Child Protection Policy
Safeguarding: Child Protection Policy
1.1 Child Protection Policy Statement
The Federation of Synagogues has a duty of care to safeguard all children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origins, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity involved in any activities of the Federation of Synagogues across all locations. The welfare of the child is paramount and all children have a right to protection. The needs of children with disabilities and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.
The Federation of Synagogues will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in any activities held under its auspices through adherence to the Child Protection Guidelines adopted by the organisation.
All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
1.2 Policy Aims
The aim of the Federation of Synagogues’ Child Protection policy is to promote good practice:
- Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of The Federation of Synagogues.
- Providing representatives working on behalf of the Federation of Synagogues with clear guidelines and procedures to follow, that will not only help avoid inappropriate, misguided or wrong behaviour, but will also provide information as to what action to take should they be concerned about a child or a young person’s welfare.
- Allow all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
- Protecting the Federation of Synagogue’s name and reputation from being brought into disrepute.
- For the purpose of this policy a child is defined as a person under the age of 18, (The Children Act, 1989).
- Representatives are defined as employees of The Federation of Synagogues, volunteers and or independent contractors (consultants) who carry out work on behalf of the organisation, either in synagogues, chadorim, as well as activities and events held in members’ homes.
- Child Protection Officer is defined as the designated named person within the Federation of Synagogues with lead responsibility for child protection (also known as Designated Safeguarding Lead).
- Deputy Child Protection Officer is defined as the alternate designated Named Person within the Federation of Synagogues with responsibility for child protection in the event that the Child Protection Officer is unavailable or unable to act. (also known as Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
- Board of Trustees is defined as the Board of Trustees of the Federation of Synagogue.
- Local Level is defined as any location in which the Federation carries out its work or activities.
- Board Of Management is defined as the Board appointed by each individual community.
- Volunteer is defined as anyone who has volunteered to work with children on behalf of the Federation of Synagogues at Local Level.
1.4 Roles and Responsibilities
|Board of Trustees||To approve and oversee implementation of this policy|
To appoint a Child protection Officer and Deputy child protection officer
|Chief Executive Officer||To liaise with the Board of Trustees to appoint the Child Protection Officer and Deputy Child Protection Officer|
To keep the Board of Trustees informed on matters relating to safeguarding
|Board of Management at Local Level||To approve and oversee implementation of this policy|
To appoint Safeguarding Champions for their community
|Child Protection Officer/ Deputy Child Protection Officer and|
Local Safeguarding Champions
|To act as a focus for external contacts on safeguarding/ child protection matters|
To be fully conversant with all aspects of the child protection policy, child protection operating procedures and incident handling procedures
To disseminate safeguarding / child protection information to all relevant members / volunteers
To act as a point of contact for members to bring any concerns that they have and record it
To establish links with local child protection agencies, such as the children’s social care services, and Designated Professionals
To take a lead role in planning and delivering regular training, reviewing policy and operating procedures, and conducting audit / review of safeguarding in the organisation
To ensure that the practice meets obligations on safeguarding children/ child protection
|Volunteers working with children||To ensure that they have read and understood the policy.|
To follow the guidelines in this policy.
To undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service Check) check on becoming a volunteer, and every two years thereafter.
|All members of staff who work with children||To report any concerns that they have that about Safeguarding Children to the Child Protection Officer or Deputy Child Protection Officer.|
1.5 Safeguarding children policy
- The Federation of Synagogues will promote an environment where children are safe from abuse
- Dayan Posen is the Named Person and the Federation of Synagogue’s Child Protection Officer.
- Anna Mileberg is the second Named Person and the Federation of Synagogue’s Deputy Child Protection Officer.
- If a representative or anyone suspects that a child may be a victim of abuse, they must immediately inform the Child Protection Officer for the Federation and in his absence the Deputy Child Protection Officer, or anyone who will deputise for him/her.
- Abuse can be of a sexual, emotional or physical nature. It can also be the result of neglect.
- The Child Protection Officer will work closely with the HR Department and Child Protection team when investigating any allegations of abuse. All parties involved at Local Level will handle such investigations in a sensitive manner and the interests of the child will be of paramount importance.
