KIDS COLLEGE ARE WORKING TOGETHER IN CHILD PROTECTION
All our Kids College staffing team are trained to understand indicators of abuse and neglect. You can rest easy knowing your children are in capable and caring hands. Whilst it is not a pleasant topic to discuss but it is so important that we do. So many people are unfortunately affected by trauma and abuse and we need to ensure we are providing safety and security for everyone. Kids College has a suite of child protection programs.
Traumais an emotional response to a terrible event that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope.Traumatised people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies. The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warming signs, and in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings. They learn to hide from themselves.
Abuserefers to any non-accidental behaviour by parent, caregiver, other adults or older adolescents that is outside of the norm of conduct and entails a substantial risk of causing physical and emotional harm to children. Such behaviour may be intentional or unintentional.
Both trauma and abuse affect people deeply and we need to ensure we are practicing child protection. Keeping alert to children’s behaviour that could indicate a need that they cannot express. Look for pain-based behaviour that is masking deeper feelings, needs and wants. Knowing your own body and understanding it’s messages are important. We are teaching children deal with their emotions and feelings empowering them with strategies.
Key ideas in child protectionare to:
- Keep the child at the centre of your thinking
- Keeping everyone safe is everyone’s responsibility
- Working in partnership is the key to enabling health and wellbeing of children.
When you are having concerns keep the wellbeing of the child at the forefront of your actions and decisions. Remain aware that all of our community around children are responsible for keeping children safe. Working in partnerships with our community makes our safety messages and communication that much stronger.
Traffic Lights Framework
When children demonstrate sexual behaviours, it can be difficult to know whether it is a normal and healthy aspect of development or if it is something to be concerned about. We can use the Traffic Lights framework to understand and identify the characteristics of normal, healthy sexual behaviours as well as those, which are concerning, problematic or harmful. The Traffic Light system explores resources and gain skills to identify and support the development of healthy sexual behaviours and to protect children and young people from harm or abuse. Traffic light system sorts behaviours into red, orange and green.
Green Light – Educate
Be brief and factual
Use anatomical language
Identify the behaviour
‘Adam, you had your clothes off in the playground’ ‘Taking your clothes off is what you do in a private place, your bedroom, your bathroom’
Redirect the Behaviour
Green behavioursare considered normal, age appropriate, spontaneous, curious, mutual and light-hearted. Examples in children under age of four include touching genitals, being nude, and show me yours behaviours. This phase shows natural curiosity and trying to understand differences between girls and boys. The advice on how to handle these issues centre around educating. Speaking to children in a brief factual way using anatomical language. “Adam you had your clothes off in the playground. Taking your clothes off is what you do in a private space, your bedroom or bathroom’.
Orange Light – Monitor
Remain calm and consistent
Supervise during ‘risky’ times
Understand the behaviour Teach social skills Educate Teach private and public Get professional / counselling support
Orange behavioursare sexual behaviours that are outside normal behaviour in terms of persistence, frequently or inequality in age, power or ability to signal the need to monitor and provide support. Behaviours could include masturbation, persistently watching others in private moments or touching others. Advice when dealing with these behaviours includes keeping calm, supervision and monitoring. Teaching social skills and letting children know what is public and private.
Red Light Behaviours – Immediate
Stop the behaviour
State that the behaviour is harmful
Seek help from child protection services or police
Provide a safe environment
Red behavioursinclude sexual behaviours that are problematic or harmful, forceful, secretive, and knowledge beyond what is considered usual for a child of their age. In young children warning signs could include the presence of a sexually transmitted disease. In the unfortunate instance that we as protective adults see warning signs we need to stop the behaviour, reinforce rules, state that the behaviour is harmful and provide a safe environment. Seek help from child protective services. Reassure the child that they are okay.
Insulate with positive experiences
All experiences wire a brainand create pathways of learning. This is good news for exciting experiences but also works during bad times too. We want to insulate children’s brains and negate the negative experience pathways developing by providing the insulating effect of love and positive experiences. Know that every little gesture of kindness is worth it. Each of these safety messages and positive experiences builds a net of safety.
For more information on reporting call 1800 708 704
If you have any concerns and have formed a belief based on reasonable grounds you can speak to the team and make a report or file a child protection concern form. To report a new concern for a child contact the Central Intake Team (CIT) on 1800 273 889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org after hours contact the Child protection and Family Support team are available 24 hours on 9223 1111 or crisis care on 1800 199 008.
Getting help and support
Counselling and support services include:
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- SARC (sexual assault referral service) Emergency contact 24hrs crisis line )08) 6458 1828
- Suicide call back service 1800 659 467
- Yorgum 9218 9477
- Kid’s helpline 1800 55 1800
- Anglicare (08) 9325 7033
- Centrecare (08) 9325 6644
- Crisis care (08) 9223 1111 (24 hours)
- Kinway (08) 9263 2050
- Lifeline (08) 13 1114 (24 hours)
- Mental Health Emergency response Line 1300 555 788
- Men’s line 1300 78 99 78
- Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
- Victim support and child wellness services (08) 9425 2850 or 1800 818 988
Working together in Child Protection
This information is sourced from the ‘Working Together in Child Protection’seminar. This was a great networking and information session with a multi disciplinary approach to child protection. This seminar gave us all a better understanding of how working together is the key to enabling the safety and wellbeing of all children. It was run by the Mandatory Reporting Interagency Training Group.
The course draws from a number of organisations:
- Department for Communities-Child Protection and Family Support, Department of Education,
- WA Health
- Catholic Education Western Australia
- Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia
- WA Police force
- Dr Peter Winterton from Perth Children’s hospital Child Protection Unit.
Kids College Philosophy
‘We have stringent hygiene, health, nutrition, maintenance, safety and protection standards. We take our duty of care very seriously and will safeguard the safety and wellbeing of our children at all times as a matter of utmost priority.’
National Quality Standard
2.2.3Management, educators and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.
Kids College family
At Kids College we work each day embedding our values and philosophy into each facet of what we do. We continually improve our practices by critically reflecting and engaging in meaningful relationships with our community and for this we need your support and input.
Make sure to follow Kids College Childcare on facebook, watch for our regular emails and keep an eye on our Kids College website. Join our Kids College family community and share in our vision of creating the very best childcare where children experience love, laughter and learning every day. You can reach us on Jennifer@kidscollege.com.au