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Child Protection Policy Statement

By Alan Simmons,2014-08-12 19:00
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Child Protection Policy Statement ...

Child Protection Policy

Haven House Children‟s Hospice would like a world in which children with

    life limiting conditions have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. This includes the rights of all children and young people to be safeguarded and protected from all forms of abuse and neglect. Haven House is committed to developing and maintaining a thorough and transparent child protection strategy to afford all children who receive their services maximum safeguards.

Haven House recognises that in protecting and safeguarding children, it is 1 also providing a framework for all staffwhich identifies and promotes best

    practice and minimises uncertainty for staff and volunteers working with children. This policy is designed to:

Protect children

    Children should be assured of good standards of care and protection from all Haven House staff, volunteers and representatives.

Protect Haven House Staff

    By following the guidelines and procedures everyone working within Haven House should be able to avoid inappropriate, misguided or wrong behaviour and know what to do if they are concerned about a child‟s welfare. For

    purposes of this document “all staff” refers to all paid staff, volunteers, representatives.

Protect Haven House

    This policy forms part of Haven House commitment to best practice and promotes the organisation‟s integrity.

    There are benefits for all children and for the organisation in ensuring widespread understanding of good practice in working with children, and Haven House is committed to early and continued implementation of these policies and procedures in all aspects of its work with children and young people.

    Haven House recognises that Child Protection and Safeguarding does not exist in a vacuum and requires a collaboration of policies and practices to promote a protective culture and infrastructure, which recognises the protection of children as being paramount.

    Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 1 of 40

    The effective implementation of the Haven House approach to child protection is based on and reflects the principles recognised in UK legislation and in International Agreements, namely that:

    ; The welfare and protection of children and young vulnerable adults is

    paramount whatever the circumstances

    ; All children and young people, regardless of age, disability, gender,

    racial heritage, religious belief and sexual orientation or identity, have

    the right to protection from all types of harm and abuse

    ; Recognition of the importance of working in partnership with parents,

    carers and other agencies including those of diverse communities.

Haven House particularly advocates:

    The Human Rights Act 1998, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 12:

”……….You have the right to give your opinion and to be taken seriously on

     decisions that affect you…”

The Children Act 2004 “The Welfare Checklist” – section 1(3)9a)

     …to have regard of the “ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned

     (considered in the light of his/her age and understanding)”

    Haven House positively promotes the consultation and the involvement of children and young people so as to improve services that are provided for them and also influence the practice and culture to safeguard their welfare and interests with due regard to language, heritage and culture.

    Haven House has developed policies and procedures to safeguard all children and young people in their care. Haven House policies will also apply to young people aged over 18 for whom they have been caring for before ththeir 18 birthday and who may be vulnerable and in need of protection.

    Haven House is committed to continually reviewing and developing its understanding of good practice, and to amending and updating policies to take account of improved knowledge and requirements of keeping children and young people safe.

    Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 2 of 40

    Haven House Chief Executive, Director of Care and Senior Managers endorse and support the revised and updated Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, which will underpin all of Haven House activities with children and young people.

Vulnerability of children and young people with

    Life limiting conditions

    Child protection and safeguarding issues are intricate and complex for every organisation. For Haven House, and the specialised services that are provided, there are specific areas that need to be considered and accounted for in the development of any child protection policy and procedure.

    Children who receive services from Haven House experience a wide range of conditions, which may mean they become increasingly disabled. Some children following diagnosis may not experience any immediate disability, but will degenerate as the condition progresses.

    Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2006) states that evidence from research available in the UK suggests ”disabled children are at increased risk of abuse, and that the presence of multiple disabilities appears to increase the risk of both abuse and neglect”

    Inconsideration of life limited children, their siblings and family the other factors, which increase their vulnerability to abuse, include:

    ; Witnesses of child abuse are often only the child and the offender.

    Perpetrators of abuse may target a life-limited child in the knowledge

    that the child will die, and therefore minimise the chance of the abuse

    being discovered

    ; During periods of care or bereavement family relationships become

    strained, with adults and siblings becoming physically and emotionally

    exhausted. A high stress level is a risk factor and can be a precursor

    to abuse. Children may become a focus for frustration and anger

    when adults experience a loss of control

    ; Social isolation from extended family, peers and community, due to

    stigma and prejudice or a sense of shame, can mean families have

    limited practical and emotional support. Sex offenders often target

    families or children who are vulnerable to “grooming”. “Grooming” is Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 3 of 40

    terminology used to describe the process whereby a sex offender will

    employ techniques including befriending and/or offering practical help

    to engage in inappropriate behaviour with the aim of sexually abusing

    a child, Young people can also be targeted by paedophiles using the

    Internet

    ; Life limited children will often receive medical treatment including

    medication and physiotherapy. Several people may administer the

    treatment over any period of time. There is increased risk therefore of

    physical harm being caused when a parent or carer feigns the

    symptoms of, or deliberately caused ill health to, a child whom they

    are looking after. This situation is commonly described using terms

    such as factious illness by proxy or Munchausen syndrome by proxy

    ; The psychological, societal and emotional dynamics that exist around

    children with life-limited conditions and/or disability increase the risk

    of rejection and neglect, both physically and emotionally

    ; Profoundly disabled children may have different and very limited

    communication ability and mobility, which impairs their capacity to

    disclose abuse or to avoid or resist abuse

    ; Receiving intimate personal care, possibly from a number of carers,

    may both increase the risk of exposure to abusive behaviour and

    make it more difficult to set and maintain physical boundaries

    Children and families may be inhibited about complaining because of a fear of losing services.

