When working with children and young people it is important to ensure that safeguarding is in place at all times
When working with children and young people it is important to ensure that safeguarding is in place at all times. Policies are not only in place for children and young people, they are also there for each staff member also. It is everyone’s duty to follow and ensure that the policies and procedures are followed correctly, as these are in place as a safety measure that safe working is carried out continuously, in the correct way and in the same way, which must be adhered to at all times. Local authorities are the lead agency for both safeguarding of children and young people and safeguarding adults. A child is defined as an individual who hasn’t yet reached the age of 18 years old. Current policies and procedures and practices for children and young adults are based on the legislation, which was first established in 1989. This is known as Children’s Act 1989, which was revised in 2004. Other Acts have been bought out such as, Safeguarding Disabled Children 2009, The Children’s Plan 2007, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010, Munro Report 2011, Safeguarding Across Children’s Services 2012, Children (Leaving Care) 2000, Children and Young Persons Act 2008, Social Services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014, United Nations Protection of the Child Act, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, Children’s Human Rights Act 1998.
Possible signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause a concern in the context of safeguarding maybe that a child might develop more slowly that other children of a similar age and if there’s no cause for concern such as physical disability or learning disability, it could be a sign of some sort of abuse. A child may cause concern innocently whist talking about being left alone or with strangers. The child may have a poor bond or relationship with their parents/carers which is known as attachment issues. The child may show violence towards another child whist playing. A child may show a lack of social skills and has few or no friends. It has been noted that signs, symptoms, indicator and behaviours, which has caused concern from children under the age of 5 have shown that the child may not seem to cry. The child may not respond to their parent/carers presence or absence. The child may not reach developmental milestones when predicted in children, such as learning to speak. The child could be under weight, however, eats very well when food is given to them.
It has been noted that signs, symptoms, indicator and behaviours, which has caused concern from children aged between 5-11 years old may become private and unwilling to share information to others. The child may start showing signs of bed wetting. The child may not want to go home after school, this maybe noted by teachers. Also, that the child has poor school attendance and punctuality, or late being picked up after school has finished. The child may not be allowed to have friends over or others, such as professionals to visit the family home. When it comes to school parent’s evenings, some parents may not be bothered of how their child is doing in school and show little interest in the child’s performance and behaviour. The teachers may notice that the parents/carers are very dismissive and non-responsive to any professional concerns.
It has been noted that signs, symptoms, indicator and behaviours, which has caused concern from children aged between 11-16 years of age may become private and unwilling to share information to others. The child may start showing signs of wanting to run away, consuming alcohol regularly from an early age. This maybe to deal with issues that are going on in their lives. This could also bring on a change in their usual behaviour, such as challenging behaviour being disruptive at school. The child may be reluctant to get changed for sports also. A child may all of a sudden become fixated and may show signs and interests towards a new religion. Radicalisation can be very difficult to spot. A child showing signs, which could indicate a child becoming radicalised maybe that they start to become distant, isolating themselves from family, carers, friends. The child may become unwilling or show inability to discuss their own views, they could start talking as if it’s from a scripted speech. The child may have a sudden disrespect to others such as friends, carers, family and teachers. The child may show signs of having secretes, especially when using the internet, everything become private to themselves only causing them to become cut off from others in their lives. The child may also become more agitated and have an increased level of anger.
If a child or young person alleges harm or abuse in line with policies and procedures of own setting, I would write down exactly what’s been said, in their own wording. I would write this down immediately so noting could be changed or altered to the way I though it may have sounded, which could happen if you wrote it down later that day. I would then report the incident to my manager. I could contact the local safeguarding team for some advice if required. I would maintain confidentiality throughout.
The rights that children, young people and their families have in situations where harm or abuse is suspected or alleged is the right to be loved and cared for. They have the right to be protected from significant harm, and to be kept safe, which comes under the Children’s Act 1989, which was revised in 2004. Everyone has the right to be involved the all the decision making when being made about them and they should be kept informed throughout. This allow them to have an input on the situation allowing them to express their own views and opinions on the issue in hand. If a child or young person is being suspected of abuse, it’s priority that the child’s welfare is kept priority continuously.
Children and young people have the right to be listened to, to be heard, to speak and be taken seriously. They should be involved in all matters, taking their age into consideration, allowing them to make choices and allow decisions to be made. They have the right to be respected and given choices. They have a right to be loved, cared for, to be kept warm with a roof over their head. Comfort, a warm and cosy bed, to be fed and not to go hungry or thirsty. Have the rights to have education, to play with others, privacy, healthcare, to be protected from discrimination. Children and young people have the rights to have life, to have parents/carers, the rights to have a name, a religion, a nationality, family and friends. The child and young people have the right to freedom of expression, freedom of thoughts, freedom of association.