • Recurring injuries, even when the explanation on each occurrence appears adequate. This may indicate a lack of supervision or possible medical problems.

  • Bruises of different ages on the child at any one time, other than on common sites of accidental injury in a child of that age.

  • Facial bruising, particularly round the mouth, eyes or ears.

  • Unexplained or inadequately explained burns, bite marks, severe bruising or any combination of these.

  • Poisoning, particularly where there is more than one incident.

Neglect
  • Failure to thrive (with no medical reason).

  • Stealing or gorging food.

  • Lack of appetite and increased feeding difficulties.

  • Poor hygiene or inadequate clothing (taking family circumstances into account).

  • Lack of appropriate supervision.

  • Developmental delay.

  • Poor school attendance or academic achievement.

  • Persistent failure to seek or to follow any necessary medical or nursing advice.

  • Poor peer group relationships, but attention-seeking from adults.

  • Physical signs of long-standing neglect, including poor growth, thinning hair, protuberant abdomen and persistently cold, reddened hands and feet.

Emotional Abuse
  • Impaired ability for enjoyment.

  • Low self esteem and sense of worthlessness.

  • Eating disturbances or growth failure.

  • In severe cases, actual physical signs of deprivation, as described under previous section - Neglect, may be apparent.

Sexual Abuse
  • Physical signs: Eating problems/anorexia; Physical symptoms such as stomach pains, headaches etc; Persistent or recurrent urinary tract infections or discharge; Sexually transmitted disease; Pregnancy.

  • Behavioural signs: Over sexualised behaviour; Withdrawn, overtly compliant behaviour; Mood swings, depression and suicidal behaviour; Self-mutilation, low self-image; School refusal, truancy; Drug and alcohol abuse.


 

 

Appendix 2 - Recording allegations or suspicions of child abuse - Action Checklist

Date ........................ Location ................................

Name of child .................................... Age ................................

Parent's name ................................... Phone ................................

Home address ....................................................................................

.........................................................................................................

Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns or passing on those of somebody else?

 

.........................................................................................................

What has prompted the concerns? Include dates, times etc. of any specific incidents

 

.........................................................................................................

.........................................................................................................

.........................................................................................................

Any physical signs? Behavioural signs? Indirect signs?

.........................................................................................................

.........................................................................................................

 

Has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said?

 

.........................................................................................................

 

Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so, record details.

 

.........................................................................................................

 

Have the parents been contacted? If so what was said?

 

.........................................................................................................

 

Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.

 

.........................................................................................................



Appendix 3: Incident Report Form

 

Date ........................ Location ................................

 

Name of child .................................... Age ................................

 

Parent's name ................................... Phone ................................

 

Home address ....................................................................................

 

.........................................................................................................

 

Explain the exact nature of the incident

 

.........................................................................................................

 

.........................................................................................................

 

.........................................................................................................

 

.........................................................................................................

 

.........................................................................................................

 

Did anyone else witness the incident. If so, who?

 

.........................................................................................................

 

Were any statutory authorities contacted, i.e. Police or Social Services? If so, please give details.

.........................................................................................................

.........................................................................................................

.........................................................................................................

Signed.....................................................................

Signature of Witness...................................................