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I need to get this off my chest, and have talked about it with colleagues involved but can still not quite come to terms with what has happened.

 

So will briefly outline what went on and ask if you feel the outcome was disproportionate

 

I work in a nursery.

Maintained morning sessions, private afternoon sessions.

 

4 year old male child was found to have bruising on one side of his neck.

When staff asked how he had done that (in case it happened when he was with us!!) he said "Daddy did it in bed"

 

Staff member told me (manager)

 

I asked her to write down exactly how the conversation had come about, what was said, and to fill out the marks on a body map drawing.

 

Our designated safeguarding person was not in that day.

 

I am aware that safeguarding legislation is changing at a fast rate and as I was due to update my training after this event, so I thought I would check with our Headteacher if this was enough for now.

 

I was planning on speaking to whoever picked up...... obviously not going to send home a child with such marks without a conversation so mum at least knew that it didn't happen with us.

 

Our Head rang someone to do with safeguarding team, not sure who but she was out and so okayed me speaking with parent.

 

I did.

 

Mum knew nothing about the marks.

Her child told her the exact same thing he told us, as to how the marks had occurred.

 

I informed mum I would need to make a note about the incident.

 

In meantime Head teacher has had call back from someone to do with safeguarding.................

 

She was very off hand and rude on the phone.

WHY HADN'T WE CALLED THE ACCESS CENTRE?

WHY DID A MEMBER OF STAFF SPEAK TO MUM ABOUT THE INJURY?

HAD HE (the head) NOT HAD ANY SAFEGUARDING TRAINING??????????????????????

 

We then had to speak to the access centre.

give all sorts of info to them over the phone re address date of birth etc of child.

they asked us to fax the written report re the injury.

 

We did.

 

They rang back and asked why it had taken us 2 hours to get it to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The injury was seen at 2.10pm.

We finish nursery at 3pm.

Head got call back at 3.45 re he should ring access centre.

They got the report 4.10pm.

 

Anyway access centre not happy with us.

 

Dad came up at 5pm spoke to Head and gave what was a realistic explanation of injury.

Head told him there was a protocol to follow because dad worried that everytime child had a mark we would question family about it.

 

Head rang access centre back.

Told them dad had been up and explained the injury.

They told Head not to bother about it because the police had been sent there.

 

I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE HOW THIS ESCALATED.

 

We were not contacted re any history of injuries or problems within the family. This seemed a one off instance which we would have logged but given no other evidence of any sort............

 

I believe someone who answered the phone did not want to be the next person who overlooked a Baby P situation.

 

I get that.

 

I do.

 

But a family with no history of anything else.................. subjected to this is wrong.

 

The child has not been back to nursery since.

Almost 2 weeks now.

No contact from parents.

No one contacted us to let us know the outcome

 

We spoke to his HV who told us that Dad had been removed from his house overnight whilst they investigated and that there would be no further action to be taken.

 

Meaning at the end of all this there WAS NOTHING ELSE GOING ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The child is due in school.

His parents do not want him to have anything to do with the school according to the HV because we are being blamed for all of this horrific situation

There are no places anywhere around for reception children this september.

 

I have cried so much and I feel so guilty.

 

I KNOW what I did was what I had to do after seeing the injury, and listening to what the child said but I believe that this was not dealt with properly.

 

I will think long and hard before doing the RIGHT thing again.

 

We have children in our school who we have had legitamate huge concerns over and never have we had anything done about them despite evidence that things were not right.

 

I can't believe where this went.

 

What do you think?

Edited by Scarlettangel
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i think many of us could be in your shoes - we have a problem and it seems to go the other way - all the social services and other agencies say is we know what is going on in the family - mum is being given another chance-she has had too many i think - but no-one seems to worry about the effect it is having on this little girl who has changed from an outgoing chatty child into one that looks older than her years when you look into her eyes and talks that way too.

i dont know - it just seems that they either go over the top or dont go at all.

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What a terrible thing to happen - there seems to be no consistency to the way social services act.

 

It does raise the issue of questionning of children. A few questions might have cleared it up - but we are told not to question. It also for me raises the importance of speaking to parents before social services are contacted - even though they seemed to be saying that they should be contacted first - I don't think so after hearing this story.

 

But the whole fault is with social services. I hear they are very understaffed - apparently ours are working at 40% capacity.

 

But Scarlettangel you did everything totally right - there was nothing else you could have done.

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What is the answer to all this? You would probably have been assured at training that the agencies do not over react - not so! Given so many incidents hitting the headlines this year I suspect that this was why this case became a nightmare for all concerned. The trauma caused to this family will take them a very long time to come to terms with and I can only imagine how you and your setting are feeling about it all. You must not reproach yourself for this, you did what was right to protect a child - it could so easily have gone the other way.

 

The authorities must prove to us that they are getting the balance right if they want us to feel at ease disclosing information.

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Have just been on safeguarding training today (a Saturday!!!) and you were exactly right in what you did. However your head should make sure they have the correct numbers. Your safeguarding policy should have the correct telephone number for you to ring the safeguarding board customer service centre. They would be able to advise you on what to do. The trainer today kept reiterating that although there may seem a perfectly reasonable explanation, a parents give you one, there still might be something going on.

