Childcare

7 Understand how to safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people: Unit CYP Core 3.3
All settings working with children and young people should establish and maintain a safe environment and deal with circumstances where there are welfare concerns. Through their protection policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people, settings which work with children and/or young people have an important role in the detection and prevention of abuse and neglect. This includes helping children and young people to protect themselves from abuse, as well as dealing with bullying (both physical and through communication technology) and understanding e-safety.

Legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people
All practitioners working to safeguard children and young people must understand fully their responsibilities and duties as set out in government legislation, regulations and guidance.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this chapter you will: 1. Understand the main legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people. 2. Understand the importance of working in partnership with other organisations to safeguard children and young people. 3. Understand the importance of ensuring children and young people??™s safety and protection in the work setting. 4. Understand how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been abused or harmed. 5. Understand how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been bullied. 6. Understand how to work with children and young people to support their safety and wellbeing. 7. Understand the importance of e-safety for children and young people.

Current legislation, guidelines and policies
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989(UN, 1989) was rati?ed by the UK on 16 December 1991. It includes children??™s rights to protection from abuse, the right to express their views and be listened to, and the right to care and services for disabled children or children living away from home. Although different British governments have said that it regards itself bound by the Convention and refers to it in child protection guidance, it has not become part of UK law. There is no single piece of legislation that covers safeguarding children and young people in the UK; different laws and guidelines cover different parts of the UK ??“ England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (NSPCC, 2010; page 1).

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Safeguarding children in England
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) applies to those working in education, health and social services as well as the police and the probation service. It is relevant to those working with children and their families in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors. The document covers the following areas:
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early intervention for the bene?t of children and families). What to do if you??™re worried a child is being abused (2003) is a guide for professionals working with children which explains the processes and systems contained in Working Together to Safeguard Children and Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. As a further safeguard to children??™s welfare, The Protection of Children Act 1999 requires childcare organisations (including any organisation concerned with the supervision of children) not to offer employment involving regular contact with children, either paid or unpaid, to any person listed as unsuitable to work with children on the Department of Health list and the Department for Education and Employment??™s List 99. The Criminal Records Bureau acts as a central access point for criminal records checks for all those applying to work with children and young people. The Children Act 2004, sections 1??“9, created a Children??™s Commissioner for England. However, the English Commissioner does not have the remit to promote children??™s rights, unlike the commissioners for the rest of the UK. As well as creating a Children??™s Commissioner for England, the Children Act 2004 placed a duty on local authorities to appoint a Director of Children??™s Services and an elected lead member for Children??™s Services, who is accountable for the delivery of services. It placed a duty on local authorities and their partners (including the police, health service providers and the youth justice system) to cooperate in promoting the wellbeing of children and young people and to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It put the new Local Safeguarding Children Boards on a statutory footing (replacing the non-statutory Area Child Protection Committees), and gave them functions of investigation and review (section 14), which they use to review all child deaths in their area as required by the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance. The Children Act 2004 also revised the legislation on physical punishment by making it an offence to hit a

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A summary of the nature and impact of child abuse and neglect. How to operate best practice in child protection procedures. The roles and responsibilities of different agencies and practitioners. The role of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs). The processes to be followed when there are concerns about a child. The action to be taken to safeguard and promote the welfare of children experiencing, or at risk of, signi?cant harm. The important principles to be followed when working with children and families. Training requirements for effective child protection.

It is not necessary for all practitioners to read every part of Working Together to Safeguard Children in order to understand the principles and to perform their roles effectively. However, those who work regularly with children and young people and who may be asked to contribute to assessments of children and young people in need should read Chapters 1, 2 (relevant sections, such as schools and further education institutions), 5 and 11; it may also be helpful to read Chapters 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12. For the full text, see this website: http://publications. dcsf.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/00305-2010DOMEN.pdf Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000) provides a systemic framework to help professionals identify children and young people in need and assess the best approach to help them and their families (see Chapter 14, Promote children??™s welfare and wellbeing in the early years: Unit EYMP 3 for more information on supporting

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child if it causes mental harm or leaves a lasting mark on the skin (section 58). This repealed the section of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 which provided parents with the defence of ???reasonable chastisement??™ (NSPCC, 2010, page 5).

for Children and Young People (NI) Order 2003) to safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of children (NSPCC, 2010).

Safeguarding children in Wales
The Children Act 1989 legislates for England and Wales. The current guidance for Wales is Safeguarding children: working together under the Children Act 2004 (Welsh Assembly Government, 2006). The Children??™s Commissioner for Wales Act 2001 created the ?rst Children??™s Commissioner post in the UK. The principal aim of this position is to safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of children. In June 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government laid down the Proposed Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure, which if passed by the National Assembly for Wales, will embed the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Welsh law (NSPCC, 2010).

Keeping children safe ??“ everyone??™s responsibility
There is one aspect of work with babies, toddlers and young children that must always come ?rst: the requirement to keep them safe, and to protect them from signi?cant harm. The guidance from the Every Child Matters framework reminds us that: ???all those who come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including practitioners who do not have a speci?c role in relation to safeguarding children, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children??™. Schools and early years settings are places where children and young people spend a considerable amount of their lives. Early years practitioners are some of the most important adults that young children will come into contact with. As a staff team, they can create an atmosphere and ethos which profoundly affects the child??™s experience of being cared for, listened to, valued, guided and stimulated. Early years settings and schools therefore play a considerable part in promoting ??“ or, sadly, sometimes neglecting ??“ children??™s best interests.
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Safeguarding children in Scotland
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 has similar principles to the law in England and Wales, but has its own guidance: Protecting children: a shared responsibility: guidance on inter-agency co- operation (Scottish Of?ce, 1998). Subsequent legislation created a Children??™s Commissioner for Scotland (Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2003) to safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of children (NSPCC, 2010).

