What measures does your school have in place for ensuring that a child-centred approach is employed during any safeguarding issues? (You may wish to refer to your school’s Child Protection or Safeguarding policy). The child centred approach to safeguarding means that the child is involved in the process, meetings and asked their opinions. Their views and feelings are taken on, and sometimes challenged, as they would an adult. This means children develop the ability to discuss their views openly and with confidence. With regards to safeguarding this means recording any allegations made in the same way you would if they were made by an adult. My setting is very clear in its guidelines regarding how to record disclosures from children and young adults. The student is not to be lead in anyway during a disclosure.
The staff member should listen and not interrupt but if the opportunity arises they should reassure the student they have done the right thing. The staff member should not promise to keep the information confidential and explain to the student that for their safety they have to report the allegation to the Safeguarding Children and Young People Team as it is a legal duty. The staff member should simply establish the fact before passing them on. It is important at this stage to accept what the student is saying and once you’re clear that there is a real issue raise it with the Child Protection Officer. Our setting provides a form to fill out for this type of situation on which to record the conversation and any visible injuries on the student that may be relevant. Any allegation that is passed on will need to be investigated and challenged as part of the process. Appropriate support for the student is provided during this process to ensure they feel supported throughout the process. Explain the importance of having this procedure in place.
It is important that all staff members understand how to deal with any disclosure made for the emotionally and psychological benefit of the student. Any ambiguity can lead to misunderstandings regarding the students feeling and wishes with regards to the situation. Supporting students through what would be a highly emotional and difficult time is paramount to my settings policy. It is however made clear that challenging and investigating claims is an important part of the process. Providing a child centred approach that allows the student to be clear in their opinions and
facts’ regarding a situation in turn enables the setting to ensure their response is appropriate and reflective of the student’s place in the situation. A child centred approach means the students is more likely to feel supported and establish trust. This trust will be crucial if the allegations lead to professionals making decisions about interventions and future placements with the student.