- All information relating to individual child protection issues can only be passed onto the appropriate persons on a strictly need to know basis.
- All representatives working with children are required to have their application vetted through the Disclosure & Barring Service, in order to ensure that there is no evidence of offences involving children or abuse.
1.6 Guidelines for promoting good practice among Employees, Volunteers and Contractors working with Children
Child abuse can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgment about the appropriate action to take.
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school, and other youth sector environments. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A youth worker, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with children and young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious practices shall be reported following the guidelines in this document.
All representatives of the Federation who work with children should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to prevent themselves from false allegations. The guidelines provide common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
All staff (paid/unpaid) working with children and young people have a responsibility to report concerns to the Child Protection/Deputy Child Protection Officer who will then follow the procedures set out in this policy.
1.7 Following a code of conduct
1.7.1 Incidents that must be reported / recorded
If any of the following incidents occur, you should follow the reporting and recording procedure outlined in this policy. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed.
- If you accidently hurt a child or young person.
- If a child or young person appears to sexually aroused by your actions.
- If a child or young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.
1.7.2 Reporting procedure
The incident should be reported immediately at Local Level to the person designated as Safeguarding Champion.
The incident should also be reported to the Federation’s Child Protection Officer or Deputy Child Protection Officer using the Federation’s Child Protection Expression of Concern form.
The incident should be recorded using the recording procedure set out below.
1.7.3 Recording Procedure
- Make notes as soon as possible after the incident.
- Do not destroy notes in case they are needed later.
- Record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child.
- Draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising or other injury.
- Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions.
- A decision will be made at Local Level in consultation with the Federation’s Child Protection Officer or Deputy Child protection Officer regarding whether the incident requires further investigation. If further investigation is required, then the processes described in this policy will be instigated.
1.8 Specific Issues
1.8.1 Accidents and Injuries
If a child suffers an accident on Federation premises, the following steps will be taken:
- An appropriate first aider will be notified.
- The parents of the child must be notified immediately. If the parents are not available, they must be notified as soon as possible.
- The first aider will provide first aid to the child and will make a decision as to whether the child can be treated on the premises, or whether the child requires hospital treatment. If the child requires hospital treatment, the first aider must call 999 to summon an ambulance.
- The child must not be left alone at any point.
- Where the parents are not available to accompany the child to hospital, an appropriate adult must be appointed to accompany the child to hospital.
- The Chair of the synagogue where the emergency arose must be notified immediately and the CEO of the Federation should be informed about the incident as soon as possible.
The Board of Management at Local Level is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of trained first aiders and sufficient first aid supplies on the premises.
The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring that accidents are recorded in an accident book and are reported to the appropriate external body under Health and Safety procedures.
1.8.2 Death of a child
- If a child dies before the parents/carers have been contacted, under no circumstances should parents/carers be told over the phone and the Federation of Synagogues should be advised by the emergency services or social services.
- The Federation of Synagogues’ employer/volunteer should contact the Local Safeguarding Champion, the Federation’s Child Protection Officer or Deputy Child Protection Officer as soon as practical. The Federation’s Child Protection Officer should then inform the rest of management, Trustees and associates as appropriate.
- The Federation of Synagogues must follow any insurance procedures as necessary.
1.8.3 Guidance for use of social media and websites
The Federation recognises the important role social media serves in communicating with young people and the utility they present for youth work. However, in order to ensure that it is not misused, nothing should be posted on social media without the consent of parent
1.8.4 Use of photographic / filming equipment at events
There is evidence that some people have used events and youth activities as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or footage of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All staff/volunteers should be vigilant, and any concerns reported to the Named Person responsible.
Informed consent forms should be sought for children and young people under 18 or vulnerable adults about any material (pictures and footage) which could be used to identify them individually.
1.8.5 CCTV/Security Monitoring:
Any representative (including third parties such as security firms, CST etc), who have access to and/or ability to view CCTV security camera footage whether on their own mobile phone/laptop/desktop or within a synagogue must have enhanced DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service – formerly CRB) clearance.
