WHAT IS BEING DONE?

I’d like to encourage all parents to be courageous and to follow their instincts when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of their children at school.

So often, I’ve heard parents complaining about:

  • their child’s moodswings and strange new behaviours and attitudes
  • terrible incidents that have happened at school
  • bullying
  • teasing
  • inappropriate behaviour between children.

When I’ve asked: “What have you done about it?” and I’m answered with: “Well, nothing, really,” it makes me wonder why they’ve done nothing. Are they:

  • afraid
  • complacent
  • unsupported
  • uncomfortable communicating
  • unaware of current issues
  • unable to cope with conflict?

If you feel that your child is not behaving normally after a school day, don’t be complacent. Find out if everything went okay that day. Often schools try to deal with issues and the parents never get to find out. A child who is afraid to say what’s wrong could easily develop new behaviours (usually undesirable as they’re acting out). They may be influenced by their peers at school and not even realise they’re behaving differently.

When you see your child after their day at school and you ask them what they did that day, and all they can do is shrug their shoulders and say, “Nothing…” then you know something’s up. Something has probably happened to preoccupy your child’s mind above and beyond the education of the day.  A happy child will more than likely want to talk.

Bullying is often not understood by children. They might be the nicest of kids and not want to “tell” on their friends or school mates in case they get bullied further, or taunted; they could already be afraid of the bully.

Abuse in any form will affect a child’s mood and behaviour. The important thing to do is to NOTICE! Too often our children start to change and we put it down to:

  • a phase
  • growing up
  • hormones
  • boys
  • girls
  • etc.

The most important things to do are to:

  1. NOTICE – that your child is behaving differently to usual.

  2. ELICIT – often the best way is the straightforward, honest way: You could say: “I can see something’s wrong. I don’t want you to feel like you have to tell me right now but until you do, I can’t do anything to help you, and I really want to help you to feel happy and safe. Come and tell me when you want to feel happy and safe.” All children want to feel happy and safe and it’s our duty as their parents/carers/adults to ensure this.
  3. REMAIN CALM – there is no point in getting worked up. Your child needs to know that you are in control of the situation and you won’t be showing that if you’ve lost the plot! They need to know that they can come to you whenever they have a crisis.
  4. REASSURE – your child needs reassurance that they aren’t going to be in trouble for telling, and they need to know that if required, you will be discreet so that they won’t be victimised further.
  5. TAKE ACTION – always do something about it! Whatever the problem is. Show your child that it was worth telling you and that you have taken them seriously. (If you don’t, who will?) You may need to speak to the school, or in less urgent situations, write to the school and follow up with them to ensure that they have taken on board what you’ve said so that they can act in the best interests of your child when your child is in their care. It is always a good idea to follow up with the teacher/office/head teacher and if necessary, meet with them and your child to show solidarity and so that your child knows what the next steps are.
  6. FOLLOW UP – always let the child know what action has been taken so that they can prepare themselves (mentally and emotionally or academically – dependent on the situation).
  7. SUPPORT – always let the child know that they have your support and that the right thing to do is to always tell you straightaway if something is wrong because their happiness and safety is most important to you. Find support for yourself too.

Remember that we’re not alone in the struggle to keep our children safe. We are ALL IN THE SAME BOAT!

Please share any extra great ideas to help support parents/carers.

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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UK VOTE choosemypcc

Having the right people in charge of our Policing is essential. I urge you to take a stand and vote on 5th May 2016. We have the important decision to make and the action to take in electing our next area Police and Crime Commissioner.

Why not fire off some questions to your candidates and see if they respond? I know I’ll be doing that. I want to know:

  • How do you propose to improve tackling crimes against children?
  • How do you propose to educate and prevent crimes against children?

I’ll be voting. Will you?

Leave me a comment if you have any thoughts on this subject.

You can find information on candidates at Choose your Police and Crime Commissioner from 13th April.

A sneak preview in yesterday’s Bristol Post for Avon and Somerset.

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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Please share with your community.

 

BE BRAVE – LET’S PUT A SPANNER IN THE WORKS!

How long are we as a people going to be afraid to actually do something about STOPPING child abuse?

How long are we going to sweep what we know under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist? How many generations will it take to weed out the active pedophiles from society? You have to ask yourself:

Am I putting a spanner in the works? Am I being brave? Am I fighting for justice? Or, Have I left the justice up to someone else? Am I sitting on my hands and turning a blind eye?

Think about all the articles you’ve read in the newspapers. Have you stopped buying them because it’s always filled with tragedy and corruption?

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Has any injustice to children ever changed the way that you look at our world, our society, our schools, our education, our knowledge, our ignorance?

What have you done to make a difference? PLEASE let me know. It would be great to hear from you!

