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10d - Strategies Used to Safeguard Children and Young People from Abusive and Exploitative Behaviour P4, P5, M3 D2

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Unit 10: Caring for Children and Young People | 10D - Strategies used to safeguard children and young people from abusive and exploitative behavior | Abbie Williams | 02/01/2015 |

P4: Explain appropriate responses when child maltreatment or abuse is suspected –
There are a variety of different responses of which would be considered appropriate when you believe that a child or young person is being abused or facing maltreatment.
You can observe the child over a period of time. Any and all information collected should be written or logged and should be considered carefully, for example listening to the child when he/she is at play. You can also observe the child’s relationship with their parents, carers or guardians and look out for any poor interaction between them.
Things that may be said by the child: Mummy hit me Daddy touched me Daddy did this to me last night, but he told me not to tell anyone or he will hurt me again My aunt pulled my hair
If you suspect that the child is receiving abuse or is being maltreated, (depending on whether the child is of developmental stage), speak to the child along with their parents/guardians in order to seek out some form of explanation.
If you are going to speak to the child, make sure that he/she is comfortable. By feeling uncomfortable this may stop the child from disclosing any further information. By setting up various games for the child to play with, you will therefore be able to interact with them and allow you to speak directly to the child. However you must let the child know beforehand that you cannot promise confidentiality.
Take the child seriously. If you do not take the child seriously this may put the child off from telling what is occurring at home, resulting in the child shutting you out.
Always remain calm in the situation, and listen to what the child is telling you, by providing your full attention. Show the child that you are there to support him/her, and that when talking to the child, try to avoid asking why the abuse occurred in the first place. The reason being that by asking, the child may upset him/her even more, resulting in the child ultimately shutting you out. If you want to ask the child questions try to phrase it differently. You could say to the child how did you get that bruise? Do you want to talk about it? Always remind the child that this is not their fault. Keep reminding the child that you are here to help not to hurt him/her. Tell the child what you are going to do next. If you are going to speak to the parents/guardians let the child know. If you are going to inform the social services, always inform the child on what you intend to do. Do not touch the child without their permission, because if he/she is receiving abuse at home it may startle him/her. Always record exactly what you observed and what you heard. You should also write down your own opinion and why you think this should be raised as a concern. During the conversation with the child some helpful things to say would be believe you and I am glad that you told me.During a conversation with the child make sure you do not show shock or embarrassment about what the child reveals to you.
Each organisation has its own set of policies that all of its employees must follow in order to make sure that they and others under their care are kept safe in the workplace. All employees are required to read and understand the policies that are put in place, whilst other organisations require a signature in order to confirm that this has been done according to their standards. Policies in place within a care setting are especially important and each and every member of staff must have access to them, due to the fact that the individuals that are in their care must be looked after and cared for in the best way possible. For example: Making sure that all health and social care services work together efficiently and effectively Improving the overall care for individuals with dementia Making mental health services more effective and accessible Treating services users with respect, dignity and compassion Improving the overall quality of life for individuals with long term conditions
This response has since been improved in cases of maltreatment which were not dealt with effectively. In the cases of Baby P, Victoria Climbie and Sarah Payne, maltreatment could have been prevented had the signs been recognised at an earlier stage. The paramountcy principle failed were these children were concerned due to the fact an extensive investigation never took place in order to ensure that these children were safe and protected from abuse; This could be due to the fact that the current legislation that was in place needed to be updated in order for care workers to be more aware of the procedures that they needed to follow. In the case of Victoria Climbie, she visited health care centres several times before her death and during that time no action was taken in order to protect her, therefore the government decided to update the current legislation of what is now known today as the Children Act 2004.
This response will help aid in future cases due to updated legislation will be in all places of work so as to ensure that cases of maltreatment are able to be prevented.
Safe working practices can be met through all staff members following policies and procedures correctly and by making sure that they are aware of what procedures they should follow in case of an emergency. Through the use of safe working practices they will ensure that vulnerable children and young people are protected; this can be done through the maintaining of confidentiality, dignity and respect of which would contribute to the overall wellbeing of the child/ young person.
