Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
Roselyn House School
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
Named staff/Personnel with specific responsibility for child protection.
Designated Senior Person
Back up Person/s
John Corrigan/Karl Mallinson
Rachel Smith / Kat Holmes (LAC)
Rachel Smith/ Kat Holmes (LAC)
Back up Person
This policy should be considered alongside other related policies and documents in school. These are:
Behaviour Management Policy
Special Educational Needs Policy
Health and Safety Policy
Complaints Policy & Procedures
Allegations against Staff Procedures
Exclusions Policy & Procedures
Guidance on Professional Conduct
‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused’ (www.teachernet.gov.uk/childprotection/guidance.htm)
Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016
This Policy follows statutory guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016
This Policy should be read in line with guidance produced in Pan Lancashire’s Policy and Procedures for Safeguarding Children Manual November 2016 for upto date guidance relating to local and national procedures.
; also with regard to adults’ safeguarding, Pan Lancashire and Cumbria Safeguarding Adults Boards Procedures Manual July 2015
1. Working together
2. Implementation of Policy
4. What is the Local Safeguarding Children Board within an LEA?
5. Roles and Responsibilities
6. Whistle blowing
8. Training and Support
10. Records and Monitoring
11. Attendance at Child Protection Conferences
12. Supporting Students at Risk
13. Safe Schools, Safe Staff
14. The Common Assessment Framework Form
15. Guidance on 'Whether this is a Child Protection Matter'
17. Talking to and listening to children
18. Record keeping
19. Protecting yourself against allegations of abuse
20. Allegations of abuse against a professional
22. Child Sexual Exploitation
23. Female genital mutilation (FGM)
24. Domestic Violence
25. Honour Based Abuse
26. Parental Alcohol Misuse
27. Parental Drug Misuse
28. Self-harm or have the potential for Suicide
29. Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)
30. Terrorism, Extremism and Radicalisation
31. Other Specific Circumstances
32. Adult Safeguarding
33. Reporting an adult Safeguarding concern
- Working together
The Pan Lancashire Consortium encompassing Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen Safeguarding Children Boards and all managers, employees, professionals, volunteers, carers, independent contractors and service providers must ensure that their practice reflects an approach which is:
The child should be seen (alone when appropriate) by the Lead Social Worker in addition to all other professionals who have a responsibility for the child's welfare. His or her welfare should be kept sharply in focus in all work with the child and family. The significance of seeing and observing the child cannot be overstated. The child should be spoken and listened to, and their wishes and feelings ascertained, taken into account (having regard to their age and understanding) and recorded when making decisions about the provision of services. Some of the worst failures of the system have occurred when professionals have lost sight of the child and concentrated instead on their relationship with the adults.
Rooted in Child Development
Those working with children should have a detailed understanding of child development and how the quality of the care they are receiving can have an impact on their health and development. They should recognise that as children grow, they continue to develop their skills and abilities. Each stage, from infancy through middle years to adolescence, lays the foundation for more complex development. Plans and interventions to safeguard and promote the child's welfare should be based on a clear assessment of the child's developmental progress and the difficulties the child may be experiencing. Planned action should also be timely and appropriate for the child's age and stage of development.
Focused on Outcomes for Children
When working directly with a child, any plan developed for the child and their family or care giver should be based on an assessment of the child's developmental needs and the parents/caregivers' capacity to respond to these needs within their family and environmental context. This plan should set out the planned outcomes for each child, progress against these should be regularly reviewed and the actual outcomes should be recorded.
The purpose of all interventions should be to achieve the best possible outcomes for each child recognising each is unique. These outcomes should contribute to the key outcomes set out for all children set out in the Children Act 2004:
Enjoy and achieve;
Make a positive contribution;
Achieve economic wellbeing.
To achieve this, children need to feel loved and valued and be supported by a network of reliable and affectionate relationships.
Holistic in Approach
Having an holistic approach means having an understanding of a child within the context of the child's family (parents or caregivers and the wider family) and of the educational setting, community, faith, social and culture in which he or she is growing up. The interaction between the developmental needs of children, the capacities of parents or care givers to respond appropriately to those needs and the impact of wider family and environmental factors on children and on parenting capacity requires careful exploration during an assessment.
The ultimate aim is to understand the child's developmental needs and the capacity of the parents or caregivers to meet them and to provide appropriate services to the child and to the family which respond to those needs. The analysis of the child's situation will inform planning and action in order to secure the best outcomes for the child, and will inform the subsequent review of the effectiveness of actions taken and services provided. The child's context will be even more complex when they are living away from home and looked after by adults who do not have parental responsibility for them.
Ensuring Equality of Opportunity
Equality of opportunity means that all children have the opportunity to achieve the best possible developmental outcomes, regardless of their gender, ability, race, ethnicity, faith, social circumstances or age. Some vulnerable children may have been particularly disadvantaged in their access to important opportunities and their health and educational needs will require particular attention in order to optimise their current welfare as well as their long-term outcomes into adulthood.
Involving of Children and Families
In the process of finding out what is happening to a child it is important to listen to the child, develop a therapeutic relationship with the child and through this gain an understanding of his or her wishes and feelings. The importance of developing a co-operative working relationship is emphasised, so that parents or care givers feel respected and informed, they believe agency staff are being open and honest with them, and in turn they are confident about providing vital information about their child, themselves and their circumstances. The consent of children, young people and their parents or care givers, where appropriate, should be obtained when sharing information unless to do so would place the child at risk of suffering Significant Harm. Similarly, decisions should also be made with their agreement, whenever possible, unless to do so would place the child at risk of suffering Significant Harm. See also Information Sharing and Confidentiality Procedure.
Building on Strengths as well as Identifying Difficulties
Identifying both strengths (including resilience and protective factors) and difficulties (including vulnerabilities and risk factors) within the child, his or her family and the context in which they are living is important, as is considering how these factors are having an impact on the child's health and development. Too often it has been found that a deficit model of working with families predominates in practice, and ignores crucial areas of success and effectiveness within the family on which to base interventions. Working with a child or family's strengths becomes an important part of a plan to resolve difficulties.
Integrated in Approach
Safeguarding is a shared responsibility. From birth, there will be a variety of different agencies and services in the community involved with children and their development, particularly in relation to their health and education. Multi and inter-agency work to safeguard and promote children's welfare starts as soon as it has been identified that the child or the family members have additional needs requiring support/services beyond universal services, not just when there are questions about possible harm.
Effective measures to safeguard children are those which also promote their welfare. They should not be seen in isolation from the wider range of support and services already provided and available to meet the needs of children and families.
‘All school and staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.’
‘The Teachers’ Standards 2012 state that teachers, including headteachers, should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.’
Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016.
A Continuing Process not an Event
Understanding what is happening to a vulnerable child within the context of his or her family and the local community, and taking appropriate action are continuing and interactive processes and not single events. Assessment should continue throughout a period of intervention, and intervention may start at the beginning of an assessment.
Providing and Reviewing Services
Action and services should be provided according to the identified needs of the child and family in parallel with assessment where necessary. It is not necessary to await completion of the assessment process. Immediate and practical needs should be addressed alongside more complex and longer term ones. The impact of service provision on a child's developmental progress should be reviewed at regular intervals.
Informed by Evidence
Effective practice with children and families requires sound professional judgements which are underpinned by a rigorous evidence base, and draw on the professional's knowledge and experience. Decisions based on these judgements should be kept under review, and take full account of any new information obtained during the course of work with the child and family.
- Implementation of Policy
At Roselyn House School, the responsible person for the implementation of the policy is the Headteacher- Miss Sharon Damerall and Deputy Headteacher – Miss Kirsty Willacy. The policy will be reviewed annually by the Headteacher/ Designated Senior Person- Miss Sharon Damerall and School Liaison Officer/ Back up Designated Senior Person- Mrs Rachel Smith.
Roselyn House School fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children and support students in and out of school.
There are three main elements to our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
To provide a positive school atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to students.
By following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Safeguarding/ Child Protection concerns.
To students and school staff and to children who may have been abused.
This policy applies to all staff in school.
Our school will therefore:
Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
Ensure that children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities for PSHE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse.
Include in the curriculum material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills.
Deliver programmes to develop social and emotional aspects of learning.
Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies.
Provide robust and effective training for staff.
Build individual student’s self confidence.
Schools do not operate in isolation. The welfare of children is a corporate responsibility of the entire local authority, working in partnership with other public agencies, the voluntary sector and service users and carers. All local authority services have an impact on the lives of children and families, and local authorities have a particular responsibility towards children and families most at risk of social exclusion.’ (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015)
Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the LEAs. Each LEA has their own Local Safeguarding Children Board is recognised by the school.
- What is the Local Safeguarding Children Board within an LEA?
The overall role of the LSCB is to coordinate local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to ensure the effectiveness of what the member organisations do individually and together.
Specific objectives of the LSCB are to:
Develop and agree inter-agency policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, consistent with Working Together to Safeguard Children, including:
The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
Training of those working with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
Investigation of allegations concerning persons working with children;
The safety and welfare of privately fostered children;
Cooperation with neighbouring children's social care services authorities and their Board partners.
Participate in the planning of services for children in the local authority area;
Communicate the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child;
Develop procedures to ensure a coordinated response to unexpected child deaths;
Monitor the effectiveness of what is done to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
Undertake reviews of serious cases and ensure lessons are understood and acted upon;
Collect and analyse information about child deaths.
- Roles and Responsibilities
All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect children. There are, however, key people within schools and LEAs who have specific responsibilities under Child Protection procedures. The names of those carrying these responsibilities for the current year are listed on the cover sheet of this document.
Safeguarding children and young people requires staff and volunteers who work with children and young people and their families to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability. In line with that requirement the LSCB expects all member agencies to have in place a whistle blowing / confidentiality reporting policy so that any employee, volunteer or others with whom it deals who have genuine concerns about any aspect of their agency or organisations work, will be encouraged to come forward and speak out under the auspices of that policy and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Each organisation will have their own whistle blowing policy for staff which reflects the principles in Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Up review. These principles should be suitably referenced in staff training and codes of conduct, and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed.
- Whistle blowing
At Roselyn House School our Whistle Blowing Policy:
- Covers major concerns about the actions of an employee or worker of the agency/organisation e.g. temporary, supply, casual workers, any contractor, supplier, agency staff or consultant employed by the agency or organisation, any volunteers working on behalf of the agency/organisation, or any elected members of a council;
- Encourage a person to feel confident in raising genuine concerns and to question and act upon these;
- Provides avenues for them to raise those concerns inside the agency/organisation and subject to any legal constraints, receive feedback on any action taken;
- Reassures them that they will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if they have made any disclosure in line with the policy;
- Allows a person to voice their concerns outside the agency in some circumstances;
- Increases the likelihood that we will hear of any wrongdoing in time to prevent any serious accidents or damage;
- Covers major concerns that falls outside of the scope of the other procedures e.g. Health and safety risks, including risks to other employees as well as other members of the public; Sexual or physical abuse of clients, or other unethical conduct; Serious failure to comply with appropriate professional standards; Breach of KS Education Limited’s or statutory standards of proficiency; Deliberate breach of Roselyn House School’s policy or procedure; Abuse of power, or use of KS Education Limited powers and authority for any unauthorised use or personal gain; Conduct which is an offence or a breach of law; Disclosures related to miscarriages of justice; The unauthorised use of public funds; Possible fraud and corruption; Damage to the environment.
The entitlement to protection when raising a concern/ complaint;
How to raise a concern within KS Education Limited;
- How KS Education Limited will respond to a person raising a concern or complaint; What action can be taken if a person is not satisfied with any action taken, or they remain concerned having exhausted all internal procedures and believe it is right to take the matter outside the organisation.
- Address the issues of: Making allegations anonymously; Making allegations which are frivolous, malicious or for personal gain;
- How the policy will be monitored.
Whistle Blowing Policy Should Not:
- Replace other complaints or reporting procedures for example: Financial regulations; Child protection procedures; Any policy designed to deal with harassment and bullying involving employees; The complaints procedure; The grievance procedure, which an employee would use to resolve contractual disagreements relating to conditions of service; Investigation into the misconduct for example elected members of the council under the auspices of the standards board.
- The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and email: email@example.com
Where it is believed that a child is suffering from, or is at risk of significant harm, we will follow the procedures consistent with the particular LEA where the student is from.
Staff will be informed about Child Protection Procedures through staff meetings. At Roselyn House School staff meetings are minuted.
Parents/ carers will be informed of the school’s duties and responsibilities under the Child Protection procedures through a statement in the school brochure and on the school’s website.
- Training and Support
Roselyn House School will ensure that the Head Teacher (DSP), the back-up Designated Senior Person and the nominated Advisory Body member for Child Protection attend training relevant to their role at intervals of not longer than 2 years. The Designated Senior Persons will also attend Inter Agency Child Protection training within this timescale. Training for all staff will be made available and will be the responsibility of the Headteacher. All staff will receive basic training on Child Protection every three years and child protection is an integral part of induction for new staff.
Child Protection issues and training needs are on the weekly staff meeting agenda in order to keep all staff informed of current issues within school and are facilitated daily by Personalised Learning Coordinator, whose role is to inform staff of daily issues which may affect a young persons’ learning. In addition procedures are also in place to ensure that appropriate support is provided for staff who have queries or concerns about child protection. We actively foster a good understanding and working relationship between ourselves, social workers and staff in other agencies involved in safeguarding children, to develop effective partnership working.
Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child.
Professionals can only work together to safeguard children if there is an exchange of relevant information between them. This has been recognised in principle by the courts. Any disclosure of personal information to others, [including the social service departments], must always however, have regard to both common and statute law.
Normally, personal information should only be disclosed to third parties (including other agencies) with the consent of the subject of that information (Data Protection Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8). Wherever possible, consent should be obtained before sharing personal information with third parties.