Safeguarding children in Northern Ireland
The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 has similar principles and has its own guidance: Cooperating to safeguard children (DHSSPS, 2003). In addition, in Northern Ireland it is an offence not to report an arrestable crime to the police, which by de?nition, includes most crimes against children. Subsequent legislation created a Children??™s Commissioner for Northern Ireland (Commissioner

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For some children, universal services like early years education and health visiting are not enough to ensure their healthy, safe and happy development. These children might, for periods of time, be vulnerable. They may experience emotional dif?culties, fall behind in their development or learning, or suffer the adverse effects of poverty, poor housing or ill health. The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) exists to support children and families with timely help and advice for a brief period. There are also children in need, who are judged to be unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development unless they are offered additional services. This group includes children with disabilities.

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Finally, there are children who are subject to an inter-agency child protection plan. These children are judged to be at risk of signi?cant harm without the provision of additional services, as well as close and careful monitoring by specialist children??™s social workers.

The child??™s interests are paramount
All the legislation and guidance in recent decades, including the Children Act 2004, make it clear that the child??™s interests must come ?rst. All professionals must work together to promote the child??™s welfare before all else. For example, imagine that you found out that a father has slapped his child on the face, leaving a mark. You may have developed a very close relationship with this parent and you may be very sympathetic to the dif?culties he is experiencing. You may feel that this incident is a ???one-off??™, that he genuinely loves and cares for the child, and that he would be devastated if you did not keep this to yourself. All the same, you are required to put the child??™s interests before your feelings about the family. The actions you might take are discussed later in this chapter (page 000). All early years settings and schools must nominate a member of staff to oversee safeguarding and child protection. This person must be speci?cally trained to undertake this role. The whole team (including volunteers and students) must work together to promote children??™s welfare and keep them safe. The whole team will need regular training and updating, and it is best practice that such training provides staff with time to explore different experiences, attitudes and opinions as steps towards agreeing policy and practice.

All this work with children and families falls under the umbrella term of safeguarding. The Government has de?ned safeguarding as: ???the process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.??™ You might already be starting to understand how complex this can be. No two people will be able to agree on exactly what is meant by ???optimum life chances??™ for a child, or having a ???successful adulthood??™. Different families, communities, cultures and indeed individuals will disagree about what makes for ???sound development??™ or ???good health??™. In this chapter, we explore some of these complexities, and also explain how judgments might be reached by professionals on the basis of the best possible assessments. Although there is much that is complex and worthy of debate, it is a priority for professionals to take swift action where necessary. This chapter offers concise, useful and accurate information about safeguarding. If you have any doubts or concerns about a child, however trivial you might think they are, we strongly advise you to speak to the manager or headteacher of the early years setting or school where you are working. Always ask for information and guidance.

Inquiries and serious case reviews
Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 requires LSCBs to undertake reviews of serious cases. These reviews are known as serious case reviews (SCRs). Chapter 8 of Working together to safeguard children (2010) sets out the purposes of and processes for undertaking SCRs. SCRs are undertaken when a child or young person dies (including death by suspected suicide), and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death. Additionally, LSCBs may decide to conduct an SCR whenever a child or young person

Key term
Safeguarding ??“ This term includes all the steps you would take in an early years setting or school to help children and young people to feel safe and secure; protecting children and young people from neglect or abuse; ensuring that children and young people stay safe, healthy and continue to develop well.

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Figure 7.1 Helping children to feel safe and secure is the cornerstone of safeguarding

has been seriously harmed in any of the following situations, and the case gives rise to concerns about the way in which local professionals and services worked together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people (including inter-agency and inter-disciplinary working):
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A child or young person sustains a potentially life-threatening injury or serious and permanent impairment of physical and mental health and development through abuse or neglect. A child or young person has been seriously harmed as a result of being subjected to sexual abuse. A parent or carer has been murdered and a domestic homicide review is being initiated under the Domestic Violence Act 2004. A child or young person has been seriously harmed following a violent assault perpetrated by another child, young person or an adult.

identify clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result improve intra- and inter-agency working, and better safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. (DfE, 2010)

Sharing information to safeguard children and young people
Safeguarding children and young people raises issues of con?dentiality that must be clearly understood by everyone within the setting. You must be absolutely clear about the boundaries of your legal and professional role and responsibilities, with regard to the con?dentiality of information relating to abuse and neglect. A clear and explicit con?dentiality policy that staff, children, young people and parents can all understand should ensure effective practice throughout the setting. Practitioners have a legal duty of con?dence with regard to the personal information they hold about children, young people and their families. Any information you receive about children/young people

The purpose of SCRs is to:
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establish what lessons are to be learned from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people

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(and their families) in the course of your work should only be shared within appropriate professional contexts. All information including child protection records should be kept securely. The law allows the allegation of con?dential personal information in order to safeguard a child or children. Usually personal information should only be disclosed to a third party (such as social services) after obtaining the consent of the person to whom the information relates. In some child protection matters, it may not be possible or desirable to obtain such consent. The Data Protection Act 1998 allows an allegation without consent in some circumstances, for example to detect or prevent a crime, to apprehend or prosecute an offender. The safety and wellbeing of children and young people must always be your ?rst consideration. You cannot offer or guarantee absolute con?dentiality, especially if there are concerns that a child or young person is experiencing, or is at risk of, signi?cant harm. You have a responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children and young people with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies such as social services and the police. If a child or young person con?des in you and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that you explain to the child in a sensitive manner that you have a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies for their sake. Within that context, the child or young person should however be assured that the matter will be disclosed only to people who need to know about it.

