Passionate about inclusion

Our Key Policies

Integrating Children Safeguarding Policy

Statement of Policy

At Integrating Children we believe that every child and young person deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential. ‘Every Child Matters’ (2003) outlines five key outcomes for children and young people to:

  • Stay safe
  • Be healthy
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution to their community and society
  • Achieve economic wellbeing

As such, Integrating Children provides services in an environment where,

  • Adults and children are expected to treat one another with dignity, respect, sensitivity and fairness
  • Children and Young People are safeguarded and their welfare promoted and
  • Any suspicion of abuse or maltreatment is responded to appropriately and promptly.

These expectations, safeguards and protections apply to all children in equal measure. The children supported through Integrating Children are disabled and may present greater vulnerability which needs to be understood and protected. See “Disabled Children” tab - Excerpt from ‘Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures, Safeguarding Disabled Children & Young People’.<br />

Safeguarding children and young people

The Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board defines safeguarding and promoting a child’s welfare as:<br />

  • Protecting children from maltreatment.
  • Preventing impairment of children&rsquo;s health or development.
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

Undertaking that role so as to enable children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

Integrating Children will strive to achieve these standards and view this policy as being underpinned by ‘Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures. (www.durham-lscb.gov.uk)

This policy is required to be followed by all trustees, staff and volunteers and all will receive induction awareness and training. Staff will be supported to meet standards but should they fail to do so they may be subject to disciplinary processes.

Safeguarding is a positive action

The most effective way of creating a safe organisation is to constantly work towards a positive proactive culture. In order to achieve this, we will:

1. Exclude known abusers from having contact with children

It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the organisation that any paid or voluntary position is exempt from the provision of the 'Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974' and is subject to an enhanced disclosure check undertaken through the Criminal Records Bureau together with additional information on relevant non-conviction information, e.g. police intelligence, health and education employment checks. All applicants for work within Integrating Children, whether voluntary or paid will be subject two positive references, and be interviewed before an appointment is made. Information will also be sought from the applicant's previous employer. In cases of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, satisfactory explanations will be sought. All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the organisation is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children. Data for disclosures and where enhanced disclosures are sought will be obtained from local police forces throughout the United Kingdom. An index of Adults Unsuitable to Work with Children will be consulted. The Act places a duty on employers to refer people to the index if they have harmed children or put children at risk of harm. It will be an offence to employ anyone on the list to work with children.

2. Training Staff

Integrating Children will ensure that all staff and volunteers have knowledge of and access to the Child Protection Guidelines for 'Difficult Learning' Workers. We will seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the group to ensure that they recognize the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Documentary evidence of course attended will be kept.

3. Preventing abuse through good practice

All staff and volunteers will be registered with the Local Council Care Commission. Adults who have not been vetted and gone through Integrating Children’s selection procedures for example Parents or Trustees will not be left in sole charge of children other than their own children and these individuals will be supervised at all times by the staff member responsible for the activity. Staff and volunteers will not be left alone for long periods with an individual or with small groups. Staff or volunteers who need to take an individual aside for any reason will alert another member of staff to monitor the length of absence. The Staff: child ratios as outlined in the National Care Standards will be adhered to at all times and Individuals will not be left alone with visitors to the group. Individuals will be collected from the activity by an adult authorised by parents to do so. There are no circumstances in which an individual will be punished by smacking, slapping or shaking. Neither will adults humiliate or use frightening methods of punishment e.g. ridicule or exclusion. All individuals will be respected, listened to and encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable the individuals to have self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches. All individuals will be encouraged to be confident in dealing with personal hygiene needs. 'Accidents' will be dealt with in a sensitive manner.

4. Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse

a. Any changes in an individual child’s behaviour or appearance will be monitored and acted upon.
b. Initially any concerns will be raised with the Team Leader supervising the activity who will provide advice and take action if appropriate.
c. The Team Leader should, if there is any doubt, contact the Operations Coordinator for advice.
d. Child Protection regulations (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010) expects that any concern regarding a child will have been discussed with the family and they will have consented to the referrer taking the matter further. The issue of consent may be dispensed with, if, it would place the child or another person at further risk of harm.
e. The Team Leader should decide who would be the best person to approach the parent in this situation, referring to the Operations Coordinator in any cases of doubt or concern.
f. At any time any member of Integrating Children staff can contact the Trustees responsible for Safeguarding - see Annex B (page 15) to this policy for contact details.
g. The trustees responsible for Safeguarding may instruct the member of staff to contact County Durham’s Initial Response Service which, ensures that
anyone contacting Initial Response will be able to discuss their concerns relating to a child/young person with a qualified social worker upon request
any action taken or recommended by Initial Response will be based on clear information and analysis of risk and has the child/young person at the heart of any decisions made about them
ensures that the person making contact with the service knows what action is being taken and the timescales for any activity
provides a timely and appropriate response to the concerns that have been identified, and
ensures children, young people and families are fully engaged in any assessment we carry out
  The basic information needed when contacting Initial Response includes:
name, address and date of birth of child
what is the nature of the concern
how has the concern come about
what impact is this having on the child/young person and their family
what is the referrer's involvement with the child/young person and their family any other information regarding the family which may be helpful.
  In exceptional circumstances, Initial Response may contact other agencies to clarify the information given at this stage without consent if they consider that a child or young person may be at risk of harm. Initial Response will always make contact with the family where contact details are known to discuss the nature of the concerns raised and, where appropriate, agree to a social worker from Initial Response carrying out an assessment of need. A qualified social worker from Initial Response will be responsible for carrying out an assessment of need in partnership with the child, young person and their family, involving other agencies who may also be involved with the family, with the overall aim of supporting families to meet any identified need in relation to their child. In this way, we aim to ensure that every child or young person who lives in County Durham is healthy and safe; is enjoying and achieving, is making a positive contribution and where appropriate, is achieving economic well being. Contacting Initial Response Initial Response can be contacted by telephone and email - Initial Response Team Suite 4, Abbeywoods Business Park Pity Me, County Durham DH1 5TH Email: scd@durham.gov.uk Tel: 0845 850 5010 Text: 07786 027 280 Fax:0191 383 5752 A full record of any child protection activity will be made by the person initiating the action and passed to the Operations Coordinator within one working day who will copy the Trustee responsible for Safeguarding within a further one working day. The Trustee responsible for Safeguarding will report to the Board of Trustees at each meeting on any incidents and issues. In cases which may attract public or media attention the Chair of Trustees should be contacted and appropriate communications and other action be drawn up.

5. Keeping records

Whenever worrying changes are observed in an individual’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from the usual ongoing records of the individual’s progress and development. The record will include, in addition to the name, address and age of the individual- timed and dated observations describing objectively the individual’s behaviour and appearance, without comment or interpretation; and where possible the exact words spoken by the individual; the dated name and signature of the recorder. Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people in the organisation other than to specified personnel as appropriate. The group will specify clearly in writing the person[s] identified as having access to information and to the secure files. These names will be reviewed, annually at least, and any changes recorded.

6. Liaison with other bodies

Integrating Children operates in accordance with Care Commission and Local Authority guidelines. Confidential records, kept on individuals about whom the organisation is anxious, will be shared with the Initial Response or Social Work Department if the organisation feels that adequate explanations for changes in the individual’s condition have not been provided. Integrating Children will maintain ongoing contact with the local authority, including names, addresses and telephone numbers of individual’s social workers, to ensure that it would be easy, in any emergency, for the organisation and the Social Work Department to work well together. The charity will ensure they are up to date with reporting procedures. Contact details will also be kept of the local child Protection Officer, Social Work department and other agencies as appropriate.

7. Support for families

Integrating Children will seek to build up trusting and supportive relations between families and staff and volunteers in the organisation. Where abuse at home is suspected, the organisation will continue to welcome the attendee individual and family while investigations proceed. Confidential records kept on an individual will be shared with that individual’s parent or carer. With the provision that the care and safety of the individual must always be paramount, the organisation will do all in its power to support and work with the family. A copy of this policy will be displayed on the public notice board and posted on Integrating Children’s website. All parents will be informed of the policy at least annually. All workers and Trustees will be provided with copies of this policy and made aware of its content.