This response would be effective due to the fact that it would make sure that all children and young people feel safe and comfortable around their carer. By following the right practices it would help to make sure that all aspects of the child’s/ young person’s needs are met.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 aids in making sure safe work practices keep carers safe from harm. However safe working practices can only be carried out successfully if the health and safety of the carer is looked after, therefore not putting themselves in any considerable danger.
Whistleblowing is the process of when an individual raises a concern about a wrong doing within the workplace. The concern must be a genuine concern about a crime, criminal offence, the health and safety of an individual is at risk, miscarriage of injustice, danger to health and safety and of the environment, an individual covering up another’s wrong doing – including the cover up of any one of the given points.
If at any point the individual wants to ‘blow the whistle’ the first thing they must do is check if the company has a whistleblowing procedure, then contact their employer about the issue they wish to report. However if the issue they wish to report concerns the employer or the company then the individual should go about contacting a prescribed person or body who will be able to take a look at the issue and go through the proper channels in order to fix it. The individual must then explain to the governing body why it is they feel that their employer may cover the issue up, would treat them in an unfair manner should they complain or that they feel that their employer has not fixed the issue after it had been raised.
A worker cannot be dismissed due to whistleblowing. Should this occur, they can therefore claim unfair dismissal and will be protected by law as long as certain criteria are met. A worker is eligible for protection if: They honestly believe that what they are reporting is true They think that they are telling the right person They believe that their disclosure is in the public’s best interest
They will not be protected from dismissal if they fall under the following: They broke the law when they reported the incident, for example they signed the Official Secrets Act They found out about the wrong doing when another person wanted legal advice (‘legal professional privilege’), for example if they are a solicitor
This is an important response within the workplace due to the fact that some individuals believe that they are able to get away with mistreating a child and/or young person simply because they work there, however this is not the case and other members of staff have the right to report this as soon as possible should they believe or are concerned that maltreatment is occurring. The Data Protection Act (1998) thereby allows for the confidentiality of the whistleblower to be kept safe and away from any who wish to cause them harm. This piece of legislation also allows for the protection of anything that the child or young person discloses to be kept confidential should the whistle be blown and leads to a case where maltreatment has occurred.

P5: Explain the strategies and methods that can be used to support children, young people and their families where abuse is suspected of confirmed M3: Assess strategies and methods used to minimise the harm to children, young people and their families where abuse is confirmed
A variety of strategies can be used in order to help and protect children and young people from abuse. These strategies are put in place to help reduce the risks in relation to abuse and help the children and young people that are affected to realise that they have the right to be safe and free from harm.
Respect must be earned it cannot be demanded, and once respect is gained, can it so easily be destroyed. Consideration should be showed constantly for other individual's viewpoints and differing opinions need to be appreciated. Once respect is gained individuals may confide in you or inform you of the changes or difficulties they may be facing within their family. This information could thereby explain the changes in their behaviour and make it possible for you to help the child/young person through a difficult experience.
It is especially important to remember that the child or young person is the main focus, and that they are the ones who need to be empowered and supported so that they can take control of their own lives. The child/ young person should be encouraged to develop strategies that could enable them to avoid certain situations that can put them at risk of harm. Children also need to be helped to be gain the confidence to seek out appropriate support and guidance if they should at one point or another find themselves in a precarious situation.
Support should be readily available and practical when children and young people are in need. In this instance it could prove useful to have an individual that is willing to listen, however the children would also need someone who is able to provide the necessary support. It is of great importance to try and increase the child's self-confidence and raise their self-esteem so that they are able to become empowered. Children and young people who know that they are valued and loved, and are used to making decisions, are more likely to refuse any unwanted advances and are less likely to be drawn into exploitative situations.
Children should be taught to understand that they have rights of their own. Children usually rely on their parents or carer to look after them and keep them from harm, however they should also be made aware of what is considered right and what is wrong. If the child/young person feels as though they are being treated unfairly, then they should be encouraged to tell someone about it. The child should be able to voice their concerns and opinions to adults they trust without fear or retribution. If children are treated fairly, and with respect, and listened to, the child would thereby feel empowered, and react accordingly in any situation they may be put in.
