3.3 Evaluate ways in which concerns about poor practice can be reported whilst ensuring that whistleblowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned are protected. In any child care setting, staff or volunteers can cover anything that affects the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person. For example: a manager has a good relationship with a family whose child attends the nursery. Several members of staff have reported the abuse of neglect to the manager concerning the child. The manager brushes the issue off and replies “I’ve known the family for years; they would never neglect the child”. The neglect continues and the child has become isolated from the children as their clothing has a strange smell. The practioner eventually acts in good faith and takes the matter into the local children services. The case was taken further and investigated. The member of staff who reported the abuse was protected against being bullied and disciplined. If a member of staff try’s to seek help by the appropriate person and the topic is neglected, all staff should ‘blow the whistle’ all children have the right to feel safe and protected. 3.4 Explain how practioners can take steps to protect themselves within their everyday practice in the work setting and on off site visits. Schools and childcare settings should be safe for children. In some cases the staff and adults who have contact with the children, have harmed and abused the children who are in their care. Staff can take steps to protect themselves, by ensuring that they encourage the children to speak openly to express themselves. Staff can set activities or circle time, so all the children can express how they feel.
Practioners can ask opened questions like “how do you feel today? Are you happy, Sad? This gives opportunity to analyse and record what the children have to say. Practioner should give children as much control over intimate care. Practioners should not go ahead and take over a situation involving intimate care. The child will think it is ok for anyone to invade their personal space, and think that this is ok for adults or grownups to do this. This will stop any child to speak about anything they find strange that has happen to them. For example a child has wet themselves, the teacher may automatically gives the child a new set of underwear and says to the child ‘come on child a, let’s get you changed’ the child screams and runs out of the teachers way. The teacher should of said ‘would you like help child A?’ this gives the child a choice to say yes or no, and a chance to realise no grown up can invade their space without giving their permission. When being off site any member of staff & volunteer should be responsible to avoid injury to themselves or others. All practioners should act in a matter of an urgent situation. This is to ensure that statutory duties are being met. Anyone who is in care of the children must have a CRB check. Ratio of staff to children must always be in line with guidelines according to age. To avoid any allegations staff qualified or unqualified should never be left alone with the children.
4.1 Describe the possible signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern in the context of safeguarding. Physical Abuse: this is the most noticeable type of abuse. It’s the physical contact that an person can give to the child; shaking, hitting, kicking, poisoning etc. Physical harm can also be caused when a parent is making a child ill, and giving the health services the outlook that the child has something wrong with them. This turns the direction of blame away from the parent. Signs and symptoms: * Child with visible bruising and marks
* Who does not receive the right medical treatment when un well * Mood swings – anger, aggression
Emotional Abuse: a child suffering from emotional abuse is deep hidden under the surface of feelings and thoughts. This can be from bullying of the people around them; negative talk, putting the child or young person down, criticism. A parent, who is over protective and stops a child engaging with other children and activities, will stop the development of the child and may fall behind for the future progress. Parents who let children see exploitation of others will emotional effect the child and cause problems for the outlook for them. Signs and symptoms: * Being withdrawn
* Indirect use of language to the child; bad language, tormented, teased. * Witnessing inappropriate behaviour; drug taking, domestic violence, drinking. Sexual Abuse: forcing a child to do something sexual unwillingly. This is a physical sexual act that child are oblivious to, and not realise what is going on. Children do not have to physically have contact with a person sexually to underline sexual abuse; a child forced to watch or see
sexual nature or persuade a child to act unsuitable. Signs and symptoms: * Fear of a particular person
* Familiarity of sexual words or behaviour
Neglect: parents who cannot meet a child’s basic daily needs such as; hygiene, hunger, clothing and shelter. This can cause the child’s health to worsen and for their development to suffer. The child can also be left with people who cannot properly care for them. Signs and symptoms: * Clothing is dirty and has a stench smell.
* Inappropriately dressed for weather conditions
* Being left alone at home or unsupervised
4.2 Describe the actions to take if a child or young person alleges harm or abuse in line with policies and procedures of own setting. If a child or young person in your setting claims that they are being abused it is very important that you are careful of how you deal with the situation. A practioner should remember every child is an individual character and how they deal with it should vary. In some cases a child or young person may tell a practioner directly that they are being abused, it is very important that a practioner listens to the child or young person and does not question what they have said. For example: a child may say they are being abuse, the practioner could ask “who was it mummy or daddy” a child could give a response which is false causing wires to be crossed. It is a practioner job to listen and observe the child’s behaviour in the setting and take note of any unusual outburst. For example: a child is in the home corner, using the pillow to put on the child’s face. This could indicate a child has witnessed or show what has been done to them. In my setting it is common procedure that all staff and volunteers take note of what they have witnessed or heard. All staff must report this to the safeguarding officer who will take the matter further and act in response to the allegation: * No Action Taken – when this has been discussed with parents and an explanation is put in place for the child’s harm or conduct. * Giving appropriate advice – giving the parent some guidance in the matter of concern. This could be monitored at the setting. * Offering Support – professionals can give the best of their knowledge to help a parent seek support in services to improve the situation. * Referral to suitable local centres – receiving help outside the setting will help offer support and guidance. The childcare setting can work alongside the local centres to achieve the best outcomes for the child and family. * Referral to children’s social services – if the harm continues and the child is at risk of harm; a written referral will be made to the social care. 4.3 Explain the rights that children, young people and their carers have in situations where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged. Confidentiality and ‘need to know’: when important information is at risk, it is a practioner role to keep all information confidential. If a parent feels that the information is to freely being shared, a parent will stop involvement with the information shared with the staff.