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I just wonder what everyone does in relation to recording something that a child has said that is worrying eg pointing to a mark on them and making a comment that would cause concern to you as a child care provider. Would it be recorded in their personal file or a child protection book? Would it need recording at all if it seemed quite minor and a member of staff spoke to the parent and was happy with their explanation?

 

And if a child comes in with a bruise on their knee would you write that down somewhere and get the parent to sign it for future proof that it did not happen at the setting and also to build a record where frequent bruises etc occurred?

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This is a hot topic for me, Starburst.

 

To take your last question first. Yes, we have an existing injuries form on which parents can record any bumps or bruises their child comes in with - and which we prompt them to complete if we notice anything.

 

I personally would use this form to record conversations with parents about marks or injuries - especially if they said an adult or other person did it (obviously I'm not talking about injuries caused in the setting - you'd use your accident/incident form in the usual way). And ask the parent to sign to confirm what was said and put it in the child's file. These things might seem insignificant at the time, but recording them will help build up a picture of what is happening over a period of time.

 

If a child said something like "I'm bad" I'd tread very gently but ask some open questions to find out what the child means, and write it all down as quickly as possible after the event. If I were concerned at what the child was telling me I would contact Social Care for advice. Again I would talk to the parent about what the child said, unless Social Care advised against.

 

And be careful at all times that you're following your setting's procedures to protect yourself against future complaints.

 

Hope that's helpful. Good luck.

 

Maz

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We have a 'cause for concern' file for every child. The existance of these files is clearly detailed in our policy and all parents are of course fully aware of our practice.

 

Anything at all that gives cause for concern is noted and dated. In situations where children say something concerning their exact words are noted.

 

This isn't a 'child protection' file as such if that makes sense. However, should such a case become apparent the folder can prove to be 'useful' history.

 

I hope that makes sense! I just have to be careful what I say but an experience made us evaluate our provision and these files were the result. I am glad to say that the vast majority of them are empty :oxD

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We have a 'cause for concern' file for every child. The existance of these files is clearly detailed in our policy and all parents are of course fully aware of our practice.

Do you get your parents to sign whenever you make an entry in the file, Geraldine?

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Sorry Happymaz I should have said that - the answer is YES!

 

Also all the comments are pure fact, no judgemental language by us.

Parents have offered reasons/explanations and they either write and sign that themselves or we will write it with them present and then they sign.

 

The amount of work involved is minimal but I believe the benefits are more than worth it.

 

A hypothetical example would be a child on monday morning being subdued, not their normal self. Over time the record could create a pattern of a behaviour eg if it was every monday morning - does that make sense? probably not a very good example but I know what I mean!!

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Makes sense to me too, emotional abuse and neglect (including neglecting the need to be nurtured) are difficult to evidence, a child's 'change of mood, pattern of mood, sense of self ie: 'Im bad', recorded over a period of time would help to inform a larger picture.

 

If blatant physical abuses are 'getting through the net' like Baby P, then this helps us to imagine how many children with the more 'hidden' abuses could be suffering.

 

plus remembering the abuse areas are not stand alone, and need equivalent emphasis to derive the best picture of what could be happening.

 

The children I care for suffered neglect and emotional abuse, it is the emotional abuse that has caused the most damage for the long term recovery.

 

 

Peggy

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And if a child comes in with a bruise on their knee would you write that down somewhere and get the parent to sign it for future proof that it did not happen at the setting and also to build a record where frequent bruises etc occurred?

 

We too had an Existing Injuries book, which was completed by a member of staff alongside the adult who brought the child in; the adult read the description and signed the entry before leaving the child.

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Many thanks for all your replies - they were all really helpful. I like the sound of the existing injuries book that some of you have, as well as noting down in the children's files any cause for concern using a special form. I also like the idea of contacting social care for advice if I am not sure in the future about anything.

 

Starburst

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