At Branston Church of England Infant Academy we all recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We will be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and we will follow our procedures and policies to ensure that children receive effective support and protection.
We keep children safe by:
- Having an up to date safeguarding/child protection policy.
- Check the suitability of all our staff that work with children through stringent checking procedures.
- Have an open door policy where concerns can be shared in confidence.
- Ensure all our staff have up to date child protection and safeguarding training.
- Share information with appropriate agencies if we have concerns.
- Have two identified members of staff who have responsibility for safeguarding.
- Have strong links with e-safety advisors who come in to school and work with our children.
- What do I do if I have a concern about the safety, care or welfare of a child or young person?
- If you have a concern about a child or young person, you can contact:
- Our designated child protection leaders are Cathy Roberts or Beverley Chambers.
Or you can:
- Contact the Children Services Customer Service Centre on 01522 782111.
- Contact the police on 101 or 999 if in an emergency.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY OR WELLBEING OF ANY CHILD YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD ACT WITHOUT DELAY.
Many people worry that their concerns or suspicions may be wrong or that they are interfering unnecessarily or that someone else might report it. Our advice would be to report in any case to the school or to Lincolnshire Children’s Services where they can give advice and the professionals can process the information you have. Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility and it is always better to be safe, by reporting anything, than sorry!
What are the signs of child abuse?
No parent ever wants to think about the possibility of their child (or any child) becoming a victim of abuse, and most children never have to experience this. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to to know that help is available if the unthinkable happens.
If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child to see if you can find out what is happening. Remember, if your child is being harmed in any way, they may be too frightened or reluctant to talk to you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to an adult you trust or call a helpline or children’s services for advice. Our teaching team will always be at hand if you wanted to discuss your concerns.
Some signs to look out for are:
- Bruises or other injuries;
- A change in behaviour – from quiet to loud, or from happy to withdrawn;
- Pain or discomfort;
- Fear of a particular person, or a reluctance to be alone with them;
- Secrecy around a relationship with a particular person;
- Reluctance to discuss where they go, or who they are with;
- Sexual talk or knowledge beyond their years;
- Being watchful, or always on edge, losing interest in their appearance, hobbies or family life;
- Alcohol or drug taking;
- Having money and refusing to say where it has come from;
- Wetting the bed;
- Becoming clingy.
There are many types of abuse. These include physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.
- Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
- It isn’t accidental – children who are physically abused suffer violence such as being hit, kicked, poisoned, burned, slapped or having objects thrown at them. Shaking or hitting babies can cause non-accidental head injuries (NAHI). Sometimes parents or carers will make up or cause the symptoms of illness in their child, perhaps giving them medicine they don’t need and making the child unwell ֠this is known as fabricated or induced illness (FII).
- There no excuse for physically abusing a child. It causes serious, and often long-lasting, harm ֠and in severe cases, death.
- Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child emotional health and development.
- Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them.
- Children who are emotionally abused are usually suffering another type of abuse or neglect at the same time ֠but this isn’t always the case.
- A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn’t have to be physical contact, and it can happen online. Sometimes the child won’t understand that what’s happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it’s wrong.
- Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse. A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care.A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm.They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents.
- A child who’s neglected will often suffer from other abuse as well. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage – even death.
There are many other types of abuse. Visit the NSPCC website for more information.