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Safeguarding Issue - How To Handle


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after some advice please. I am the leader on maternity leave and today have been informed that a child (boy) has been acting in way which concerns us. He has been trying to doing "humping" actions to girls and can be hostile if they say no or move away. He calls it "hipping" this child is 4 and has in past also been a concern (I was worried a year ago that he was seeing things he shouldn't as he was saying things like "have you come yet?" to others whilst making groaning noises - I spoke to mum who said she didn't know where it came from and maybe he had seen something on tv he shouldn't have, this stopped and only happened a few times, now it seems to be a regular thing.

 

I am not sure where to go with this. I am speaking to the leader covering my leave tomorrow, I my first thought is concern for this child - I know she has spoken to the mum last week, mum is very concerned and has no idea why he is doing this - he also only seems to act like this at pre-school and not at home or the other nursery he attends.

 

What would you do in this situation? Would you inform the parents of the girls he has been doing this too (obviously not using names) How would you document and record what has happened?

 

Any advice gratefully recieved - have not really dealt with anything like this before and would like to go tomorrow armed with ideas and advice on how we can help this child and get to the bottom of the situation.

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First I think I would ask everyone who has seen anything which concerns them to write down exactly what happened.

 

If, having read it and maybe had further discussions with the staff I still had concerns I would be contacting my local child protection team for advice.

 

If you go ahead with this I think you need to let the parents know as soon as possible.

 

I'm saying all this off the top of my head because it's a while since I did a safeguarding course and I can't get to my paperwork at this moment. I just didn't want to read and run.

 

Good luck.

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Hi darlinbud

 

This is a cause for concern as the child has inappropriate sexual knowledge.

 

Are you recording exactly what he does and says, every time?

 

We have a PSLA form to record our concerns on and I would be documenting this on something like that to show that this happening regularly, I would record exactly what was done or said, the parents comments, showing the parents the form to let them know how seriously you take this as part of your duty to safeguard children.

 

Mum may well be embarrassed to admit that she knows where it comes from.

 

As for what you should do with this information, if we have any safeguarding concerns we can contact our local Family Information Service/Sure Start advisors to seek advice, without naming names, as to how to handle this situation or even our local social services office. I think that in our job we can be put in these situations where we do not know how to handle things and there are experts out there with more experience of this sort of thing who can guide us, you don't have to deal with this on your own.

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Have you been in actual contact with his other nursery, or is it Mum who reports that he's not doing it there? It does seem odd that he'd do it in one place and not another. Speak to your safeguarding team - if you start the call with the understanding that you want some advice 'off the record' then your chat will be a lot more informal - if you know what I mean.

Edited by Cait
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I agree that you need to get some professional advice, when I recently did my safeguarding training we were told to ring the child protection and safeguarding children consultation service where you get to talk to someone who is experienced in this field and will give you advice but you do have to inform the parents that you have sought advice unless it will put the child in significant harm.

 

Tink69

Edited by Tink69
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I agree with Cait and Tink that you should get some advice immediately as, at the end of the day, it is something that has to be dealt with by the CP team if it turns out to be a serious matter. You need to follow your Safeguarding/CP Policy to the letter, and be sure that you have the paperwork in place to support what you are saying. Let's hope it turns out to be nothing serious.

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Does he stay away from home at family members or friends? Quite recently a friend of ours discovered her dad was being completley inappropriate to some children. Shes obviously devastated and it took a lot for her to believe that this man who had always been a wonderful father to her could do something so awful. Its not always in the family home but could well be family.

As others have said, document everything and speak to your area CP person, ours is lovely and helpful. Good luck

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My advice is to phone your local child protection team/local safeguarding board, tell them you want to make a no name consultation, from my experience they will advise you accordingly and will advise, or not, that you speak to the parents.

 

A stressful and worrying time for you all so good luck

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Thank you everyone for your replies, the situation is slightly more difficult because I am on maternity leave so have not seen any recent events myself - but am going to speak to the covering leader and other staff tomorrow and ensure they are recording everything - am sure they will be. I've been informed of the situation and asked to help.

 

We have a PSLA form to record our concerns on and I would be documenting this on something like that to show that this happening regularly, I would record exactly what was done or said, the parents comments, showing the parents the form to let them know how seriously you take this as part of your duty to safeguard children.

