Safeguarding – Child Protection

ASHCROFT LEADS

  • Ashcroft Clinical Safeguarding Children Lead: Dr Pardip Sandhu
  • Ashcroft Clinical Safeguarding Children Deputy: Lead Dr Jaskiran Dhillon
  • Practice Nurse lead: 
  • Practice Administrative Lead: Pam Brown
  • Remember to think about contacting the Health Visitors and School Nurses for additional information.

DATE REVIEWED:

18th July 2019

DATE OF NEXT REVIEW:

July 2020

Additional notes to the diagram on the right

  • Of course, best practice is to obtain parental consent, but it may be necessary to refer without consent if the parent is a potential perpetrator of abuse or if they will not engage in discussion.  Always follow any telephone referral with a TYPED referral using the common referral form.
  •  CSE = Child Sexual Exploitation – ring them even if it is just a query
  • FGM = Female Genital Mutilation
  • Some absolutes:
    • Always refer immediately to social care any injury in a non-mobile baby, irrespective of the explanation given – see multi-agency protocol
    • It is mandatory to report Female Genital Mutilation to the police (101) and social care if identified in anyone under the age of 18. An over-18 yr old may choose not to report historic FGM, but there may be younger girls in the family at risk of future FGM. Referral to children’s social care may be indicated. See further information.
    • If a child under 13 is engaged in sexual activity this is statutory rape and needs immediate police/ social care referral.
  • Latest Child Protection Contacts in SystmOne
  • A comprehensive set of child protection contacts can always be found in SystmOne and it is always kept up to date.   Please refer to that if the telephone numbers on this webpage don’t work.
    • To access it: Type YHCS Safeguarding Children in the free text search box (left bottom corner) > click on it.

Local Area Safeguarding Leads

  • Airedale , Wharfedale and Craven  –  Dr Kirsty King  07432 721848
  • Bradford City :- Dr Uzma Quereshi
  • Bradford District :-  Dr Emma Savin

Don't forget the police

  • The Police – 999 
  • The police have various departments: the child protection unit, the child welfare unit, the forced marriage unit, the vulnerable adult unit, domestic violence unit.

Don't forget to follow it all up within 24h

  • Follow up in writing within 24 hours of referral to Children’s Social Services
  •  Important as it is to safeguard children at all times – it is also important to create an audit trail of all discussions had with other agencies Can we remind you that if you refer any case to children’s Social Services, it is important that you follow this up in with a written summary of your referral information, within 24 hours.

A special note on bruising in children

  • We all regularly see bruised children, but it is so important to recognise when the bruising may not be as a result of normal child hood activities.
  • Bruising in non mobile babies should considered as an indicator of physical abuse and thoroughly investigated in a multi agency setting.
  • A protocol is available at: 
    http://westyorkscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_bruise_burns.html

Support Organisations

  • Boys who are being groomedhttp://mesmac.co.uk/blast
  • Any child being sexually exploited:
    • Hand in Hand (Bradford & Keighley): 12 Russell Street, BD21 2JP Keighley, United Kingdom, Phone: 01535 606868.   
    • Barnardo’s Turnaround, Javelin House, Javelin Close, Bradford, BD10 8SD, Phone: 01274 618421;  Email: [email protected]
      http://www.barnardos.org.uk  Also offers a service to children and young people who are reported missing from home or from a community home.
  • Support for parents: call PACE 0113 240 3040;  www.paceuk.info/support-for-parents.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The legal age of consent to sex is age 16.
  • However, the legal definition of a child is anyone under age 18.
  • So, someone age 17 can consent to sex, but are still considered a child.
  • If a person has a learning disability, then they are considered a child until they reach age 21.

So, an adult having sex with someone under these ages is considered to be having sex with a minor.

Child Sexual Exploitation is sexual exploitation  of children and young people under age 18 – where the young person often recieves ‘something’ as a result of them performing sexual activities or allowing another or others to perform sexual activities on them.  What is recieved could be things like money, gifts, cigarettes and alcohol but it can be even something as basic as food and accomodation.   Often, these young people then find it difficult to get out of this awful situation because of violence, coercion and/or intimidation.  And because of this, these poor children often don’t say anything because they believe in these threats from the perpetrators.

DID YOU KNOW…

  • Child sexual exploitation doesn’t just happen to girls.  It happens to boys too.  But boys are less likely to report it.
  • Child sexual exploitation is not only done by male offenders – females can be involved too.
  • Child sexual exploitation does not just happen in specific cultural communities or ethnicities.  It happens in all races, and across all cultures.
  • If you think child exploitation just happens to children in care, think again.  It can happen to children of doctors, lawyers, teachers and in fact, any ordinary family.
  • And child sexual exploitation doesn’t just happen in inner city poor areas.  It happens in both urban and rural areas.
  • Child exploitation can happen at any age – even as young as 4!   But most happen later on (peak at age 15).