Understand the importance of working in partnership with other organisations to safeguard children and young people
It is important to work in partnership with other organisations to safeguard children and young people in order to share relevant information and to take appropriate action to safeguard and protect. A wide range of professionals and organisations share the responsibility to safeguard and protect children and young people. When working with other organisations to safeguard children and young people, it is important to have a child-centred approach. Any procedures should take the child??™s feelings and experiences into account and should avoid causing further distress to an already hurt or confused child. However, remember that no matter how concerned you are about a child or young person??™s welfare, you must always act within the law (Lindon, 2008).

What is partnership working
Partnership working is important to ensure that children and young people??™s welfare is safeguarded regardless of where they are and who is looking after them. For example, where children receive education and care in more than one setting, practitioners must ensure continuity and coherence by sharing relevant

Activity
??? What are your role and responsibilities for reporting information on possible abuse to a senior colleague or external agency ??? How and to whom should you pass on information from a child or young person??™s personal allegation of abuse For example, your role and responsibilities for providing information on the allegation to a senior colleague or external agency. ??? Find out about your setting??™s policy and procedures with regard to the con?dentiality of information in child protection matters.

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information with each other and with parents or carers. Patterns of attendance should be a key factor in practitioners??™ planning. Close working between early years practitioners and parents is vital for the identi?cation of children??™s learning needs and to ensure a quick response to any area of particular dif?culty. Parents and families are central to a child??™s wellbeing, and practitioners should support this important relationship by sharing information and offering support for extending learning in the home. Practitioners will frequently need to work with professionals from other agencies, such as local and community health services, or where children are looked after by the local authority, to identify and meet needs and use their knowledge and advice to provide children??™s social care with the best learning opportunities and environments for all children (DCSF, 2008; page 10). Different professionals and agencies should work together to help the child/young person and family early on when there are dif?culties. They should not wait until something serious happens before taking action. For example, a health visitor might notice that a mother is getting very stressed by the behaviour of her toddler and is struggling to cope. Early intervention might involve talking to the mother, showing sympathy, and perhaps ?nding some support for her at the local children??™s centre or setting up a programme of home visits. This would be much better than waiting to see if the situation becomes worse before doing anything. Although there is still a common view that social workers swoop in to take children away from their families, in reality, the vast majority of social work is about helping different agencies work together to support

the family, so that the child or young person??™s safety and wellbeing are assured.

Inter-agency child protection
You may have heard about children being ???on the child protection register??™, but technically they should be described as having an inter-agency child protection plan. To give an idea of the scale of child protection work in England (comparable statistics are not easy to discover for the other countries in the UK):
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There were 547,000 referrals to children??™s social care departments in the year ending 31 March 2009. These referrals led to social workers completing 349,000 initial assessments. 37,900 children became the subject of an interagency child protection plan ??“ this is fewer than 0.5 per cent of all children, or fewer than one child in 200.

Initial assessment
Initial assessments are undertaken by specialist children??™s social workers in response to referrals made by schools, doctors, nurses and early years settings, for example. The initial assessment informs the decision of what to do next. Possible decisions include the following:
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Key term
Early intervention ??“ This approach seeks to offer extra help and support to a family before the child starts to lag behind in development or experience neglect or abuse. Early intervention is about working cooperatively with parents and carers, giving them a chance to make choices about which services they need.

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Offering services to support the child and family, if it is judged that the child is not at immediate risk of harm but is at risk of poor developmental outcomes. Urgent action to protect the child from harm ??“ for example, applying for a court order to take the child into care. Social workers cannot take children away from their parents; only the courts can direct this. However, a police of?cer can take a child into police protection in an emergency. Holding a strategy discussion. This would happen where the assessment indicates that the child may be suffering signi?cant harm. Other professionals who know the child and family, such as GPs, health visitors, teachers and early years practitioners, may be invited to this discussion. Specialist police of?cers must always be represented in strategy discussions. Where

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appropriate, a child protection conference will be arranged (see below). It is important to remember that staff in early years settings and schools should not investigate possible abuse or neglect. The role of the early years practitioner is to refer concerns to children??™s social care, to contribute to the initial assessment and to attend meetings as requested. The initial assessment can lead to:
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clearly identi?ed. Examples of this role might include:
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carefully monitoring the child??™s heath or wellbeing in the setting on a daily basis making referrals to specialist agencies ??“ for example, educational psychology offering support and services to the parents ??“ for example, a parenting class run at the setting monitoring the child??™s progress against the planned outcomes in the agreed plan.

