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SD-draft-Child Protection (10/03/15)

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Shaun Durkin

on 29 April 2016

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Transcript of SD-draft-Child Protection (10/03/15)

Tony Doyle / Christina Hennessey / Kevin Coffey / Laura Behan / Gary Brennan / Cliona Quigley / Lorraine Gibbons / Natasha Guilfoyle
Introduction and Key Messages
Introduction to Children First and Safeguarding Children at Risk
To have a clear understanding of the Rehab Group Child and Adult Protection Policies and Procedures (including 'Children First 2011' and 'HSE Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse')
To identify abuse and the signs of abuse
To clarify the role of individual staff in relation to the prevention of and protection from abuse.
To clarify the role of individual staff in relation to the reporting of abuse.
So ... what 'internal and 'external' accountability do we have?
Reports in relation to Child Protection
Kilkenny Incest Investigation 1993
The Kelly Fitzgerald Case 1996
Ferns Report 2005
Ryan Report 2009
How I would want to be treated
Safeguarding is a continuum of responses that seek to
respond to
abuse and neglect.
It is an umbrella term for both 'promoting welfare' and 'protecting from harm'
Definitions and Recognition Of Child Abuse
Neglect 'can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, and/or medical care'
Can often be difficult to identify and may present in many forms. No one indicator should be seen as conclusive in itself of abuse.
All signs and symptoms must be examined in the context of the child's situation and family circumstances
Messages from research
Child neglect is the most common type of abuse. Unfortunately, neglect frequently goes unreported and, historically, has not been acknowledged or talked about as much as child abuse.
A study found that although neglect accounted for more than half the cases reported, there was still a lack of understanding among staff as to its precise meaning. Many professional respondents believed that social workers accept lower standards of parenting than other professionals.
In the United Kingdom, a study found that in one-third of cases where neglect was the main concern, there was also physical abuse concerns; and in one-quarter of sexual abuse cases there were neglect concerns.
Types of neglect
Physical neglect
Medical neglect
Homelessness and neglect
Inadequate supervision
Emotional neglect
Educational neglect
Newborns addicted or exposed to drugs
Exploring 'Neglect'
Work in pairs to discuss the 'type' of neglect and mark it on the appropriate box on the flipchart.
Indicators of neglect
4 categories of 'indicators':
indicators of neglect in the child
indicators of possible neglect in parental behaviour
indicators of neglect in the home environment
indicators of neglect in older children
Special Considerations
Additional Risk Factors
Age of the child
Domestic and sexual violence
Parental mental health problems
Parental substance abuse
Parental intellectual disability
Childhood disability
Unknown male partners
Families who are 'uncooperative' or 'hard to engage'
Poverty and social exclusion
How do we safeguard and protect children in our residential settings?
Are we compliant with HIQA Standard 3.1?
Guidance on Roles and Responsibilities of Organisation and Professionals
Acceptable and Unacceptable Practice
Responding to a child who disclosed abuse
Rehab Group Policy lays out 4 steps to be followed if a child discloses abuse:
Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief. Give the child time to say what he or she wants.
Remain calm.
Take all disclosures seriously
Reassure the child but do not make promises you may not be able to keep e.g. 'I'll stay with you', or 'Everything will be all right now'.
Do not promise confidentiality - you have a duty to refer. Explain to the child that you will need some help to deal with what he/she has told you.
Do reassure and attempt to alleviate guilt, if the child refers to it.
Designated Liaison Persons
The duties and role of the DLP:
Set up a confidential file with an allocated reference number
Commission the investigation team (at least 2 members) - one member being a HR representative if the allegation is made against an employee
Appoint a chair to the investigation panel
Appoint a senior manager to give support to the investigation team
Draw up terms of reference
Organise the handover meeting
Designated Liaison Officer (DLO):
Take the lead role in the follow-up of child protection referrals to the statutory services in Ireland and ensure that the procedures are followed systematically and thoroughly
Take a lead role in the monitoring, auditing and the assessing of compliance with the child protection policy and Children First National Guidelines
Coordinate the activities of the Designated Liaison Persons
Maintain a log of all raised protection issues
Manage any investigations Rehab Group is required to carry out
Seek to ensure that any recommendations from investigations (internal and external) are acted on appropriately
A word of caution:
Feelings - past and present
Personal experiences
Respect other views and opinions
Ensure confidentiality at all times
Are you all clear on all aspects of the course?
Because sensitive material has been covered on this course, make sure you are comfortable to leave these issues in training.
Any questions?
Completing Appendex 1 form
Split into pairs
Complete the appendix 1 form on one of the 3 scenario's provide
Do not ‘interrogate’ for full details.
Do not ask ‘leading’ questions such as “Did s/he touch your private parts?” Such questions may undermine the quality of the evidence obtained by you for the purposes of any subsequent prosecution.
Do ask open questions i.e. questions that encourage the child to volunteer information rather than to answer “yes” or “no”
Do not criticise the alleged perpetrator.
Complete the internal reporting document in conjunction with your line manager (appendix 1)
Submit to the designated liaison person immediately and absolutely within a maximum of 24 hours.
Ensure to submit all supporting documentation with this report.

