Indicators Of Child Abuse And Reporting
- One-off indicators (inappropriate clothing, withdrawal, outburst of anger, an injury etc.) are rarely sufficient to establish abuse or risk of abuse, though should be noted.
- Observations of a number of indicators over a period of timecan be grounds for suspecting abuse and action needs to be taken.
- Observations should be discussed with the Kids Ministry Director.
- If a number of indicators are noticed a record should be compiled (complete with date, time, location and what was observed or heard) and be kept in a secure place (lockable filing cabinet or password-protected computer).
- A joint report by the Leader (who has made the observation) and the Kids Ministry Director (could also include the appropriate Campus Minister) is made as soon as possible when either a number of indicators have been noted or abuse has been disclosed.
What To Do When A Child Discloses
- Remain calm.
- Don’t dismiss what they’ve just told you.
- Convey that you’ve heard them.
- Don’t promise them that you’ll not to tell anyone.
- Don’t reflect back what they’ve said or ask leading questions(that suggest an answer).
- Don’t touch them.
- Remember you’re not the police or an investigator your job is to report what they said.
- Once the child has disclosed abuse, don’t encourage them to continue to talk to you about it.
- As soon as possible write down everything (complete with date, time, location and what was observed or heard) and keep it in a secure place (lockable filing cabinet or password-protected computer).
- Notify the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
- Don’t promise the abuse will stop.
- Reassure the child of your support.
- Don’t tell the child’s care givers/parents.
- Don’t discuss it with anyone other than those who need to know (e.g. the Kids Ministry Director, Lead Pastor, Anglican Church Professional Standards Unit, police, FACS).
If you are concerned about the child’s immediate safety, please ask another leader to go and get either the Director or the Lead Pastor. The Children’s Leader should interrupt the Director or Lead Pastor if they are in other conversations and say to them: "there is a child who requires your urgent attention." (or words to that effect)