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Child Protection Policy

Policy summary

This policy outlines our commitment to child protection. It includes our protocols when child abuse is reported to us or suspected by us. It also includes practice notes on measures to be taken to prevent child abuse. All staff are expected to be familiar with this policy and to abide by it.

Purpose statement

 

Our child protection policy supports our staff to respond appropriately to potential child protection concerns, including suspected abuse or neglect. It is our organisation’s commitment to protect children from abuse and to recognise the important roles all of our staff have in protecting children.

The safety and wellbeing of the child is our top priority when investigating suspected or alleged abuse.

We support the roles of the New Zealand Police (the Police) and Child, Youth and Family in the investigation of suspected abuse and will report suspected/alleged abuse to these agencies.

We support families/whānau to protect their children.

We provide a safe environment, free from physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse.

Policy principles

· The interest and protection of the child is paramount in all actions. We recognise the rights of family/whānau to participate in the decision-making about their children.

· We have a commitment to ensure that all staff are able to identify the signs and symptoms of potential abuse and neglect and are able to take appropriate action in response.

· We are committed to supporting all staff to work in accordance with this policy, to work with partner agencies and organisations to ensure child protection policies are consistent and high quality.

· We will always comply with relevant legislative responsibilities.

· We are committed to share information in a timely way and to discuss any concerns about an individual child with colleagues or the Manager

· We are committed to promote a culture where staff feel confident that they can constructively challenge poor practice or raise issues of concern without fear of reprisal.

Definitions

Child abuse: Includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as neglect which is the direct consequence of a deliberate act or omission by an adult and which has the potential or effect of serious harm to the child.

Identifying possible abuse or neglect

Our approach to identifying abuse or neglect is guided by the following principles:

  • We understand that every situation is different and it’s important to consider all available information about the child and their environment before reaching conclusions. For example, behavioural concerns may be the result of life events, such as divorce, accidental injury, the arrival of a new sibling etc.

· We understand when we are concerned a child is showing signs of potential abuse or neglect we should talk to someone, either a colleague, manager or the Designated Person for Child Protection – we shouldn’t act alone.

· While there are different definitions of abuse, the important thing is for us to consider overall well being and the risk of harm to the child. It is not so important to be able to categorise the type of abuse or neglect.

· It is normal for us to feel uncertain, however, the important thing is that we should be able to recognise when something is wrong, especially if we notice a pattern forming or several signs that make us concerned.

  • Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) is a form of child abuse. There is a high rate of coccurrence between IPV and the physical abuse of children.

 

 

We recognise the signs of potential abuse:

  • Physical signs (e.g., unexplained injuries, burns, fractures, unusual or excessive itching, genital injuries, sexually transmitted diseases).

· Developmental delays (e.g., small for their age, cognitive delays, falling behind in school, poor speech and social skills).

· Emotional abuse/neglect (e.g., sleep problems, low self-esteem, obsessive behaviour, inability to cope in social situations, sadness/loneliness and evidence of self-harm).

· Behavioural concerns (e.g., ageinappropriate sexual interest or play, fear of a certain person or place, eating disorders/substance abuse, disengagement/neediness, aggression).

  • The child talking about things that indicate abuse (sometimes called an allegation or disclosure).

 

We are aware of the signs of potential neglect:

  • Physical signs (e.g., looking rough and uncared for, dirty, without appropriate clothing, underweight).

· Developmental delays (e.g., small for their age, cognitive delays, falling behind in school, poor speech and social skills).

· Emotional abuse/neglect (e.g., sleep problems, low self-esteem, obsessive behaviour, inability to cope in social situations, sadness/loneliness and evidence of self-harm).

· Behavioural concerns (e.g., disengagement/neediness, eating disorders/substance abuse, aggression).

· Neglectful supervision (e.g., out and about unsupervised, left alone, no safe home to return to).

  • Medical neglect (e.g., persistent nappy rash or skin disorders or other untreated medical issues).

Our Details

20 Hall Street
Pukekohe  
   
Phone 09 238 3796
  0800 SEEING
Email pukekohe@optik.co.nz
   

 
     
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