1.8.6 Guidance regarding celebrity or VIP visitors
Following advice contained in the Lampard recommendations all synagogues at Local Level should have a policy to deal with celebrity or VIP visitors. Regardless of who the individual is they should not be left alone with children under any circumstances and should be accompanied by a designated individual while on the premises.
1.9 Guidelines for Volunteers working with Children in children’s services at Local Level or other activities on Federation premises
- Volunteers are not acting in loco parentis, and parents remain wholly responsible for their children at all times whilst on premises.
- Volunteers conducting children’s services in our synagogues must ensure that:
- The door to the room in which the services are taking place is left open
- That under no circumstances are they alone in a room in the synagogue with a child/children
- Volunteers must not physically touch a child unless there is immediate risk or danger to the child – an example might be a child climbing out of an upstairs window, or pushing objects into electrical sockets.
- Volunteers must not attempt to break up physical fights between children.
- If a fight occurs, another adult must be sent to inform the parents of the children involved. The parents will be asked to attend immediately to stop the fight.
- If children have obtained objects which are being used as weapons against another child, the volunteer may remove the object from the child.
- Volunteers must use calm language with the children at all times.
- Language used must be appropriate for the age of the children, and must not contain sexualised or violent references.
- If a child is disruptive during the service, and needs to be removed from the service, the volunteer will ask the child politely to leave the service. If the child refuses, another adult must be asked to inform the parents of the disruptive child that they need to remove their child from the service immediately.
- When giving out food to children, for example grape juice and a biscuit or other special foods for a Kiddush after the service, ensure that it has been approved of in advance by the parents and the synagogue – once you have received this approval then you will not need additional parental consent for this food.
- Volunteers may only give out other food to children with parental consent.
- Parents of any child participating in the children’s service are permitted to attend the service. Any adult who does not have a child in the service, is not a volunteer, or is not on duty as part of the security team may not attend the service.
The Following should never be sanctioned. You should never
- Engage in rough physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
- Share a room with a child.
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
- Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
- Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
- Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
- Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.
Employees and Volunteers should watch for possible signs of concern, always being wary of jumping to incorrect conclusions
- The child has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children’s activities.
- The child regularly has unexpected injuries.
- Confused or conflicting explanations are given on how injuries were sustained.
- There are significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude.
- The child indulges in sexual behaviour which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate for his/her age.
- The child talks of an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed.
For further more detailed information about signs of concern and for recognising signs of abuse please see further down this policy.
If a child talks of abuse
- Listen to what is being said.
- Accept what is being said.
- Allow the child to talk freely.
- Reassure the child but do not make promises which it might not be possible to keep
- Do not promise confidentiality – it might be necessary to refer to social services.
- Reassure them what has happened is not their fault.
- Stress that it is the right thing to tell.
- Listen rather than asking questions.
1.9.1 Record keeping
- Make notes as soon as possible after the conversation.
- Do not destroy notes in case they are needed later on.
- Record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child.
- Draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising or other injury.
- Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions.
- All information about any individual child and any individual volunteer or staff member will be treated as confidential and will not be communicated to others, save those who need to be involved for due process to take place. Representatives will only discuss any individual child with the parents or legal guardian of that child, other than for planning and management purposes.
- Representatives will not discuss matters of supervision.
- Staffing involved and the other matters will remain confidential within the Federation and those directly related to the personal issues.
1.10 Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
The Federation of Synagogues recognises that ANYONE may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.
1.10.1 Pre-selection checks should include the following
- All staff and volunteers who will be working directly with children should have one confidential reference. This reference should be regarding previous work with children. It will be taken up and confirmed in writing to confirm the suitability of volunteers. All volunteers / staff working with children, young adults of vulnerable adults should complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application form. This application form will elicit information about an applicant’s past and a self-disclosure on any previous criminal record.
- Evidence of identity should be provided (e.g. passport or driving licence with photo).
1.10.2 Interview and Induction
All employees and volunteers who work directly with children will be required to undergo an interview carried out to agreed recommendations.