Child Protection

    First Response Teams (A/B)

    Social Services Department

    Central Walthamstow Local Office

    Gainsford Road

    Walthamstow E17

    Direct line 0208 496 1834/5/6

    Or Via Town Hall 0208 496 3000

    Hours:

    Monday-Thursday 09.00-17.15

    Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 4 of 40

Friday 09.00-17.00

    Out of Hours

    Weekends and hours not covered by day time

    Out Of hours Tel: 0208 496 3000

    Duty Social Worker to be contacted by pager

    Haven House Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

Introductory Statement

    These procedures should be used when you suspect that a child or young person may have been abused or neglected. Haven House recognises that its staff members are not expected to be specialists in working in child protection and yet all staff have a responsibility to safeguard the children with whom they come into contact with. Haven House staff may care for children and might also come into contact with siblings, other children or young people through the course of their work.

    Haven House acknowledges that the process of dealing with child abuse is complex and can be anxiety provoking. Professional consultation may be helpful for any worker or volunteer who becomes involved, Haven House Chief Executive Officer and Senior Management Team seek to support and empower Haven House staff to carry out their safeguarding responsibilities.

    When child abuse occurs, it is not always recognised and its impact is sometimes minimised, especially for instance, disabled children or for those children or young people who have a life limited illness. However, child abuse can have long lasting and potentially devastating consequences on a child or young person‟s health and/or development, regardless of who was the perpetrator. Given that most child abuse, with appropriate intervention, can be prevented, Haven House Safeguarding Procedures is one of the means by which Haven House seeks to prevent child abuse and to continuously promote the welfare of children in their care.

    These procedures provide direction and clarity in the steps you should take if you are concerned about a child‟s safety, welfare or protection. In such circumstances it is important that you discuss these matters with the appropriate line manager. This will make sure any necessary steps are taken in order to understand more fully the nature and possible underlying causes of these concerns. If the concerns are explained there may not be a need for any further action. However, it may be necessary for action to Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 5 of 40

make sure the child is kept safe and protected.

Purpose and Aims

    ; To provide protection for children receiving services from or having

    contact with Haven House

    ; To acknowledge that Haven House has responsibility to act if there is

    cause for concern, in order that the appropriate agencies can

    investigate and take any necessary action to protect a child

    ; To ensure that Haven House encourages working in partnership with

    children, young people, advocates, parents and carers in all

    circumstances, especially where there are concerns or suspicions

    about child abuse

    ; To provide mandatory care procedures to enable all staff to undertake

    their responsibilities to respond appropriately and take action about

    child protection concerns

    ; To ensure safeguarding responsibilities are congruent with all Haven

    House organisational policies and procedures

    These procedures recognise the potential vulnerability of some young people over the age of 18 years.

     Recruitment and Selection

    For all staff as job applicants for any position involving contact with children and young people:

Job Descriptions

    All posts within Haven House should have detailed job descriptions and/or role and person specification (including and students)

Employment History

    Examine applicants CV/application which should have a detailed employment record with explanations for any gaps in employment.

References

    Two written references (one for students) should be taken up and followed up with the referee. The referee should state their relationship to/knowledge of the applicant. Suitability of the candidate‟s professionalism,

    experience and personal character should be explored as well as exploring Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 6 of 40

    routinely whether or not the referee has any concern about the applicant working with children.

    Examples (particularly of any observations made of the applicant when working with children) should be sought to back up the referee‟s claims about the applicant.

Criminal Record Checks

    All applicants will be required to declare in writing and convictions (spent and unspent) against children and young people and be made aware that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to all positions within Haven House.

    All applicants to Haven House have a criminal record check as standard and those working unsupervised with children or young people will be required to have an “enhanced disclosure” check.

Professional Qualifications

    Original copies of qualifications are required of applicants

Identity

    Original copies of passport/birth certificate are required.

Probationary Period

    All appointments should be conditional on successful completion of an agreed probationary period. Within the induction period, all new staff will be made aware of the Haven House Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

Inter-Agency Collaboration

    All organisations need to work in partnership, as safeguarding from significant harm depends crucially upon developing effective information sharing, collaboration and understanding between organisations such as Children‟s Social Care, (which has statutory duties relating to child abuse), health, education and the NSPCC. Haven House supports the principles within “Working Together to Safeguard Children”.

