Child Protection Policy
Working within Howard House School will bring staff into situations, where they are faced with children and young people who have been, or are suspected to have been abused. Great care and sensitivity is needed in these situations.
Our organisation has a hard copy of Northumberland’s Procedures regarding Child Protection and any other local authorities that place young people with us are available and regularly reviewed on the staff computer desktop. Although these should be consulted and the child’s authority notified we will always follow our own procedure and notify Northumberland LADO whenever a child protection situation is suspected.
Children involved in prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation should be treated primarily as the victims of abuse and their needs require careful assessment. They are likely to be in need of welfare services, and in many cases, protection under the Children Act 1989. The problem is often hidden from view. Local Safeguarding Children’s Board’s should actively enquire into the extent to which there is a local problem, and should not assume that it is not a local issue.
The home office and the dept of Health jointly published draft guidance in December 1998 on children involved in prostitution. The guidance promotes an approach whereby agencies should work together to:
Recognise the Problem
Treat the child primarily as a victim of abuse
Safeguard the children involved and promote their welfare
Provide children with strategies to leave prostitution; and
Investigate and prosecute those who coerce, exploit and abuse children
Encourage – Achieve - Aspire
Children involved in prostitution may be difficult to reach, and under very strong pressure to remain in prostitution. They may be fearful of being involved with the police or social services, and may respond best initially to informal contact from health or voluntary sector outreach workers. Gaining the child’s trust and confidence is vital if he or she is to be helped to be safe and well, and diverted from prostitution.
Everyone employed in Howard House School will be alert to the possibility of abuse by other children, visitors and members of staff.
Policies and managerial procedures will openly recognise the possibility of abuse and
must prevent the creation of circumstances which could encourage abuse.
If information is received that a child is suffering, or has suffered abuse, the action to
be taken will be the same as with any other suspected abuse.
Staff will have training in the recognition of child abuse.
The procedures for reporting any safeguarding concerns/incidents are held in the staff office in a red file marked “Howard House Organisation Child Protection Procedure”. All staff should sign to say they have read and fully understand the procedure.
Reviewed: March 2019
Next Review: March 2020