All employees and volunteers who work directly with children should receive formal or informal induction during which:
- A check is made that the DBS application has been completed in full
- Qualifications should be substantiated where necessary
- Job descriptions or requirements and responsibilities should be clarified
- They should receive copies of the following policies and/or have them explained:
- Child Protection
- Health & Safety and Risk Assessments
In addition to the pre-selection checks, the safe-guarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers:
- Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations.
- Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice and possible abuse.
- Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
- Work safely and effectively with children.
1.10.4 The Federation of Synagogues requires
- Employees who will be working directly with children to be trained to understand child protection issues to encourage good practice and facilitate the development of a positive culture towards good practice and child protection.
- Other volunteers and employees to be briefed on policies and procedures.
- Relevant personnel, such as the Child Protection Officer and Deputy Child Protection Officer, are to receive advisory information and training outlining good practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns about young people’s safety (contact Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)).
- Relevant personnel to undergo accredited first aid training.
- Attendance at updated training when necessary.
1.11 If you suspect a child is being abused
1.11.1 Immediate Action
If a member or volunteer at Local Level believes that a child may be at risk of abuse, the first step is to ensure that the child is safe.
- Risks to the child may come from either the physical environment or from the actions of other people.
- Action should be taken to remove the child from immediate danger. These actions must be reasonable and proportionate.
- If there is immediate risk to the child: NOTIFY THE POLICE BY DIALING 999
- If a child is suspected to be at risk, but not in immediate danger, the matter must be discussed within four hours with the local Safeguarding Champion.
- The member or volunteer raising the concern may, at their discretion, also contact the police or Children’s Services in the borough where the synagogue is based.
- If the Local Safeguarding Champion has been notified of a suspected case of abuse they must notify the Federation Child Protection Officer or Deputy Child Protection Officer within four hours.
- The Safeguarding Champion will, in conjunction with the individual raising the concern and the Federation’s Child Protection Officer (or Deputy) make a decision for contacting Children’s Services in the borough where the synagogue is based. It is expected that there will be a low threshold for making a referral.
- The Safeguarding Champion will seek the views of the parents and where appropriate the child prior to making a referral UNLESS:
- It is considered that seeking the views of the parents and/or child will place the child at further risk of harm.
1.11.3 Follow Up Procedures
- Following a notification to the Safeguarding Champion, the Safeguarding Champion will prepare a report for the Board of Management regarding the incident.
- This report will contain:
- A factual description of the incident
- Details of any notifications made
- The reasons as to why a decision was made to either make a notification or to not make a notification.
- Reflections on the handling of the incident, and recommendations for improving safeguarding processes in future.
- The Board of Management will consider the report and recommendations at the next scheduled meeting and will make a decision about implementation of the recommendations.
1.11.4 What to say to the child
It is essential that children know what they have said will not get them into trouble, and they were right to talk about it.
Children may well ask that you do not tell anyone else. This is a promise you cannot make. It is generally a good idea to let children say as much or as little as they wish and avoid questioning them.
1.11.5 Record what has been said
It is essential that you write down a summary of what the child has said as soon as possible afterwards-preferably within an hour, please note that this summary is legally admissible as evidence provided it has been recorded within twenty-four hours.
- Write clearly what has been said
- Your comments to the child
- What action you took
- Note what was happening before disclosure took place
- Who else was nearby
As this record could be used in evidence at a later date, it is essential that you record only what actually happened: this must be an accurate record.
1.11.6 Responding to a child’s disclosure of abuse
- Remain calm
- Allow the child to say what has happened, without interruption
- Show the child through body language that you are listening
- Avoid asking questions or challenging
- Reassure the child
- Tell the child that he or she has done the right thing in saying something
- Tell the child that you will need to tell someone else, so the child can be helped
- Explain to the child what is going to happen next
- Report the disclosure immediately to the Child Protection Officer
- Complete a summary as soon as possible afterwards
1.12 Procedure for responding to allegations or suspicions against a Federation of Synagogues employee, volunteer or consultant
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the Federation of Synagogues, in a paid or unpaid capacity, to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.