    Some of the recent research findings on children with complex needs living in health care settings, although not directly studying children in hospice care, Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 7 of 40

    highlight useful insights into the expressed wishes of the children to be:

    ; Treated as individuals

    ; Be consulted about their medical care, listened to and having their

    wishes acted upon

    ; Exercising choice on a daily basis about serious interventions and

    everyday aspects of life (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2003)

Working in partnership with Parents and Carers

    Generally the most effective way of ensuring that children are safeguarded is by working in genuine partnership with their parents and carers. This means not making assumptions about the child‟s family based on your beliefs, acknowledging with parents that they are likely to know most about their own child and ensuring that parents/carers are aware of Haven House Safeguarding Policy and procedures. Partnership with parents does not mean going along with the parents‟ wishes or requests as the child‟s safety and welfare must always remain paramount in any consultation or course of action.

Consulting with children and Young People

    As identified in United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by UK Government in 1991) and required in the Children Act (Office of Public Sector Information, 1989) and Best Practice Government Guidance, e.g. New Assessment Framework (DoH 2000) consultation, even with very young children, helps to convey to them that they are valued and important and that their wishes and views will be taken seriouslyby Haven

    House staff and volunteers. Listening to and recording what children and young people have to say or communicate is a vital component to providing a safe culture for children and young people.

What is Abuse?

Definitions of Abuse (see Appendix 1 for more detail)

„Working together to Safeguard Children‟ (HM Government 2006) identifies

    four main forms of abuse:

Physical Abuse

    Emotional Abuse

    Sexual Abuse

    Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 8 of 40

Neglect

    These four are used as categories of abuse by child protection agencies for registration purposes.

Recognition of Abuse

    As someone who works with children or young people, you may become concerned that one of them is possibly being, or has been, abused. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known and/or, more rarely, a stranger (HM Government, 2006).

    People communicate in many ways through spoken and written language, sign language, use of symbols, pictorial, systems, gesture, mood or behaviour. Effective communications is a two-way process, and in determining or responding to child abuse, may require skill and sensitivity.

     A child protection concern may come to your attention in a number of ways, including:

    ; A child/young person may communicate about abuse they have

    experienced. They decide to tell you because they see you as

    someone they can trust

    ; A third party, perhaps another child or young person, family member

    or colleague sharing their concerns with you

Possible Signs and Indicators of Child Abuse

    Additional information on Possible Signs and Indicators of Child Abuse (see Appendix 4 and Appendix 5)

    Many children will exhibit some of these indicators at some time and the presence of one or more should not be taken as proof that abuse is occurring.

Importantly, certain medical conditions may cause changes to a child’s

    behaviour or physical presentation. It will be necessary to consider carefully the possibility of concerns about possible symptoms of child abuse with the Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 9 of 40

    relevant medical practitioner. There may well be other reasons for changes in a child‟s behaviour such as: surgery, changes in prognosis, deterioration of physical or cognitive ability, changes in carers, or at home, a death or crisis in the family or the birth of a child.

    Your knowledge of a child over a period of time may help you to understand whether there is cause for you to be concerned. Careful consideration of all available information is required. Even if the concern is not a child protection matter, it may still require some attention or action to promote the welfare of the child.

    Forms of oppression such as racism or discrimination based on disability or sexuality, and which may be prevalent amongst peers in group setting or in communities, can also impact on a child or young person‟s behaviour. Some behaviour (e.g. obsessive hand washing) may be indicators of abuse or they may be connected to a particular form of disability, such as autism.

    It is important to give careful consideration to all of the available information and factors involved. Try and always establish the context of particular incidents and avoid making judgments on the basis of stereotypes.

    Abuse in all its forms can affect a child at any age. The effects of child abuse can be extremely damaging on many aspects of the child‟s current welfare/development and quality of life.

    All children and young people (regardless of their age, racial/cultural origin, disability or illness) may receive much comfort and support from some professional intervention, with and through those close to the child. It is therefore vital that any concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person are passed on to the relevant line manager, so that the child/young person is made safe in the first instance and that maximum support can be offered to the child/young person, their siblings and family in accordance with Haven House Safeguarding procedures.

Impact of Child Abuse

    Sustained abuse; whether physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect; can have major long-term affects on all aspects of a child or young person‟s

    health, development and wellbeing. There is likely to be a deep and lasting impact on self-image and self-esteem, forming and sustaining relationships (with adults and/or children). Child abuse can have a profound effect on the child or young person‟s quality of life or have fatal consequences. For

    more detailed information about the impact of child abuse see Appendix 6. Implemented: October 2008

    Reviewed: October 2009

    Review: October 2010

    Responsibility Director of Care

    Approved by CEO

     Page 10 of 40

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