In some circumstances, consent may not be possible or desirable but the safety and welfare of a child dictate that the information should be shared. The law permits the disclosure of confidential information necessary to safeguard a child or children.
Disclosure should be justifiable in each case, according to the particular facts of the case, and legal advice should be sought if in doubt.
- Records and Monitoring
Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our school is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our school, the status of such records and when these records should be passed over to other agencies.
- Attendance at Child Protection Conferences
The purpose of a Child Protection Conference is to bring together family members, the child, where appropriate, and those professionals most involved with the child and family, following S47 enquiries. Its purpose is:
To bring together and analyse the available information (about the child’s health, development and functioning, and the parent/carer’s capacity to ensure safety and promote health and development) in a multi-disciplinary setting;
To make judgements about the likelihood of a child suffering significant harm in the future;
To decide what future action is needed to safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare, how action will be taken forward and with what intended outcomes.
For further information on Child Protection Conferences please see the document ‘Child Protection Conferences and Core Groups in Lancashire a Guide for Educationalists’.
- Supporting Students at Risk
Roselyn House School recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth and to view the world in a positive way. This school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Whilst at school, their behaviour may be challenging and defiant and there may even be moves to consider suspension or exclusion from school. It is also recognised that some children who have experienced abuse may in turn abuse others. This requires a considered, sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.
Roselyn House School will endeavour to support students through:
- the curriculum, to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation;
- withdrawal interventions
- sessions which deal with Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning and development of emotional Literacy;
- the school ethos, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all students and adults a sense of being respected and valued;
- the implementation of school behaviour management policies (required under the Code of Practice, 1993 Education Act);
- a consistent approach, which recognises and separates the cause of behaviour from that which the child displays. This is vital to ensure that all children are supported within the school setting;
- regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the students and their families;
- a commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents, whenever it is in the child’s interests to do so;
- the development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations.
We recognise that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse. School staff who work, in any capacity, with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and/or emotional and behaviour problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.
It must also be stressed that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children may also be particularly vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
- Safe Schools, Safe Staff
Team Teach policy and procedure is followed by all staff. There is a ‘safe’ touch which is shoulder and elbow. (See section 2 Care and Control Policy and also Team Teach guidance).
Staff are made aware of the issues around being in a one to one situation (i.e. room door being left open). This is something that does occur at times although the plans are that where this is the case it is part of a previously approved and understood programme.
Staff are made aware about avoiding situations where allegations may be made against them through the school’s Allegations procedure and through the Guidance on Professional Conduct Document (i.e. by giving gifts outside the school’s rewards system).
Sex education is provided appropriately through the PSHE/ Science curriculum. Staff are advised to direct students to other professional agencies regarding advice on sexual matters. Staff are aware that advice on sexual health or health services are only provided in order to protect a child’s physical safety or well emotional wellbeing, or to prevent sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy.
All parents need to understand that all schools and FE institutions have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are their students, that this responsibility necessitates a child protection policy and procedures, and that a school or institution may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. There is a reference to this in the information pack provided to students and parents.
Roselyn House School follows the guidance laid down by PanLancashire guidance and policy with regard recruitment.
Organisations must have an explicit written recruitment and selection policy statement and detailed procedures. This should include an explicit statement about the organisations commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This statement should be included in:
Candidate information packs;
Once a post becomes vacant or a new post is created, the job description and person specification need to be agreed and/or reviewed to ensure compliance with the safe recruitment guidance set out in this procedure. This will apply whatever the level of responsibility or duration of the appointment;
Job advertisements should include reference to the need for the successful applicant to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service, where appropriate, as well as the usual details of the post, salary, qualifications required etc;
The level of information to be sent to potential applicants in the candidates' information pack will depend on the level of the post. A copy of the organisation's Child Protection Statement should always be included in the information pack, as well as the application form, job description and person specification. The information should also set out clearly the extent of the relationships and contact with children and the degree of responsibility for children that the person will have in the position to be filled. The information will stress that the identity of the candidate, if successful, will need to be checked thoroughly and will refer to the need for a Disclosure and Barring Service check;
Job descriptions must state:
- The main duties and responsibilities of the post; and
- The post-holder's responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children with whom s/he has contact or for whom s/he is responsible.
- Person specifications should:
- Include the qualifications and experience, and any other requirements needed to perform the role in relation to working with children;
- Describe the competencies and qualities that the successful candidate should be able to demonstrate;
- Explain that if the applicant is short-listed any relevant issues arising from the references will be taken up at interview;
- Explain how these requirements will be tested and assessed during the selection process including:
- Motivation to work with children;
- Ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with children;
- Emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours;
- Attitudes to use of authority and maintaining discipline.
- Both job descriptions and person specifications must be completed at the same time and before the job is advertised. Under no circumstances should the person specification be completed or revised after the selection panel has had access to the applications received;
- All organisations should develop a standard application form which is used for all staff vacancies. The application form should ask for:
- Full identifying details of the applicant, including current and former names, date of birth, current address and national insurance number;
- Details of any relevant academic and/or vocational qualifications with details of the awarding body and date of the award;
- A full history in chronological order since leaving secondary education, including periods of any post-secondary education or training and part-time or voluntary work as well as full-time employment with start and end dates, explanations for periods not in employment, education or training and reasons for leaving each employment;
- Details of referees, one of whom must be from the applicant's current or most recent employer. Referees should not be accepted from relatives or persons writing solely in the capacity of friends.
- Where an applicant who is not currently working with children has done so in the past, it is important that a reference is also obtained from the employer by whom the person was most recently employed in work with children. Careful consideration needs to be given where the applicant has been working as a locum or on a series of temporary contracts. The need to request an additional reference from the last permanent employer should be considered.
- A statement of the personal qualities and experiences that the applicant believes are relevant to his or her suitability for the post advertised and how s/he meets the person specification;
- A signed declaration by the applicant that s/he is not disqualified from work with children, on the Barred Lists of the Disclosure and Barring Service or subject to sanctions imposed by a Regulatory Authority and that s/he has no convictions, cautions and bind-overs, including those regarded as 'spent', or has attached details of his or her criminal record in a sealed envelope marked 'confidential'.
NOTE: DBS Eligibility Criteria has been updated to cover the new term of ‘Work with Children’ Enhanced DBS checks will be undertaken where the activities will fall within the definition of Work with Children or Regulated Activity. The concept of Work with Children includes, but is wider than, Regulated Activity. The term has been adopted by the DBS to give a single definition of roles which will be subject to an Enhanced check, which were previously dealt with under various provisions. The term does not alter the relevant activities, it merely clarifies the situation.
Incomplete applications must not be accepted and must be returned to the applicant for completion;
It is not good practice to accept CVs drawn up by applicants in place of an application form because these will only contain the information the applicant wishes to present and may omit relevant details;
The application form should also record that:
Where appropriate, the successful candidate will be required to provide a Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure at the appropriate level for the post;
KS Education Limited will seek references on short-listed candidates and may approach previous employers to verify particular experience or qualifications, before interview;
If the applicant is working with children, either paid or unpaid, his or her current employer will be asked about disciplinary offences relating to children, including any for which the penalty is time expired, and whether the candidate has been the subject of any child protection concerns and if so, the outcome of any enquiry or disciplinary procedure. If the applicant is nor currently working with children but has done so in the past, that previous employer will be asked about these issues; and
Providing false information is an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected and possible referral to the Police.
- The purpose of seeking reference is to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decision;
- References must not be accepted except where they have been sought directly from a previous employer or other referee. Open "To whom it may concern" references must never be accepted;
- A copy of the job description and the person specifications should be included with all reference requests;
- All requests for references should ask (and a pro forma may be used for this purpose):
- About the referees relationship with the candidate, e.g. did they have a working relationship; if so, what; how long has the referee known the candidate, and in what capacity;
- Whether the referee is satisfied that the person has the ability and is suitable to undertake the job;
- Whether the referee is completely satisfied that the candidate is suitable to work with children and if not, for specific details of the referees concerns and the reasons why the referee believes the person might be unsuitable;
And should remind the referee that:
- They have a responsibility to ensure that the reference is accurate and does not contain any material misstatement or omission;
- Relevant factual content of the reference may be discussed with the applicant.
In addition to the above, requests addressed to a candidate's current or previous employer in work with children should also seek:
- Specific verifiable comments about the candidates performance history and conduct;
- Details of any disciplinary procedures the candidate has been subject to in which the disciplinary sanction is current;
- Details of any disciplinary procedures the candidate has been subject to involving issues related to the safety and welfare of children, including any in which the disciplinary sanction has expired, and the outcome of those;
- Details of any allegations or concerns that have been raised about the candidate that relate either to the safety and welfare of children or behaviour towards children and the outcome of those concerns, e.g. whether the allegations or concerns were investigated, the conclusions reached, and how the matter was resolved.
- An employer reference must also be obtained in respect of internal candidates for posts involving direct contact with children;
- So that information of comparable weight is obtained for all candidates, references on all short-listed candidates (including internal ones) should wherever possible be obtained prior to interview so that any issues of concern they raise can be explored further with a referee and taken up with the candidate at interview;
- Written references must be checked carefully with the application form to identify any possible discrepancies; in all cases, any discrepancy should be taken up with the candidate before the person's appointment is confirmed.
References and Checks with Respect to Agency Staff
Where members of staff are engaged via specialist employment agencies, it is important that there are systems in place to ensure that only employment agencies which can offer safe selection processes are used. It is expected that agency staff provide verification of their identity prior to starting work in the same as any directly employed member of staff;
References from any previous substantive employers must be sought as described above and requests to employment agencies must seek confirmation:
- That the individual was registered with the agency in the period/s claimed;
- Of all assignments including dates, roles and name and address of all work places;
- Of the quantity and pattern of any absences from their assignments;
- Of any cause for concern within the agency including any request by a client for the person to be withdrawn from an assignment which upon investigation was found to be justified.
The employment agency must also be asked to confirm in writing that the required checks have been undertaken and the results received, including the date of the last Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure and whether it included any disclosed information. Where there is disclosed information, the employer must obtain a copy of the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure from the agency. If the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure has not yet been received from the agency, the employer must require the agency to inform them of the content as soon as it is received.
If the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure refers to the existence of information additional to what is on the face of the Disclosure, the agency cannot provide the employer with a copy of that information. If the employer still wants to engage the person, the employer should carry out a repeat Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure and not employ the person until they receive the new disclosure.
The Selection Panel
It is best practice for Selection Panels to comprise a minimum of two interviewers. It is essential that the same selection panel should both short-list and interview candidates. Panel members should not stand to gain from the appointment or have a personal relationship with any of the applicants;
Interview panels should be balanced wherever possible by gender and race and at least one panel member must have experience and an understanding of working with children and one panel member (who can be the same person) must have had specific training in safe recruitment and selection methods.
Scrutinising and Short-Listing
All applications should be scrutinised to ensure that they are fully and properly completed, that the information provided is consistent and does not contain any discrepancies, and to identify any gaps in employment;
In drawing up a short-list there should be a systematic and consistent approach. All applicants should be assessed equally against the criteria contained in the person specification without exception or variation. Information provided in application forms must be cross checked with other sources of information prior to short-listing and interview so that any discrepancy can be explored with the candidate at interview. The criteria for personal qualities and skills must be used as well as those in relation to qualifications and experience. If greater emphasis is placed on one or more important skill and competency for the job, this must be clear from the outset.
Candidates must be asked to bring documentary evidence of their identity that will satisfy Disclosure and Barring Service requirements - i.e. a full birth certificate or a passport/photo driving licence or some form of photograph identification, together with an additional document such as a utility bill that verifies the candidates name and address. Where appropriate, change of name documentation should also be brought to the interview;
Candidates should also be asked to bring original or certified copies of documents confirming any necessary or relevant educational and professional qualifications. If the successful candidate cannot produce original documents or certified copies, written confirmation of his/her relevant qualifications must be obtained from the awarding body;
Interviews must be face to face even where there is only one candidate. All questions must be prepared in advance by the Selection Panel and must not be discriminatory with regard to sex, marital status, race or ethnic origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or political belief. Poorly structured interviews will not be reliable;
The candidates' attitude towards children and commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children should be tested. The following areas should be explored with the candidates in the interview:
- Their motivation and reasons for working with children;
- Their attitudes and behaviour about control and punishment;
- Their perceptions about the boundaries of acceptable behaviour towards children;
- Their ability to form and maintain professional relationships;
- Their personal belief systems including attitudes to, perception of and sensitivity to sexual images of children;
- Their understanding of safeguarding children.
- Any gaps in the candidate's employment history must be fully explored during the interview as should any discrepancies arising from the information supplied by the candidate or a referee;
Notes of questions asked and answers given at the interview must be made and retained, usually by the human resources officer in attendance;
After the interview, Panel members should separately score the candidates. They should then share their scores and discuss their reasons for reaching the scores. This discussion should result in a joint agreed score for each candidate;
A decision as to whether to appoint an individual to a role working with children must be based upon an evaluation of the information obtained from all of the above stages. Appointments must be made on the basis of a person's experiences, ability and suitability to perform the role rather than on the urgency of the need or the availability of the applicant.
Offer of Appointment to Successful Candidate
An offer of appointment must be conditional upon pre-employment checks being satisfactorily completed, including:
- Receipt of two satisfactory references - if references have not been obtained before the interview, it is vital that they are obtained and scrutinised before a persons appointment is confirmed;
- Verification of the candidate's identity (if this has not been verified straight after the interview);
- A Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure appropriate to the role (but see also Paragraph 53), which will include a check of the Barred Lists;
- Verification of the candidate's medical fitness;
- Verification of any relevant qualifications and professional status (if not verified straight after the interview) and whether any restrictions have been imposed by a regulatory body such as the Teaching Agency or the General Medical Council;
- Evidence of right to work in the UK for those who are not nationals of a European Economic Area country.
