Kidscape's basic concepts of child protection are...
children learning to trust, recognise and accept their own feelings
children understanding they have a right to be safe
children understanding that their bodies are their own and that no one should
touch them inappropriately
kisses, hugs and touches should never be kept secret, even if they feel good.
These concepts and the skills that children need to put them into practice can
be taught through the existing curriculum in schools.
They can also be incorporated into themes and topics in pre-school settings.
taught well, they will encourage children's confidence, assertiveness and
communication skills, as well as contributing to their protection.
They are relevant to all children, including disabled children and children with
learning difficulties, who may be especially vulnerable.
Resources For Developing Awareness And Protection Skills
There are a large number of books and resource materials concerning protection
(for example, videos) that are available to use with children.
In general, they will need to be used in an interactive way if they are to be
They need to be part of a programme offering children the
opportunity to discuss the issues raised.
They should not be used by people unprepared for handling children's fears
and worries or any disclosure of abuse.
Protecting Yourself From Allegations of Abuse
There may be times when child-care workers are themselves accused of abuse.
Sadly, although rare, there are occasions when these allegations are founded.
All those who work directly with children need to consider how to avoid allegations.
There may already be guidelines in the establishment in which you work.
If so you should ensure that you know what they are and follow them. If not, the
following common-sense ideas from 'The Kidscape Training Guide' may be
used to help you draw up guidelines for your own workplace...
In the event of any injury to a child, accidental or otherwise, ensure that it is
recorded and witnessed by another adult.
Keep records of any false allegations a child makes against you. Record dates and
Get another adult to withness the allegation, if possible.
If a child touches you in an inappropriate place, record what happened and ensure
that another adult knows (do not make the child feel like a criminal).
On school trips, always have at least two members of staff.
Do not place yourself in a position where you are spending excessive amounts of time
alone with one child, away from other people.
In residential settings, never take a child into your bedroom.
Do not take children in your car by yourself.
If you are involved in a care situation, try to have someone with you when changing
nappies, clothing or bathing a child.
Never do something of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves,
for example wiping bottoms.
Avoid going on your own to the toilet with children.
Be mindful of how you touch a child. Consider using a lap cushion with young
children or disabled children who may need to sit on your knee.
Be careful of extended hugs and kisses on the mouth from children. This may be
particularly relevant to those working with children with learning difficulties.
Always tell someone if you suspect a colleague of abuse.
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