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Disclosure from a child

Discussion in 'Primary' started by milliebear, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Hi there
    Just some advice about the above. Today a report was made to me (by another adult in school) that a child had disclosed they are being verbally abused by an adult in their home (sworn at/called names). I have recorded the incident and will talk to the child myself tomorrow. The child made a similar disclosure last year to their then class teacher, which is really concerning - at the time, this was just recorded with no further action taken.
    I am firstly, not sure if such verbal abuse constitutes a concern that needs to be reported to the CPO in my school, and secondly, not sure whether it even constitutes 'abuse' in terms of the legal position.
    I feel horrified that this is happening to the child at home, but understand that it does happen - and frequently - to many children.
    Anybody experienced anything similar? What would your/your school's response be to such a report?
  2. I think you should just pass the incident over to your CPO, rather than talk to the child yourself. Unless the child spontaneously volunteers this information to you it could look as if you were leading them to say certain things if you try to 'set up' a conversation. And if it's not a matter for the CPO, no harm done. Ours always says to report anything even if it seems insignificant or you're not sure it's abuse, because it might be that several other reports have been logged and yours, although inconclusive in itself, is the final piece of evidence to help them to act.

    I don't know either if it's really 'abuse'. Certainly not nice, but it would depend a lot on the context. If this is a child who is loved and cared for with perhaps one parent who is under a lot of stress and sometimes says things they regret, that is very different from a child who is systematically neglected and/or abused. That's just my own take on it though. If it were me I would just report what I'd been told and leave the CPO to decide what to do with it.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You must not discuss what you have been told with the child unless they raise the subject with you as it could be construed as "leading". You should write down exactly what you have been told (word for word if possible) date it and give it to the CPU as soon as possible. It is up to them, as there is a known history, whether to record it as a concern with Social Care Direct, report it or just keep a record.
  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Concur as above - don't bring this up with the child - report directly to your school's Child Protection Officer. Advise the collegaue to speak to them, in fact, as they have the recount first-hand. They may ask them to write everything down.
    If you don't know who your CPO is, it is almost certainly your HT.
  5. Head is our CPO. I won't discuss with the child, although I didn't actually mean I would ask about the specific disclosure, but rather simply ask if all is OK as he has been 'down' of late. I will report to the Head in the morning.
    Asking the other adult to make a report to the Head is slightly more problematic as they are not, strictly, an employee of the school and were directed to me by another teacher at the school.
    Thanks for all the advice.
  6. anyone involved in school eg parents volunteers etc should always be asked to report to the designated person for child protection. This should already have happened and needs to happen asap
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    That is what I was going to say as well.

    What they have disclosed may not seem bad to you, but it may be the tip of the iceberg. It is a job for the CPO and whoever directed the adult to you instead needs to be reminded of procedures ASAP.
  8. Fair enough. It is logged, and I will speak to the Head tomorrow - not possible earlier as Head out and I was told at the end of the day myself. Cheers.

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