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further work and assessment being undertaken by specialist children??™s social workers ??“ this is called the Core Assessment help being offered to the child and family on a voluntary basis, usually coordinated under the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) a child protection conference being convened: key staff working with the family, along with the child??™s parents, will be invited to this conference. The meeting will be organised by an independent chairperson who has not previously been involved in the case in any way, and who reports to the Director of Children??™s Services.

??? One of your key children is subject to an inter-agency child protection plan, under the category of neglect. During the day, you notice that the child looks rather grubby. Other children are avoiding him because he smells. ??? Discuss how you would talk to the parent at the end of the day, and what information you would pass on to the child??™s social worker.

Child protection conference
The child protection conference seeks to establish, on the basis of evidence from the referral and the initial assessment, whether the child has suffered illtreatment, or whether his or her health or development has been signi?cantly impaired as a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or neglect. A professional judgement must be made about whether further ill-treatment or impairment is likely to occur. It is possible to hold a child protection conference prior to birth if there are signi?cant concerns that the newborn baby will be at risk of immediate harm; for example, in a family where there has been signi?cant previous child abuse, or where a mother has abused drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. If this is established, the child will be made the subject of an inter-agency child protection plan. The child??™s early years setting or school should be involved in the preparation of the plan. The role of the school or early years setting to safeguard the child, and promote his or her welfare, should be

Drawing up an inter-agency child protection plan
The core group of professionals and the child??™s parents must meet within ten working days of a child being made subject to a child protection plan. The group will be called together by the child??™s social worker in the role of the lead professional (sometimes called the key worker), and will then meet regularly as required. This group should include a member of staff from the child??™s early years setting or school. The core group develops the child protection plan into a more detailed working tool, outlining who will do what and by when. Both this working plan and the overall child protection plan should be based on the assessments undertaken by the specialist social worker and others, and should address the issues arising in relation to:
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the child??™s developmental needs parenting capacity family and environmental factors.

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There should be a child protection conference review within three months of the initial conference. Further reviews should be held at least every six months while the child remains subject to a child protection plan. The plan may be ended if it is judged that there have been signi?cant improvements to the wellbeing and safety of the child. These improvements might have taken place as a result of:
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because the child is no longer considered to be ???in need??™.

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a change in circumstances ??“ for example, the abusing parent has moved out of the family home and no longer has unsupervised contact with the child the family is responding positively to the requirements set out in the plan, and following advice given the child is being given the medical or other treatment that he or she needs.

Understand the importance of ensuring children and young people??™s safety and protection in the work setting
Why children and young people must be protected from harm in the work setting
Ensuring children and young people??™s safety and protection in the setting is an essential part of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. Every adult working in the setting must be a suitable person to work with young children, and must have been checked by the Independent Safeguarding Authority. This includes students on placements and regular volunteers. Practitioners need to actively promote the wellbeing of every child. This includes providing opportunities for children and young people to develop and learn, to play, communicate and socialise with each other in the setting. Children and young people also need healthy, nutritious and enjoyable food, and opportunities to move and exercise their bodies. They need to be able to make decisions and develop a level of independence that is appropriate to their age and development. Practitioners also have responsibilities for providing extra support to children and young people whose needs are not being met, working with parents and other professionals. Some children in an early years setting may present with delayed development, or emotional and social dif?culties. These may result from adverse early experiences, like witnessing domestic violence, or growing up with a parent who has mental health dif?culties. Extra support could include helping a mother join a ???Stay and Play??™ group, to make friends and ?nd support, or working

At this stage, there might be no further involvement from Children??™s Services, or the family may continue to be offered further help and support by the different agencies, usually coordinated under the CAF. This only happens once Children??™s Services are satis?ed that their involvement is not required

Key term
Inter-agency protection plan ??“ If a child??™s health or development has been signi?cantly impaired as a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect, an inter-agency protection plan may be drawn up. The plan will identify the steps that the family needs to take to safeguard the child, with the support of Children??™s Services and other agencies. The child??™s safety, health, development and wellbeing will be regularly monitored throughout the plan.



Progress check

??? Working in a team, you should help work towards the plan in a CAF, or offer additional help to a child who has been identi?ed as being vulnerable. ??? Know about the de?nition of a child in need. ??? Know who can take children into protective care if they are in immediate danger. ??? Understand why a child might be made subject to an inter-agency child protection plan.

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Policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people Working in an open and transparent way Listening to children and young people Duty of care Whistle-blowing Power and positions of trust Propriety and behaviour Physical contact Intimate personal care Off-site visits Photography and video Sharing concerns Recording/reporting incidents

Table 7.1 Policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people

with the clinical psychology service to give advice about bedtimes or mealtimes. This work can be coordinated under the CAF. Practitioners also need to protect the small number of children and young people who may be at risk of signi?cant harm as a result of their home and family circumstances. Some children and young people are at risk because of the actions of their parents ??“ for example, physical abuse like hitting, or sexual abuse ??“ or because their parents fail to act to keep them safe and well ??“ for example, neglect. In these cases, the different agencies still work together to provide support and help to the parents, but there may also be actions that the parent is required to take, which can be checked through unannounced visits and compulsory medical, developmental and psychological assessments.

