- 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 time can 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).