Deb - any chance of a copy of this form? - currently we record anthing in an "incident book" but would be intersted to see this form - maybe a better tool!

 

Thank you again for your advice - very grateful.

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Deb - any chance of a copy of this form? - currently we record anthing in an "incident book" but would be intersted to see this form - maybe a better tool!

 

Wouldl gladly help but the form is at pre-school. There isn't a huge amount on there if I remember rightly it's just that it's an official looking, professional form, the main part of it is like an narrative observation sheet, with a column on the left for a date, then a space in the middle to write what you have observed and done. Possibly a column on the right to then say what action is to be taken. It is possible to number the pages to show they run in date order and acts as a chronological record of what's happening.

 

I will try to bring home a copy tomorrow to let you know if I have omitted anything.

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You can phone the CP team and discuss your concerns and ask for advice on what to do next - as Janny says, this can be done without informing the parents if your call is anoymous.

As everyone has said - record everything, including the time that any innappropriate behaviour occurs and the time that you record it.

I too want to speak to the other setting - obviously that would have to be with parents permission - I should imagine it's a defence mechanism for the parent to say this behaviour does not occur elsewhere.

It does sound very serious to me - exposing a child to sexual behaviour/imagery/television is a form of abuse.

As a parent I would be very upset to not be told if a child had acted in a sexually innappropriate way with my daughter - we inform the other parent about a biting incident so not sure why the girls parents should not be told - just my thoughts. Dealing with CP issues are the worst part of this job - good luck

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As a parent I would be very upset to not be told if a child had acted in a sexually innappropriate way with my daughter - we inform the other parent about a biting incident so not sure why the girls parents should not be told - just my thoughts.

 

I agree - imagine the reaction of the girl's parents if she re-enacts it at home :o It may raise concerns with them as to where she's seen/heard/learned the behaviour, in which case they'll be beating a path to your door!

 

I think I'd probably advise them and record the fact that I'd done so to avoid the "snowball effect" Obviously you'll not name the little boy but I bet their daughter will. In the circumstances it's better to be over-cautious. Some parents would feel they'd need to report the situation to either Ofsted or Social Services themselves.

 

Nona

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Hello

 

Crikey, this is one of those dreaded situations. In my opinion and after Designated CP training in my area, you must phone Social Care and have a "what if" conversation. They will then help you.

 

Make sure everything is recorded factually, take names of the people you have called and record that conversation. They will advise you what to do.

 

I would strongly advise against informing the childs parents, because what could happen is the parent (who is possibly aware of the situation) may remove that child from your care! And then it will just carry on.

 

 

 

x

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Sexual knowledge beyond the childs expected age of understanding is on the list of signs of abuse on the list I have from CP training with our LA. I would definately start talking to someone in the know from Social Services or your Early Years designated person with the LA with all the facts that you have recorded. No question about it in my mind, you need all the support you can muster for the child concerned.

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Hi

 

The one piece of information that stuck firmly in my mind after doing the CP training was

 

'its not your job to determine whether there is CP issues, but it is your job to report your concerns'

 

The trainer gave real examples of what had happened when practitioners hadnt reported their concerns and this really stuck with me. It should make it easier to look at it as though you are just reporting your concerns, rather than making any judgements.

 

Good luck.

 

jx

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Deb - any chance of a copy of this form? - currently we record anthing in an "incident book" but would be intersted to see this form - maybe a better tool!

 

Hii

 

Hope your meeting went OK today.

 

I have a copy of the Child protection case notes

 

Name of child

Date of Birth

Page No

 

Then there is a box with 5 columns

 

Date and time

Type of contact ie Observation or disclosure, parent contact, telephone call, meeting, third party

 

Detail

 

Action to be taken

Entry made by

 

I think this is a great way to record everything, in date order, and tells the whole story.

 

I think Jenni's comment is spot on and I remember being told this at CP training and when I had a concern that I wasn't sure what to do about 'its not your job to determine whether there is CP issues, but it is your job to report your concerns'.

Perhaps you could also ask if you should discuss this with the parents. Again, a difficult decision to make.

 

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

 

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