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Risk Factors:

Risk Factors Safeguarding Group 1

Who abuses children?:

Who abuses children? Parents, siblings or other family members Family friends or neighbours Other children Professionals and volunteers In over 90% of cases the abuser is someone known to the child Abusers can be from all walks of life Abuse by strangers is relatively rare

What stops children telling of abuse?:

What stops children telling of abuse? Loyalty to the family Direct threats or fear of punishment Fear of being sent away Worry that they will break up the family Guilt and shame Abuse is normal behaviour in the family Not appreciating that what is happening is abusive Not trusting anyone or feeling that no-one will listen

Underlying factors for abuse:

Underlying factors for abuse Vulnerability factors in children Factors in parents/carers Prematurity Disability Unwanted pregnancy (Rape, Incest) Difficult delivery Constant crying Behaviour problems Difficulty in areas of feeding, toilet training Alcohol/drug misuse Domestic violence Social isolation Disability Disorganised or anti social families Mental health problems or learning difficulties Family history Cultural or religious factors Financial problems Young parents Overcrowding or precariously housed families Addictive behaviour NONE OF THE ABOVE ARE EXCUSES FOR ABUSE

Hidden males:

Hidden males In a number of Serious Case Reviews, it has been found that there were males in the household who were not known about. A man joining a single parent household, who is unrelated to the children, it may be a potential threat to the well-being of the children. He needs to be checked out and his involvement with and relationship to the children carefully assessed. Sensitive questions must be asked of the mother to identify a new male in the family and if there are any children from a previous relationship and there are contact arrangements. If not, why not.

Key themes:

Key themes Do the simple things well Keep a child focus Safeguard and promote the welfare of the child If YOU have concerns about a child Never do NOTHING – always do SOMETHING

What research tells us - themes:

What research tells us - themes Mental ill health, drugs, alcohol and domestic violence are common themes in child protection cases Universal services wait too long before referring chronic neglect and sexual abuse concerns Record keeping is poor and information is not transferred when children and families move on Aggressive and hostile parents cause workers to lose sight of children We often rely too much on what parents tell us There are still problems with communication and information sharing We are reluctant to challenge other professionals who we think have higher status DCSF 2008 & 2009

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