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Referring suspected neglect


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Hi,

 

I work in a privately run nursery and a few if the staff have had concerns about one of the little girls, she has been collected late several times left at the nursery until 7pm, she also often comes in wearing the same clothes several days in a row, including the same pants. I noticed when changing her today that she has thrush.

 

I have introduced a concern book for staff to log concerns and her parents have been spoke to several times about hygiene. To which they reply she likes to dress her self. The nursery is in an affluent area and we don't see many neglect cases. I was wondering what any one thinks about at what stage a referral would be needed?

 

Thanks for your help

 

 

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I would ring your safeguarding team immediately and ask for their advice. Continue noting down EVERYTHING that happens and any conversations you have with parents. I would also check if the health visitor is seeing the family at all

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Hi Camilla

 

Have you informed parents that you think she has thrush - if so how did they respond?

 

I agree with Rachael - time to ring for some advice - in my area it is possible to do this without mentioning any names......

 

HTH

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I've never had to make a referal so I can understand why you're unsure but ask yourself how long you'd be happy to wait. A week, month, 3 months. You're obviously concerned and so are the other staff, parents have been spoken to but nothing has changed, its not just dirty underwear its now a medical problem which needs seeing to.

Lots of children like to dress themselves but usually from a choice of clean clothes so that doesn't do it for me.

I think you know what needs to be done. Deep breath :)

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Do it NOW............do not delay, every day that you do is another day where this child is suffering. ( One question though; how do you know it's thrush??? I had a child who was being treated regularly for thrush and it turned out to be a worm infestation.) I had to refer a child who was being neglected, filrthy, holey clothes, dirty and smelly ( I nearly cried when she looked at me one day and said 'i got new knicks today! It was such an event in her life), food supplied for her was terrible, I was heavily supplementing what she had................she is now being looked after properly, thanks I am proud to say, to my interventions. Do It NOW. Please

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I would also ring the safeguarding team for advice. Apart from the late collection of the parents of the child, how do they appear when collecting. Do you think they are a family in crisis, or in need of support. The little one needs to be seen to confirm thrush by a nurse or doctor and prescribed relevant treatment.

As well as the call, continue to note child's general condition daily. Do you have consent to speak to other agencies, if yes I would be having a chat with the Health Visitor too.

 

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remember....

If not today then when ? (if you dont refer today when are you going to do it this week next week sometime never???)

 

and

 

What If? (what if you are right? what will happen if you do nothing? and if you are wrong what is the worst that can happen?!!)

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NOW!

 

Ditto to all the excellent advice above. Far better to refer and be wrong that not to refer and be right!

 

Lorna

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It is a difficult decision, gather all your notes together and refer her to the agencies who can support her, her family and you. The NSPCC have recently had an advertisement campaign 'It could be nothing, but it could be something'. Better safe than sorry :1b

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I agree, call your LSGB...even if it's just for advice. They will log your concern. Write everything down in a notebook, date it all.

We have a similar case, which has now gone to CP.

Making the call is always a daunting task, I agonised over it....but thank god I did, as things were 10 times worse at home than we had anticipated.

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I once went in to share my concerns and ask advice about a child in my OOS club with the head of his school. The head gave me some very sound advice which I always refer to "If it has got to the point where you need to speak to me then you need to take it further. Trust your instinct" I followed it up and as a result the police and social services became involved and intervention and support put this family back on track.

 

It is really distressing having to make these calls and it makes me pretty distressed and sick when I have to do them. Fortunately I have a very supportive team and my husband who also helps in the settng is a fantastic sounding board and support.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest p0rridge

I know its late for posting but if you are concerned in any way take it further its better to be wrong thant right. I can speak from experience, you are a professional you know what you are doing and you know your children and their rights.

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Hi Camilla...it's awful when these things happen, but we are the children's voices, if we don't shout for them then who will...certainly not neglectful or abusive parents...this is how we look at it..and that intervention now may stop more distress and keep the family together

 

We've had to do this several times and it doesn't get easier

 

How did you get on? Are you seeing any progress in the childs care? Hope you are being supported too

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We,ve had a childrens centre in our area for years, but until I went to a TAPSS meeting last week I didn't actually realise how much support and advise they could give...which is what the meeting was about raising awareness of what they can actually do for settings and the human resources they have available, and I think with the Ecafs coming in it will make flagging up those niggling/not quite sure about concerns easier to log......I seem to remember sitting at a meeting following the Victoria Climbe case being told all the pieces of a jigsaw would go to a central point and raise concerns quicker....and how long ago was that ?

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I too have had to refer a child very recently and despite social care undertaking an assessment and finding that the child is not in danger of significant harm, the parent has now taken her child to the doctor and the health visitor is now involved again in this child's life.....weighing her regularly, offering nutritional advice and offering general support.....so referring was the right thing to do.

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Sorry it was a 'Team Around Pre-School Settings' meeting, and the Ecaf is the Common Assessment Framework, but you,ll be able to log concerns electronically.....for example if a concern is flagged up about hygiene through a preschool, and a school flags a concern about a sibling in school this will show up as a concern about same family....well that was my take on it, not sure if its already available in other counties ?

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Sorry it was a 'Team Around Pre-School Settings' meeting, and the Ecaf is the Common Assessment Framework, but you,ll be able to log concerns electronically.....for example if a concern is flagged up about hygiene through a preschool, and a school flags a concern about a sibling in school this will show up as a concern about same family....well that was my take on it, not sure if its already available in other counties ?

 

Thankyou!

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Yes all the powers that be, keep telling is "don't worry about it its off your shoulders because you have reported it." My conscience doesn't work like that. I am getting really good at reading body language, lots of years experience .

Edited by bubblejack
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