8. Race and Culture

Children from all cultures are subject to abuse and neglect. Culture is not a reason or excuse for children’s right to grow up safe from harm. In order to make sensitive and informed professional judgments about a child's needs, and parents' capacity to respond to their child's needs, it is important that professionals are sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and to child rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. At the same time they must be clear that child abuse cannot be condoned for religious or cultural reasons. For further information see the Race and Culture link.

For any group to function effectively there must be an agreed framework of agreed rules, which are the basis for discipline and acceptable behaviour.

Integrating Children therefore recognises that it has a duty to safeguard the well being of users and that rules should contribute to providing a safe stimulating environment in which an individual’s potential for learning and development is at its best. The purpose of the rules is to enable all individuals to flourish.

By promoting good behaviour, valuing co-operation and a caring attitude the group aims to help individuals develop a sense of responsibility and well being for themselves and others. At Integrating Children we aim to treat everyone as an individual whilst encouraging self-awareness and an appreciation of how an individual's actions will affect others. With this in mind, we will:

  • Establish community rules which set out the codes of conduct and behaviour expected in the group.
  • Endeavour to include all individuals, as well as the parents/carers, in the drawing up of ground rules.
  • Inform parents, carers and individuals of the rules and will check that they are understood and accepted.
  • Provide explanations for why a particular rule should be respected. Encourage all adults to provide positive role models by showing consideration, good manners and respect to and for others.
  • Praise and encourage acceptable behaviour.
  • Provide opportunities for freedom, self expression and exploration without threatening the, enjoyment of others.
  • Help an individual develop a good self-image and acquire self-discipline.
  • Understand age/stage appropriate behaviour patterns.
  • Be able to differentiate between deliberate and accidental occurrences.
  • Use appropriate language and establish eye contact when talking to an individual in the group.
  • Deal sensitively with anyone who breaches the codes.
  • Work with parents and carers to promote acceptable behaviour.
  • Review the rules periodically to ensure they are still appropriate.
We recognise that sometimes, despite the best efforts of staff and volunteers, some individuals will transgress and some form of discipline or sanction has to be applied.

In such circumstances disapproval of the action is registered immediately. Disapproval may take the form of:

  • A warning
  • Saying &lsquo;no&rsquo;. When saying &lsquo;no&rsquo; say clearly what behaviour you expect e.g. sit there, stand still – rather than leaving them with a negative message e.g. don&rsquo;t do that. Consider the level at which the child understands and processes language and amend your communication accordingly e.g. gain eye contact, speak slowly, use fewer words.
  • Removing the individual from the scene for a short period of time.
  • Once the incident has been dealt with, adults will build bridges to enable the individual or individuals to reintegrate positively with the group and the people involved
  • In certain circumstances the activity may need to be curtailed and parents contacted early to collect their child.

When an individuals behaviour is giving rise to concern, the group will make every effort to understand why that individual is acting that way and will consult with the parents or carers to identify ways in which the individual can be supported. Confidentiality will always be respected. When an individual’s behaviour is giving rise to concern, the group will make every effort to understand why that individual is acting that way and will consult with the parents or carers to identify ways in which the individual can be supported.

Staff or volunteers will never smack, shake, humiliate, isolate, threaten or make any individual to feel unwanted or undervalued by any adult whilst in the care of the group.

Aggression

Integrating Children’s policy on aggression and violence is – Zero Tolerance. Any person employed by or acting as a volunteer who displays aggressive behaviour or is violent towards any other person whilst working with Integrating Children will be subject to disciplinary procedure and/or a report to the police.

In the event of violence or aggressive behaviour, from other members of staff or members of the public, then the following actions must be taken:

  • Attempt to calm the violent or aggressive person by talking to them. Be clear, but not confrontational.
  • If the situation does not calm down attempt to walk away.
  • Try to ensure that other members of staff are aware of the problem.
  • Do not offer any physical resistance. Where violence is threatened give the person what they have demanded.
  • After the incident is over, write down the time and essential details and description of the person, including noticeable tattoos, marks, accent, etc. All involved staff should do this.
  • Discuss the incident with the manager and other staff in a considered manner.
If anyone is in danger of being harmed or the incident is causing distressed the police should be called by getting a staff member to dial 999. The member of staff responsible for the activity should ascertain whether medical help is required for any victims. The incident should be reported to the Operations Manager immediately who will,
  • Ensure that everybody has recovered from the incident; if not consider seeking professional help for post incident support.
  • If appropriate, report the details to the police.
  • Gather all the information regarding the incident by interviewing those involved as well as any independent witnesses.
  • Consider whether disciplinary action is necessary [internal disputes].
  • Consider whether the incident was handled in the most appropriate manner, or whether there are lessons to be learned for the future.
  • Ensure you disseminate any lessons learned to all staff.
  • Ensure that appropriate records of the incident are kept in the Health and Safety manual. Personal details must be kept separate to comply with the Data Protection Act.
  • Where physical violence has been used you must report the incident to the H.S.E. under RIDDOR.
A report should be forwarded within three working days to the Chair of Trustees who will report all such incidents to the Board of Trustees.

During an attempted robbery all staff are instructed to comply with the robbers demands if violence is remotely probable. [Refer to the instructions on Aggression and Violence detailed previously]. The Health and Safety of staff is our prime consideration. At all times staff must follow the Organisation's policy procedures on Aggression.

Late collection of a child

The following procedures shall be put into action if a child’s nominated guardian/parent is late or has failed to pick up a child from the activity.

If the nominated guardian/parent is late in picking up the child from the agreed pick up point, the senior person on duty shall,

  1. Wait approximately fifteen minutes,
  2. Attempt to contact the guardian/parent on their nominated contact number. One member of staff shall remain with the child until such times that the child has been collected by the nominated guardian/parent.
  3. If the nominated guardian/parent cannot be contacted, the senior member of staff shall try to contact the secondary contact number and arrange for the child to be safely picked up by the nominated secondary person.
  4. If in the unlikely event that neither the nominated or the secondary nominated guardian/parent is contactable, a member of staff shall be appointed to remain with the child for a reasonable time, after which time the Charity shall be left with no alternative but to notify the Local Authority through the Initial Response Team.
  5. If the nominated or secondary nominated guardian/parent has not picked up the child by the time the local agent from the contacted agency has turned up at the Charity premises then the safety of the child shall be handed over to the local agent. The Charity shall make available to the contacted agency all the relevant details for the child, such as: Childs Address, Nominated telephone contact numbers, Names and address of secondary contact, Contact details of duty Charity personnel. All parents/guardians shall be made aware of this policy and the procedures outlined.

The nominated guardian/parent must supply in writing all details necessary to ensure the safe collection of their child from the charity, this should include: All necessary telephone numbers, Names and addresses of all nominated people they wish to collect the child on their behalf, Names and addresses of a secondary contact they authorise the charity to contact for the collection of the child.<br />

Missing child

All due care and consideration is taken by Integrating Children to ensure the safety of the child at all times, not only whilst under constant supervision within the charity premises, but especially when out on field trips or visits.

In the unlikely event of a child going missing the following procedures will immediately be put in action and all appropriate steps taken.<

  1. Upon notification from a member of staff or other child that an individual is missing, the senior member of staff shall assembly all children and staff in one area for roll-call/head count.
  2. Two members of staff shall be detailed to search the last known area that the missing individual was sighted.
  3. The senior member of staff shall immediately inform the charity office of the incident.
  4. If necessary the Charity office shall arrange for additional personnel to assist in the immediate search area.
  5. The Charity office shall also have in place a procedure to notify the individuals parent/guardian, police, and local authority if the individual has not been located after the initial search.
  6. If necessary a copy of the appropriate outing risk assessment shall be made available to the local authority, detailing what identification labels the individual was wearing and details of description, clothes and any health and/or disability the individual may have.
  7. If individual is found, then this action can be stopped immediately and a report with statements filed in the Charity risk assessment manual.

If in the unlikely event that the individual is not found, the Charity office shall arrange:

  • For the parents/guardians of all other children to be notified and the children collected as quickly as possible from the area or Charity premises.
  • The Charity shall liaise with the police and offer all and any assistance necessary to ensure the safe return of the missing individual.
  • The Charity staff members shall make themselves available to assist in searches or any other way that the police request.

These procedures shall be used in conjunction with all appropriate risk assessment and shall be review on a regular basis to take in to consideration the age group, mental awareness of the group and any associated disabilities of the group.

