In situations where harm or abuse is suspected settings have the duty of working with other professional authorities and agencies.
They must ensure that all of their staff and practitioners are aware that any information shared outside of the setting is shared with the safety and welfare of the child in mind. They must confirm that all their practitioners are following the correct procedures and not ignoring any policies that would put the child at risk. They must guarantee that the appropriate agencies are contacted at the correct time of need. They should also make certain all of their recordings and observations are detailed and accurate.
Similarly, if the information Is not shared to the appropriate agencies that would help the child the, they are not doing their duty and going against many legislations. It is compulsory that the setting provides easy step by steps on how to contact the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LCSB) which was established alongside the Children Act in 2004, following the death of Victoria Clime who died for abuse. Each county has a board that is the main organisation that help/support and work together to safeguard children. They also assist setting in making decisions and providing them with advice during certain situations. ? ConfidentialityIt is the responsibility of any practitioner to make sure that only those who have the right to know about any information on a child should know or have access to their records. It is important that no information is shared with those that have no legal authority, for example any family friend or even a visitor attending the setting. Some situations would require the sharing of sensitive information.
It is the role of a practitioner to explain to parents/carers when they register the child that in some cases they may have to breach confidentiality, they should also provide them with a form to sign that acknowledges their understanding of the circumstances in which confidential information may be shared without their consent. A setting is obliged to share confidential information without authorisation from the person who provided it, if it concerns the welfare of the child. Any information on a child should only ever be collected and stored with consent from the parents/carers.
This information should only be shared between professionals with parental consent. The only exception of this being if a child was at harm or at risk of danger if the parent’s permission was considered.? Non-judgemental conductIt is important that all settings emphasise the importance of observing the rights of the both the children and their parents/carers. All settings should place importance on how their practitioners must act professionally in all cases of suspected and known abuse. This would mean that the practitioners are aware that they must take all the required steps when a child discloses something or when they suspect something.
All practitioners are required to not pass any personal opinions on the situations, or even discuss it unnecessarily within the setting and ensure that they keep all of their knowledge within the setting only. It is also their duty to ensure that they keep the child safe from harm, therefor everything they do has an influence on the welfare of the child. Practitioners should also make sure that they do not prompt any questions that could influence the story of the child as they would be putting pressure on the child which would in turn make the story be less accurate and more influenced.
They must make sure that everything they record is in the words of the child only, so that any decisions are based on an accurate source.? Support for children and familiesWhen it comes to safeguarding it is important to take into account the rights of the children that could potentially be affected by the decisions being made. The children have the right to be protected against significant harm, this would mean that there could be breach of confidentiality to guarantee that the right of the child is acknowledged. They also have the right to not have to go through unnecessary and repetitive medical examinations or intimidating questions, as this will have an impact on their emotional wellbeing and would add stress to their emotions.
Another right the child has is being kept informed on what is happening regarding the situation and they should be informed of anything that involves them. Also they have the right to highlights their opinions and views and these should be acknowledged by those making the decisions. The most important right the child holds is the right to confidentiality, their records and observations, including any accounts they have provided should only be shared where appropriate. Anyone handling the situations must ensure that any information passed around is done appropriately and only shared with professionals who have the duty of abiding by the data protections act.
With the children in mind, practitioners should also be aware that parents and families have the right to be informed of what is being said to address the situation, they also should be aware of where the information is being shared and should be assured confidentiality. They also have the right to give their own opinions and accounts on the situation. Just like the child they have the right to confidentiality so any information shared should stay within the data protection act and all policies and procedures should not be ignored.
On the other hand, if a child is at a greater risk from suspected abuse from the parents/carers, they don’t have these rights.