The Federation of Synagogues will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone that in good faith reports his/her concern that a colleague/volunteer is, or may be, abusing a child.
1.12.1 Allegations against a Federation of Synagogues staff member/volunteer
Where there is an allegation of unacceptable behaviour made against a paid member of staff or volunteer the following actions will be taken.
1.12.2 Immediate Actions
- If there is an allegation of abuse against any individual Federation of Synagogues paid member of staff or volunteer, then the allegation must be reported to the Local Safeguarding Champion.
- The Local Safeguarding Champion should immediately report the allegation to the Federation of Synagogues’ Child Protection Officer or Deputy Child Protection officer.
- The Child Protection officer should notify the CEO that an allegation has been made.
- The Individual will be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services enquiries. This suspension must be interpreted as a neutral act and does not prejudge the truth or otherwise of the allegation.
- If a child is believed to be at any immediate risk, the police must be informed.
There may be three types of investigation:
- A criminal investigation
- A child protection investigation
- A disciplinary or misconduct investigation
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police enquiries, the Federation of Synagogues’ Disciplinary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision, particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases the Federation of Synagogues must reach a decision based on the available information, which could suggest that on a balance of probability it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.
1.12.3 Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (eg, by an adult who was abused as a child by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).
Where such an allegation is made, the organisation should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter directly to the Duty Care Team or the police. This is because other children, either within or outside the organisation, may be at risk from this person.
Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to the abuse of vulnerable individuals is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.
1.12.4 Concerns about poor practice
- If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice and there are no safeguarding concerns, the Federation will deal with it as a misconduct issue and internal investigation and resolution may be attempted.
- If the allegation is about poor practice by the Child Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and the concerns remain, it should be reported to the Deputy Chief Protection Officer who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
1.12.5 If the allegation raises any concerns around safeguarding children, then the following process should be applied
- Any suspicion that a child has been abused by someone inside the organisation such as a staff member or volunteer, should be reported to the Child Protection Officer or in their absence the Deputy Child Protection Officer or in their absence a Trustee of the Federation, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
- The Child Protection Officer (or Deputy) will refer any allegations to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) via the LSCB. The LADO will involve the police and children’s social workers as appropriate. If there are, or seems to be, immediate risk to the child or children, contact the police directly.
- The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon possible following advice from the social services department.
- The Child Protection Officer should only notify other members of the Federation of Synagogues of events on a need to know basis, see confidentiality below.
1.12.6 Action if bullying is suspected
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in ‘concerns about suspected abuse’ above. It is believed that up to 12 children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, and it is the duty of staff and volunteers to report and deal with any bullying.
- Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
- Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority.
- Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and bully(ies) separately.
- Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no-one else.
- Keep records – what is said, what happened, by whom, when.
- Report any concerns to the Named Person responsible.
126.96.36.199 Action towards the bully (ies)
- Talk with the bully (ies), explain the situation, and try get the bully (ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviours. Seek and apology to the victim(s).
- Inform the bully(ies) parents.
- Keep a written record of any actions taken.
- Look at supporting the bully(ies) with any issues they may have.
1.12.7 Information for Social Services or the Police about suspected abuse
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:
- The child’s full name, age and date of birth.
- The child’s home address and telephone number.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else. Any personal details of these people (though this is not essential).
- The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
- Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
- A description of any physical evidence, bruising, injuries, evidence of neglect or any indirect signs such as behavioural changes.
- Details of any witnesses to the incidents.
- The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any injuries occurred.
- Have the parents been contacted – if so, what has been said?
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.
- If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said?
- Has anyone been alleged as the abuser? Record details.
- Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral recorded.
- If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse to a senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police direct, the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or Childline on 0800 1111.
Confidentiality shall be maintained at all times. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need-to-know basis only. This includes the following people:
- The Safeguarding Champion at Local Level
- The parents / carers of the person who is alleged to have been abused
- The person making the allegation
- Social services / police
- Any Federation of Synagogues Child Protection Officer or Deputy
- The alleged abuser (and the parents of the abuser if he/she is a child)
Social services will advise on whom should approach the alleged abuser; this will rarely be someone from the group itself.
