CHILD PROTECTION

PR-5-3

PROCEDURAL DOCUMENT

Effective Date: 4 September 2012


Rationale

We believe that the safety and wellbeing of our students is of prime concern to the school. The school has an agreed procedure where child abuse is suspected.  The school has a responsibility to monitor children for possible abuse and act on their observations.  

Purpose

To assist staff to identify possible abuse.

To monitor possible abuse in written form

To have in place systems staff can use when abuse is suspected.

To help students to develop the necessary skills and understanding to keep themselves safe in their contacts with other people. 

Procedures

Prevention programmes, such as Keeping Ourselves Safe will be taught regularly.

A written record must be kept of concerns of abuse (eg unusual behaviour).  This record will be kept in the safe.  These records must remain confidential and only available to those directly concerned.  They will be destroyed after a period of seven years.

Teachers will make their concerns known to the Principal, who will, in consultation with staff and outside agencies, decide on the most suitable course of action.

In cases where it is obvious abuse has occurred, staff members should notify the Principal immediately.  The Principal will contact the most appropriate agency for immediate action to take place. 

At all times, the child’s needs will be paramount and the guidelines below, followed.

Specific Guidelines

(a)  Confirming the Suspicions

-   Document all suspicions to discuss with the Principal.

-   Children’s disclosures to teachers or other staff should be taken seriously and actioned immediately. 

-   Two staff must be present when any further discussion occurs with the child.  Accurate records must be kept.

(b)  Reporting to an Outside Agency

-   Where the suspicion appears to be confirmed  the Principal is responsible for contacting the necessary outside agency(ies).

-   The school will expect that all dealings regarding the child will be instigated by the outside agency including:-

  1. making the child safe
  2. contacting the home/parent/caregiver
  3. informing the school of the situation

-   Contacting the parents is solely the responsibility of the outside agency.

-   Where a parent contacts the school regarding a child abuse situation it should be referred to the Principal.

(c)  Involvement of the Board of Trustees

-  Where the suspicion has been referred to an outside agency, the Principal will advise the Board of Trustees of the action taken.

-  The confidentiality of the parties concerned will be maintained at all times.