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Child Protection


Gezabel
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I have been on a child protection course today. We were told that any incident of a child arriving at pre-school with an injury should be recorded. Not only recorded but that we should date and sign the record and get the parent/carer to sign too.

 

I dont have a problem with the recording but do have doubts/concerns about asking parents to sign.

 

The speaker gave the example of a child arriving with a 'fat lip' and mum saying he had fallen on the way to preschool. Mum then collects the child and says 'What has happened to his lip' and the member of staff, clearly bemused says ' You said this morning that he fell on the path on the way here' and mum says 'No I didnt, it must have happened here' - where does that leave the setting/staff?????

 

Am I naive in thinking such a scenario is unlikely?

 

We were told that an addition should be made to the CP policy informing parents of the recording/signing procedure.

 

I felt that if a child was being phyiscally abused by parents then surely if there was an injury they simply wouldn't bring the child in, knowing they had to explain things and sign too!

 

There was quite a debate and some practitioners present already do this, right down to plasters on knee grazes whilst others were totally against the whole idea and some OK with recording but anti the parents signing.

 

We had a child last week who had a nasty fall at the weekend which resulted in a head gluing session at casualty and no we didnt record it - would you?? Outside agencies would be aware with records from hospital to GP etc -- mmm! feeling a bit confused by it all

 

Just thought I would see what you lovely lot thought!

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I'm with you Geraldine, we used to do what you were told today but felt that as we had a good relationship with our parents it seemed a bit too much like 'big brother'. I know you never really know what goes on behind closed doors and all that but I felt this was being a bit too officious. We used to have one family in particular who were really into 'rough play'. The whole extended family were always roling around and getting bumps, but I and my dad through his work knew various family members and I was content that it really was rough play that caused the one little boy in particular to always have a bruise on his forehead. I think that if you make a note and monitor and always talk to parents in a friendly manner you'll get much better information than by grilling them everytime they come through the door. Either that or do the incident forms but make it apparent that you're doing it just because it's a bit more paperwork you've been asked to do by the powers that be, and make parents aware that you really are doing it because you have to. At least that way you wont get parents complaining at having to explain every cut and bruise. And knowing what children are like I hope you've got a big photo copying budget for all the forms!!! :o:D

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Yes of course Sue, :D do you get parents to sign and if so does it work OK??

 

One of the other ladies present said that surely in the scenario given, the verbal evidence of a colleague would suffice (always at least two around at arrival) but the answer was NO!!

 

The lady then questioned, how come, in their setting they adhered to guidance in relation to changing nappies/children who had accidents etc and there were always two members of staff present. This was a precautionary measure should there be an alleagation made against a member of staff. The 'second' staff member present could be a witness to nothing untoward having taken place.

 

Why then is colleague evidence not acceptable for verifying what parents say on arrival with regard to injuries?? there was no answer!

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Hi

 

we have seperate slips that parents have to record the injury and sign if a child comes in.. we call it our bumps and bruises folder.....none of the parents seem to mind we have had it in place for 18 mths now (for Ofsted/Accreditation).

 

Parents fill them in all the time but not once has a parent complained or refused. The slip once completed just gets popped into the childs file.... :D:D

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I too have parents sign an "injury on arrival" form. In respect of "Child Protection" many moons ago when I didn't have this system in place I was asked( in Juy) to write a report for a child protection case conference, they needed to know of any incidences / events of injury for the previous year. My point being is that in cases of child protection it can take a considerable amount of time before alarm bells ring and a the social services become aware of a possible "child in need".

 

I gave the matter some thought and realised that yes, since the previous September when the child had started in preschool there had been a few bumps and bruises, they had not been regular, but in the long term "more often than possibly normal". Without records things appear vague, with records patterns over a period of time can ( not always) emerge.

 

It turned out that the childs father did "throw" him against walls etc, Dad had a car accident injury and as time passed and he had not got the treatment he needed, at times when he was in pain, he took it out on his son. After the case conference systems were put in place to support the fathers pain management and therefore helped the family and child.

Interestingly, I was the only person at the case conference who knew both mum and dad, the other professionals knew only one parent.

 

I agree with Rea, I often justify my requests for information / signatures by saying "it is required of me" but I also believe that it also gives professional ( rather than "we're all friends) approach to my relationship with my parents.

 

Peggy

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Hi Peggy, I agree with you. We have an arrivals injury book. We ask parent to tell us what has happened and we or they write it down and then it is signed by both of us. If we don't see an injury when they arrive but later we always ask the child what happened and write it down word for word, explain to parent when they collect child and ask them to write down what happened. They have been different before! I recently had a situation like you concerning child protection and one of our children. Unlike you it wasn't bruises that were my concern but poor hygiene. This I documented in a separate book signed myself and another staff member witnessed it. I am really glad I did when I was asked by social services for any evidence of neglect and like you they wanted to know how far back I had witnessed it. I attended a case conference and now things are looking up for the child and mum.

 

Please remember it is not just bruises we need to look out for.

 

I also say to parents that I have to do it and now they just look at it as another piece of bureaucracy.

 

 

Isn't work fun

 

 

Gizzy

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