Safeguarding and Child Protection...
Over the summer I spent a long time updating Q4EY packages around safeguarding and child protection. There were several reasons for doing this:
• To reflect all revised documentation that recently came in to place (see previous blog for document updates)
• In reflection from meetings with different Local Authority Safeguarding Leads who we regularly deliver training for to ensure training packages continue to remain current and reflect local pathways and strategies
• To incorporate the lessons learnt from local serious case reviews from the Greater Manchester Area.
As childcare workers, we are often in a privileged position working very closely with children and families to identify early signs and indicators that things might not be going so well in the home environment. Because of this, I wanted to share some of my learning with you, so we can have a better understanding of some of the common issues that are raised in local cases where children have been seriously harmed or have died at the hands of their abusers. Here are some areas which I think are worth highlighting:
Lack of 'professional curiosity'
Professional curiosity is the capacity and communication skill to explore and understand what is happening within a family rather than making assumptions or accepting things at face value. This can happen when parents are intimidating, angry, aggressive or even dismissive, often when asked questions about their family life. Practitioners may find it difficult to have conversations about sensitive issues they need more information about. If the adult’s behaviour is a source of concern, you should be raising issues for discussion with your designated safeguarding lead.
Understanding of intra familial sexual abuse
Intrafamilial sexual abuse is where sexual abuse occurs within the family environment. Perpetrators may or may not be related to the child. About a third of all child sexual abuse reported to the police is perpetrated by a family member or someone close to the child. Practitioners need to be more aware of the signs and indicators and more attuned to the risk of familial abuse.
Knowledge and Understanding of the 'Toxic Trio'
The ‘Toxic Trio’ is the term which refers to the risk factors of substance misuse (alcohol or drugs, or both), severe parental mental ill-health and domestic abuse. Children living in such households are known to be at higher risk of severe harm and more recognition of the indicators and impact of living in these circumstances is necessary to support early intervention and prevention of abuse.
Lack of chronology of significant events
Failure to record those significant events that happen in children’s lives outside the setting prevents us from scrutinising the information we have and highlighting the impact of events on the child. We need to improve the day to day recordings where there are concerns about children and families we are working with. These recordings are crucial for making decisions whether children are suffering or likely to suffer from significant harm and may end up in a court of law.
Lack of multi-agency working
‘To improve multi-agency working’ is an action which threads through so many of the serious case reviews, particularly where domestic abuse is known. We need to improve our links with other agencies and share information where there are concerns in a timely manner. Remember GDPR is not a barrier to sharing information but a framework to ensure information is shared appropriately.
Below you'll find some links to courses we offer to support the knowledge and understanding of practitioners in some of these areas. Book your place now to ensure your knowledge and understanding of current issues and pathways is up to date.
Don't forget, your Local Safeguarding Children's Boards (may be called something different as they are under review) often publish the serious case reviews that have taken place in your authority on their websites. Consider looking at these with your staff teams and learn from the recommendations that are highlighted in each case.
Become familiar with the role and responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead and develop competence and confidence in carrying out this role
Friday 7th December 2018, 9.30am-3.30pm
Safeguarding Children when parents have multiple needs
Learn about the concept of the 'Toxic Trio' and how children may be at increased risk when parents have multiple needs. Increase confidence and explore your own role in relation to these issues along with your knowledge of legislation, policy and local service provision
Monday 14th January 2019, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Increase your knowledge and skills in effective communication with parents around developmental and/or safeguarding concerns
Wednesday 6th March 2019, 1pm - 4pm
To book any of the above courses or to find out more information, you can
• Click on the pictures above or any of the course titles to take you to the course page on our website
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Call 07495 342 223