In some cases children need to be assertive, and if the occasion should ever call for it, they should be encouraged to do so. However, in most cases the adults prefer to be in charge and do not take well to being challenged, especially by children. When a child is given a choice by an adult, that they must accept, for example, the question of “Will you help me tidy up?” can evoke a negative response. If the adult in question does not accept the child’s answer then they are taking away their ability to choose and disempowering the child. In this particular situation it would be better to say “Come on, it’s time to tidy up” instead of asking a question. Self-confident children are less likely to be targeted by a potential abuser. Self- confident children, with high self-esteem are usually very talkative children, who are very open regarding to what is happening in their lives, and are more likely to speak out if they do not like something. Children with low self-esteem and lack of confidence are usually less talkative and may feel that they cannot speak out, particularly if coerced. By accepting the child as they are and praising them at all times would help to raise the child's self-esteem and improve their confidence. This could be done by explaining that what they are doing is good and worthy of praise, along with talking to them openly and giving the child/young person the attention that they deserve, by doing so you are encouraging them to be more assertive and responsible.
You should also encourage children and young people to have open relationships with other individuals so that they can share information. The child/young person also needs to learn to recognise the difference between good secrets and bad secrets. Good secrets are those that are usually kept from one or two people, for example, presents for someone’s birthday. Bad secrets are those which are to be kept from everyone else except those who are directly involved, for example, inappropriate pictures, words, touching etc. Children need someone to confide in so that they can express their concerns and fears freely and in a safe environment.
Children and young people need to be aware of their bodies, how they function and how to respect them and keep themselves safe. As they grow older, they should be made aware of their emotions how they might affect them as they mature; along with being made aware of the changes in their bodies and how these changes can affect other people. As children and young people age they are exposed to extreme peer pressure and adult images circulating in the media. The child/young person should be made aware of the dangers of early or inappropriate relationships and to understand how to ensure their own safety.
In some cases, children and young people may need to be made aware of infections and diseases that are associated with abusive situations. This would include conditions affecting wounds and injuries, along with the transmission of diseases that are associated with sexual activity. There are a wide range of sexually transmitted diseases, this would include: Herpes Syphilis Gonorrhoea Chlamydia
These infections must be treated quickly due to the fact that they can have long-term effects which can lead to infertility and other conditions.
Whenever possible, it is important to work closely with the parents and families of children and young people. This would establish a sense of trust and respect can be encouraged, along with the feeling that everyone is working together for the good of the child.
When working with children and young people it is essential to develop supportive relationships.
Those that are involved need to be able to trust you and be made aware that you wish to establish good links with all that are involved. Parents and families may see you as a role model and a person that they can talk to in regard to their child or young person. It is important that the child is at the centre and that everyone involved works together for the well-being of the child/young person.
In most cases it is the parents that have vital information about the specific needs of their children and about any problems they may be trying to come to terms with. Assessments of a child’s needs must include their parents in order to gain an accurate overall picture.
Parents should also be made aware of the importance of their contribution to the assessment process along with the feeling that they are valued. In some cases the parents share a responsibility for the situation but if the family is to be supported as a whole, then all contributions must be valued and parents’ feelings respected.
Parenting skills do not always come naturally as they do to others especially if they were raised in a family situation where those skills were needed, in this instance were sorely lacking. There are many courses available that can aid in the development of parenting skills although some people no not like having to admit that they are in need of help in this area. Those working with children and young people can help parents on improving their parenting skills informally by developing meaningful relationships with them and spending time talking about children and young people.
Once a child has disclosed what is happening to them, there are authorities and agencies that are available that can protect and support them. The truth needs to be told, this means that the child must be sensitively encouraged to talk about what has been happening to them. The information would then be passed on to the relevant authorities so that the allegations can be looked into. The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, as part of the local authority social services, would be involved along with the police who will lead the investigation.
Every Child Matters was concerned with all agencies working together as a multi-disciplinary workforce for the well-being of children and young people and this became part of the legislation in the Children Act 2004. After the devastating revelations of the Victoria Climbie case, it was felt to be vitally important that all agencies involved in cases such as this work in tandem with each other and keep one another informed. In this way it is hoped that the errors that occurred in that case will not be repeated.
A wide range of professionals may be involved with children and young people who have been exploited or abused. It is vital that those working with a child or young person knows their roles and does so with integrity and sensitivity.
