safeguarding children

Topics: Child abuse, Domestic violence, Abuse Pages: 10 (3390 words) Published: June 5, 2014
Recognising child abuse is not easy, it is not our responsibility to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place or if a child is at significant risk of harm from someone. One does however, have both a responsibility and duty, as set out in our organisation’s child protection procedures, to act in order that the appropriate agencies can investigate and take any necessary action to protect a child. Preventing child abuse is considered a high priority, and detailed laws and policies exist to address this issue. The Children Act 1989 ‘the welfare of the child is paramount’ it gave every child the right to protection from abuse and exploitation and the right to enquiries to safeguard their welfare’. Also in this year 1989 The United Nations Convention was signed on the rights for the child, it is legally bound and must be followed-it is the most complete statement of children’s rights treaty in history. It is not only men who harm children according to Balbernie (2004) ‘There is the stereotype that it is men who are abusers,' But that is not so. It is less common among women, but it happens - and more than we would like.' But he says from his research into the 800 cases reported to him, he believes that the more likely figure is that 20% of all sexual abuse is perpetrated by woman. Balbernie (2004) says ‘I don't understand why people get so upset that a woman is involved, Women do this sort of thing. I think people get upset because we idealise women and motherhood and it breaks that idealism that men are rotter’s and women are angels of life’. There are four types of child abuse. They are defined in the UK Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 (1.33 – 1.36) as follows: Physical abuse, Emotional abuse, Sexual abuse, Neglect. Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child either directly by inflicting harm, or indirectly, by failing to act to prevent harm. Physical abuse: Most children will collect cuts and bruises as part of the rough-and-tumble of daily life. Injuries should always be interpreted in light of the child’s medical and social history, developmental stage and the explanation given. Most accidental bruises are seen over bony parts of the body, e.g. elbows, knees, shins, and are often on the front of the body. Some children, however, will have bruising that is more than likely inflicted rather than accidental. Important indicators of physical abuse are bruises or injuries that are either unexplained or inconsistent with the explanation given, or visible on the ‘soft’ parts of the body where accidental injuries are unlikely, e g, cheeks, abdomen, back and buttocks. A delay in seeking medical treatment when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern, although this can be more complicated with burns, as these are often delayed in presentation due to blistering taking place sometime later. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social...
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