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access except to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
1.13.1 If a child discloses any information about abuse to you
- Discuss confidentiality, and that you will try offer support, but that you may have to pass the information on to keep them safe.
- Allow the child to speak without interruption, accepting what is said.
- Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, while passing no judgment.
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing by telling you.
- Report to the Named person responsible as discussed previously.
- Never tell the child everything will be alright, as often it may not be.
1.13.2 Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse
Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff or volunteers may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process. Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.
1.14 How to Recognise Signs of Concern
1.14.1 Possible signs of concern might be
- The child has any injury which is not typical of the bumps of and scrapes normally associated with children’s activities.
- The child regularly has unexpected injuries.
- Confused or conflicting explanations are given on how injuries were sustained There are significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude.
- The child indulges in sexual behaviour which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate to his/her age.
- The child talks of an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed.
188.8.131.52 Unwillingness to go home or to school
If children are having a good time, they are often reluctant to go home, but a child who is being abused at home may think of excuses for staying a little longer.
Similarly, children who are avoiding going to school might do so because they are being bullied, or because the abuser is in the school.
184.108.40.206 Unpredictable attendance
Sometimes children do not attend settings after they have been abused, to prevent people from asking about their injuries. Their attendance might become unpredictable. You might notice that one afternoon a child was talking about the games and activities he/she wanted to do the next day, but that the next day he/she did not actually attend. If this occurs frequently, you might consider whether there could be another, underlying reason
220.127.116.11 Aggressive behaviour towards others
Children who have been abused or bullied may show aggressive behaviour themselves.
They might suddenly ‘explode’ and lash out or they might bully other children, particularly younger children.
18.104.22.168 Inappropriate behaviour for the child’s age
Children who show behaviour inappropriate for their age – such as an 8-year-old who has a tantrum, or a 12-year-old girl who keeps inviting boys to kiss and touch her – may be doing this because they are bullied or abused.
1.14.2 How to Recognise Signs of Abuse
Abuse is classified into 4 main areas: Physical, Sexual, Neglect, Emotional
1.14.3 Physical abuse
|Indication||What to look for|
|Bruises||Notice if these are in unexpected places, such as at the top of the arms, the back of the legs, or the neck.|
Look out also for bruises that show finger marks or the outlines of shapes. Consider whether children frequently have bruises, however small.
|Burns and Scalds||Burns and scalds might be in expected places, such as on the back or on the upper arms. Look out for untreated burns, or burns occurring frequently.|
Consider whether burns have particular shapes – an iron shape might indicate that an iron was held against the child, for instance, or a round small circle might indicate cigarette burns.
|Fractures||Does the child often seem to have ’accidents?’ How detailed is the explanation of how the fracture occurred?|
|Head Injury||Look out for bumps to the back and the sides|
of the head, or the recurrent black eyes or
Does the child often have head injuries?
How detailed is the explanation?
|Cuts and other wounds to the skin||Look out for injuries in unexpected places.|
Many ‘normal’ cuts to the hands are
Are the injuries being treated?
Are there any bite marks or scratches?
Look out for any other unusual marks to the
skin that might indicate that the child has
been hit or pinched.
22.214.171.124 Unusual reluctance to show the body
Older children often need privacy when changing, but total reluctance to change for example, to take off a jumper might indicate that the child is trying to keep herself or himself covered to avoid any injuries being seen.
126.96.36.199 Frequent injuries
Many children have minor accidents from time to time but take notice if a child is constantly having small injuries, especially if within the play setting you perceive the child to be quite sensible and careful.
1.14.4 Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be defined as any act that is used to gratify an adult’s sexual desires and includes fondling and touching as well as sexual intercourse.
|Indication||What to look for|
|Physical signs||Look out for unusual bruising, for example to the inner thighs or the back.|
Note frequent urinary infections, or children finding it painful to go to the toilet or being very afraid of doing so.
|Behaviour||Watch out for sudden changes in normal behaviour – for example, a child who becomes very clingy or withdrawn. In some cases, children become very aggressive as a way of coping with their anger and humiliation.|
|Sexual knowledge||Consider whether children’s behaviour and sexual knowledge is appropriate for their age. For example, some children act out in their play, parts of the abusive scenario. Others might show precocious and inappropriate sexual knowledge.|
They may also show affection toward adults in a sexual way-for example, trying to kiss a play worker.
