1.1 All organisations that provide care for children and young people must have policies and procedures in place that cover the safeguarding of children and young people from harm and abuse. Which cover: Policies for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Protection policies and procedures.
Whistle Blowing procedures. An organisations policies and procedures must meet the set standard requirements which are laid out from their local government. All policies and procedures must state the legal duties and responsibilities that an organisation has. The child protection policies which organisations develop will be heavily influenced by the legal framework.
2.1 There are certain indicators that may suggest a form of abuse is happening to a certain someone but at the same time you cannot jump to the conclusion that someone may being abused just because they are showing potential indicators of abuse. Some indicators may be:
Physical Signs may involve bruises, burns, human bite marks, fractures, swelling and lack of normal use of limbs, serious injury with no explanation, untreated injuries, no consistency in the explanation, delayed physical hygiene, appearance, damage to genitalia or anus, sexually transmitted infection, unexplained recurrent discharge and emaciation, pot belly, short stature.
Behavioural Signs may involve some accepting punishment which appears excessive, over reaction, continual self – deprecation, neurotic behaviour, extremes of passivity or aggression, hostility to others, constant criticism of others, constant hunger, destructive tendencies, sexual knowledge at an inappropriate age, sexualised behaviour in young children, sexually provocative behaviour / promiscuity, hinting at sexual activity, inexplicable falling off in school performance, sudden apparent changes in personality, lack of concentration, social withdrawal, overly compliant behaviour, aggressive behaviour, onset of wetting day or night, unusually fearful of adults, unnaturally complaint with parents, refusal to discuss injuries, withdrawal from physical contact and aggression towards others.
Emotional Signs may involve low self-esteem, social withdrawal, insecure behaviour, inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations, poor trust in significant adults, regressive behaviour, onset of wetting day or night and onset of insecure clinging behaviour.
2.2 Within our organisation if a safeguarding issues occurs we are to follow protocol, which means we follow our policies and procedures. Our policies and procedures state our purpose is to ensure that abuse of service user rights is avoided, to comply with the independent safeguarding authority (ISA) requirements, to comply with the guidance contained in the publication “no secrets”, to comply with the protection of children (Scotland) Act 2003 (POCSA), to comply with regulations 18 of the CQC (Registration) Regulations 2009 and to ensure awareness of the wider safeguarding powers.
Our policies and procedures state are first protocol would be to ensure the service users is our priority and their safety is maintained, if medical attention is required this must be sought immediately. Our next step would be to report, it is everyone responsibility to act on suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect and refer to the local Social Services Adult Protection Team. The social services adult protection team will take lead and will take responsibility for managing the process by establishing facts of the case, identify who needs to be involved and coordinate the response. When complaints of alleged abuse are made Police are to be notified it’s imperative the police are notified straight away with a matter of urgency.
In some cases the Police may ask the providers to carry out an initial investigation before referral. Any incidents of abuse and allegations of abuse, as well as any incident which is reported to the police CQC must be notified by the organisation without delay. We are to involve the alleged victim and ensure they understand the process of the investigation. Arrangements should be made to have a relative, friend or independent advocate present if the person desires. The friend, relative or independent advocate should not be a person suspected of being anyway involved or implicated in the abuse.
The service users care plan should be reviewed to ensure they are getting the correct support that’s needed from our organisation. Consideration must be given to enlisting the services or advice or personnel with specific skills or knowledge, particularly where people involved have limited communication skills, or where English is not their first language. The social service district team, as the lead agency, coordinating the response, must notify other agencies and identify those who need to be involved and ensure the following processes are addressed: Investigation of the incident using guidelines
Action to ensure immediate safety of the alleged victim Early involvement of key agencies through a strategy meeting or discussion (by telephone if appropriate) Agreement with other agencies who should take the lead in the investigation Assessment and care planning for the vulnerable person who has been abused Action with regard to criminal proceeding
Action by employers, such as, suspension, disciplinary proceedings, use of complaints and grievance procedures and action to remove the perpetrator from the professional register Arrangements for treatment or care of the abuser, if appropriate Consideration of implications relating to regulations, inspection and contract monitoring Appropriate measures to reassure and support carers and in keeping them informed Development, implementation and monitoring of a care plan Maintain appropriate records.
The investigation will take place after the investigation or throughout the investigation a case conference will be arranged for all agencies involved to attend. Throughout the process of following are policies and procedures confidentiality is not to be breached at any time unless we are following our sharing information policy. The Social Services District Team Manager must ensure feedback is given to the referring organisation and family as appropriate.
As an organisation we are to follow our policies and procedures and try to limit safeguarding issues by following our General Procedures for the Prevention of Abuse during Employment. Protocol changes when it involves children and young people instead of notifying the Adult Protection Team within social services, you would notify the Children / Young People Protection Team. Other than them we would notify the police and the person’s case manager. You would follow your organisations policies and procedures at all times and the child / young person’s safety comes first and is imperative.
2.3 Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Working Together to Safeguard Children, A child / young person has the right not to be subjected to repeat medical examinations or questions following suspected abuse. Children and young people have the right to be listened to and their safety is paramount. They have the right to be consulted on with whom information will be shared with but the duty to report concerns can override this. Under the Children Act those with parental responsibility have the right to be informed and to make decisions about their child’s welfare but this right is removed where their abuse is proved. Where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged they have the right to be informed – who informs them and when will depend on the suspicion or allegation. Again they must be consulted about who the information is shared with but this can be overridden in certain circumstances.
Courtney from Study Moose
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