All checks should be confirmed in writing, documented and retained on the personnel file and followed up where they are unsatisfactory or where there are discrepancies in the information provided. At Roselyn House School we also keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks of staff and volunteers.
Ideally, where a Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure is required, it should be obtained before an individual begins work. It must in any case be obtained as soon as practicable after the individual's appointment and the request for a Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure should be submitted in advance of the individual starting work. However, there is discretion to allow an individual to begin work pending receipt of the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure. However, in such cases, the individual must be appropriately supervised and all other checks, should have been completed;
Appropriate supervision for individuals who start work prior to the result of a Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure being known needs to reflect what is known about the person concerned, their experience, the nature of their duties and the level of responsibility they will carry. For those with limited experience and where references have provided limited information the level of supervision required may be high. For those with more experience and where the references are detailed and provide strong evidence of good conduct in previous relevant work a lower level of supervision may be appropriate. For all staff without completed Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosures it should be made clear that they are subject to this additional supervision. The nature of the supervision should be specified and the roles of staff in undertaking the supervision spelt out. The arrangements should be reviewed regularly at least every two weeks until the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure is received;
Where a Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure indicates cause for concern, the member of staff must immediately be withdrawn pending further enquiries.
Disclosure and Barring Service Checks
The Disclosure and Barring Service now provides two levels of disclosures which are of relevance to employers (standard and enhanced disclosures), and one or other must be sought with respect to all candidates who seek to work with children;
A standard disclosure is available for posts involving regular contact with children (and Vulnerable Adults), certain professions in health, pharmacy and the law;
Standard disclosures indicate if there is nothing on record or show details drawn from the police national computer of:
Spent and unspent convictions;
Formal reprimands; and
Standard disclosures are issued to the individual and copied to the body registered to seek them.
The enhanced disclosure in addition to the information provided by a standard disclosure may contain non-conviction information from local police records, which a chief police officer thinks may be relevant to the position sought;
The enhanced disclosure is available for positions involving regular caring for, training, supervision or being in sole charge of children (or Vulnerable Adults).
Persons Prohibited from Working/Seeking Work with Children
If a disclosure reveals that an applicant is prohibited from seeking or working with children, as set out in Section 36 of the Criminal Justice and Court Act 2000, it is an offence for a person to apply for or accept any work in any of the regulated positions as set out in the Act and the Police must be informed without delay of the individuals attempt to seek employment. It is also an offence for an organisation knowingly to offer work in a regulated position to an individual who is disqualified from working with children or fail to remove such a person from work.
Roselyn House School follows procedures from Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 with regard to Prohibition Checks and Section 128 Direction.Teacher prohibition orders prevent a person from carrying out teaching work in schools, sixth form colleges, 16 to 19 academies, relevant youth accommodation and children's homes in England. A person who is prohibited from teaching must not be appointed to work as a teacher in such a setting. A check of any prohibition can be carried out using the Teacher Services’ system. Prohibition orders are described in the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s (NCTL) publication Teacher misconduct: the prohibition of teachers 98. Teacher prohibition orders are made by the Secretary of State following consideration by a professional conduct panel convened by NCTL. Pending such consideration, the Secretary of State may issue an interim prohibition order if it is considered to be in the public interest to do so.
Section 128 direction 99. A section 128 direction39 prohibits or restricts a person from taking part in the management of an independent school, including academies and free schools. A person who is prohibited is unable to participate in any management of an independent school such as: a management position in an independent school, academy or free school as an employee; a trustee of an academy or free school trust; a governor or member of a proprietor body for an independent school; or a governor on any governing body in an independent school, academy or free school that retains or has been delegated any management responsibilities. A check for a section 128 direction can be carried out using the Teacher Services’ system. Where the person will be engaging in regulated activity, a DBS barred list check will also identify any section 128 direction. 100. The grounds on which a section 128 direction may be made by the Secretary of State are found in the relevant regulations. These are carried out by R.Smith.
Limitations of Disclosures - Overseas Criminal Record Disclosure
The DBS cannot access criminal records held overseas, but it is possible to submit an application while the applicant is overseas. In a small number of cases, overseas criminal records are held on the Police National Computer and these would be revealed as part of a criminal record check. You must still verify the identity of an overseas applicant;
As the DBS cannot access criminal records held overseas, a criminal record check may not provide a complete picture of an individual’s criminal record;
For more information please see The Home Office Guidance Criminal Records Checks for Overseas Applicants.
Checking via Embassies
If people are recruited from overseas, you should contact the embassy or High Commission of the country in question. You can find contact details for embassies and High Commissions in the UK on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. You can also contact the FCO Response Centre Helpline on 020 7008 1500.If the foreign check needs translating, the embassy of the country concerned may be able to help;
The DBS is not involved in the processing of applications made by individuals to overseas authorities and will not be responsible for the contents or the length of time taken for information to be returned.
Certificates of Good Conduct
You should try to obtain a certificate of good conduct and any other references from potential overseas employees. The standard of foreign police checks varies. To find out the standard, you should contact either the authorities in a particular country, or their embassy. Either you or the employee should obtain a certified translation of the certificate of good conduct. The DBS does not offer a translation service.
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides protective security advice. This is for companies and organisations that deliver the UK’s essential services. You can find information about overseas criminal records checks on the CPNI website;
These checks should be made clear to candidates at interview. Any offer of employment should be a conditional offer subject to satisfactory clearances being received and checked. When a decision has been made and a successful candidate notified they should be encouraged to contact the staffing team as soon as possible to start their pre-employment checks;
Only when all of these checks are completed and returned should an offer of employment be confirmed. Do not offer a candidate an unconditional offer at any point.
Evaluation and Management of Disclosure Information
Any concerns raised as a result of Disclosure and Barring Service checks must be followed up. Where information is disclosed, employers must carry out an initial evaluation and make a judgment about the person's suitability to work with children taking into account only those offences that may be relevant to the post in question. Where further information is required, the applicant's consent must be sought and the information should be obtained by a person with an understanding of child protection matters;
In deciding the relevance of disclosure information, the following should be considered:
- The nature of the appointment;
- The nature and circumstances of the offence;
- The age at which the offence took place;
- The frequency of the offence.
All documentation relating to the recruitment of staff must be retained on file, including notes made of candidates' responses to questions at interview. Any check completed must be confirmed in writing and retained on the candidate's personnel file, together with photocopies of and documents used to verify his/her identity and qualifications. Under Disclosure and Barring Service regulations, Disclosure and Barring Service disclosures should be destroyed as soon as it is no longer needed, but a record must be kept of the date the disclosure was obtained and who by, the level of the disclosure and the unique reference number;
A record must be kept of evidence to show that such checks have been carried out in respect of supply staff and volunteers whether recruited directly or through an agency;
Satisfactory references must be kept on the candidates personnel file or, in the case of supply staff or volunteers not recruited through an agency, on a central record within the organisation;
Where information gained by the employer from either references or other checks calls into question the candidate's suitability to work with children, or where the candidate has provided false information in support of the application, the facts must be reported to the Safeguarding Unit and/or to the Police.
Induction and Review
For all new staff working with children, including locum and agency staff, their induction must cover safeguarding and promoting children's welfare as outlined in each Safeguarding Children Board's Training Strategy. This must include an introduction to the organisation's child protection policy and procedures. They must also be made aware of the identity and specific responsibilities of those staff with designated safeguarding responsibilities;
New staff members must be provided with information about safe practice and a full explanation of their role and responsibilities and the standard of conduct and behaviour expected. They must also be provided with information about the organisation's disciplinary procedures and the relevant whistle blowing policy;
The induction programme must also include attendance at child protection training at a level appropriate to the member of staffs work with children;
Where appropriate, supplementary induction, supervision training and appraisal with respect to their new role must be provided. Information gleaned from the selection process must be used to inform a personalised induction and support programme;
Regular supervision and review meetings between the appointee and his/her line manager must be convened by the manager throughout the induction period to address areas where further support, guidance and training may be required.
Supervision and Support
Senior managers in all agencies for which this procedure is relevant have a duty to ensure the provision of:
- Adequate training for staff working with and/or likely to come into contact with children and families;
- Clear and up to date procedures to follow in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including information sharing and what to do if they have concerns that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering significant harm;
- Ready access to advice, expertise and management support in all matters related to safeguarding children and child protection (including recognition of the need for additional support in particular cases or circumstances);
- Systems to protect staff from violence, bullying and harassment including racial harassment and homophobia;
- Systems to monitor that staff comply with expected behaviour and good practice through performance management and professional development arrangements;
- Systems to recognise and respond to poor practice e.g. regular audits of cases which involve children, including those in adult and mental health teams;
- Complaints and whistle-blowing procedures to allow service users and staff to highlight issues for consideration and resolution;
- Collated information for the Local Safeguarding Children Board about issues arising from local operational experience of child protection.
- All agencies which have operational responsibility for child protection services must have an agency policy, which defines minimum levels of formal supervision of those staff who are accountable for child protection cases;
- Such supervision should help to ensure that practice is soundly based and consistent with the Local Safeguarding Children Board and organisational procedures. It should ensure that practitioners fully understand their roles, responsibilities and the scope of their professional discretion and authority. All child protection cases must be regularly discussed in supervision and case files/records audited systematically by the line manager;
- Supervisors should be available to practitioners as an important source of advice and expertise, and may be required to endorse judgments at certain key points in time, which should then be recorded within the child's case records;
- On some occasions - e.g. enquiries about complex abuse or allegations against colleagues, agencies must consider the provision of additional individual or group staff support;
- Managers must develop local policies and systems to maximise staff safety including the need to carry out risk assessments as appropriate.
Recording Systems for Unsuitable Staff
Any concerns that arise that call into question a person's suitability to work with children must be managed according to the Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children (including Carers and Volunteers) Procedure.
(Read Working Together To Safeguard Children DfE Guidance March 2015)
Staff, through fears about repercussions, may find it difficult to raise child protection concerns about colleagues or managers;
At Roselyn House School we ensure the provision of a well-publicised 'whistle blowing' or 'speak out' procedure that provides alternative methods of reporting concerns relating to conduct which is in breach of the law, compromises health and safety provisions or falls below established standards of childcare practice.
Staff are made aware of the current procedures in place when faced with allegations of abuse through staff training. Staff sign that they have read these procedures as a part of their induction programme.
- The Common Assessment Framework Form
A CAF is a shared assessment tool for use across all Children’s Services in England. It helps early identification of needs of children and young people and promotes co-ordinated approach on how these needs should be met.
It is a process for:
- Recognising the signs that a child may have unmet needs
- Developing a child/young person’s centred and holistic approach to assessment and needs
- Recording information using the CAF form and, with consent, sharing information
- Developing appropriate and timely support plans
- A process that may lead to specialist assessment.
This form should be used when we consider that a child has needs which cannot be met solely by those services and resources which can be accessed directly by school and where, following an assessment of the situation, we believe that co-ordinated intervention is required to promote, safeguard or protect the welfare of the child.
In these circumstances, we will have records detailing what work has been undertaken by Roselyn House School to support the child and family and why we believe that a more corporate and co-ordinated approach is needed. This information then provides the basis for the completion of the CAF.
The request for co-ordinated support services for a family should always be discussed with parents unless to do so would place the child or others at risk of harm. The referral will be completed by a Designated Senior Person.
Where, following an assessment of a situation, it is considered immediate protective action is required; a child protection referral must be made by the Designated Senior Person. This referral will be a telephone call/visit to the local children’s services. The CAF form should then be forwarded by the nominated officer to social services following the child protection referral.
Where there is a safeguarding issue, Roselyn House School will work in accordance with the principles outlined in the Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board:
A child’s welfare is paramount. Each child has a right to be protected from harm and exploitation and to have their welfare safeguarded
Each child is unique. Action taken by child welfare organisations should be child-centred, taking account of a child’s cultural, ethnic and religious background, their gender, their sexual orientation, their individual ability and any special needs
Children, parents and other carers should be made aware of their responsibilities and their rights, together with advice about the power of professionals to intervene in their family circumstances
Each child has a right to be consulted about actions taken by others on his/her behalf. The concerns of children and their families should be listened to and due consideration given to their understanding, wishes and feelings
Individual family members must be involved in decisions affecting them. They must be treated with courtesy and respect and with due regard given to working with them in a spirit of partnership in safeguarding children’s welfare
Open-mindedness and honesty must guide each stage of assessment and of operational practice. The strengths of individual family members, as well as their needs, should be given due consideration
Personal information is usually confidential. It should only be shared with the permission of the individual concerned, or unless the disclosure of confidential personal information is necessary in order to protect a child. In all circumstances, information must be confined to those people directly involved in the professional network of each individual child and on a strict “need to know” basis
Professionals should be aware of the effects of outside intervention upon children, upon family life and the impact and implications of what they say and do
Explanations by professionals to children, their families and other carers should be plainly stated and jargon-free. Unavoidable technical and professional terminology should be explained in simple terms
Sound professional practice is based upon positive inter-agency collaboration, evidence-based research and effective supervision and evaluation
Early intervention in providing support services under Section 17 of the Children Act (1989) is an important principle of practice in inter-agency arrangements for safeguarding the welfare of children
- Guidance on 'Whether this is a Child Protection Matter'
If staff have significant concerns about any child they should make them known to the schools Designated or Deputy Designated Child Protection Teachers. These concerns may include:
May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
There are three thresholds for and types of referral that need to be considered:
- Is this a child with additional needs where their health, development or achievement may be adversely affected? A Common Assessment Framework (CAF) should be completed when:
- Age appropriate progress is not being made and the causes are unclear or
- The support of more than one agency is needed to meet the child or young person’s needs.
If this is a child with additional needs discuss the issues with the CAF trained practitioner (DSP or Back up DSP), the child and parents. You will need to obtain parental consent for a CAF to be completed.
