Produce a report explaining how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been bullied.
One of the major concerns for people working within children’s services is the increase in cases of children affected by bullies. Bullying can take any of the forms listed below:
• Verbal Bullying: A child becomes a victim of bullying if they, or their loved ones, are subjected to ‘name calling’. Threats, of any kind, are also a form of verbal bullying. • Physical Bullying: It is a criminal offence to hurt someone by touching them in a violent manner. Anything that hurts you by touching you is classed as physical bullying. Hitting, kicking, biting, scratching, pushing, tripping you up on purpose, all fall under the category of ‘physical bullying’. • Indirect Bullying: A less obvious, but equally damaging, form of bullying is Indirect Bullying. Children become a victim of indirect bullying when they are ignored or not allowed to join in games with their peers. If a child is talked about ‘behind their back’ or is subjected to rumour mongering, they are also being indirectly bullied. Although it can be difficult to prove, glaring at a child or looking at them in a threatening manner is another form of this type of bullying. • Cyber Bullying: The form of bullying that is on the greatest increase is cyber-bullying. As the use of social networking sites increases, so too does the possibility of internet abuse. Cyber bullying can occur when internet sites are used to show pictures that embarrass others or used to entice others into groups to bully online. This form of bullying can be very damaging because, by use of instant messaging services, the ‘bully’ can seem to enter our home and abuse us. Silent or abusive phone calls and ‘Happy Slapping’ also come under the banner of cyber-bullying.
Effects of Bullying
The physical and mental health of a victim of bullying can be seriously damaged as a consequence. These effects can show themselves in many different ways. As a result of the bullying a child can • feel alone and isolated
• have very low self esteem and lack confidence
• become depressed or even suicidal
• complain of various physical symptoms e.g. headaches, stomach aches • have a very low attendance record as they worry and try to avoid going to school . As a direct result of the lack of confidence and fear that a victim of bullying can feel, incidents often go unreported as the victim fears they will be physically harmed by the bully or not believed if they admit what has been happening to them. Being bullied can leave the child feeling as if they are to blame and deserve what is happening to them. The victims can be affected for a long time even if the bullying stops. Legislation, Policies and Guidelines Concerning Bullying
Children Act 1989
This Act identifies the responsibilities of parents and professionals who must work to ensure the safety of the child. This Act includes two important sections which focus specifically on child protection. The Children Act 2004
The Children Act 2004 set the standards by which children’s services should be delivered. As part of this act, challenging bullying, discrimination and harassment became a fundamental part of the ‘Every Child Matters’ policy. This policy sets out five outcomes which all professionals must work towards. • Be healthy
• Stay safe
• Enjoy and achieve
• Make a positive contribution
• Achieve economic well-being
The impact of bullying relates to all five of the outcomes but, in particular, is a key element in Outcome 2 ‘ Stay Safe’ and Outcome 4 ‘Make a Positive Contribution’.
The Children Act 2004 also:
• Sets out the duties for statutory agencies to ‘co-operate to improve well-being’ and to ‘safeguard and promote welfare’ of children and young...