It’s time to stop being afraid and to put a spanner in the works for all abusers.

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

What are you waiting for?

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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PREVENT or TREAT?

The NSPCC are great. They try everything to provide after-abuse care.

NSPCC fighting-for-childhood campaign: IT’S TIME

nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/

They, I’ve read, are the country’s leading authority on Child Protection, with ChildLine for children, NSPCC for adults, and reports being commissioned by the government. They hold the golden ticket to getting noticed thanks to the amount of money they receive. Good for them. I really mean it. But I don’t see them using enough of their influence for the PREVENTION of child abuse. A website is not enough. Is it? Please feel free to disagree in the comments.

So,…

  • What is PREVENTION of child abuse?
  • How can we PREVENT child abuse?
  • When can we PREVENT child abuse?

WHAT: Prevention of child abuse is making it so so that a child is NEVER ABUSED.

HOW: We must put aside our laziness and ignorance and GET EDUCATED!

WHEN: We need to START NOW!

We need to integrate this training into our childrens’ curriculum; there need to be community workshops that are made to be fun and exciting and educational and those who are versed in safety training need to spread awareness and knowledge. Don’t keep it to yourselves.

We’ve become such an insular society. Not only as a whole, but individually. Sharing with your neighbours, being a community of citizens who look out for each other and our children is something that is dwindling fast – much to the pleasure of pedofiles and child abusers, I’m sure! Only a crisis brings people together, it seems, where normally people don’t speak to each other. We need to change this.

Child Protection Academy provides the training to PREVENT child abuse.

Please share this with your community.

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WHERE TO FROM NOWHERE?

Kids who’ve been abused deserve more than governmental reports. They deserve a roadmap of where to go to from where they’re at with the required support. Most importantly, they need to be heard and they need to see their perpetrators brought to justice.

In America, right now, there is a fight to bring the state of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations to a fair period of time. The Americans really know how to fight for justice. Where are our British equals? If that’s you, me,… let’s change the way of the people so that abuse can no longer be ignored, or swept under the rug, or left for someone else to deal with.

Let’s help to give survivors a road to somewhere safe.

Let’s help to pave a safe and happy path for our innocent children.

Let’s help to create a world where we are all responsible for our childrens’ security.

Mark Rozzi – Statute of Limitations

Creating a safer world for our children. Now.

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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TELL SOMEONE YOU CAN TRUST

This is not always possible – for victims to tell someone they trust. Once abused, who can they trust? How do they know who they can trust once their trust has been violated? More likely than not, they’ve been told that those who they can trust either already know about the abuse (it’s a lie) and that they’re not to be trusted (it’s a lie). Statistics tell us that more often than not (around 80%) it’s people they thought they could trust who perpetrated the crime.

The only way to get the message across to children is to spend time educating them from a very young age about what is and is not okay, so that if anything, the signs of abuse will become evident and teachers, parents and carers will become more astute in recognising the signs of abuse. Leaving it to the parents or the school is not enough. The schools must do their part in educating the children outside of the family home and parents need to educate the children outside of the school environment. It’s so important that everyone associated with each child is vigilant. If a child is socially and developmentally happy – child psychology – then it is more than likely that they are happy and safe at home and outside of the school environment. If they are playing up, trying to get attention, not learning to their capabilities, then surely someone must be thinking something’s not right. And to take a child’s word (albeit mostly true – but kids are known to lie to protect those who care for them, who they love, who love them) that nothing’s wrong and everything’s fine is not enough. I’m not saying that they’re being abused at home, and they might not even know why they’re feeling sad or low but to ignore it is not good enough.

Children spend as long at school each day as we spend working in the office. If we are acting up and moody or low, a good team or manager who knows us pretty well, will ask if everything’s okay.Sometimes it’s ignored but generally it is noticed. Often adults keep out of it, not wanting to be nosy. If work performance is affected, we will be asked to explain ourselves.  Being adults/grownups, we would be expected to give a reasonable explanation and being older, one would assume that the emotions could be controlled but the situation is more than likely understood in an adult perspective and can be articulated and dealt with more readily than with our young’uns. Children don’t always understand what’s going on around them in the world of their adults. There may be arguing in the home and the child may be affected by this but not know or understand this. It may take some gentle delving to find out how things are at home – considering this is where children spend most of their time outside of school, it’s a good place to start. Teachers are allowed to ask these questions, aren’t they? If there is a potential safeguarding issue then surely the rules of safeguarding apply?

What are these rules / laws?

Let’s see.

This excerpt is taken from www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children-and-young-people/safeguarding-children-and-young-people

All organisations, including charities, are expected to comply with the government inter-agency statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children, ‘unless exceptional circumstances arise’.

How safe are our children? This NSPCC report is also interesting reading.

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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