This policy sets out in line with the statutory requirements for The Kids Network (TKN) to discharge its appropriate accountability for the safeguarding of children and young people.
TKN believes no child or young person should be subject or vulnerable to abuse of any kind. As an organization we are committed to promoting the welfare of all children and young people to keep them safe.
This policy sets out the collective and individual expectation for all stakeholders affiliated to TKN to comply with legislation, codes of conduct and behaviours required as an employee or volunteer of TKN. Definitions of abuse for both children and adults can be found in the Glossary of terms.
This policy should be read by all employees, volunteers and board members of TKN including all volunteer mentors and other affiliates of TKN.
In developing this policy TKN recognises that safeguarding children and young people is a shared responsibility, with the need for effective joint working between volunteers, staff, agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise. In order to achieve effective joint working there must be constructive relationships at all levels, promoted and evidenced by:
Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedure
For employees of TKN
The designated safeguarding officer (DSO) is Sarah Woodcock, the CEO of The Kids Network.
All safeguarding concerns will be reported to the Board in line with regular scheduled meetings, but will also be discussed by the delivery sub-committee. This will be a standing agenda item.
A member of the Board will be appointed Safeguarding lead and will have responsibility for holding the organisation to account.
For volunteer mentors
Where occasions arise where it is unavoidable that these things do happen, they should be done with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge of the organisation and/or the children’s parents.
All stakeholders: what to do if you suspect a child is at risk
It is not the responsibility of staff or volunteers to deal with suspected abuse but it is their responsibility to report concerns in line with guidance on reporting child abuse. You may find that these suspicions back up other recorded incidents. Remember, do not investigate – do report.
The following information covers three steps to report any information on child safety.
If a child’s behaviour/appearance gives reason for concern or a child has an unusual physical injury or a child confides about abuse, the procedure that MUST be followed is:
All concerns should be communicated immediately to the DSO for TKN both in writing through an incident report form and over the telephone.
If you a believe a child is in imminent danger of coming to harm, call 999.
You can also seek advice at any time from the NSPCC helpline – email@example.com or 0808 800 5000. Next steps might involve undertaking an early help assessment or making a referral directly to children’s social care/the police.
If you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child and feel they are not being acted upon by your manager or named/designated safeguarding lead, it is your responsibility to take action.
The following are some key Do’s and Don’ts if a child reports abuse:
This policy has been written on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children:
5.2 Physical Abuse – Physical abuse 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 fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
5.3 Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development, and may involve:
• Conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person;
• Imposing age or developmentally inappropriate expectations on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction;
• Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another e.g. where there is domestic violence and abuse;
• Serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger;
• Exploiting and corrupting children.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone
5.4 Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (e.g. rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
Sexual abuse includes non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, including online and with mobile phones, or in the production of pornographic materials, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
In addition; Sexual abuse includes abuse of children through sexual exploitation. Penetrative sex where one of the partners is under the age of 16 is illegal, although prosecution of similar age, consenting partners is not usual. However, where a child is under the age of 13 it is classified as rape under s5 Sexual Offences Act 2003.
5.5 Neglect – Neglect 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 misuse, maternal mental ill health or learning difficulties or a cluster of such issues. Where there is domestic abuse and violence towards a carer, the needs of the child may be neglected.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent 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, social and educational needs.
Included in the four categories of child abuse and neglect above, are a number of factors relating to the behaviour of the parents and carers which have significant impact on children such as domestic violence. Research analysing Serious Case Reviews has demonstrated a significant prevalence of domestic abuse in the history of families with children who are subject of Child Protection Plans. Children can be affected by seeing, hearing and living with domestic violence and abuse as well as being caught up in any incidents directly, whether to protect someone or as a target. It should also be noted that the age group of 16 and 17 year olds have been found in recent studies to be increasingly affected by domestic violence in their peer relationships
The Home Office definition of Domestic violence and abuse was updated in March 2013 as:
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence and abuse between those aged 16 or over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender and sexuality.
This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know, as well as from strangers. Online abuse may be part of abuse that is taking place in the real world (for example bullying or grooming). Or it may be that the abuse only happens online (for example persuading children to take part in sexual activity online).
Children can feel like there is no escape from online abuse – abusers can contact them at any time of the day or night, the abuse can come into safe places like their bedrooms, and images and videos can be stored and shared with other people.