Confidentiality and Withholding Information

Importance of section 2 of Criminal Justice Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012

Under this act : it is offence to withhold or fail to disclose information that might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of a person for an offence

Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act (1998)

Gives immunity from civil liability to any person reporting child abuse “reasonably and in good faith” to HSE or Garda;
Provision of significant protections for employees who report child abuse;
Creation of a new offence of false reporting of child abuse “knowing that statement to be false”
Cases in RehabCare in 2012
Number of reports in RehabCare in 2012

in total
internal -
in relation to an allegation against a service user and
in relation to a staff member
The Line Managers have a duty to gather all relevant reports and supporting documentation and forward them to the Designated Protection Officer within an agreed timeframe using the internal reporting form (
Appendix 1 of the policies

What if the allegation hasn’t been confirmed?
You are required to notify the chief inspector of any allegation, suspected or confirmed abuse within three working days.
What information is requested in the form?
We ask for the date and time of the alleged abuse, the date the allegation was reported, and the type of abuse alleged. We ask whether the person alleged to have abused the resident is a member of staff and whether you have informed the family of the resident and/or An Garda Síochána of the alleged abuse.

We also ask you for details of the current status of the resident and the actions that have been taken in response to the allegation including those actions taken ensure that all residents are safe.
Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
Allegation, suspected or confirmed, of abuse to a resident
Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
Allegation, suspected or confirmed, of abuse to a resident
What follow up information is required
To comply with the Regulations, designated centres must have policies and procedures around the prevention, detection and response to abuse8. Where there is any allegation of abuse, the person in charge must investigate the allegation9.
The person in charge is requested to return the following information to us (within 20 working days of the notification of the allegation of abuse:
• A copy of the centre’s policies and procedures around the prevention, detection and response to abuse.
• A copy of the internal investigation report into the allegation of abuse.
Where, for any reason, the report of the internal investigation is not complete within the 20 working days, we ask the person in charge to submit a draft report outlining
a) the steps that have been taken,
b) the reasons why the internal investigation report is not complete, and
c) the next steps the provider intends to take to ensure the safety of the residents.
"Any act ... that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering ... including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life"
(United Nations, 1995)
Emotional Abuse
"Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a parent/carer and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events.
It occurs when a child's development need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. Unless other forms of abuse are present, it is rarely manifested in terms of physical signs or symptoms"
Page 9
Sexual Abuse
"Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal, or for that of others"
Online Safety and Online Child Sexual Exploitation
Some of the signs to look for, if you have concerns:
Excessive texting or use of the computer e.g. social networking sites
Aggressive behaviour regarding internet usage
Secretive behaviour
Change in the use of sexual language
Does not necessarily mean that a child is being groomed - these are just some of the signs to look for, if you are concerned
Physical Abuse
"Physical abuse of a child is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction, or lack of interaction, which is reasonable within the control of a parent or person in a position of responsibility, power or trust. There may be single or repeated incidents"
Call to change law on smacking in wake of council findings
Ruling follows complaint by campaigners over ‘reasonable chastisement’ defence

Carl O'Brien
The Irish Times Tue, Mar 10, 2015

The Government is under pressure to introduce a ban on smacking children following a finding by the Council of Europe that “reasonable chastisement” is a violation of young people’s rights. While legislation which allowed parents use force against their children was repealed almost 15 years ago, the defence of reasonable chastisement still exists in common law for parents or childminders. The council’s committee on social rights is understood to have ruled that Ireland’s failure to repeal this defence is a violation of the European Social Charter, which states that children have a right to be protected against violence.

Ministers have a four-month period to inform the council of plans to bring our laws into conformity with the charter, to which Ireland is a signatory.
A spokesman for Minister for Children James Reilly declined to comment on the committee’s finding, which is likely to be made public at a Council of Europe meeting in May. He confirmed that the department has received a communication in relation to the case.
Studies suggest that while smacking is becoming less socially acceptable, it remains widely used as a way of disciplining children. The Growing Up in Ireland study of three-year- olds found 45 per cent of their primary caregivers smacked them sometimes.
Senator Jillian van Turnhout said on Monday it was time to remove the defence of reasonable chastisement for once and for all.
“It is shameful we have not yet dealt with this issue. Just 100 years ago people could beat their wives, their dogs and their children. We still allow the beating of children. This says a lot about our society,” she said.
The Children’s Rights Alliance – an umbrella group of more than 100 organisations – has also urged the Government to introduce legislation to outlaw what it describes as “violence against children” and to strengthen positive parenting support programmes.
Training in Child Protection and Welfare
To ensure that the personnel are equipped with appropriate skills, Knowledge and Values to deliver an effective service
To ensure that personnel are aware of the relevant legislation, national guidelines and local child protection procedures and protocols
To translate learning into a better service for children and families in collaboration with other service providers
To strengthen relationships through interagency training
Training is essential for professionals involved in front-line child protection work, such as social workers, public health nurses, medical doctors and Garda.

This training is also essential to be provided to disability organisations and other institutes
Internal Accountability

Child Protection Policy

Code of Practice

Child Care Act (1991)

Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act (1998)

Our Duty to Care (2002)

National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable persons) Act 2012

Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012

Children's Act 2001 revised (Updated 7th May 2013)

Children First Act (2015)

HIQA guidelines
Full transcript