Integrating Children’s Health and Safety Policy and Procedures are contained in a separate Policy Document maintained at the charity’s office. This is open for inspection on request by parents or others with a legitimate interest.

At Integrating Children we are committed to delivering a quality service to all our members. We aim to take effective action to ensure that standards are upheld. We believe that an effective complaint procedure can contribute to the quality and effectiveness of our service. We have set out a procedure for parents and carers to register a complaint about any aspect of the group. Complaints should be registered constructively and every effort will be made to resolve them at an early stage.

What is a complaint?

We consider this to be anything a parent or carer wishes to call a complaint and can be about any aspect of the running of the group. As there is no strict definition of what constitutes a complaint, if there is any doubt, the parent or carer will be asked directly if they are registering a complaint.

Open access

Whatever the circumstance, the management will have a duty to inform parents and carers of their right to complain in line with the Complaints Comments and Compliments Procedure, including a right to appeal. The complaint will be fully investigated and acted upon. A complaint will always have a response. No member of staff or management will be a judge in his/her own case. Staff and management have the assurance that all stages of the procedure they will be allowed to present their side of the case.

Swift resolution of the complaint

Within 28 days after the registration of the complaint or a shorter period as may be reasonable in the circumstances, the originator of the complaint will be informed of the action [if any] that is to be taken. Delays will be avoided and any times stated will be regarded as a maximum. If delays are unavoidable then the originator will be informed of the reason and any revised timings. Whilst responding to a complaint is a matter of priority, it will not be at the expense of the need for understanding and fairness.

Safeguarding children and young people

The Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board defines safeguarding and promoting a child’s welfare as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment.
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development.
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

Undertaking that role so as to enable children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

Integrating Children will strive to achieve these standards and view this policy as being underpinned by ‘Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures. www.durham-lscb.gov.uk

This policy is required to be followed by all trustees, staff and volunteers and all will receive induction awareness and training. Staff will be supported to meet standards but should they fail to do so they may be subject to disciplinary processes.

Possible Indicators of Abuse

Disabled children can, of course, be abused and neglected in the same way as non-disabled children, however they can also be abused in ways that other children cannot. In addition to this the early indicators suggestive of abuse or neglect can be more complicated for practitioners to recognise and understand.

  1. Professionals in all agencies who come into contact with disabled children and young people are in a position to identify indicators that the child may be suffering or may be at risk of significant harm. They need to have a greater awareness of the possible indicators of abuse or neglect as the situation can often become more complex. Guidance regarding how to respond to such situations is provided in Section 5 of the Durham Child Protection Procedures which apply equally to disabled children and young people. A child/young person&rsquo;s disability should always be considered when considering whether significant harm might be indicated. For example a bruise in a site that might not be of concern on an ambulant child/ young person, such as the shin, might be of concern on a non-mobile child/young person.
  2. Disabled children and young people they may also be at risk of being abused in other ways including:
    1. Force feeding or inappropriate feeding, which would include withholding food or not using prescribed food
    2. Their personal care needs may not be met adequately, e.g. a child who smears or soils is left in unhygienic conditions
    3. Physical restraint being carried out unnecessarily or not in accordance with available guidelines
    4. Rough handling, this would include for example disproportionate use of force when dressing or undressing a child
    5. Extreme behaviour modification including the deprivation of clothing, medication or food, limiting movement, restricting freedoms, being locked in or confined in small spaces (see section on restrictive practices below).
    6. Misuse of medication, sedation, heavy tranquillisation or withholding medication against medical advice
    7. Being denied access to medical treatment
    8. Deliberate misapplication of programmes or regimes, this would include for example Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist guidance advice not being followed which may result in the child experiencing complications in the future
    9. Deliberate misuse of ill-fitting equipment e.g. calipers, sleep board which may cause injury or pain, inappropriate splinting
    10. They may be more vulnerable to abuse via Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    11. Inappropriate restriction (i.e. long periods in wheelchair/bed when this against professional advice)
  3. As with other children, disabled children are potentially vulnerable to abuse from <strong>fabricated or induced illness</strong>, which is where parents/carers seek unnecessary medical attention for the child. If this is suspected then staff should refer to the specific guidance regarding this in Section 6 of these procedures.
  4. Professionals may find it more difficult to attribute indicators to abuse or reluctant to act on concerns in relation to disabled children and young people because of a number of factors which may include:
    1. Over identifying with the child/young person&rsquo;s parents/carers and being reluctant to accept that abuse could have taken place, or seeing abuse as being attributable to the stress and difficulties of caring for a disabled child/young person
    2. A lack of knowledge about the impairment and its impact on the child/ young person
    3. A lack of knowledge about the child/young person, e.g. not knowing the child/young person&rsquo;s usual behaviour or demeanor
    4. Not being able to understand the child/young person&rsquo;s communication
    5. Confusing behaviours that may indicate the child/young person is being abused with those associated with the child/young person&rsquo;s impairment
    6. Denial of the child/young person&rsquo;s sexuality
    7. The child/young person having a number of carers.
    8. A failure to recognise that behaviour, including sexually harmful behaviour or self-injury, may be indicative of abuse.
  5. Some health/medical complications may influence the way symptoms present or are interpreted. Certain indicators may be present that are attributable to the child/young person&rsquo;s condition or medical treatment. For example some anti-convulsants may lead to spontaneous bruising and some particular conditions can cause fragile bones increasing the likelihood of fractures during normal day-to-day activities. It is essential therefore that relevant and pertinent information is incorporated into any assessment and recorded clearly on a child/young person&rsquo;s file. This may include communication methods used by the child/young person to understand and express themselves, impact of disability, numbers of care givers, and level of care required etc. Where there are concerns about a child/young person it is essential that workers with the required knowledge and skills, and who know that child, are involved promptly.
  6. Where a worker is not clear if a child/young person&rsquo;s particular injury or behaviour is indicative of abuse, or is associated with their disability, they should seek advice from a professional who knows the child and the implications of their disability well, for example, a paediatrician, a school nurse, a teacher. For advice regarding how to respond to concerns or allegations regarding individuals who work with children please see below

