Ministry of Life Child Protection Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for all persons working with children and/or young/vulnerable adults, in a voluntary or paid capacity. It is important that all these persons recognise their duty to care and, wherever possible, to protect vulnerable groups from abuse.
2.0 Definition of Child Abuse:
It is generally agreed that:- “an abused child is a boy or girl under the age of 18 who has suffered physical injury; neglect, emotional or sexual abuse, which the person or persons who had custody, charge or care of the child either caused or knowingly failed to prevent.”
Categories of Abuse: Socially & medically assessed components become the criteria to decide entry in the child protection register. They are:-
2.1 Physical Abuse;
Physical damage which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, burning
2.2 Possible Indicators of Physical Abuse
Black eyes; Bruising; Grasp marks; Finger marks; Uncommon sites for accidental bruises; Burns; Bites;
2.3 Neglect & Failure to Thrive:
Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, often resulting in impairment of the child’s development/health. This could include failure to receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, physical protection or medical care. Development is impaired when insufficient love, warmth, care, concern, praise, encouragement or stimulation exist.
2.4 Possible Indicators of Neglect
Dirty appearance, clothes, skin, hair Exceptional hunger Inadequately dressed Thin/underweight
2.5 Emotional Abuse:
This often has severe and lasting damage on emotional and behavioural development. It is caused by a child’s need for love, security, encouragement etc not being met.
2.6 Possible Indicators of Emotional Abuse;
Low self-esteem Apathy Nervousness/clingy
2.7 Sexual Abuse;
The exploitation of a child/young person by an older person by involving them is a sexual activity they do not comprehend and therefore are unable to give informed consent. Abusers use bribes, threats, physical force in persuasion. Abuse is defined as actual/attempted fondling, masturbation, penetration, exhibitionism, voyeurism.
2.8 Possible Indicators of Sexual Abuse;
It is worth noting that both behavioural and physical signs may indicate sexual abuse, however many children show no signs. Discomfort in private areas; Recurrent urinary problems Inappropriate knowledge/behaviour for child’s age. Preoccupation with sexual matters, drawings, language play etc. Running away Suicide attempts/self harm Poor concentration Provocative behaviour around adults Depression Desire to make self-unattractive
3.0 Disclosure of Abuse:
Should a young person disclose he/she has been/is being abused this information must be passed on to the contact Person at Ministry of Life: Jonathan Gunter - Office Hours: 02920 303070; Outside of office hours: 07876273473 or the appointed deputy – Michael Ivins if Jonathan is not immediately available. This person will contact the appropriate authority.
Staff member guidelines below –
• Listen rather than directly question the child, (this is the job of professionals)
• Encourage permission for another adult to be present (a witness may be needed)
• Reassure young person they’re not to blame & right to tell
• Tell them you have to pass the information to another person (keep their trust)
• Keep any drawings/paintings of what has happened to them (evidence)
• Make written record with timing, setting, persons present etc. (evidence)
• Stop a child freely recalling events or interrupt
• Put words into child’s mouth/lead the conversation.
• Show shock or distress
• Expose child to mass examination by staff verifying injuries.
It is important to remember
• We all share a responsibility to ensure that children at risk are protected from harm.
• You should never assume that somebody else would recognise and report when children are at risk.
• All those reporting their concerns have a right to be assured these will be fully investigated.
4.0 Protecting Yourself
Sometimes false accusations are made, and therefore it doesn’t make sense to...
• Spend excessive time with 1 child away from other people
• Close doors to rooms when with an individual
• Be out of sight with 1 child for unnecessary amount of time
• Take a child on a car journey however short (if unavoidable, use a mobile phone/ask another person to time your journey, and back)
• Take children to your home
• Engage in horseplay, rough physical games except structured sport.
• Allow or engage in inappropriate touching, tickling
• Allow youngsters to use inappropriate, suggestive language unchallenged.
• Make suggestive remarks, tease even in fun
• Do things of a personal nature a young person can do for him/herself.
5.0 Use of Images
• Only staff from the project or designated volunteers are authorised to take photographs or footage at events organised by Ministry of Life.
• At large public events signage will be displayed explaining that photos will be taken during the event and that people should contact a member of staff if they do not wish to appear in photos.
• For smaller group work with Young People photos will only be used when parental/ guardian consent has been given.
6.0 Contact Details
Contact details of young people may only be collected by paid staff and authorised volunteers. These details will remain with Ministry of Life at all times and volunteers wishing to contact young people must do so from the project using the project’s resources.
7.0 Training & CRB requirements
• All volunteers/staff working within the organisation will be `police-checked’ for suitability on an annual basis through the Criminal Records Bureau and will receive child protection training as part of their induction.
• In the instance of a volunteer/ staff member starting work ahead of a completed CRB check they may only work if they are supervised by another person who has been CRB checked and completed child protection training.
• Volunteers will also be able to access other relevant training paid for by the organisation and will be required to complete a training needs assessment form
Helpful Contacts; NSPCC Child Protection Helplne-24 hours (free) 0800 - 800500 Childline UK 0800 – 1111
Social Services Intake and Assessment Team 029 2053 6400 - during office hours Emergency Duty Team 029 2044 8360 - out of office hours
Emergency Contact Sheet Telephone Number and Address of centre
Ministry of Life 1st Floor, 22 Harold Street, Adamsdown Cardiff, Telephone: 02920 303070
Emergency Contacts – Health and Safety – Names & Numbers Doctors Four Elms Medical Centre 02920
489292 Hospital University Hospital of Wales 02920 747747
Local Police Station Central 02920 222 111
Fire Station Central 01443 232565 Caretaker (if applicable) N/A Other
Emergency Contacts – Child Protection – Names & Numbers Local Social Services Intake & Assessment 02920 563400 Local Area Child Protection Team As above
Out of hours 02920 448 360 (also for POVA) Police Station Central 02920 222 111 Designated Child Protection Officer Jonathan Gunter
02920303070/07876273473 Childline 0800 1111 NSPCC 0808 800 5000 NSPCC Asian Helpline 0800 096 7719 NSPCC Cymru Wales 0808 100 2524