Is this child in need? s17 of the Children Act 1989 says:
- they are unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have opportunity to achieve or maintain a reasonable standard of health or development, without the provision of services by a local authority
- their health or development is likely to be impaired, or further impaired without the provision of such services
- they are disabled
Is this a child protection matter? s47 of the Children Act 1989 says:
- children at risk or who are suffering significant harm
- children suffering the effects of significant harm
- serious health problems
If this is a child in need, discuss the issues with the Designated Senior Person(s) and parents. Obtain their consent for referral to First Response.
If this is a child protection matter, this should be discussed with the Designated Senior Person and will need to be referred to First Response by the school as soon as possible.
It is the ‘significant harm’ threshold that justifies statutory intervention into family life. A professional making a child protection referral under S.47 must therefore provide information which clearly outlines that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
It is not possible to rely on one absolute criterion when judging what constitutes significant harm. Consideration of the severity of ill-treatment may include the extent of the harm suffered, the context within which it occurred and its duration.
Significant harm may also arise from a combination of significant events which are both acute and long standing and which may impair the child’s physical, psychological and social development. In order to both understand and establish significant harm, it is necessary to consider the family context, together with the child’s development within their wider social and cultural environment. It is also necessary to consider any special needs, e.g. medical condition, communication difficulties or disability that may affect the child’s development and care within the family. The nature of harm, in terms of ill-treatment or failure to provide adequate care also needs consideration alongside the impact on the child’s health and development and the adequacy of care provided.
It is all staff’s responsibility to report issues of concern and for the Designated Senior Person(s) to make judgements and report further.
The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families provides a systematic basis for collecting and analysing information to support professional judgements about how to help children and families in the best interests of the child. Professionals should use the framework to gain an understanding of:
- A child's developmental needs;
- The capacity of parents or caregivers to respond appropriately to those needs, including their capacity to keep the child safe from harm;
- The impact of wider family and environmental factors on the parents and child.
The framework is to be used for the assessment of all children in need, including those where there are concerns that a child may be suffering significant harm. The process of engaging in an assessment should be viewed as being part of the range of services offered to children and families. Use of the framework should provide evidence to help, guide and inform judgements about children's welfare and safety from the first point of contact, through the processes of initial and more detailed core assessments, according to the nature and extent of the child's needs. The provision of appropriate services need not and should not wait until the end of the assessment process, but should be determined according to what is required, and when, to promote the welfare and safety of the child;
Evidence about children's developmental progress - and their parents' capacity to respond appropriately to the child's needs within the wider family and environmental context - should underpin judgements about:
The child's welfare and safety;
Whether - and if so how - to provide help to children and family members;
What form of intervention will bring about the best possible outcomes for the child;
The intended outcomes of intervention.
Dimensions of Child’s Developmental Needs
Includes growth and development as well as physical and mental wellbeing. The impact of genetic factors and of any impairment needs to be considered. Involves receiving appropriate health care when ill, an adequate and nutritious diet, exercise, immunisations (where appropriate) and developmental checks, dental and optical care and, for older children, appropriate advice and information on issues that have an impact on health, including sex education and substance misuse.
Covers all areas of a child's cognitive development which begins from birth. Includes opportunities:
For play and interaction with other children;
To have access to books;
To acquire a range of skills and interests;
To experience success and achievement.
Involves an adult interested in educational activities, progress and achievements, who takes account of the child's starting point and any special educational needs.
Emotional and Behavioural Development
Concerns the appropriateness of response demonstrated in feelings and actions by a child, initially to parents and care givers and, as the child grows older, to others beyond the family. Includes nature and quality of early attachments, characteristics of temperament, adaptation to change, response to stress and degree of appropriate self-control.
Concerns the child's growing sense of self as a separate and valued person. Includes the child's view of self and abilities, self-image and self-esteem, and having a positive sense of individuality. Race religion, age, gender, sexuality and disability may all contribute to this. Feelings of belonging and acceptance by family, peer group and wider society, including other cultural groups.
Family and Social Relationships
Development of empathy and the capacity to place self in someone else's shoes. Includes a stable and affectionate relationship with parents or care givers, good relationships with siblings, increasing importance of age appropriate friendships with peers and other significant persons in the child's life and response of family to these relationships.
Concerns child's growing understanding of the way in which appearance, behaviour, and any impairment are perceived by the outside world and the impression being created. Includes appropriateness of dress for age, gender, culture and religion; cleanliness and personal hygiene; and availability of advice from parents or care givers about presentation in different settings.
Self Care Skills
Concerns the acquisition by a child of practical, emotional and communication competencies required for increasing independence. Includes early practical skills of dressing and feeding, opportunities to gain confidence and practical skills to undertake activities away from the family and independent living skills as older children. Includes encouragement to acquire social problem solving approaches. Special attention should be given to the impact of a child's impairment and other vulnerabilities, and on social circumstances affecting these in the development of self care skills.
Dimensions of Parenting Capacity
Providing for the child's physical needs, and appropriate medical and dental care. Includes provision of food, drink, warmth, shelter, clean and appropriate clothing and adequate personal hygiene.
Ensuring the child is adequately protected from harm or danger. Includes protection from significant harm or danger, and from contact with unsafe adults/other children and from self-harm. Recognition of hazards and danger both in the home and elsewhere.
Ensuring the child's emotional needs are met giving the child a sense of being specially valued and a positive sense of own racial and cultural identity. Includes ensuring the child's requirements for secure, stable and affectionate relationships with significant adults, with appropriate sensitivity and responsiveness to the child's needs. Appropriate physical contact, comfort and cuddling sufficient to demonstrate warm regard, praise and encouragement.
Promoting child's learning and intellectual development through encouragement and cognitive stimulation and promoting social opportunities. Includes facilitating the child's cognitive development and potential through interaction, communication, talking and responding to the child's language and questions, encouraging and joining the child's play, and promoting educational opportunities. Enabling the child to experience success and ensuring school attendance or equivalent opportunity. Facilitating child to meet challenges of life.
Guidance and Boundaries
Enabling the child to regulate their own emotions and behaviour. The key parental tasks are demonstrating and modelling appropriate behaviour and control of emotions and interactions with others, and guidance which involves setting boundaries, so that the child is able to develop an internal model of moral values and conscience, and social behaviour appropriate for the society within which they will grow up. The aim is to enable the child to grow into an autonomous adult, holding their own values, and able to demonstrate appropriate behaviour with others rather than having to be dependent on rules outside themselves. This includes not overprotecting children from exploratory and learning experiences. Includes social problem solving, anger management, consideration for others, and effective discipline and shaping of behaviour.
Providing a sufficiently stable family environment to enable a child to develop and maintain a secure attachment to the primary caregiver(s) in order to ensure optimal development. Includes: ensuring secure attachments are not disrupted, providing consistency of emotional warmth over time and responding in a similar manner to the same behaviour. Parental responses change and develop according to child's developmental progress. In addition, ensuring children keep in contact with important family members and significant others.
Family and Environmental Factors
Family History and Functioning
Family history includes both genetic and psycho-social factors. Family functioning is influenced by who is living in the household and how they are related to the child; significant changes in family/household composition; history of childhood experiences of parents; chronology of significant life events and their meaning to family members; nature of family functioning, including sibling relationships and its impact on the child; parental strengths and difficulties, including those of an absent parent; the relationship between separated parents.
Who are considered to be members of the wider family by the child and the parents? This includes related and non-related persons and absent wider family. What is their role and importance to the child and parents and in precisely what way?
Does the accommodation have basic amenities and facilities appropriate to the age and development of the child and other resident members? Is the housing accessible and suitable to the needs family members with disabilities? Includes the interior and exterior of the accommodation and immediate surroundings. Basic amenities include water, heating, sanitation, cooking facilities, sleeping arrangements and cleanliness, hygiene and safety and their impact on the child's upbringing.
Who is working in the household, their pattern of work and any changes? What impact does this have on the child? How is work or absence of work viewed by family members? How does it affect their relationship with the child? Includes children's experience of work and its impact on them.
Income available over a sustained period of time. Is the family in receipt of all its benefit entitlements? Sufficiency of income to meet the family's needs. The way resources available to the family are used. Are there financial difficulties which affect the child?
Families Social Integration
Exploration of the wider context of the local neighbourhood and community and its impact on the child and parents. Includes the degree of the family's integration or isolation, their peer groups, friendship and social networks and the importance attached to them.
Describes all facilities and services in a neighbourhood, including universal services of primary health care, day care and schools, places of worship, transport, shops and leisure activities. Includes availability, accessibility and standard of resources and impact on the family, including members with disabilities.
- Talking to and listening to children
If a child chooses to disclose, you SHOULD:
- be accessible and receptive;
- listen carefully and uncritically at the child’s pace;
- take what is said seriously;
- reassure the child that they are right to tell;
- tell the child that you must pass this information on;
- make a careful record of what was said.
You should NEVER:
- take photographs or examine an injury;
- investigate or probe aiming to prove or disprove possible abuse – never ask leading questions;
- make promises to children about confidentiality or keeping 'secrets';
- assume that someone else will take the necessary action;
- jump to conclusions or react with shock, anger or horror;
- speculate or accuse anybody;
- confront another person (adult or child) allegedly involved;
- offer opinions about what is being said or about the persons allegedly involved;
- forget to record what you have been told;
- fail to pass the information on to the correct person;
- ask a child to sign a written copy of the disclosure.
For children with communication difficulties or who use alternative/augmented communication systems, you may need to take extra care to ensure that signs of abuse and neglect are identified and interpreted correctly, but concerns should be reported in exactly the same manner as for other children.
- Record keeping
Well kept records are essential in situations where it is suspected or believed that a child may be at risk from harm.
- state who was present, time, date and place;
- use the child’s words wherever possible;
- be factual/state exactly what was said;
- differentiate clearly between fact, opinion, interpretation, observation and/or allegation;
- be written in ink and signed by the recorder;
At Roselyn House School, staff should complete a pink information form and return it to the Senior Designated Teacher in an envelope marked confidential. These will be for confidentiality purposes and be filed in the child protection file locked in the Main Office.
The Senior Designated Teacher will then take responsibility as to when/ if a referral should take place and collate all relevant documentation.
- Protecting yourself against allegations of abuse
You should seek to keep your personal contact with children under review and seek to minimise the risk of any situation arising in which misunderstandings can occur. The following sensible precautions can be taken when working alone with children:
- work in a room where there is a glass panel in the door or leave the door open
- make sure that other adults visit the room occasionally
- avoid working in isolation with children unless thought has been given to safeguards
- give out personal mobile phone numbers or private e-mail addresses
- give students lifts home in your cars (unless you have been pre-authorised as part of a school/staff transport agreement and the relevant insurance is in place)
- arrange to meet them outside of school hours
- chat to students on the social websites (unless approved use of school social media has been given which is monitored)
- under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 it is a criminal offence to have a sexual relationship with a student
Any use of physical intervention against students will be carried out and documented in accordance with Roselyn House School’s Physical Intervention policy. If it is necessary to use physical action to prevent a child from injury to themselves or others parents will be informed.
Children will not be punished by any form of hitting, slapping, shaking or other degrading treatment.
- Allegations of abuse against a professional
Children can be the victims of abuse by those who work with them in any setting. All allegations of abuse of children carried out by any staff member or volunteer should therefore be taken seriously. If an allegation is received by the Headteacher or Chair of Advisory Body the following should be considered:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children
Allegations of abuse made against staff, whether historical or contemporary, should be dealt with by the Headteacher not the designated child protection teacher (if the allegation is against the Head then it should be dealt with by the Chair of Advisory Body).
This allegation should then be reported to the relevant LEA Safeguarding Children’s Board.
This initial conversation will establish the validity of any allegation and if a referral is needed to First Response. If this is the case a strategy meeting will be called that the Head / Chair should attend.
The decision of the strategy meeting could be:
- investigation by children’s social care
- police investigation if there is a criminal element to the allegation
- single agency investigation completed by the school which should involve the Schools Human Resource advisor Peninsula Business Services LTD
The fact that a member of staff offers to resign should not prevent the allegation procedure reaching a conclusion.
See Handling Allegations of Abuse Against Staff Procedure and Policy and Disciplinary and Disciplinary Dismissal Procedures.
The range of child abuse definitions and concepts are now being seen in an ICT environment. As technology develops, the internet and its range of content services can be accessed through various devices;
Communication technologies have become a significant tool in the distribution of indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of children. Internet chat rooms, social networking sites, gaming sites, virtual worlds, instant messaging, discussion forums and bulletin boards are used as a means of contacting children with a view to grooming them for inappropriate or abusive relationships, which may include requests to make and transmit pornographic images of themselves, or to perform sexual acts live in front of a webcam. Contacts made initially in a chat room are likely to be carried on via e-mail, Instant Messaging services, mobile phones or text messaging;
There is also growing cause for concern about the exposure of children to inappropriate material via interactive communication technology - e.g. adult pornography and/or extreme forms of obscene material, such as access to extremist view/ political grooming or access to violence. Allowing or encouraging a child to view such material over an appreciable period of time may warrant further enquiry. Children themselves may engage in text bullying (Cyberbullying), deliberately send explicit images of themselves (Sexting) or use mobile phone cameras to capture violent assaults of other children for circulation;
Where there is evidence of a child using ICT (including gaming devices) excessively, this may be a cause for concern more generally, in the sense that it may inhibit the development of real-world social relationships, become a factor contributing to obesity or negatively impact on their educational attainment. It may also indicate either a contemporary problem, or a deeper underlying issue that ought to be addressed, such as addictive behaviour and behaviour relating to the obsessive use of technologies such as games stations;
There is some evidence that people found in possession of indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of children are likely to be involved directly in child abuse. Thus when somebody is discovered to have placed or accessed such material on the internet, the Police should normally consider the likelihood that the individual is involved in the active abuse of children. In particular, the individual's access to children should be established, within the family, employment contexts, and in other settings (e.g. work with children as a volunteer or in other positions of trust);
If there are particular concerns about one or more specific children, procedures should be followed for Referrals, Single Assessments and, when appropriate, Strategy Discussions/Meetings. As part of their role in preventing abuse and neglect, LSCBs should consider activities to raise awareness about the safe use of the internet. LSCBs are a key partner in the development and delivery of training and education programmes, with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). This includes building on the work of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), the Home Office and the ICT industry in raising awareness about the safe use of interactive communication technologies (ICT) by children.