It is quite difficult for children to disclose information as they may feel that no one they speak to will believe them. Therefore it is essential that care workers believe what the child or young person is saying. It may be partial or full disclosure but the individual must never be made to feel insecure or that they are not believed. The child in this case, may feel dirty, useless and unloved and should be shown unconditional acceptance, respect and love for them as an individual and for the courage that they have demonstrated by telling someone.
Children and young people should be given strategies that will empower them in abusive and exploitative situations. Lessons or programmes, that are specifically designed to address some of the issues related to abuse, are often used by settings and the individuals should be encouraged to understand that it is OK to say ‘no’ and to be made aware of what is considered unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour by others.
There will always be some sort of impact on the child and other members of the family due to the nature of the situation; however this would become more traumatic if the abuser is a member of the immediate family. In cases where someone outside the family has abused the child or young person, then the family can be a source of strong support for them. There are other support mechanisms available that can help families come to terms with abusive and exploitative situations.
It is important that individuals do not fall into the trap of stereotyping. A family may be poor but that does not mean that they will be neglectful. It is also important that any stereotyping that occurs is counteracted immediately or it could prove detrimental for the family and for the child or young person involved.
There are several ways in which the effects of abuse can be minimised.
Children and young people who have suffered abuse may have to suppress their natural feelings and keep their emotions blocked for a long time. They need the opportunity to express their feelings openly. They may feel a loss of control as some of the feelings which have been repressed are likely to be very strong and unusually powerful and, because of this, they will need a lot of support.
Children who are or have been abused will inevitably have a poor self-image and may need help in developing a more positive view of themselves. People often go through various stages in which they feel like that they somehow deserve what has happened to them or that they have in some way encouraged it. They would therefore need to be reassured that this is not the case and be supported through the difficult times and encouraged when they are feeling more positive.
Praise and encouragement are positive tools when used by dedicated individuals who work with children and young people. Children who have been through traumatic events need a great deal of positive reinforcement in order to rebuild their self-esteem and confidence. Many individuals feel used and unworthy of respect and can take a long time to build up positive relationships and trust.
Workers in this sector must have a sensitive and supportive nature as well as being calm and patient. Play therapy is used in order to both diagnose and treat children and young people who have been through traumatic experiences. Using play therapy, they are able to live out their fears and express emotions in a safe and contained environment with highly trained staff who can support them at times of need.
Counselling is an important service that is provided for all individuals involved in cases of abuse. There are specially trained personnel who are equipped to offer counselling specifically for the young.
There are several charities and voluntary organisations that help children and young people at risk.
These may be the first point of contract for anyone who suffers abuse or who is aware of abusive situations. Organisations such as the NSPCC have specific campaigns to involve members of the public in trying to stop child abuse. Other organisations, such as ChildLine, provide telephone numbers for anyone seeking advice. They all have an important role to play in supporting the authorities and those in abusive situations. Community support networks have been set up to provide links with agencies, which can provide specific support for anyone with problems. They provide information about a wide range of services that may be beneficial for families with children and young people.

D2: Justify responses where child maltreatment or abuse is suspected or confirmed, referring to current legislation and policies

Child maltreatment can be exceedingly hard to identify, especially when there is no physical damage to the individual. However when there has been any suspicion of or confirmed abuse or maltreatment cases, certain response need to take place in order to make sure that the child’s safety is put first and that the right polices and legislations help in supporting the response to that abuse.
The Paramountcy principle is when the child’s welfare is paramount; this means that the child’s needs are put first. This principle also states that there should be no delay when accounting for the child’s future. Courts should also not make an order unless they are absolutely sure that it is in the child’s best interest to do so. This also applies to other health and social care settings that work with children. For example a school always need to make sure the subjects they are educating the pupils in is in their best interest and will help them in the future in whatever they choose to do. This links to justifying the response to abuse and maltreatment of a child because every child should be given priority over all other problems. Responding to child maltreatment and abuse needs to be quick and significant help.
The Children Act (1989) states that “better for the child than making no order at all” (section 1). This piece of legislation is set out to protect the welfare of children in any circumstance. In another section of this legislation it says that if there has been a reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, or continue to suffer significant harm, then it is there duty to investigate. This is the first step in responding to a child being maltreated or abused. The Children Act (1989) is the main foundation of the Paramountcy principles and is a key piece of legislation that helps in ways on how to respond to child abuse and maltreatment. The Children Act was updated in (2004).