188.8.131.52 Child Sexual Exploitation
This is a type of sexual abuse and children in exploitative situations receive something such as gifts, money or affection as a result of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.
Children or young people may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.
Some parents can find it difficult to provide adequate parenting for their children. They may love them, yet be unable to give them the basic care that children need, such as food, clothes, and cleanliness. Parents neglect their children through extreme poverty, due to feeding a drug or alcohol habit, because of depression, or through ignorance, amongst other reasons.
|Indication||What to look for|
|Physical signs||Watch out for children who seem always to be hungry, who look pale, and who are generally in poor health (due to either being poorly fed or from having little food).|
|Hygiene and Performance||Consider whether a child’s hygiene and general appearance is often poor- for example, unwashed clothes, teeth that need brushing, hair that has rarely been combed.|
|Emotional signs||Older children will often have developed a coping mechanism that means that they will appear to be unfazed by remarks from other children. They may appear to lack trust and have very much a ‘day-to-day’ feel about life. Look out for children who seem to be on the edge of a group and who avoid discussing their home backgrounds and families.|
|Behaviour||In some cases, children might take other children’s possessions, or seem to be quite hard and not prepared to share. Older children might even turn to shoplifting in order to get food or other items. Watch out for children who tell lies about their circumstances. Or older children who have acquired things which ordinarily you would not have expected to be able to afford. Be aware of children who do not seem to have a place to go to, or who seem to be hanging around the streets.|
1.14.6 Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse occurs when children are ridiculed, repeatedly criticized, and not allowed to develop their self-confidence. They may also be deprived of love, affection, and warmth. Children who have been emotionally abused are easy targets for other abusers such as paedophiles, who seem to offer them ‘friendship’ and ‘love’ they crave.
|Indication||What to look for|
|Physical signs||In younger children there will be few physical signs, but older children, especially children, especially girls, may harm themselves. Look out for self-destructive behaviour: for example, self-mutilation by tattooing themselves, denying themselves food, or taking harmful substances.|
These attention-seeking devices are ways of crying out for help. In severe cases, older children might even try to take their own lives.
|Emotional signs||Children who are emotionally abused have very low self-esteem and confidence.|
They may be attention-seeking and look for popularity in inappropriate ways.
Look out for children who seem very lonely or who act as the ‘clown’ to gain popularity.
Consider whether children particularly need attention and are clingy.
Look out for children who are very worried and anxious, and who fear making mistakes.
Consider whether children are very sensitive to criticism or seemed to have developed a ‘don’t care’ attitude.
|Behavioural signs||Children with low self-esteem might be extremely attention-seeking and “needy” wanting a lot of adult time and support.|
Look out or children who burst into tears for no particular reason, or who seem very tense and anxious.
184.108.40.206Recognising a Child In Need
A child in need is defined as a child whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development without the provision of services (section 17, Children’s’ Act 1989). This includes disabled children. The Children’s’ Acts 1984 and 2004 define a child as someone who has not reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached their 16th birthday, and may be living independently, working, or be members of the armed forces does not remove their childhood status under the Acts.
Local authority social services departments working with other local authority departments and health services have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need. If you are considering making a referral to Social Services as a child in need, it is essential to discuss the referral with the child’s parents or carers and to obtain consent for the sharing of information. Social Services will then follow local procedures to undertake an assessment of the child and their family.
1.14.7 Other Factors to Consider
- If one or more of the following risk factors are present, the risk level is increased. Where multiple risk factors are present, the risk is significantly increased:
- Domestic violence and abuse
- Parental substance misuse
- Parental mental illness
- If an adult working with children discloses abusive activities, urgent contact should be made with local children’s services, or if appropriate, the police.
- Forced marriage occurs where one or both people do not or cannot consent to marriage. This is recognised legally as a form of abuse. If there is a concern that a child may be forced into marriage, local children’s services must be contacted for advice.