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The importance of child protection with an outline of the main legislation and guidance relevant to that part of the UK. The responsibility of everyone within the setting to be active in safeguarding and preventing abuse or neglect. How the setting will meet this obligation, for example through safer recruitment of staff or active support for children and/or young people. The safeguarding commitment works together with other policies such as equal opportunities, behaviour and partnership with parents. (Lindon, 2008; pages 143??“4)

Policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people
It is important to have clear policies and procedures to ensure children and young people??™s safety and protection in the setting. Table 7.1 lists the different policies and procedures which should be in place for safe working. The setting??™s policy for safeguarding (or child protection) should state the following:
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The procedures should set out how the policy will be put into practice on a daily basis. The procedures should make clear the responsibilities of the setting??™s designated child protection of?cer, and the responsibilities of practitioners both as individuals and as members of the team. The procedures should be clear about the following points:
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The name of the setting and the type of service(s) provided for children, young people and/or families; the name of the setting??™s designated child protection of?cer.

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The obligation to respond appropriately, and in a timely way, to any concerns, whomsoever raises them. A brief summary of signs that should concern practitioners with a reference to the relevant guidance document. The steps that should be taken when there are concerns, and the boundaries to the role of a familiar practitioner or the designated child protection of?cer. Details of the services, including names and telephone numbers of those who should be contacted or consulted locally. Speci?c guidance about how to behave if a child or young person alleges an abusive experience.

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Figure 7.2 Children need to be cared for by suitably quali?ed staff who enjoy their company

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How a safeguarding procedure is supported by other procedures such as written records or dealing with allegations of abuse or malpractice. Effective safeguarding includes helping children and young people to learn skills of personal safety, for example, explaining the rules about internet use and e-safety. (Lindon, 2010; page 145)

Whistle-blowing
Sometimes a person inside an organisation knows that something is going wrong and is being covered up. This could affect the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Examples of this in early years settings and schools include the following:
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In cases like these, it is very important that action is taken before there is a serious incident. If a member of staff has spoken to the manager, headteacher or other appropriate person, made clear that a situation is dangerous and illegal, and no action is taken, it is necessary to ???blow the whistle??™ and report the concerns directly to an outside body, such as the local Children??™s Services, Ofsted or the NSPCC. If you act to protect children and young people and to keep them safe, you are clearly protected by the law. In general, employees who blow the whistle are legally protected against being bullied, sacked or disciplined, if they have acted in good faith.

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A member of staff has reported a number of concerns about a child??™s welfare. The child??™s parents are on the management committee of the nursery, and the manager says, ???They are not the sort of people who would harm their child.??™ There are consistently too few staff on duty in the nursery. When the local authority come to visit, supply staff are hired, and during an Ofsted inspection, management and of?ce staff are brought into the room so that legal ratios are met.

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??? Find out more information about whistle-blowing at this website: www.direct.gov.uk/en/ Employment/ResolvingWorkplaceDisputes/ Whistleblowingintheworkplace ??? Search online for ???Protection of whistle-blowers??™.

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Allegations made against staff
Schools and settings are usually some of the safest places for children and young people to be. However, sadly there have been incidents when children and young people have been harmed or abused by the adults who work with them and care for them. Cases include the murders in 2002 of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by their school caretaker Ian Huntley, and the discovery in 2009 that a nursery nurse, Vanessa George, had taken and distributed indecent pictures of some of the children in her care. Generally, a setting or school keeps children safe by having effective procedures around safer recruitment, management and its general operating policy; for example, if children and young people are encouraged to speak out when they feel unhappy or uncomfortable, they will be much less vulnerable to abuse. Children??™s intimate care (nappy-changing, toileting, dressing and undressing) should be coordinated by a key person. This means that children should not expect that anyone can take them aside and undress them; their right to privacy is upheld. It is effective practice, where developmentally appropriate, to ask children to consent to offers of intimate care and to give them as much control as possible. So you might say to a toddler in the toilet, ???Would you like me to help pull your pants down??™ rather than just going ahead and doing it. However, no system alone can protect children and young people: what matters, beyond effective policies and procedures, is that adults are con?dent to raise concerns, and that children and young people are encouraged to say if they are unhappy or uncomfortable with anything that happens to them. All early years settings and schools are required to have a policy to deal with allegations made against staff. This will cover cases where a child makes an allegation, or an adult is seen or overheard behaving in an inappropriate way. But there are other examples that might give rise to a concern, without a speci?c allegation being made:

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a child who seems fearful of a particular member of staff a member of staff trying to develop a very close relationship with a child ??“ for example, offering small presents and special treats, or arranging to meet the child outside of the setting or school a parent expressing a general concern about how a member of staff relates to their child, without being able exactly to say what is wrong.

In cases like these, you will need to discuss your concerns with the named person for safeguarding. Discussions like these are awkward, but it is important to share any concerns you have: the child??™s welfare is paramount.

Off-site visits
When participating in off-site visits, all practitioners (including volunteers) have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves and others, and to cooperate to ensure that statutory duties and obligations are ful?lled. Adults in charge of children or young people during an off-site visit have a duty of care to make sure that the children/young people are safe and healthy. Practitioners have a common law duty to act as would a reasonably prudent parent. Practitioners should not hesitate to act in an emergency and to take life-saving action in an extreme situation. As a safeguard to children and young people, volunteer helpers on off-site visits must be appropriate people to supervise children/ young people, should be trained in their duties, and have had a CRB check. Unquali?ed staff or volunteers must not be left in sole charge of children/ young people except where it has been previously agreed as part of the risk assessment. There should normally be a minimum of two adults with any group involved in an off-site visit or activity; the exact ratio of adults to children/young people depends on their ages and should be appropriate for the needs of the group and in line with the relevant guidelines. Practitioners and volunteers should not be in a situation where they are alone with one child or young person away from the rest of the group.

