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Child Protection

 

Purpose

To protect the safety and promote the wellbeing of children and young persons aged under 17 years who are receiving treatments, or are associated with adults who are receiving services from, any Kaimahi of Mihi’s Place.

Scope

This procedure applies to all Kaimahi of Mihi’s Place and should be used wherever abuse or neglect is suspected or identified, regardless of whether the child is a client of Mihi’s Place.

Guidelines

All Kaimahi of Mihi’s Place should be able to recognise signs of child abuse and neglect. Every situation is different and it’s important to consider all available information about the child and their environment before reaching conclusions.

Any concerns that a child is showing signs of potential abuse or neglect you will need to take to the manager, as per the Child Protection policy.

Procedure

The examples of signs, symptoms and risk factors described below are not a full list and are not diagnostic of abuse and neglect. However, in some situations, contexts and combinations, they will raise the need for consultation, support, and in some instances will indicate suspicion of abuse and neglect.

Disclosures of child abuse and neglect

Information may be received by a Kaimahi of Mihi’s Place from a child, parent or caregiver or a third party in relation to abuse or neglect.  If a child discloses that they’ve been abused or neglected, then:

Listen to what the child is saying

  • Remain calm
  • Avoid in-depth or excessive questioning
  • Reassure the child they have done the right thing by telling you
  • Tell the child you will seek the support of another adult or adults who can help them
  • Document exactly what the child said, using their own words
  • Do not confront or discuss the disclosure with the alleged perpetrator
  • Follow Mihi’s Place response to suspected child abuse and neglect process as outlined below
  • If a person other than a child discloses that they are concerned a child may have been abused or neglected, then:
  • Listen to what the person is saying
  • Remain calm
  • Avoid in-depth questioning and do not explore details of what happened
  • Reassure the person they have done the right thing by telling you, and you will seek the support of someone else who can help them
  • Document exactly what the person said, using their own words
  • Do not confront or discuss the disclosure with the alleged perpetrator
  • Follow Mihi’s Place response to suspected child abuse and neglect process as outlined below

Responding to suspected child abuse or neglect

  • Critical family violence situations
  • All Mihi’s Place staff should be able to identify and respond appropriately to critical family violence situations when immediate risk assessment and protection is required
  • There may be occasions where a person discloses family violence situations without being prompted that describe immediate or imminent danger of serious harm or death

Response to critical family violence situations:

  • Do not enter a situation where you feel at immediate risk from violence
  • Protect child/children as much as possible – staff cannot remove a child without the legal guardian’s permission, but in some cases may be permitted to remain with a child while waiting for statutory agency
  • Call 111, ask for police, describe the situation, location, and urgency. Remain compliant with police. Ask for an ambulance if required.
  • Consult with team leader as soon as possible the same day. If team leader if not available, consult with their superior.
  • Where children are involved, complete a Report of Concern within 24 hours.
  • Complete a Reportable Event in QMS.
  • Seek supervision support if required.

Urgent child abuse and neglect situations

  • All situations involving child abuse and neglect are considered either critical or urgent.
  • Mihi’s Place requires all kaimahi to consult with their team leader regarding all identified, suspected or potential abuse or neglect of children. If their team leader is unavailable, kaimahi may consult with another team leader or the Child Protection Coordinator. Kaimahi’s own team leader must then be informed when they become available.
  • Take action to ensure own safety and de-escalate the situation where possible.
  • Do not promise confidentiality. Explain that you will need to tell a superior if there are people at risk of being hurt, and their concerns may be shared with others who may be able to help to protect them and the people around them.

Documentation:

  • Clearly document all facts and observations as soon as possible after the event with time and date of the discussion. Document who was present at the time, be clear with the difference between what was observed and what was reported and by whom.
  • Where there has been a disclosure, document what was said in quotation marks.
  • Whenever children are at risk of harm from family violence, child abuse or neglect, Tui Ora will support access to appropriate services.
  • If there is clear evidence or reasonable cause to believe an instance of child abuse or neglect has taken place, kaimahi will make a Report of Concern to Oranga Tamariki.
  • Where there is concern about a child which does not amount to suspicion of child abuse or neglect, Mihi’s Place will work to partner with social services in the community to identify and address the needs of the child. Services may include but are not limited to Strengthening Families, Whanau Ora, family/whanau counselling agencies, budget services, mental health and drug and alcohol services.

Related Documents

External

  • Care of Children Act 2004
  • Children’s Act 2014
  • Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015
  • Family Violence Act 2018
  • Fanslow, J., Kelly, Ministry of Health. (2016). Family Violence assessment and Intervention Guideline: Child abuse and intimate partner violence (2nd edn). Wellington, New Zealand. Ministry of Health.
  • Health Information Privacy Code 1994
  • Ministry of Social Development. (2002). Te Rito, New Zealand family violence prevention strategy. Wellington, New Zealand. Author.
  • New Zealand Government (2012). The white paper for vulnerable children: Volume I. Wellington, New Zealand. Author.
  • New Zealand Government (2012). The white paper for vulnerable children: Volume II. Wellington, New Zealand. Author.
  • New Zealand Government (2012). Children’s action plan: Identifying, supporting and protecting vulnerable children. Wellington, New Zealand. Author.
  • Oranga Tamariki (2018). An interagency guide: Working together me mutu ta tatou tukino tamariki. Wellington, New Zealand. Author
  • Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
  • Privacy Act 1993
  • The Crimes Act 1961
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC)
  • Victims’ Rights Act 2002
  • Internal
  • Lone Worker – Staff Safety Procedure

 

Business Hours:
Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 12pm
Mihis Place is a semi-mobile service with locations in different areas during the weekdays.
Location:
83b Parklands Ave
Bell Block, New Plymouth, New Zealand
mihisplace@gmail.com
Speak to Mihi as appointments by arrangement can be made after hours.
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