The best protection is to make students aware of the dangers through curriculum teaching particularly PSHE and sex education.
(See E-Safety Policy)
Protection is Prevention
Software is in place to minimise access and to highlight any person accessing inappropriate sites or information.
Students will be encouraged to discuss openly their use of technology and anything which makes them feel uncomfortable. (If this results in child protection concerns the schools designated child protection teacher should be informed immediately)
Students should not give out their personal details, phone numbers, schools, home address, computer passwords etc
Students should adhere to the school policy on mobile phones.
The police will be involved if there is any criminal element to misuse of the internet, phones or any other form of electronic media.
All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to, bullying (including cyberbullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Staff should be clear on policy regarding procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse.
- Child Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, attention, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, or others performing on them, sexual act or activities. Child sexual exploitation grooming can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/ mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/ young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/ or emotional vulnerability.
The common issues and reasons can be due to a number of factors including a young person’s low self-esteem and a poor self image.
Young people who run away from home are recognised as being more at risk of being targeted as a victim of sexual exploitation.
Vulnerabilities are identified and targeted by the abuser, whether the young person is living with their family, looked after, away from home or they have run away. Figures show that the majority of CSE victims in Lancashire are actually living with their families.
It is often the case that children and young people do not perceive themselves to be victims, as they consider they have acted voluntarily. The reality is that their behaviour is not voluntary or consenting.
Staff will receive additional training in recognising signs of exploitation and grooming and will follow stringent processes in reporting to the Senior Designated Person(s). School has developed links with Police Operations who work exclusively in this area. Specific staff have training in Sexual Exploitation and are able to deliver support and training in this area.
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for all procedures involving the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for cultural or other non therapeutic reasons. The procedure is typically performed on girls aged between four and 13 years, but in some cases FGM is performed on new born infants or on young women before marriage or pregnancy. The age at which girls undergo FGM varies according to the community. FGM is illegal in the UK. It is also illegal to take a child abroad to undergo FGM. FGM is considered child abuse in the UK and causes physical, psychological and sexual harm.
FGM is much more common than many realise, both worldwide and in the UK. It is reportedly practised in 28 African countries and in parts of the Middle and Far East but is increasingly found in Western Europe and other developed countries, primarily amongst immigrant and refugee communities. There are substantial populations from countries where FGM is endemic in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff, but it is likely that communities in which FGM is practised reside throughout the UK. It has been estimated that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK. The summer holidays, or other extended holiday absence during the school year, are particular periods when schools are encouraged to be alert to the signs of potential or actual abuse.
Designated senior staff are aware of the guidance that is available in respect of FGM, and are vigilant to the risk of it being practised. Staff in school are informed of the potential risks and have been alerted to the possible signs of FGM and the risk of abuse a young person may be at through it. Any concerns are reported to the Designated Senior Peron(s).
If a member of staff, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the police. See Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016 for further details.
- Domestic Violence
Domestic violence and abuse is a complex issue which affects every one of us and reaches every corner of our society. Domestic violence and abuse is a serious crime and should be treated as such. It does not recognise class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, culture or wealth and its effects on family life are devastating.
In the overwhelming majority of reported instances the abuser is male and the victim is female, although there are attacks by women on men and between two people of the same gender, whether current or ex partners or family members.
The Home Office Guidance Information for Local Areas on the Change to the Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse (2013) states that the term ‘domestic violence and abuse’ should be used. The Government definition of domestic violence and abuse has been widened to include those aged 16-17 and the wording changed to reflect coercive control. (Note that this is not a legal definition.)
The new definition is:
'Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality'. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
'Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.'
The definition Domestic violence and abuse includes Forced Marriage, Honour-Based Abuse and Female Genital Mutilation, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
While the cross-government definition above applies to those aged 16 or above, ‘Adolescent to parent violence and abuse‘ (APVA) can involve children under 16 as well as over 16. See: Information guide: adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA) Home Office.
For more details of the national plans to tackle domestic violence and abuse see: Ending Violence against Women and Girls Strategy 2016 – 2020 March 2016. This is intended to set out a life course approach to ensure that all victims - and their families - have access to the right support at the right time to help them live free from violence and abuse.
Impact on Children and Young People
Prolonged and / or regular exposure to domestic violence and abuse can have a serious impact on a child's development and emotional wellbeing, despite the best efforts of the victim parent to protect the child. Domestic violence and abuse has an impact in a number of ways. It can pose a threat to an unborn child, because assaults on pregnant women frequently involve punches or kicks directed at the abdomen, risking injury to both mother and foetus. It can also lead to other possible risks, such as i.e. foetal death, low birth weight, early birth, infection etc.
Older children may also suffer blows during episodes of abuse. Children are likely to be greatly distressed by witnessing the physical and emotional suffering of a parent or other family member. Both the physical assaults and psychological abuse suffered by adult victims who experience domestic violence and abuse can have a potential impact on their ability to look after their children. The negative impact of domestic violence and abuse is exacerbated when the abuse is combined with drink or drug misuse as this can increase the severity of the attacks. Children's exposure to parental conflict; even where abuse is not present, can lead to serious anxiety and distress among children, particularly when it is routed through them.
Children may suffer both directly and indirectly if they live in households where there is domestic violence and abuse. Domestic violence and abuse is likely to have a damaging effect on the health and development of children, and it will often be appropriate for such children to be regarded as a Child in Need. All those working with families and children should be alert to the frequent inter-relationship between domestic violence and abuse and the abuse and neglect of children.
When there is evidence of domestic violence and abuse, the implications for any children in the household should be considered, including the possibility that the children may themselves be subject to abuse or other harm. Conversely, where it is believed that a child is being abused, those involved with the child and family should be alert to the possibility of domestic violence and abuse within the family.
Domestic violence and abuse is a child protection issue. In relation to the impact of domestic violence and abuse on children, the amendment made in Section 120 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to the Children Act 1989 clarifies the meaning of "harm" in the Children Act, to make explicit that "harm" will include, for example, "impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another." This is now also specifically included in the definition of Emotional Abuse. Staff have additional training in this area ad specific staff are trained to Level 3 in Domestic Violence and Protection.
- Honour Based Abuse
The definition of Honour based abuse is:
A variety of crimes including assault, imprisonment and murder where the person is being punished by their family or community for actually or allegedly undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour and therefore bringing 'shame' or 'dishonour' onto the family or community." (Home Office)
'A crime or incident, which has or may have been committed, to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community'. (ACPO Working Definition 2008)
All professionals working with victims of honour based abuse need to be aware of the 'one chance rule'. That is, they may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim and thus they may only have one chance to save a life. This means that all professionals working within statutory agencies need to be aware of their responsibilities and obligations when they come across these cases. When a case of HBA is first reported it is important to obtain as much information as possible as there may not be another opportunity for the individual reporting to make contact. If the victim is allowed to walk out of the door without support being offered, that one chance might be wasted.
- Parental Alcohol Misuse
It has been suggested that that foetal alcohol syndrome is the biggest cause of non-genetic learning disability in the Western world and is the only one that is 100% preventable (McNamara, ibid).
"Not every child affected by prenatal alcohol exposure will experience severe learning disability, but learning disabilities are common... The primary... damage that alcohol exposure causes is to the central nervous system... it is important to emphasise that little is known about factors determining whether a child will develop alcohol-related problems, or how significant these will be. There is no cut off point that indicates that a specific amount of alcohol at a specific time will create certain types of problems, and less will not... mothers who maintain adequate nutrition even though drinking may give birth to children less severely affected than mother's who have poor nutrition". See the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome website.
The effects on children of the misuse of alcohol by one or both parents or carers are complex and may vary in time, which is why a thorough assessment of needs and risk of harm is important. In some cases the misuse of alcohol may be one factor which, when linked to domestic violence or mental illness, may increase the risks to the child.
The circumstances of children must be carefully assessed not only to consider immediate risks but also the long-term effects on the child of their parents' alcohol misuse.
The children of parents who misuse alcohol are at increased risk of developing alcohol problems themselves and of being separated from their parents. Research demonstrates that children who themselves start drinking at an early age are at greater risk of unwanted sexual encounters and injuries through accidents and fighting.
The health and development of an unborn child may be affected by the parent's alcohol misuse and newborn babies may suffer foetal alcohol syndrome which as a result may interfere with the parent/child bonding process.
Babies may experience a lack of basic health care and poor stimulation and older children may experience poor school attendance, anxiety about their parents' health and taking on a caring role for the parent or siblings.
The parent's practical caring skills can be affected by the misuse in the following ways:
- Lack of attention to basic physical needs;
- Lack of control of emotions;
- Impaired judgement.
- Parental Drug Misuse
A child's growth and development depends on a variety of interacting social and biological factors, which can be broadly grouped into three categories: conception and pregnancy, parenting, and the wider family and environment.
Hidden Harm - Responding to the Needs of Children of Problem Drug Users (ACMD 2003) outlines the way in which problem drug use can impact on the development of children in affected families.
Throughout their lives children may need the services of various professionals. Positive interventions at different stages of their growth and development can contribute to children and young people reaching their full potential. Effective collaboration, good joint working and a sharp focus on the family as a whole are essential if children of substance misusing parents are to receive appropriate care and support.
It is recognised that there may be barriers to agencies working together; however, these must be addressed to ensure that all agencies act together appropriately and at the right time in accordance with the needs of children and young people. All agencies have a part to play in helping to identify problems at an early stage. Basic information should be gathered about the family and household circumstances of those who misuse substances.
- Problem substance users normally want to be good parents;
- Problem substance users should be treated in the same way as other parents whose personal difficulties interfere with their ability to provide good parenting;
- Base your judgements on evidence, not optimism;
- There will be many aspects of the child's life that are nothing to do with drugs or alcohol and may be equally or more important;
- Recognise that the parents are likely to be anxious. They may be worried that they could lose their children. Children, especially older ones, may also share similar anxieties;
- Do not assume that abstinence will always improve parenting skills;
- The family situation will not remain static, assessment should be revisited at least every six months or when ever new concerns arise; whichever is sooner;
- Understand what is the child's experience of living with substance misusing parents; speak to them alone or with an advocate.
- Self-harm or have the potential for Suicide
At Roselyn House School we want to reduce the potential damage self-harm can cause to both the child's physical body and to their mental well-being, e.g. self-esteem and provide them with the information required to make confident, informed and consistent decisions and responses when dealing with a child who has self-harmed.
We recognise that young people who self-harm are doing so as a coping mechanism, and that just telling them to stop does not work.
We advocate a 'harm reduction/minimisation' approach. Both the child and member of staff will be working towards replacing the self-harming behaviours with less risk taking and potentially life threatening coping strategies. Specific staff are trained in this area with Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and are able to support staff working with young people displaying self-harming behaviours.
Children who self-harm mainly do so because they have no other way of coping with problems and emotional distress in their lives. This can be to do with factors ranging from bullying to family breakdown. But self-harm is not a good way of dealing with such problems. It provides only temporary relief and does not deal with the underlying issues.
Suicide is an intentional, self-inflicted, life-threatening act resulting in death from a number of means.
This is indicated by evidence of premeditation (such as saving up tablets), taking care to avoid discovery, failing to alert potential helpers, carrying out final acts (such as writing a note) and choosing a violent or aggressive means of deliberate self-harm allowing little chance of survival.
Lancashire's Youth and Community Service conducted some research with young people in 2002 and produced a paper which offers a helpful baseline (Coupe et al, 2002):
"Self-harm might be described as the term used to describe the coping strategy that some people use to deal with stresses in their life:
It involves a person hurting themselves physically;
Self-harm often takes the form of a person cutting, burning or banging themselves;
According to the young people who participated, self-harm is often about "surviving", "coping", "taking control", "release of pressure", "distraction from other stuff - places/people", "complex emotions".
Self-harm describes a wide range of things that people do to themselves in a deliberate and usually hidden way. In the vast majority of cases self-harm remains a secretive behaviour that can go on for a long time without being discovered.
Self-harm can involve:
- Cutting, often to the arms using razor blades, or broken glass;
- Burning using cigarettes or caustic agents;
- Punching and Bruising;
- Inserting or swallowing objects;
- Head banging;
- Hair pulling;
- Restrictive or binge eating;
- Problematic substance misuse;
- Frequent and repetitive risk taking behaviour e.g. taking away and driving cars, 'playing chicken'.
(Mental Health Foundation 2006)
The term self-harm is often used as an all encompassing term referring to suicidal ideation and attempted suicide.
Some young people who self-harm may say that they want to die and a proportion of them may genuinely want to. Nevertheless, self-harm and suicide differ in terms of the intent behind the behaviour - self-harm is motivated by the desire to endure and survive. Understandably, many people assume that when a person injures themselves they are making a suicide attempt. But "self injury is not the same thing as a suicide attempt, in fact it is usually something very different: a desperate attempt to cope and to stay alive in the face of great emotional pain" (Arnold and Magill, 1996).
Despite these differences, self-harm is associated with an increased risk of suicide, since both actions are based in distress. For example, someone may resort to suicide when self-harm no longer works for them as a coping strategy. Some motivations for self-harming 'overlap' with suicidal motivations: when, for example, a person feels ambiguous about whether the action kills them or not, and given the risks inherent in self-harm, a small proportion of people who self-harm may kill themselves accidentally. As a result, statistics indicate that people who self-harm are more likely to commit suicide (e.g. Hawton 1992) - although the often hidden nature of self-harm means that statistics can be unrepresentative.