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Understand how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been abused or harmed
Practitioners are good at recognising when all is not well with a child or young person. Historically, the biggest dif?culty has not been in recognising problems, but in communicating concerns to others (including parents or carers) and acting on them. Often practitioners worry about the consequences of passing on information, and worry that it might lead to the family being split up. It is important to remember that in the vast majority of cases the different services will work with the family to ensure the child or young person??™s safety. But the decision about what is best for the child or young person should be made by a trained social worker, acting on the best possible information. When practitioners feel worried but do not communicate their concerns to others, a child or young person can be put in danger.

Physical abuse
Physical abuse is the most apparent form of child or young person abuse. It includes any kind of physical harm to a child or young person, which can include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning and suffocating. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child, or deliberately induces illness ??“ for example, giving a child so much salt that he or she becomes very ill, so that medical staff think the child has a gastric illness or a brain condition.

Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is dif?cult to de?ne and can be dif?cult to detect. It involves continual emotional mistreatment which results in signi?cant damage to the child or young person??™s emotional development. The child or young person may come to feel worthless, unloved, and inadequate or valued only if they meet the expectations or needs of another person. Emotional abuse includes:
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De?nitions of abuse and neglect
???Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by in?icting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger, for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.??™ (Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children, DCSF, 2010) There are four categories of abuse: physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect. These are outlined below.

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The parent having expectations that are beyond what is suitable for the child or young person??™s age and development. This includes unreasonable expectations, like continuously trying to force a child to achieve more, and then constantly criticising the child for his or her failures. At the other end of the spectrum, some parents may fail to stimulate their child adequately; for example, keeping a two-year-old child in a playpen with only a few baby toys. Preventing a child from participating in normal social interaction with other children, either by keeping the child at home, or by taking the child out but being so overprotective, fearful or controlling that the child cannot join in. Failing to protect the child from witnessing the mistreatment of others; for example, cases of domestic violence.

All children and young people will experience some emotional dif?culties as part of the ordinary processes of growing up. It becomes abusive if the result is signi?cant damage to the child or young person??™s emotional development. All cases of child or

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young person abuse will include some degree of emotional abuse.

Recognising child abuse
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) states that: ???Children and young people often ?nd it very dif?cult to talk about the abuse they are experiencing. So adults have a vital role to play in looking out for the possible signs.??™ The following section draws on the NSPCC??™s guide, Learn how to recognise the signs of child abuse. It is not always possible to be completely certain that a child is being abused, but there are signs and indicators that all early years practitioners should look out for:
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Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse involves forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activities. The child may or may not be aware of what is happening. Activities may involve physical contact (such as rape, including forced anal sex or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts like touching or masturbation. The abuse may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at or in the production of sexual images online or on mobile phones, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect
Neglect means that the parent persistently fails to meet the child??™s basic physical needs, psychological needs or both. The result is that the child??™s health or development is signi?cantly impaired. Neglect can occur during pregnancy if the mother abuses drugs or alcohol, which can have serious effects. Neglect of babies and young children includes the failure to:
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provide adequate food, clothing and shelter keep the child safe from physical and emotional harm or danger supervise the child adequately, including leaving the child with inadequate carers make sure the child is seen promptly by medical staff when ill respond to the child??™s basic emotional needs.

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ity Research Activ
This section on abuse and neglect draws on guidance from Every Child Matters. ??? Find out more by reading the guidance in full on this website:www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/ safeguardingandsocialcare/safeguardingchildren/ workingtogether ??? Search online for ???Working Together to Safeguard Children??™.

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A baby or toddler who is always crying. A child who often has injuries or bruises. A child who is often very withdrawn. Withdrawn children are not simply quiet or shy ??“ they shrink from adult attention, lack interest in their surroundings and try to occupy themselves without being noticed. A child who is often in very dirty clothes, looks unwashed for a period of time or is very smelly. A child who is frequently very hungry. A child who is often inappropriately dressed for the weather or time of year. This would include children who often come to the setting in thin T-shirts, shorts or dresses through the winter. It would also include children who come into the setting on a hot day in very warm clothes. Any indication that a child is being left home alone, or left unsupervised in unsafe circumstances at home. A child who does not receive the medical treatment which he or she needs. A child who is mocked, sworn at, constantly joked about and made to feel foolish or useless. A child who expresses fear about particular adults, seems reluctant to be picked up by a particular adult, or afraid to be left alone with that person. A child with very strong mood swings ??“ anxiety, depression, uncontained anger or severe aggression. A child whose sexual knowledge, use of sexual words or sexual behaviour is not appropriate for their age or development. A child who is witnessing domestic violence.

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A child who is witnessing signi?cant drug or alcohol abuse.

There may be valid explanations for some of these signs. Equally, there are many other indications of possible abuse, and other circumstances that could be unsafe for a child. The NSPCC advises that: ???The most important thing to remember is that if you have a gut feeling that something is not right, trust your judgement and take action.??™

A child or young person may make an allegation to anyone ??“ their key person, the caretaker, the dinner supervisor, a student on placement. For that reason, it is very important that everyone who comes into contact with children and young people has training on safeguarding and knows what to do if they have any reason to be worried about a particular child or young person.