- Children with disabilities or learning difficulties are at higher risk of suffering abuse.
- Female genital mutilation is illegal in the UK. If it is suspected that a child may be forced to undergo, or has undergone female genital mutilation, local children’s services must be contacted for advice.
- Child sexual exploitation (CSE) occurs when another person is exploiting a child for sexual purposes. This can occur either by non-contact (eg, online, instant messaging) or contact. If CSE is suspected, local children’s services must be contacted for advice.
- Any disclosure of historic abuse, whether made by a child or an adult, must be treated sensitively, as the survivor of abuse may require ongoing help and support.
- If a child discloses historic abuse, a local children’s services must be contacted for advice. Consideration should be given to making a report to the police, as the abuser may be continuing to abuse children, and there may be a possibility that a criminal prosecution can be brought.
- Young carers (where a child is caring for an adult) are a vulnerable group, and they should be referred to local children’s services to ensure that they have appropriate levels of support and help in place.
1.15 Allegations involving other representatives
Any representative who has reason to suspect that a child or young person may have been abused by another representative, must immediately inform the Child Protection Officer, or in absence the Deputy Child Protection Officer.
If you have a query on Shabbos / Yom Tov and you believe a child may be at imminent serious risk, please contact 999 immediately.
1.16 Other areas of concern which need to be considered
1.16.1 Mental Health
Children can develop the same mental health conditions as adults, but their symptoms may be different. Know what to watch for and how you can help.
Mental illness in children can be hard for parents to identify. As a result, many children who could benefit from treatment don’t get the help they need. Understand the warning signs of mental illness in children and how you can help your child cope.
220.127.116.11 Warning signs of mental illness in children
Warning signs that your child might have a mental health condition include:
- Mood changes.Look for feelings of sadness or withdrawal that last at least two weeks or severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships at home or school.
- Intense feelings.Be aware of feelings of overwhelming fear for no reason – sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing – or worries or fears intense enough to interfere with daily activities.
- Behaviour changes.These includes drastic changes in behaviour or personality, as well as dangerous or out-of-control behaviour. Fighting frequently, using weapons and expressing a desire to badly hurt others also are warning signs.
- Difficulty concentrating.Look for signs of trouble focusing or sitting still, both of which might lead to poor performance in school.
- Unexplained weight loss.A sudden loss of appetite, frequent vomiting or use of laxatives might indicate an eating disorder.
- Physical symptoms.Compared with adults, children with a mental health condition may develop headaches and stomach-aches rather than sadness or anxiety.
- Physical harm.Sometimes a mental health condition leads to self-injury, also called self-harm. This is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. Children with a mental health condition also may develop suicidal thoughts or actually attempt suicide.
- Substance abuse.Some kids use drugs or alcohol to try to cope with their feelings.
Before jumping to conclusions about possible signs of abuse it is essential to consider that there may another reason behind the behaviour or the physical symptoms that may be displayed and this could include mental health issues.
|Person / Organisation||When to contact||Contact Details|
|Police||Immediate risk to the child||999|
|Federation Child Protection officer||Any concerns regarding child safeguarding||0208 202 2263|
|Federation Deputy Child Protection Officer||Any concerns regarding child safeguarding, when the safeguarding lead is not available||0208 202 2263|
|Barnet Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0208 359 4066 / 4097|
0208 359 2000 (out of hours number)
|Bury Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0161 253 5678|
0161 253 6606 (outside normal office hours)
|Camden Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0207 974 3317|
0207 974 4444 (out of hours)
|Croydon Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0208 726 6400 (9.00-16.00)|
If outside these hours ring and request to speak to the out of hours team
|Hertfordshire Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0300-123 4043 (24 hour line)|
|Redbridge Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||020 8708 3885|
|Salford Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0161 603 4500|
0161 794 8888 (before 8.30 am or after 16.30 pm)
|Tower Hamlets Children’s Services||Notification of a safeguarding incident to local Children’s Services||0207 364 4444 (Child Protection Advice Line)|
020 7364 4079 (out of hours emergency line)