Some examples where there was no response to the child maltreatment and abuse are Peter Connelly (Baby P), Victoria Climbie and Sarah Payne. These three children where deprived from the appropriate response and where failed from the Paramountcy principles as all of these children’s rights where not put in the best interest. Also in the case of Victoria Climbie she was admitted to health care services numerous times and still no investigations took place. Following the death of Victoria Climbié who was eight years old at the time in 2000, the Government conducted an inquiry in order to help decide whether they needed to introduce new legislation and guidance to improve the child protection system in England. The new and improved legislation was the Children Act (2004).
When a child is abused and there is a suspicion of abuse, this would have been occurred from either direct or indirect disclosure. This is when the child or young person says something directly about being abused or neglected. This can be done in various ways as the child may say that they will tell you under certain conditions or they may be telling a person about them being abused but in third person.
Whereas indirect disclosure consists of the child trying to hide the fact that they're getting abused, although there are clear signs of abuse or maltreatment. For example verbal hints that appear to be about abuse, written hints that appear to be about abuse, this could be in the form of a diary or drawing, or it could be through physical disfigurement such as bruising cuts and broken bones. The awareness of the different ways abuse and maltreatment need to be understood so that the response to the abuse or maltreatment can start as quickly as possible.
The first response that will be justified is listening carefully and attentively to a child while they disclose information to an individual. This response allows the child to feel listened to and lets them know that they are being taken seriously in whatever it may be that they are disclosing. During the time of discloser the individual should keep a record so as to make sure that nothing is missed out and also stops the child having to repeat themselves.
This response links to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) (2014) this legislation helps in emphasising the importance of the care given to children once they disclose information. Listening carefully is important as the child needs to feel like they are being heard. This also creates acceptance for the child.
This legislation states that monitoring a child when they have been suspected of maltreatment or abuse is exceedingly important. As well as monitoring and taking notes; record any signs of abuse or maltreatment. For example bruising or a conversation that shows the child is distressed.
The safeguarding vulnerable groups act (2006) states the importance of providing listening services for children so as to ensure that they have someone to turn to and are able to express their concerns. This legislation also has the safeguarding policy which has a different set of guidelines for different health care settings. However they all state the importance of listening to a child as it is the first key in being able to respond to abuse or maltreatment of children.
The Safeguarding Policy of a school setting states that children should be provided with the chance to talk within a group, and the use of one to one communication as this may help them in expressing their feelings. This could also include the child disclosing information about themselves being abused. Also the policy included that all children and young people should be involved in class discussions and asked for their feedback. Listening carefully and taking children seriously if they make a disclosure of abuse is another point of the policy within a school.
The response of listening carefully and attentively has shown that there is much need for this response in an act of disclosure as the legislation of safeguarding vulnerable group act states the importance of two way communication meaning talking and listening. Also all health and social care settings have polices on listening to children as they are classed as one of the vulnerable groups within society.
The next response to child abuse or maltreatment is to understand the boundaries of confidentiality. While there are many regulations on confidentiality within health and social care when the situation includes information about a child being abused or maltreated they do not apply to such an extent. There are also various legal responsibilities for individuals to comply with when they have certain information to pass on to a person with higher authority. For example in a hospital if a child tells a nurse about being abused the nurse would need to tell her supervisor and is not allowed to deal with the situation herself as it could put the child at further risk along with putting herself at risk as well.
Referring this response to legislation is the Data Protection Act (1998) this act prohibits any form of data being passed onto those that do not need to see it. This legislation protects all details from bank statements to the place a person was born.
The Data Protection Act states that “Any processing for the purpose of safeguarding national security is excused from all the data protection principles.”
The data protection principles cover personal data being obtained, personal data being kept up to date and many more regulations to how personal data of an individual should be protected.
Abuse and maltreatment of a child is included in this extent and there for when a child discloses information, such as abuse or maltreatment the data protection act is exempt to a certain extent. For example the information told to the individual should be kept within a group of people who need to know for further procedures of the child safety to take place. This can be difficult to explain to a child who has an understanding of their rights and wants the information to be kept confidential.
However there are procedures that are in place to make it easier for the child to accept that certain people will have to know about the abuse or maltreatment for him or her in order to get help.
