In the context of your working contact with children, it is important that you are aware of the kinds of harm or abuse that children and young people may be exposed to which you ought to pass on as directed by your service or organisational child protection guidance. This will usually direct you to pass your concerns, without delay, to your line manager or supervisor. In some cases, professionals such as health visitors, head teachers or school nurses may pass on concerns directly to either social work services or the police as directed by their specific operational guidance.
It is important that children and young people are listened to and taken seriously when they tell adults what is happening to them. The most important things to remember are;
You may also become concerned by observing that a child has a bruise or injury which is concerning. In these circumstances, the important things to remember are:
Remember; it is important that you do not make promises you cannot keep; for example if a child asks you not to tell anyone else, you cannot agree to this.
After you have passed on the information to the appropriate person, it is always helpful to take a few moments to write down what happened and what the child said to you.
Children and young people may be harmed in a number of ways. These can include (the examples below are not exhaustive)
It is important to be aware that children with a disability are particularly vulnerable to abuse; it is vital that if you are working with disabled children that you also consider all of the above where you are concerned for their welfare, and discuss any concerns you may have with your supervisor or line manager, or if appropriate pass on your concerns directly.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to protect children and young people from abuse and exploitation.
If you are unsure – ask for advice; the most important thing to remember is to act quickly – either to seek advice or pass on your concerns.
Information for Children and Families about the Children's Hearing System in Scotland