Key term
Allegation ??“ This is when a child or young person alleges information that causes an adult to be concerned about their safety and wellbeing. This might happen through children talking, acting things out in their play, or drawing and painting. It is essential that early years practitioners listen and watch very carefully, but do not question the child or put words into the child??™s mouth.

ity Research Activ
??? Read the full NSPCC guide at this website: www. nspcc.org.uk/helpandadvice/whatchildabuse/ signsofabuse_wda51231.html Search online for ???Learn how to recognise the signs of child abuse??™.

Allegations
Sometimes a child or young person may allege information that leads you to think that he or she is being abused. With young children, this may happen in a number of ways. A child might tell you something directly: ???Mummy and Daddy went out yesterday, and me and Scarlet were scared because we were all alone.??™ Or a child might use play to communicate ??“ for example, you might observe a child in the home corner shouting at and slapping one of the dolls. In all cases, your role when a child or young person alleges is to listen very carefully and show concern. Reaf?rm that it is good for the child or young person to tell you things that are worrying or upsetting him or her. Say that you believe them. If you are not sure about something a child has said, then ask for clari?cation: ???I am not sure I quite understood ??“ did you say it was your arm that hurts??™ However, there are also some things that you must not do. You must not question or cross-examine a child, or seem to put words into a child??™s mouth. You would therefore not ask a question such as, ???Does this happen every day??™ because the child might just agree with you, or repeat your words. You are there to listen and observe ??“ you are not an investigator.

Procedure for when abuse is suspected
If a child or young person alleges to you, or if you are worried for one or more of the reasons listed by the NSPCC (see page 000):
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Make a note that is as exact as you can make it, recording exactly what the child or young person said, and anything you noticed (signs of an injury, child or young person seeming upset, stressed, angry or ashamed while talking to you). If you have had ongoing concerns, summarise what these are; again, be as accurate as you can. Discuss your concerns as a matter of urgency with the named member of staff for safeguarding, however busy that person seems to be.

In most cases, the named member of staff will discuss the concerns with the parent or carer and then make a judgement about what to do next. You should be told what action (if any) is being taken, and why. Responses might include:
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No action ??“ for example, in a case where a parent gives a reasonable explanation for their child??™s injury or behaviour. Advice given ??“ for example, a parent is advised on what sort of clothes will keep their child warm enough in winter. Staff can then check that the child is appropriately dressed on subsequent days.

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Support offered ??“ for example, a parent might agree that she is ?nding it dif?cult to manage the child or young person??™s behaviour, and might welcome the offer of support from a parenting group or an appointment with a clinical psychologist. Referral to family support at the local children??™s centre ??“ this will provide structured support and help for the family on a voluntary basis. A similar type of referral might be made to a specialist social work team (Disabled Children??™s Team, Domestic Violence Project). Referral to Children??™s Social Care (social services) ??“ if the named person judges that the child or young person is at risk of signi?cant harm, a written referral will be made to Children??™s Social Care.

ity Research Activ
Read the summary document, What to do if you??™re worried a child is being abused. It is available on this website: http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/ eOrderingDownload/6841-DfES-ChildAbuseSumm. pdfor search online for ???What to do if you are worried a child is being abused??™.

Con?dentiality and ???need to know??™
In general, you must keep sensitive information con?dential. If information circulates too freely, parents can feel very exposed and vulnerable. They may stop sharing information with staff.

If you have raised a concern and you think that the action being taken is inadequate, meet the named person again. Explain your opinion, referring to what you have observed or heard. Although such conversations are very dif?cult, they are essential if we are to uphold to the principle that the child or young person??™s welfare and safety comes ?rst. If you are a learner, discuss your concerns in con?dence with your tutor. Any worried adult is also entitled to contact Children??™s Social Care or the NSPCC directly. If you have reason to believe your concern is not being acted on, you should do this.

Where appropriate, seek consent before you share information
You might ?nd out on a home visit that a child??™s mother has a serious mental health dif?culty, which is well managed by medication and therapy. However, the medication can make her feel rather tired ?rst thing in the morning, and she tells you that she can struggle to take on information or hold a conversation then. So you might say, ???I will need to tell my manager this, but shall we also let the staff team know, so that they can talk with you at the end of the day and not in the morning??™ The parent can then give or withhold consent freely.

Activity
of child 1 What are the four categories abuse

2 What should you rem ember to do, if a child or young personalleges to you What should you avoid doing

erns about s staff share conc would early year 3 Why the child??™s or wellbeing with a child??™s welfare a record or n just keeping parents, rather tha referral making a

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Do not disclose information inappropriately
Never disclose any information about a child or young person??™s welfare in an inappropriate way to people outside the setting or school. For example, you would not tell friends or family about a child protection conference you had attended.

some form, such as name-calling, being hit or kicked. In 2000 a survey of 11 to 16-year-olds found that: ??™ 36 per cent of children said they had been bullied in the last 12 months; 26 per cent had been threatened with violence and 13 per cent had been physically attacked.??™ (ATL, 2000) As bullying occurs both inside and outside of schools and settings, the setting should have an antibullying policy which clearly sets out the ways in which they try to prevent or reduce bullying, and deal with bullying behaviour when it happens.