 

The trainer has suggested that we should put somethin in our contracts/info for parents that as part of Every Child Matters we must adhere to the safeguarding legislation and that all causes for concern reguarding child protection will be dealt with. That way the parents can't come back at us, it was in your info and if they don't like it in the first place they needn't bring their child to you.

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I agree that you have absolutely nothing to reproach yourself for :o You acted correctly and professionally and what then ensued was not your fault.

 

However, and I am ready to get shot down in flames for what I am about to say (please be gentle!!) the situation you describe could have been a serious cause for concern. The 'no previous concerns' thought is not, in my opinon, a sufficient reason not to inform external agencies. After all, if all child abusers were caught after their first offence then alot of children may be spared suffering.

 

I currently have a child attending my setting who is in a place of safety having been removed from the family home by police and social services as an emergency. Nicer parents you couldn't wish to meet, delightful children and absolutely no hint of any cause for concern of any sort BUT none of us know what goes on behind closed doors. This child has an older sibling who arrived at school with a small physical injury and staff were not happy with the child's explanation - they did not contact either parent but went straight to social services who contacted the police. Obviously I can't go into detail but it was the right move, traumatic though it was, I am happy the children are now safe and the little one is still attending our setting but the events that led to their safety are not that disimiliar to those you describe.

 

I think social services get a hard time, without doubt Baby P was a tragic case and caused outrage across the country but I don't think it fair or accurate to tar all social workers with the same brush (not saying anyone here is doing that!) We will never read in the press about all the families that are helped by social services or the good work many social workers do they only hit the headlines when things go sadly wrong.

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That's right. I do think however that it would be useful to have a professional 'half-way-house' sounding board who could listen and advise, possibly come out to the setting or school or whatever and just listen to any concerns. Sometimes just talking these thoughts through with someone can make the difference - as we find so often when we post threads on here.

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I really feel for you, the family and the school! This is a terrible situation and exactly why the "system" doesn't work!!! We are all scared to report anything, and afraid of this situation happening!!

 

At some recent training we were told to report everything, it would be investigated by professionals who can quickily tell if there is a real safeguarding issue, I raised the point that surely every bruise can't be reported, surely as a setting (run by fully trained experience staff!) we should be able to have our own recording system and report anything of concern to us....

 

I don;t know what the answer is, but we keep hearing stories like this and I am starting to think the current system often does more harm than good!

 

hugs xx

 

Edit to say, I do agree with Geraldine's comments, re you don't know what goes on behind closed doors, but really think there should be something "between" calling the authorities and police action!!... surely someone who could speak in more detail to staff at setting, to parents, hv, etc etc. This man was removed from his house! and as an effect this child is now not in any form of child care! - so at the end of the day it's the child and family who have lost out!!

 

Also Scarlettangel - you did do everything right, and if any of us had been in that situation would have done the same, xxx

Edited by Guest
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Continuing thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post on this thread.

 

I did need to hear all that you have said.

 

Geraldine, I know that what you said is also true.

 

It could have been the first sign but I still wonder at the point of training and having experienced members of staff on site if their opinion counts for so little, that it wasn't even sought before taking the action that went on.

 

I know too that if I hadn't said anything I would never have been able to forgive myself had this been the first sign of what was to come.............

 

The rock and a hard place are vile places to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I think social services , oops sorry childrens services do a good job most of the time. I don't envy their job at all. One case like this has traumatised me........... the same thing day in day out, I wouldn't cope.

 

BUT

I think this incident only proved to me that there is not a specific policy to follow when someone makes the call....... it seems to be dependant on who you speak to as to how it will be dealt with.

 

One morning on my way to work at 7.45am I saw one of our pupils on his way up the road to school.

ON HIS OWN.

He was 6 years old.

 

When myself and another teacher got him to school we rang home, no answer. We went round there (the Head and myself) and parents didn't know he wasn't in the house!

What happened there after that incident?????????????????????

 

NOTHING

 

What about the 3 year old out playing on his own at night in the street?

NOTHING HAPPENED

 

The 6 year old mentioned previously got knocked down when out playing on his own...........

 

I have been at that school for 12 years and have seen MUCH worse things which have never been followed up.

 

Maybe that is why this is SUCH a shock.

 

Anyway I think this thread has helped.

I know now that it would have been a shock for you out there too and I also know you would have done the same.

 

My Head is trying to set up a meeting to discuss this whole incident with someone from the safeguarding team.

 

I want to know what criteria gets something done and what doesn't!!!

 

Enjoy your Sunday ladies...........

 

Thanks again x

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just seen this and wanted to say you did the right thing and its sounds to me as if the response was completely disproportionate and (to say the least) unhelpful. how would any of us parents feel if that happened to us?

 

i too work with families who are given so many chances to improve and nothing is done. i had a three year old lwho attended my setting eave his house, walk for ten minutes to the railway station, over the bridge and on a train to the next station before the family even noticed he was gone. what happened? NOTHING. same child had a burn on his hand which was not explained, I spoke to mother and social services. what happened? NOTHING.

 

i am very sympathetic to social workers and would not do their job for all the money in the world. but there has got to be more consistency of approach than what you have described.

 

I am so sorry you have ended up in this awful situation but please remember you did the right thing.

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