Why do some Young People Self-Harm?
Research indicates that a number of factors may motivate young people to self-harm and the list below is not exhaustive:
- To express emotional distress: "you're showing other people how much you're hurting inside"; (Bywaters and Rolfe 2002)
- Release and relief from pressure: "it's like a release. It feels better after I've taken tablets"; (Spandler 1996)
- Letting bad feelings 'out': "getting all the anger and the hurt out, and the pain"; (Bywaters and Rolfe 2002)
- Distraction from emotional pain: "Taking the pain away from what's in your head and transferring it onto your body"; (Bywaters and Rolfe 2002)
- To gain control over seemingly out-of-control situations and feelings: "You've got to have control over something"; (Spandler 1996)
- To induce a pleasurable state: "my whole body goes kind of calm"; (Bywaters and Rolfe 2002)
- To feel special, to express individuality: "I took a certain pride in being able to take pain. It was like I was good at something"; (Spandler 1996)
- To physically express emotional pain: "it's my way of turning emotion and pain, and things like that into something physical, which is a lot easier to handle in the long-run". (Bywaters and Rolfe 2002)
- According to "Youth and self-harm" (Samaritans 2002), the most common reasons given for self-harm by school-age young people were 'to find relief from a terrible state of mind'. Contrary to popular belief, few were 'trying to frighten someone' or 'get attention'.
Issues that may trigger self-harm
A number of factors may trigger the self-harm incident:
- Family relationship difficulties (the most common trigger for younger adolescents);
- Difficulties with peer relationships e.g. break up of relationship (the most common trigger for older adolescents);
- Significant trauma, e.g. bereavement, abuse;
- Self-harm behaviour in other students (contagion effect);
- Self-harm portrayed or reported in the media;
- Difficult times of the year (e.g. anniversaries);
- Trouble in school or with the police;
- Feeling under pressure from families, school and peers to conform/achieve;
- Exam pressure;
- Times of change (e.g. parental separation/divorce).
- Previous deliberate self-harm or suicide attempt;
- Intent - does the young person wish to die? What do they understand by death? Do they think that what they have done, or are planning to do, will kill them? N.B. it is the young person's perception of or belief in potential lethality that is important here, not what a professional thinks;
- Evidence of mental illness, especially depression, anxiety, psychosis or eating disorder;
- Poor problem-solving skills - are problems seen as over-whelming? Does the young person see themselves as capable of solving, or coping with, problems? Have they been able to solve problems in the past? May be linked to poor communication skills;
- Impulsivity/planning - Were steps taken to avoid discovery? Were any preparations for death made? A tendency to impulsive behaviour may increase risk of repetition and thus the likelihood of significant harm, but evidence of planning may indicate higher levels of seriousness for any given attempt. But remember that an impulsive act can be just as damaging as a planned one;
- Substance use including alcohol and volatile substances (especially important in impulsive males);
- Hopelessness - is there a future, or any reason to continue living? What plans for the future does the young person have? This has been described as "the missing link" between depression and suicide. It can be especially significant if there has been previous deliberate self-harm or attempts at suicide;
- Anger/hostility/anti-social behaviour - some research suggests conduct disorder may be a higher risk factor than depression. This may be difficult to assess, as information will be needed from sources other than the young person;
- Low self esteem;
- Drug or alcohol abuse.
- Instability (this can mean more than divorce or separation and can include repeated house moves). History of depression, deliberate self-harm, suicide or mental illness in the family, especially in first-degree relatives. History of substance use. Arguments or disputes can be important;
- History of neglect or abuse, whether physical, emotional or sexual, but especially the latter;
- Has the young person experienced prolonged parenting style characterised by "High Criticism and Low Warmth"?
- Experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse;
- Loss or bereavement - this may include such things as loss of status as well as deaths. Anniversaries of losses can be significant;
- Unreasonable expectations;
- Poor parental relationships and arguments.
- Persistent bullying, peer rejection or other victimisation, such as experiencing racial or sexual discrimination, and including homophobic bullying (see next point);
- Issues of gender or sexual orientation - a very high proportion of young people who either are homosexual or think they might be, self-harm or attempt suicide;
- Current stressors or life events;
- Absence of a supportive helping network (could be family, extended family, peers, or professional);
- Absence of a trusted approachable adult;
- Difficulty in making relationships/loneliness;
- Easy availability of drugs, medication or other methods of self-harm.
- Function of deliberate self-harm (other than a clear suicide attempt) - what did the young person hope the act would achieve: a sense of relief or release; punishment; purification; a desire to feel physical rather than emotional pain; a form of communication of distress or other significant matter; something else?
- Method of self-harm - be aware of unintended consequences, such as liver damage from repeated 'Paracetamol' overdoses, stomach ulceration from aspirin overdose, brain damage from oxygen starvation in attempted hanging, drowning or exhaust poisoning, or bone damage resulting from jumping;
- Time of year may be significant, especially when school-related factors are involved, such as bullying or exams. Hence the start of terms or exam periods may see an increase in self-harming behaviour;
- Young people may be highly ambivalent in their views of themselves and any act of self-harm.
Responding to Self-Harm
Immediate response to injuries
It is ok and appropriate to show concern. Make sure the child / young person is safe; give them something to treat any injuries (e.g. plaster or bandage) and/or seek medical advice and attention as required. Encourage the young person to seek medical attention if they are reluctant and provide the necessary support to facilitate this.
The young person who has just harmed themselves usually feels upset and vulnerable (although they may hide this). Just because they caused the harm to themselves this does not mean that they will not feel hurt, frightened or shocked by their injuries. Be reassuring rather than questioning them at this stage. They may want to talk, so allow for this.
People often fear that being sympathetic will somehow 'reinforce' the behaviour as an 'attention-seeking' strategy, thereby perpetuating it and possibly making it worse. In fact, being punitive, hostile or withholding care and support is likely to make the young person feel even worse about themselves, thereby increasing risk. (However, avoid 'amateur' psychology and/or therapy at all costs, unless you are trained and/or qualified to provide either or both!)
Messages to give young people
It is usual for people to feel shocked, frightened, anxious and/or upset when they first encounter a child or young person who is self-harming. However, the messages that adults give at this initial point of contact are crucial:
Calmness - Remain calm and do not openly display the very powerful feelings of shock, anger, distress or panic that you may have;
Acceptance - Tell the young person that it is okay to talk about self-harm, it is something that you know about and can handle;
Acknowledgement - Tell the young person how hard it can be to talk about this and acknowledge the courage that it takes to do so;
Concern - Demonstrate that you are concerned about the distress which lies behind the self-harm;
Understanding - Make it clear that self-harm is something that can be understood, that there are reasons for it and that other young people do it too - they are not alone;
Respect and Reassurance - Acknowledge their use of this particular coping strategy and with how frightening it might feel if they think someone is going to take it away;
Hope - Some people who self-harm think it absolutely impossible to stop; let them know that lots of people who do it are able to stop hurting themselves;
Information - Provide information about appropriate resources and sources of further help, advice and support but do not rush the young person on to someone else (Miss Holmes is available to talk to); remember that being available to listen and talk is important in itself and avoids giving messages of being fobbed off or that the problem is simply too big for anyone to deal with);
Confidentiality - Respect confidentiality whilst ensuring that appropriate procedures are followed. The 'usual' balance needs to be struck here e.g. make it clear why and to whom you may have to pass information on and encourage and support a young person to talk to an appropriate person.
- Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)
Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) (Known previously as Munchhausen Syndrome by
Proxy; other synonyms: Factitious disorder imposed on another) is a spectrum of
conditions where a child experiences or likely to experience significant harm and
impairment due to the health care seeking behaviour and actions of the caregiver(s),
usually the mother. Such behaviour and actions may take one or more of the
Erroneous (incorrect or misleading) reporting of medical history, symptoms or signs, with or without an intention to deceive which may include
- False reporting of non-existing symptoms and signs,
- Exaggeration of existing symptoms and signs,
- Misinterpretation of real events on the basis of mistaken belief about their meaning.
Deception by use of hand including:
- Falsification of medical records
- Interference with investigations, specimens, intravenous lines, ….etc
- Inducing illness in the child by overdosing, poisoning (e.g. Adding salt to baby’s
feed), suffocation, none administration of medications (e.g. inhalers for asthma,
medication for epilepsy, thyroxin for under active thyroid gland), …. Etc.
The FII spectrum includes cases with varying degree of severity. The emphasis when investigating such cases should be on the impact of parents’ health care seeking behaviour on the child. Cases therefore may be classified as high risk (to the child), and lower risk, cases.
- High risk Cases are those where there is suspicion of induction and/ or fabrication /exaggeration (as described earlier) of symptoms and signs, with the intention to deceive. It is very likely that children are at significant risk of harm as a result of parents’ actions.
- Lower risk cases are those in which parent(s) exaggerate/ misinterpret symptoms and signs due to their strong, but false, belief that the child is ill/ more ill; or when parents suffer from a psychiatric illness (e.g. delusional disorder) which leads them to believe that the child is genuinely I'll. In these cases, although the carer may genuinely believe that the child is ill/ more ill, there may be harm and impairment to the child in terms of frequent, invasive and unnecessary medical investigations or treatment, limitation in daily activities and missed educational opportunities.
- There is a category of cases where carers exaggerate or falsify their child’s illness to fraudulently obtain benefits. These carers may not actively seek medical tests or treatment for the child and may actually avoid contact with medical services. The degree of impact on the child in these cases may vary. In a proportion of these cases harm or potential harm to the child in terms assuming the sick role, loss of education, and possible investigations, may be significant, and FII therefore, should be considered.
It must be made clear from the outset that the way in which various cases within the spectrum are dealt with may vary significantly: In “high risk” cases when there is suspicion of induction or deception by carer(s) with significant risk of harm to the child as a result, an immediate referral to social services is indicated.
Lower risk “of harm” cases listed above are usually dealt with by health care professionals to change carer’s perception of their children’s health issues. In these cases referral to social services would be considered when such attempts by health care professionals fail, and the child continued to be at risk of harm from parents’ actions.
Impact of FII on child
The impact of FII on the child can be significant. Research suggests that FII can result in death
(6%), requirement for intensive care treatment (12%), and significant emotional problems in the
child. There are also significant risks of re-abuse. Following identification of FII in a child, the way in
which the case is managed has a major impact on the developmental outcomes and morbidity for
The harm to the child can be grouped within three domains:
- The child has repeated procedures, investigations and treatment that are unnecessary.
- Illness induction usually associated with serious harm/ death.
Daily life and functioning
- Low or interrupted school attendance and education.
- Few normal activities such as sport.
- Assuming of a ‘sick role’
- Social isolation.
- Develop a distorted view of health
- Develop anxiety
- Develop fabricated or somatoform (characterised by symptoms suggesting a physical
disorder but for which there is no known organic cause or physical findings) disorders in the
- Collude with illness presentation
When to suspect FII
The following are indicators that should alert professionals that a child is likely to be suffering
harm as a result of FII. These indicators form the basis for the template used to assist in the
diagnosis FII :
- Reported symptoms and signs are not explained by any ‘known’ medical condition;
- Physical examination and results of investigations do not explain reported symptoms and signs;
- New symptoms are reported on resolution of previous ones;
- Reported symptoms and identified signs are not observed in the absence of parent(s);
- Treatment for an agreed condition does not produce the expected effects;
- Repeated presentations to a variety of health care professionals and with a variety of problems;
- The child denies parental reports of symptoms.
- The child’s normal daily life activities are being curtailed beyond that which may be expected from any known medical disorder from which the child is known to suffer;
- Child usually presents with specific unexplained episodic problems such as apnoea,fits, choking or collapse.
- History of unexplained illnesses or deaths or multiple surgery in parents or siblings.
- Past history in the parent of child abuse, self-harm, somatisation, or false allegations of physical or sexual assault
- Objective evidence of fabrication or induction. Examples include biologically implausible events, test results such as toxicology studies or blood typing; and direct evidence of fabrication or induction.
- Terrorism, Extremism and Radicalisation
Terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000 is defined as action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person, causes serious damage to property, or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat of terrorism must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause;
Extremism is defined in the 2011 Prevent Strategy as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The definition also includes calls for the death of members of British armed forces, whether in this country or overseas. Extremism can be by violent or non-violent means;
Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups;
There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame;
Safeguarding in this context is the process of protecting vulnerable children and young people, whether from crime, other forms of abuse or being drawn into terrorism or extremism;
National Guidance and Strategies
In March 2015, the Government published the Prevent Duty Guidance on the duties within the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015. The Act places a duty on various specified authorities that all have an important role in Prevent delivery. The specified authorities include local authorities, education providers (across all ages), health sector, police, and prison and probation services amongst others;
The new legislation builds upon the Prevent Strategy 2011, which aims to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorists, and has three specific strategic objectives:
Respond to the IDELOGICAL challenge and the threat faced by the UK from those who promote extremism and seek to radicalise people;
Prevent INDIVIDUALS from being radicalised and drawn into terrorism to ensure they are given the appropriate advice and support; and
Work with sectors and INSTITUTIONS where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be addressed.
These strategic objectives have become known as the three I’s. The Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 requires that all specified agencies (including through their commissioned services and services they have licensing or health and safety responsibilities for) will work in partnership to deter, disrupt and prosecute. In the context of safeguarding, to use the powers under the Children Act 1989 and Children Act 2004 to safeguard and protect children who may be being radicalised, involved in extremism or terrorism.
Channel: Protecting vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism: A guide for local partnerships was published by HM Government in October 2012 and updated in 2015. The Channel programme is an initiative led by the police and partners, which operates to provide support to people at risk of being drawn into extremism;
The Channel Guidance identifies a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:
- Identifying individuals at risk;
- Assessing the nature and extent of that risk; and
- Developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.