RACE, ETHNICITY & CULTURE

From ‘Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures‘

  1. Children from all cultures are subject to abuse and neglect. All children have a right to grow up safe from harm. In order to make sensitive and informed professional judgments about a child's needs, and parents' capacity to respond to their child's needs, it is important that professionals are sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and to child rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. At the same time they must be clear that child abuse cannot be condoned for religious or cultural reasons.
  2. Professionals should also be aware of the broader social factors that serve to discriminate against black and minority ethnic people. Working in a multi-racial and multi-cultural society requires professionals and organisations to be committed to equality in meeting the needs of all children and families, and to understand the effects of racial harassment, racial discrimination and institutional racism, as well as cultural misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
  3. The assessment process should maintain a focus on the needs of the individual child. It should always include consideration of the way religious beliefs and cultural traditions in different racial, ethnic and cultural groups influence their values, attitudes and behaviour, and the way in which family and community life is structured and organised. Cultural and religious factors should not be regarded as acceptable explanations for child abuse or neglect, and are not acceptable grounds for inaction when a child at risk of significant harm. Professionals should be aware of and work with the strengths and support systems available within families, ethnic groups and communities, which can be built upon to help safeguard children and promote their welfare.
  4. Professionals should guard against myths and stereotypes - both positive and negative - of black and minority ethnic families. Anxiety about being accused of racist practice should not prevent the necessary action being taken to safeguard and promote a child's welfare. Careful assessment - based on evidence - of a child's needs, and a family's strengths and difficulties, understood in the context of the wider social environment, will help to avoid any distorting effect of these influences on professional judgments.
  5. All children whatever their religious or cultural background must receive the same care and safeguards with regard to abuse and neglect.
  6. The experience of racism is likely to affect the responses of a child and family to the assessment and enquiry processes and failure to consider the effects of racism will undermine the efforts to protect children from other forms of significant harm. The effects of racism differ between communities and individuals and should not be assumed to be uniform. The specific needs of mixed parentage and refugee children should be given attention, in particular the need for neutral, high quality, gender appropriate translation or interpretation services for children and families whose preferred language is not English.
  7. There may be occasions when the impact of racist incidents is so severe that it constitutes significant harm for the victim.  In those instances consideration must be given as to whether it is appropriate to make a referral under the child protection procedures.