It’s important to have a clear set of guidelines to make sure your organisation deals with child protection concerns effectively.
Getting started on a child protection policy
There are different ways to go about writing your child protection policy, but before you put pen to paper it’s helpful to think about the ways that people in your group might raise a concern. You could start off by thinking about situations when:
- a child may tell you about something that has upset or harmed them
- someone else might report that a child has told them, or that they believe that a child has been or is being harmed
- a child might show signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no explanation
- a child’s behaviour may suggest he or she is being abused
- the behaviour or attitude of one of the workers towards a child worries you
- you witness worrying behaviour from one child to another.
All children have the right to be protected
Children who have a disability or come from a different ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice. Any discrimination is harmful to a child’s wellbeing, and may mean that they don’t obtain the services they need to keep them safe. Your organisation needs to make sure that all children have the same protection.
In trying to get help for children, you will work with other professionals who might make the wrong assumptions because of prejudice or ignorance. You and your staff know the children you work with and must make sure any discrimination is challenged so that disabled children or children from different ethnic or cultural groups find the services they need.
Our understanding about the impact of bullying on children increases each year and it is vital that you and your organisation have clear guidelines about bullying, the consequences of bullying and the support available.
There are times when bullying can reach the threshold where children are being abused or at risk of being abused. It’s your responsibility to act appropriately to ensure this is dealt with effectively. You’ll need to have the procedures written in different languages for anyone whose preferred language is not English, or in other formats for disabled people, for example Braille or large text.