Grooming is a type of child sexual exploitation where the perpertators use a gradual process (over a few days to several years) to get young people to do sexual things or have sexual things done to them.  There are different types of grooming.

  • In Street Grooming or Peer on Peer grooming, a friend will get another friend into the sexual exploitation game.  They do it for a number of reasons – for instance, their perpetrators may give them an easier time if they do, or may punish them even more if they don’t.
  • In the ‘Boyfriend’ model of grooming, the boyfriend initially treats his new girlfriend like a queen – showering her with compliments and gifts.  Of course, she falls in love with him.   He then (gradually) gets her to do sexual activities with him.   Then, over time, he’ll introduce a friend, and then more friends.  And then, before she knows it, the girl can’t get out because the boyfriend will have a hold on her (e.g. ‘I’m going to post this dirty photos of you on facebook and your parents will be the first to know’ or ‘If you go, then I’ll start on your younger sister next’ and so on).
  • In the ‘Party’ model of grooming, a party is arranged where the young person is enticed to want to be a part of and do what everyone else is doing – like drinks, drugs and before you know it, sex.
  • And of course, there is internet grooming through chat sites and other organised/networked sexual exploitation or trafficking.
  • It’s not uncommon for young people to take indecent images of themselves and send this (via a mobile) to a boy or girl friend.
  • However, if they are under 18, they are committing an offence.  Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is illegal to distribute or even hold indecent images of a person under the age of 18.  These under 18 year olds are usually not aware that they are committing an offence.
  • Girls are more likely to be asked for a picture than boys.    Boys are far more likely to volunteer one!   Girls ‘sext’ to gain attention or to please boys.  Boys ask for images because they can and will ask girls until one sends one.
  • Furthermore, any adult (18 or over) who sends an indecent image of themselves to someone under the age of 18 will also have committed an illegal act and are liable to prosecution. So, a 42 y old man who sends an unwarranted picture of his penis to a 17 y old girl (or boy) has committed an illegal act.

Did you know that most child abuse happens under cover and very little of it gets picked up because the perpetrators are so clever in keeping things hidden.  If we are to fight this, we all need to pull together.   Therefore child protection is everyone’s responsibility and everyone’s business. We all have a duty of care for children and young people.   You have a moral and social responsibility to report a concern about a vulnerable person.  Reporting it might protect them and save their life. General Practice is a public service and anyone who works in it are the eyes and ears of the local community.

Anyone who works in General Practice (not just doctors and nurses, but admin staff, cleaners and so on) will usually come into contact with parents and their children.  Therefore, you may come across instances which raise concern.  Please flag any concerns – even if they are just little concerns – because these sorts of things are best explored rather than ‘hoping for the best’.  Let a GP or Nurse know.   Examples – dad swearing at a child, mum pulling on a child’s arm hard, mum insists on being with teenager etc.

  1. Family problems: Any child who comes from a family where there are big problems (like divorce, breakups, domestic violence, bad arguments, a broken home or even the death of a parent/sibling) is likely to be neglected in terms of love and security and therefore prone to seeking this elsewhere.
  2. Children who are looked after or have mental health issues, in a similar way, are vulnerable because they too seek love and security.
  3. Children who have learning disabilities are at risk of being preyed upon and being taken advantage of.
  4. The children of refuges, asylum seekers and migrants may get caught up in exploitation in trying to earn money.
  5. Those children who are homeless (either kicked out by parents or runaway themselves) are vulnerable because they may need accomodation, food or money.
  6. Children of adult sex workers are vulenrable at being made to follow their parent’s footsteps at an early age.
  7. And dont forget children who are drinking, taking drugs or involved in crime are also vulnerable and therefore more likely to be at risk of being preyed upon.

If you have ‘soft concerns’ about a child, please record this in SystmOne – under the Child Safeguarding template.   Remember to keep the entry short and concise – detail exactly what your soft concern is.   If you don’t know how to do this, then please get in touch with the practice’s lead for Child Protection.

Examples of soft concerns – ‘small bruise on arm – mum says banged herself against the door, no other alarm features or previous concerns’, ‘mum wanted checking over, child fell down stairs, small bruise left leg, otherwise okay and smiling’, ‘mum says child pointing to itching down below’, ‘receptionist saw mum shouting ?harshly at child’

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