Put the child or young person??™s interests ?rst
If sharing information will help to ensure a child or young person??™s safety, you must do this. In nearly all cases, you would start by explaining to the parent why you wish to share the information and how this would help their child. If a parent refuses, ask for advice and guidance from the named person for safeguarding or the manager/head of the setting. If a parent or carer says something like, ???I did smack her round the head, but you won??™t tell anyone will you They??™ll take her into care,??™ you will need to explain clearly that you are legally required to pass on information like this.

Different types of bullying and the potential effects on children and young people
Bullying can be de?ned as behaviour that is deliberately hurtful or aggressive, repeated over a period of time and dif?cult for victims to defend themselves against. There are three main types of bullying: 1 physical: hitting, kicking, taking belongings 2 verbal: name-calling, insulting, making offensive remarks 3 indirect: spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending malicious emails or text messages on mobile phones. Name-calling is the most common type of bullying. Children and young people can be called nasty names because of their individual characteristics, ethnic origin, nationality, skin colour, sexual orientation or disability. Verbal bullying is common among boys and girls. Boys experience more physical violence and threats when being bullied than do girls. However, physical attacks on girls by other girls are becoming more common. Girls tend to use indirect types of bullying, which can be more dif?cult to detect and deal with (DfES, 2000). Any child or young person can experience bullying, but certain factors may make bullying more likely. While there is never an acceptable excuse for bullying behaviour, children and young people are more likely to experience bullying if they:



Progress check

??? Working in a team, you should discuss your concerns about children in meetings or with senior staff, as appropriate. ??? Understand why you would ask a parent for consent before sharing con?dential information with another professional. ??? Understand that there are times when you would share information without consent.

Understand how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been bullied
Research suggests that 85 per cent of children aged ?ve to eleven years have experienced bullying in

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are shy or have an over-protective family environment are from a different racial or ethnic group to the majority of children and young people appear different in some obvious respect, such as stammering have special needs, such as a disability or learning dif?culties behave inappropriately or have less developed social and interpersonal skills possess expensive accessories, such as mobile phones or computer games.

around the support of children??™s behaviour and the prevention of bullying. Adults can help to prevent bullying in the following ways:

Encouraging a culture where children and young people can express how they feel
Sometimes it may feel like a particular child or young person keeps coming to you for help, and this may become wearing. It is however important that on every occasion you listen with sympathy and try to help the child or young person.

Policies and procedures for dealing with bullying
Certain types of bullying may amount to unlawful discrimination, such as bullying on the grounds of age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation or disability. All settings need to have in place effective systems to deal speci?cally with the problem of this type of bullying. Anti-bullying policies and procedures are required which include speci?c reference to bullying in all its forms, including the following:
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Developing effective communication with parents or carers
If a child or young person is being bullied, it may be the parent who ?rst notices that there is something the matter when the child or young person is at home. By working together, you may be able to ?nd out what is happening and take steps to help the child.

bullying on grounds of body image/size/obesity homophobic bullying racist bullying faith-based bullying ageist bullying disability bullying sexist bullying. (www.nasuwt.org.uk: see the useful resources section on page 000 for their anti-bullying literature)

Clearly telling children when their behaviour is not acceptable
Some young children bump into others, grab for equipment ?rst, give others an aggressive look or generally intimidate other children. Sometimes children may deliberately exclude a child from playing within a group. Behaviour like this can quickly escalate to more serious forms of bullying like open aggression, which is either physical (hitting, pushing) or verbal (name-calling). It is important that adults look out for this sort of behaviour and encourage other children to say con?dently how it affects them.

Children and young people should be provided with information about sources of help and support, such as Barnardo??™s, Childline, The Samaritans and the National Youth Advocacy Service. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requires that: ???children??™s behaviour must be managed effectively and in a manner appropriate for their stage of development and particular individual needs??™. Schools are also legally required to have policies and procedures in place to identify and prevent bullying. Every early years setting needs to develop a policy

Take ?rm action when necessary
You may have to remove a child or young person from a situation if necessary, but you can help the child or young person by saying clearly which part of their behaviour is not acceptable, while not being negative towards them personally. This is why you would not say to a child, ???You??™re being naughty??™. It is

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important that you would follow this up by settling the child back into the play and then spend time in that area, helping all the children to play together. If bullying is persistent despite your attempts at positive management, you will need to seek advice from the SENCO in your setting or school.

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?nd it dif?cult to play/enjoy leisure with others be hyperactive behave in ways that irritate others bully other children and young people be easily roused to anger ?ght back when attacked or even slightly provoked be actively disliked by the majority of children and young people using the setting.

ity Research Activ
Find out more about bullying by going to www. kidscape.org.uk or searching online for ???Kidscape??™.

Supporting a child, young person and/or their family when bullying is suspected or alleged
Children and young people who are experiencing bullying may be reluctant to attend the setting may therefore be often absent. They may be more anxious and insecure than others, have fewer friends and often feel unhappy and lonely. They can suffer from low self-esteem and negative self-image; seeing themselves as failures, stupid, ashamed and unattractive. Possible signs that a child or young person is being bullying include:
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Practitioners and the child or young person??™s parents or carers should work together to identify any such behaviour. The child or young person needs help to improve personal and social skills, including assertiveness techniques and con?ict resolution. You may be able to provide support for a child young person who is being bullied by:
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encouraging the child or young person to talk listening to their problems believing them if they say that they are being bullied providing reassurance that it is not their fault; no one deserves to be bullied discussing the matter with a seni

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