Understanding and Recognising Risks and Vulnerabilities of Terrorism or Extremism
Children and young people can be drawn into terrorism or they can be exposed to the messages of extremist groups by many means. Children and young people are vulnerable to exposure to, or involvement with, groups or individuals who advocate terrorism as a means to a political or ideological end. Examples of extremist causes where individuals or groups have used violence or non-violent means to achieve their ends include animal rights, the far right, environmentalists, domestic, single issue activists and international terrorist organisations;
These can include through the influence of family members or friends and/or direct contact with extremist groups and organisations or, increasingly, through the internet (see Safeguarding and the use of Communication Technologies and Social Media Procedure and How Social Media is Used to Encourage Travel to Syria and Iraq (DfE / Home Office)) This can put a child or young person at risk of being drawn into criminal activity and has the potential to cause Significant Harm;
Most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in extremism. Numerous factors can contribute to and influence the range of behaviours that are defined as extremism. It is important to consider these factors in order to develop an understanding of the issue. It is also necessary to understand those factors that build resilience and protect individuals from engaging in extremist activity;
It is important to be cautious in assessing these factors to avoid inappropriately labelling or stigmatising individuals because they possess a characteristic or fit a specific profile;
It is vital that all professionals who have contact with vulnerable individuals are able to recognise those vulnerabilities and help to increase safe choices;
It is necessary to remember that extremist behaviour operates on many levels in the absence of protective factors and that individuals largely act within the context of their environment and experiences;
Research shows that indicators of vulnerability can include:
- Identity Crisis - Distance from cultural / religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around them;
- Personal Crisis - Family tensions; sense of isolation; adolescence; low self-esteem; disassociating from existing friendship group and becoming involved with a new and different group of friends; searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
- Personal Circumstances - Migration; local community tensions; events affecting country or region of origin; alienation from British values; having a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
- Unmet Aspirations - Perceptions of injustice; feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
- Criminality - Experiences of imprisonment; poor resettlement / reintegration; previous involvement with criminal groups.
However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of exploitation for the purposes of extremism – individuals may show some, all or none of the vulnerabilities;
The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame. Given this, it is important that awareness, sensitivity and expertise are developed within all contexts to recognise signs and indications of radicalisation;
The risk of radicalisation is the product of a number of factors and identifying this risk requires that staff exercise their professional judgement, seeking further advice as necessary. It may be combined with other vulnerabilities or may be the only risk identified. This can put a young person at risk of being drawn into criminal activity and has the potential to cause Significant Harm;
Potential indicators identified by the Channel Guidance include:
- Use of inappropriate language;
- Possession or accessing violent extremist literature;
- Behavioural changes;
- The expression of extremist views;
- Advocating violent actions and means;
- Association with known extremists;
- Articulating support for violent extremist causes or leaders;
- Using extremist views to explain personal disadvantage;
- Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations;
- Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology.
Annex C of the Channel Duty Guidance 2015 provides the Vulnerability Assessment Framework that Channel Panels will use to guide decision making. It is also a useful tool for agencies to use to guide their assessment and referral decision making processes;
No research has identified a definitive list of indicators which would show that someone is vulnerable to radicalisation to violent extremism. Rather, the risk of radicalisation is the product of a number of factors and identifying this risk requires that staff exercise their professional judgement, seeking further advice as necessary;
Some children may be at risk due to living with or being in direct contact with known extremists or individuals suspected to be involved in the radicalisation process. Such children may be identified by the police or through MAPPA processes (See Processes for Managing Risk Procedure) or by all agencies through the allegations against people who work with children processes (LADO);
Should it come to a worker’s attention that an individual has been arrested for terrorism, extremism or radicalisation offences, the worker should consider with their agency’s safeguarding lead whether safeguarding measures need to be taken in respect of the family members and connected /influenced individuals of the arrested individual. The Chair of the Channel Panel and Police Channel Co-ordinators will be able to advise on these matters and on wider safeguarding measures (emergency protection or police protection orders) to reduce vulnerability.
How much is this really happening?
‘Parents expect you to be involved in sexting even when you are not.’ Simone, 14 Most young people aren’t sharing sexual imagery of themselves. A 2016 NSPCC/Office of the Children’s Commissioner England study found that just over one in ten boys and girls (13%) had taken topless pictures of themselves (around one in four of those were girls) and 3% had taken fully naked pictures. Of those who had taken sexual images, 55% had shared them with others. 31% of this group had also shared the image with someone that they did not know.
Although most young people aren’t creating or sharing this type of imagery, the potential risks are significant and there is considerable concern about the issue in schools and amongst parents. Research conducted by ‘The Key’ found that 61% of its secondary school head teacher members reported ‘sexting’ as a concern. This placed it higher than drugs, obesity and offline bullying in terms of frequency of reporting as a concern.
Research from the PSHE Association similarly found that 78% of parents were either fairly or very concerned about youth produced sexual imagery, compared to 69% who were concerned about alcohol misuse and 67% who were concerned about smoking.
Much of the complexity in responding to youth produced sexual imagery is due to its legal status. Making, possessing and distributing any imagery of someone under 18 which is ‘indecent’ is illegal. This includes imagery of yourself if you are under 18.
The relevant legislation is contained in the Protection of Children Act 1978 (England and Wales) as amended in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales).
It is an offence to possess, distribute, show and make indecent images of children.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales) defines a child, for the purposes of indecent images, as anyone under the age of 18.
‘Indecent’ is not defined in legislation. When cases are prosecuted, the question of whether any photograph of a child is indecent is for a jury, magistrate or District Judge to decide based on what is the recognised standard of propriety .For most purposes, if imagery contains a naked young person, a topless girl, and/ or displays genitals or sex acts, including masturbation, then it will be considered indecent. Indecent images may also include overtly sexual images of young people in their underwear.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has made clear that incidents involving youth produced sexual imagery should primarily be treated as safeguarding issues.
Schools may respond to incidents without involving the police. Advice on the circumstances in which this would be appropriate can be found in Section 2 of Sexting in schools: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people.
The police may, however, need to be involved in cases to ensure thorough investigation including collection of all evidence (for example, through multi-agency checks), and there are incidents, highlighted in this advice, which should always be referred to the police (see Section 2).
Even when the police are involved, however, a criminal justice response and formal sanction against a young person would only be considered proportionate in
The NPCC is working towards producing new guidance for law enforcement relating to the investigation of youth produced sexual imagery offences in order to aid local police services to develop a coordinated, effective, proportionate response. On publication this will be available via the College of Policing website.
At Roselyn House School issues of sexting will be referred to Childrens’ Social Care and the Police and the young person offered support.
Young people may need help and support with the removal of content (imagery and videos) from devices and social media, especially if they are distressed. Most online service providers offer a reporting function for account holders and some offer a public reporting function to enable a third party to make a report on behalf of the young person.
Annex D Section 2 of Sexting in schools: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people, outlines how to report to some of the major providers and what to do when a site does not have a reporting function.
If any devices need to be seized and passed onto the police then the device(s) should be confiscated18 and the police should be called. The device should be turned off and placed under lock and key until the police are able to come and retrieve it.
Adults should not view youth produced sexual imagery unless there is good and clear reason to do so. Wherever possible responses to incidents should be based on what DSLs have been told about the content of the imagery. The decision to view imagery should be based on the professional judgement of the DSL and should always comply with the child protection policy and procedures of the school or college.
Imagery should never be viewed if the act of viewing will cause significant distress or harm to the pupil. If a decision is made to view imagery the DSL would need to be satisfied that viewing:
• is the only way to make a decision about whether to involve other agencies (i.e. it is not possible to establish the facts from the young people involved)
• is necessary to report the image to a website, app or suitable reporting agency to have it taken down, or to support the young person or parent in making a report
• is unavoidable because a pupil has presented an image directly to a staff member or the imagery has been found on a school device or network
If it is necessary to view the imagery then the DSL should:
• Never copy, print or share the imagery; this is illegal.
• Discuss the decision with the Headteacher.
• Ensure viewing is undertaken by the DSL or another member of the safeguarding team with delegated authority from the Headteacher.
• Ensure viewing takes place with another member of staff present in the room, ideally the Headteacher or a member of the senior leadership team. This staff member does not need to view the images.
• Wherever possible ensure viewing takes place on school or college premises, ideally in the Headteacher or a member of the senior leadership team’s office.
• Ensure wherever possible that images are viewed by a staff member of the same sex as the young person in the imagery.
• Record the viewing of the imagery in the school’s safeguarding records including who was present, why the image was viewed and any subsequent actions Ensure this is signed and dated and meets the wider standards set out by Ofsted for recording safeguarding incidents. Further details on searching, deleting and confiscating devices can be found in the DfE Searching, Screening and Confiscation advice (note this advice is for schools only).
If youth produced sexual imagery has been unavoidably viewed by a member of staff either following a disclosure from a young person or as a result of a member of staff undertaking their daily role (such as IT staff monitoring school systems) then DSLs should ensure that the staff member is provided with appropriate support. Viewing youth produced sexual imagery can be distressing for both young people and adults and appropriate emotional support may be required.
This guidance has been taken from the UK Council for Child Internet Safety.
- Other Specific Circumstances
Other guidance for reference can be located in section five of PanLancashire’s Safeguarding Manual covering areas in:
- Domestic Violence and Abuse
- Children of Alcohol Misusing Parents
- Children of Drug Misusing Parents
- Mental Illness of a Parent or Carer
- Parental Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
- Working with Children who Self-Harm or have the Potential for Suicide
- Safeguarding Children with Disabilities
- Safeguarding and the use of Communication Technologies and Social Media
- Dangerous or Out of Control Pets
- Forced Marriages
- Honour Based Abuse
- Children and Families who go Missing
- Child Abduction
- Children Moving Across Boundaries within the UK
- Complex (Organised or Multiple) Abuse
- Fabricated or Induced Illness
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Children from Abroad (including Unaccompanied and Separated Children and the International Tracing and Messaging Service)
- Children and Young People Who May have been Trafficked
- Child Sexual Exploitation - Pan Lancashire Standard Operating Protocol
- Working with Sexually Active Young People Under the Age of 18
- Children who Abuse Other Children
- Children Living Away from Home ((including Children and Families living in Temporary Accommodation)
- Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)
- Children in Hospital Where there are Welfare Concerns
- Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Youth Justice System
- Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs
- Historical Abuse Allegations
- Children who may be Affected by Gang Activity
- Children who may be Vulnerable to Terrorism or Extremism
- Protection of Children from Harm on Licensed Premises
- Protection of Children from Harm in Relation to Gambling
- Safeguarding in Community, Voluntary and Faith Sector
- Children Visiting Prisons
- Uncooperative Families
- International Cross-Border Child Protection Cases Under the 1996 Hague Convention
- Safeguarding Guidance for Early Years Settings
- Adult Safeguarding
At Roselyn House School, we have post 16 provision to the age of 19. A young person may transfer into the adult care system and safeguarding for adult procedures apply. We follow PanLancashire Adult safeguarding procedures.
When a young person is leaving care, co-ordinated planning arrangements will be necessary between Children’s Social Care and Adults Social Care to ensure ongoing support.
Assessments of care needs at this stage should include issues of safeguarding and risk. Care planning needs to ensure that the young adult’s safety is not put at risk through delays in providing the services they need to maintain their independence, wellbeing and choice.
Where someone is over 18 but still receiving children’s services and a safeguarding issue is raised, the matter should be dealt with as a matter of course by the adult safeguarding team. Where appropriate, they should involve the local authority’s children’s safeguarding colleagues as well as any relevant partners (e.g. police or NHS) or other persons relevant to the case. The same approach should apply for complaints or appeals, as well as where someone is moving to a different local authority area after receiving a transition assessment but before moving to adult care and support.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 applies to young people aged 16 years and over apart from the following aspects:
Only people aged 18 or over can make a Lasting Power of Attorney;
The law generally does not allow anyone below the age of 18 to make a last will and testament;
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisations under the Mental Capacity Act apply only to people aged 18 or over.
What does safeguarding mean for an adult?
Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
The aims of adult safeguarding are to:
- Stop abuse or neglect wherever possible;
- Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs;
- Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live;
- Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned;
- Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect;
- Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult; and
- Address what has caused the abuse or neglect.
To achieve these aims it is necessary to:
- Ensure that everyone, both individuals and organisations, are clear about their roles and responsibilities;
- Create strong multi-agency partnerships that provide timely and effective prevention of and responses to abuse or neglect;
- Support the development of a positive learning environment across these partnerships and at all levels within them to help break down cultures that are risk-averse and seek to scapegoat or blame practitioners;
- Enable access to mainstream community resources such as accessible leisure facilities, safe town centres and community groups that can reduce the social and physical isolation which in itself may increase the risk of abuse or neglect; and
- Clarify how responses to safeguarding concerns deriving from the poor quality and inadequacy of service provision, including patient safety in the health sector, should be responded to.
All safeguarding policies and practice should reflect the principles underpinning good safeguarding set out in the Statement of Government Policy on Adult Safeguarding. At Roselyn House School Post 16 Provision, those who are 18 and above, the following principles when working with young aduts apply:
- Empowerment - People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
“I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.”
- Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs.
“I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”
- Proportionality - Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
“I am sure that the professionals will work in my interests, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”
- Protection - Support and representation for those in greatest need.
“I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.”
- Partnership - Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
“I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together to get the best results for me.”
- Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
“I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”
Adults have the following rights, which should be respected:
- The right to live without fear and free from abuse and neglect;
- The right to have their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs taken into account when making any decisions about how they wish to proceed in the event of abuse and in whom they wish to confide. Their wishes should only be overridden if considered necessary in the interest of their own safety or the safety of others;
- The right to be safe and receive adequate care and protection. This includes protection from all forms of violence including physical punishment, intimidation, belittling, and lack of respect, harassment, and sexual assault;
- The right to be given appropriate information about keeping themselves safe and exercising their rights;
- The right to report violence and have their report taken seriously, including the right to have the police called, if a crime has been committed;
- The right to make informed choices about intimate relationships without being exposed to exploitation or (Sexual Abuse);
- The right to the money and property that is legally theirs and for these to be treated with respect;
- The right not to be discriminated against because of their ethnic origin, culture, or religion, their gender or sexuality, their age or disability;
- The right to bring a complaint under the relevant complaints procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation;
- The right to an assessment of their needs should they be a victim of abuse.
The Safeguarding Adult Procedures at Roselyn House School Post 16 Provision work alongside our Safeguarding policy for Chidren and are intended to support good practice and sound professional judgement, and to:
- Provide a coherent and consistent framework for recognising and taking action to prevent abuse of adults in need of safeguarding;
- Recognise and promote the benefits of effective multi-agency working through dialogue and co-operation, to form a collaborative partnership between the agencies that have contact with adults in need of safeguarding;
- Describe the common values, principles and law that underpin the protection of adults in need of safeguarding;
- Define the different types of abuse, signs, symptoms and indicators;
- Define the roles of each agency;
- Ensure that information on allegations and incidents of abuse is collected, monitored and reviewed in order to inform future practice;
- Complement other related policies, procedures and guidance.
- Reporting an Adult Safeguarding Concern
Anyone who becomes aware of concerns of Abuse must report those concerns as soon as possible and in any case within the same working day to the DSP as outlined above.
Alerts should be raised as soon as Abuse or Neglect is witnessed or suspected. Especially if the adult remains in or is about to return to the place where the suspected/alleged abuse occurred and the alleged abuser is likely to have access to the adult or others who might be at risk.
Duty to Enquire
The Care Act 2014 requires that the local authority must make enquiries, or require another agency to do so, whenever abuse or neglect are suspected in relation to an adult with care and support needs. The scope of that enquiry, who leads it and its nature, will be dependent on the particular circumstances. It will usually start with the individual who is the subject of the concern, and the next steps will to some extent depend on their wishes. Everyone involved in an enquiry must focus on improving the individual’s well-being and work together to that shared aim.
An enquiry could range from a conversation with the individual who is the subject of the concern to a more formal multi-agency arrangement.
Purpose and Objectives of an Enquiry
The purpose of the enquiry is to decide whether or not the local authority or another organisation, or person, should do something to protect them from any actual or risk of abuse or neglect. If the local authority decides that another organisation should take action, for example a provider, then the local authority should be clear about timescales and the need to know the outcomes of the enquiry.
The objectives of an enquiry are to:
- Establish facts;
- Ascertain the individual’s views and wishes and seek consent;
- Assess the needs of the adult for protection, support and redress; and
- Make decisions as to what follow-up action should be taken with regard to the person responsible, or the organisation, for the abuse or neglect.
The first priority should always be to ensure the safety and well-being of the Adult and, when the adult has capacity to make their own decisions, to aim for any action to be in line with their wishes as far as appropriate. The safeguarding process should be experienced as empowering and supportive - not as controlling and disempowering. Practitioners must always seek the consent of the individual before taking action or sharing personal information. However, there may be circumstances when consent cannot be obtained because the adult lacks the Capacity to give it, but the best interests of the individual or others at risk demand action. It is the responsibility of all staff and members of the public to act on any suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect and to pass on their concerns.
Considerations when making an Enquiry
Where an adult has capacity to make decisions about their Safeguarding Plans, and where no one else is at risk, then their wishes are very important. They may seek highly interventionist help, such as the barring of a person from their home, or they may wish to be helped in less interventionist ways, through the identification of options with time to choose between them.
Where an adult lacks capacity to make decisions about their safeguarding plans, then a range of options should be identified, which help the adult stay as much in control of their life as possible. Wherever possible, the adult should be supported to recognise risks and to manage them. Safeguarding plans should empower the adult as far as possible to make choices and to develop their own capability to respond to risks.
Any intervention in family or personal relationships needs to be carefully considered. While abusive relationships are never in the best interests of an adult, interventions which remove all contact with family members may also be experienced as abusive interventions and risk breaching the adult’s right to family life if not justified or appropriate. Safeguarding needs to recognise that the right to safety needs to be balanced with other rights, such as rights to liberty, autonomy, and rights to family life. Action might be primarily supportive or therapeutic, or it might involve the application of sanctions, suspension, regulatory activity or criminal prosecution, disciplinary action or de-registration from a professional body.
It is important, when considering the management of any intervention, to approach reports of incidents or allegations with an open mind. In considering how to respond the following factors need to be considered:
- The individual’s needs for care and support;
- The individual’s risk of abuse or neglect;
- The individual’s ability to protect themselves;
- The impact on the individual, their wishes;
- The possible impact on important relationships;
- Potential of action increasing risk to individual; and
- The risk of repeated or increasingly serious acts involving children, or another adult of abuse or neglect.
Who can carry out an Enquiry?
Although the local authority is the lead agency for making enquiries, it may ask others to undertake them. The specific circumstances will often determine the right person to begin an enquiry. In many cases a professional who already knows the individual will be the best person. They may be a social worker, a housing support worker, or health worker such as a community nurse. Where a crime is suspected, and referred to the police then the police must lead the criminal investigations, with the local authority’s support where appropriate, for example by providing information and assistance.
Staff must be trained in recognising the symptoms of abuse or neglect, how to respond and where to go for advice and assistance. These are best written down in shared policy documents that can be easily understood and are used by all the key organisations.
All staff must keep accurate records, clearly stating what the facts are and what are the known opinions of professionals and others. It is vital that the views of the adult who is the subject of the concerns are sought and recorded.
Once enquiries are completed, the outcome should be notified to the local authority which should then determine with the adult who has been the subject of concern what, if any, further action is necessary and acceptable. One outcome of the enquiry may be the formulation of agreed action for the adult to be recorded on their care plan. This will be the responsibility of the relevant agencies to implement.
In relation to the adult who has suffered abuse this should set out:
- What steps are to be taken to assure their safety in future;
- The provision of any support, treatment or therapy including advocacy;
- Any modifications needed in the way services are provided (e.g. same gender care or placement);
- How best to support the individual through any action they take to seek justice or redress; and
- Any on-going risk management strategy.
- What happens as a result of an enquiry should reflect the individual’s wishes wherever possible, and be in their best interests if they are not able to make the decision, and be proportionate to the level of concern.
If a crime is suspected then police should be informed and the police will then be under a duty to investigate. This may be in circumstances when the individual does not want this.
As far as possible, the adult about whom there is a concern should always be involved from the beginning of the enquiry. If the individual needs an independent advocate then the local authority must arrange for one where appropriate.
Making a Referral
When a decision is made to refer a concern to Adult Social Care, the Referral should be made on the same day as the Alert was received.
Referrals should be made to the relevant Adult Social Care office for the area where the alleged Abuse happened (see Local Contacts) Out of office hours, referrals should be made to the Emergency Duty Team (see Local Contacts). If the person at risk is funded by another local authority then that authority must also be informed.
Referrals by professionals should be made in accordance with the local procedures. The referrer should be prepared to provide information to facilitate the safeguarding process. If all of the information is not available, the Referral should not be delayed.
A record of the Referral should be retained by the referrer and by Adult Social Care.
Ensuring Immediate Safety
Anyone who becomes aware of concerns of abuse or neglect, should ensure that emergency assistance, if required, is obtained without delay to ensure the adult's immediate safety. Call 999 for urgent medical and/or urgent police involvement.
All employees should be authorised to call emergency services, without referral to a manager, to ensure that there is no delay.
Although staff should do what they can to ensure the immediate safety of an adult, they must not put themselves in risky or dangerous situations.
You must refer to your local safeguarding procedures which may vary slightly between localities.
Medical Assessment under the Safeguarding Adults Procedures - Urgent Cases
When an adult appears to be in need of urgent medical attention they should be advised (and assisted if appropriate) to go to the nearest A & E department.
If necessary, A & E staff should consult with, and involve, relevant clinical specialists about diagnosis, treatment and investigation to establish the aetiology of symptoms.
Any clinical staff suspecting Abuse or Neglect must report this to the local Adult Social Care office without delay.
In cases of suspected Abuse or Neglect, specialist clinical examination should take place within 24 hours of the first referral to the local Adult Social Care office. Any delay should be recorded, with reasons.
Request from an Adult to keep the Concerns Confidential
If anyone makes an allegation asking that information is kept confidential, you should inform the person that you will respect their right to confidentiality as far as you are able to, but that you are not able to keep the matter secret and that you must inform the DSP.
Situations Where it is Believed that the Manager may be Involved in the Abuse
If it is believed that the DSP may be implicated in the Abuse, or the worker does not feel able to discuss it with him/her they should refer to guidance on 'whistle-blowing' or 'speaking out' and contact the Local Authority Safeguarding Adults Manager/Coordinator or Adult Social Care Office if urgent for advice.
Uncertainty as to whether Abuse has occurred
If there is uncertainty as to whether Abuse has occurred staff must still consult with DSP. Advice can also be sought from the Safeguarding Adults Team or Adult Social Care Office if urgent.
Evidence or Suspicion that a Crime has Taken Place
In some instances the police may need to be called for emergency assistance by telephoning 999.
In all other cases the police should be contacted as soon as possible where there is evidence or suspicion that any crime has taken place. It is important that the police have access to any forensic evidence as soon as possible.
Avoiding Contamination of Evidence
Care should be taken to ensure that forensic and other evidence is not contaminated. You can avoid contaminating evidence by:
- Disturbing a 'scene' as little as possible, sealing off areas if possible;
- Where appropriate and possible remove victim's clothing and bag each item separately;
- Discouraging washing/bathing/eating/drinking/smoking and use of the toilet in cases of sexual assault;
- Not cleaning or allowing further use by others of a toilet used by the victim since the alleged incident in cases of sexual assault;
- Not handling items which may hold DNA evidence;
- Putting any bedding, clothing which has been removed, or any significant items given to you (weapons etc) in a safe dry place in bags, e.g. bin liners if practical;
- Not interviewing the victim or potential witnesses beyond the initial 'seeking of information' to establish basic facts. This is the responsibility of the police or the person/agencies agreed by the Strategy Discussion/Meeting;
- Not alerting the alleged perpetrator.
You can contribute to evidence by:
Making a note of your observations in relation to the condition and attitude of the people involved and any actions you have taken.
Contact with the Alleged Abuser
The alleged abuser should not be contacted until there is an agreed Safeguarding Assessment Strategy - unless this is part of emergency action needed to safeguard the adult or others at risk (e.g. suspending staff in response to allegations against them).
Information from the Adult Concerned
Information given directly by the adult concerned should be listened to and recorded carefully as soon as possible, using their own words where possible. Clarify the bare facts of the reported abuse or grounds for suspicion; do not ask leading questions e.g. suggesting names of who may have perpetrated abuse if the person does not disclose it.
The person should not be questioned in detail at this stage, to avoid creating unnecessary stress through repeatedly describing events or creating a perception that they are not believed. Such questioning can also risk the contamination of evidence. This should not detract from the initial seeking of information to establish basic facts at the earliest stage.
Adults whose First Language is not English or who have Specific Communication Difficulties
Adults who have difficulty communicating in English and those who have specific communication difficulties should have access to the services of an independent interpreter.
Concerns about Abuse must be recorded as soon as possible and always on the same day following Roselyn House School’s procedures. The record should include:
- What you saw if you witnessed the Abuse;
- What was said if the disclosure was made to you, using exact words and phrases wherever possible;
- Information on the setting and all those present at the time;
- The date and times when events occurred;
- Any significant points about the adult's appearance and emotional presentation;
- Who the concerns were reported to and whether contact was made with the emergency services;
- Any decisions or actions as a result of these contacts.
- If appropriate use a body map to record physical injuries
- Use black or blue pen, if recording on paper, so that notes can be photocopied;
- Keep to factual information. Opinion should not be included unless you are an expert in the field in which opinion is given;
- Sign and date the record. Make sure the body map is signed by the person completing it, plus anyone who witnessed;
- Record the location, size and number of injuries;
- Distinguish between the injuries, e.g. pressure sore, bruising, cuts or wounds, red areas, scalds or burns, other (describe);
- Make it clear, with accurate labels on the body map;
- Include, wherever possible, measurements of the injury;
- Record the colour of bruises;
- Ensure the body map has a date and time of completion;
- Ensure the name of the person is on the body map.
Notification to the Care Quality Commission
Where there is any suspicion of Abuse which relates to an adult who may be at risk living in a private, voluntary or local authority care, (nursing or residential) home or adult placement, or is supported by a domiciliary or nursing care agency, the Care Quality Commission must ALSO be informed.
Supporting the Adult Concerned
It is important that the adult is supported throughout the process by:
- Remaining calm and not showing shock or disbelief;
- Listening carefully to what is being said;
- Not asking detailed or leading questions;
- Demonstrating a sympathetic approach by acknowledging regret and concern that what has been reported has happened;
- Ensuring that any emergency action needed has been taken to ensure immediate safety of the Adult at Risk;
- Ensuring support and protection from further immediate abuse of the Adult at Risk and any others who may be potentially or actually at risk;
- Confirming that the information will be treated seriously;
- Giving them information about the steps that will be taken;
- Informing them that they will receive feedback as to the result of the concerns they have raised and from whom;
- Giving the person contact details so that they can report any further issues or ask any questions that may arise;
- Continually ensuring that the victim receives regular feedback and updates.
That any immediate protection needs are addressed following a risk assessment;
That a referral where appropriate; or
That no further action is required.
This Policy is reviewed in consultation with all staff and current Safeguarding guidelines annually and prepared by DSP Sharon Damerall.