A policy closely linked to this legislation is the confidentiality policy. In a health and social care setting confidentiality policies are put in place to provide a breakdown of the data protection act. This policy helps in keeping Information protected against Illegal access. However in all health and social care settings there is the exempt of this policy when an individual such as a child is at a risk of being harmed. For example a child being abused or maltreated. Every child needs to be protected and that in many cases can only be done through breaking the confidentiality policy and not keeping data confidential.
The next response that will be looked is following the correct procedures of the setting promptly. In different health and social care settings there are different safeguarding measures in place to protect children in situations of abuse and maltreatment. The correct procedures need to be followed so as to make sure that nothing is missed out and the staff of the setting are not at fault of any actions during the response to child abuse or maltreatment. All the procedures that are put in place do refer to the Human’s Right Act (1998).
Procedures that are followed correctly within a setting should be easy to access and easy to read. Also all professional workers need to make sure they read the documents over before being employed and signed to state that they understand what to do in any incident should it occur. (Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care online: 2011).
The Human Right Act covers a lot of children services regarding child abuse and maltreatment. The Act makes it unlawful for public authorities to act in a manner which is incompatible with the rights and freedoms contained in the Act. It also requires the Government and the courts to ensure that court rulings and new Bills are compatible with the Act wherever possible. These rights include the right to life the right from torture and the right to fair trial. These are all part of the response to abuse as all the procedures that are created in settings need cover all those rights and make sure that all staff is aware of how to deal with any situations of abuse and maltreatment. This also links in with the Human Right Act (1998) as the child’s dignity and value.
This shows that when a child is abuse or maltreated the human’s right act helps in making sure that the basic rights of all humans is provided for the child. The disadvantage that can be seen in the human’s right act being part of a response to child abuse and maltreatment is sometimes due to being a child the Human Right Act can be misunderstood and acted as though it was not made for children.
However the same right apply to child and adults in the human right act. The every child matters policy is an important part in safeguarding and supporting individuals who have been in an abusive or exposure situation. This policy makes sure of the child’s well-being; the every child matters policy has recently been combined with the Children's Act (2004). After the case of Victoria Climbie the Children’s Act (2004) was formed.
This policy relates to the individuals following procedures of the setting as it created the multi-agency teams. This is due to failing many children and due to health and social care settings not following procedures correctly. The every child matters policy helps professionals to understand the importance in safeguarding children.
Overall following the correct procedures of the setting promptly is a response that can refer back to the Humans Rights Act (1998) and the Every Child Matters policy (2003). The Human Rights Act is the fundamental law that supports, stops, and helps children and young people who are being abused or maltreated. But it is also a standard that all documents such as policies and procedures within a school need to be able to level up to make sure they protect the children to the best of their ability.
The last response to suspecting child abuse or maltreatment is to report your suspicions to the appropriate agency. There are many reasons why a carer could suspect abuse and should report it even if it ends up not being abuse. If a person has reasonable doubts or concerns about a child being abused they should inform the Child Protection Agency.
When an individual suspects a certain form of abuse or maltreatment occurring to a child they need to make sure that they follow the procedures correctly and keep the information they have confidential; not telling anyone, only the individuals that are involved.
Legislations that this response link’s to is the Child Protection Act (2004). This act states that all children should be provided with the right care to aid them with their physical, mental and emotional well-being. This legislation also ensures that children are made aware of this function and how they may communicate with them.
For example children should be made aware of the services that they can tell that they are being abused to. The response of reporting abuse is very important and is emphasised through the Child Protection Act as it shows that it is a legal requirement that all children should be safe from harm.
Protecting a child from abuse and maltreatment is the responsibility of care workers and any other individual who may suspect that the child/young person is being maltreated. The policy that relates to this response is the Safeguarding Children policy. This policy has a range of ways in which to respond to child abuse and maltreatment, although it mainly focuses on how the staff of health and social care settings should be trained in making sure they know when there is abuse taking place. For example having training for individuals about the indicators of physical, sexual, emotional abuse along with training for the risks of maltreatment. There are legal obligations for health and social care services to be able to provide training. Child welfare is an agency that provides training on abuse and child protection (child welfare: online: 2000). This training also teaches staff and carers to understand how to report acts of abuse or maltreatment that is seen or is believed to have happened.

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