For the purposes of this policy the definition of a ‘child’ or ‘young person’ is anyone aged under 18 years of age. Child protection means protecting a child from child abuse or neglect or from a likelihood of harm from abuse of neglect.
By abuse or neglect of a child we mean:
- Physical abuse - includes hitting, shaking, burning, drowning and cutting - this type of abuse may be easier to identify.
- Physical neglect - the signs can be a child who is under fed, poorly clothed and with poor hygiene.
- Sexual abuse - this may be more difficult to identify unless you have directly observed the abuse taking place. Some signs would include the child behaving in an inappropriate sexual manner or using inappropriate sexual language.
- Emotional abuse - the signs of this include a child who feels frightened or in danger, a child who is constantly criticised, ignored or humiliated.
It may be that you are worried about a child because of the behaviour of an adult who is caring for them or involved in their life. The adult may act in a violent way to other adults, within or out with the household; use drugs or alcohol chaotically; struggle to manage mental health problems.
All volunteers or staff are encouraged to share concerns with the GBC Protection Officer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the situation is clearly an urgent case, the child is too frightened to go home, or we have very serious doubts about the child’s safety, we will contact Social Work Services or Police immediately
- REPORT: If you suspect or witness abuse or it is reported to you and you are not sure if it is harm or abuse? If it does not look or sound right, or your gut feeling is that it is harmful, the starting point is to report it
- REFER: If serious harm, sexual abuse or a crime is suspected, immediately contact the police or social work. Do not investigate
- Hand write a factual RECORD of what you have seen and heard, immediately
Your first concern is the safety and wellbeing of the child. Do not be distracted from this by loyalty to the person who has been accused or your desire to maintain the good name of Triratna Glasgow Buddhist Centre. If you think the child is in immediate danger phone social work or police straight away.