Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
Naíscoil Ghreanacháin is committed to safeguarding the well-being of children; promoting their
rights and best interests.
We at Naíscoil Ghreanacháin have a primary commitment to and responsibility for the welfare,
safety and holistic development of each child in our care.
We aim to carry out this duty by providing a caring, supportive and safe environment in which
the individual child is given time, encouragement and support to learn and develop to their full
potential. The welfare of each child is our paramount consideration.
We in Naíscoil Ghreanacháin want to ensure that children are protected and kept safe from
harm while they are in our care. We ensure our staff and volunteers are carefully selected,
trained and supervised. We will endeavour through discussion and written guidelines and forms
to ensure parents/carers/guardians know how to voice their concerns or complaints if there is
anything they are not happy about.
This policy outlines the protection of children by identifying clear instructions in accordance
with the legislative framework of The Children (NI) Order 1995, taking into consideration the five
main principles of the Order, the first being “the welfare of the child is paramount”. Everyone at
Naíscoil Ghreanacháin who comes into contact with children and their families have a duty to
safeguard and promote the well-being of children. At Naíscoil Ghreanacháin
management/staff/volunteers will work with children, parents/carers/guardians and the
community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin promotes children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by
creating an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive
self-image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their
languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, culture traditions and home
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin promotes children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by
encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence. ● Naíscoil
Ghreanacháin promotes children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by enabling
children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin helps children establish and sustain satisfying relationships within
their families, with peers, and with other adults.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin works with parents/carers/guardians to build their understanding
of, and commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.
In accordance with Trust Guidelines, Our Duty to Care and Social Services, at Naíscoil
Ghreanacháin we will endeavour to safeguard children by:
Key commitment 1
Naíscoil Ghreanacháin is committed to building a culture of safety in which children are
protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.
Staff/Students/Trainees and Volunteers
● Our Designated Child Protection Officer is Sinéad Ní Cheallaigh 07512179066
Our Deputy Child Protection Officer is: Sylvia Brown 07512179066
Our Designated Child Protection on the committee is Fiona Kearney 02879401623
At Naíscoil Ghreanacháin we endeavour to ensure that:
● All staff and parents/carers/guardians are made aware of our safeguarding policy and
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin provides adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the
needs of children.
● Candidates are informed of the need to carry out ‘enhanced disclosure’ checks with the
current up to date vetting procedures before posts can be confirmed. No person will be
placed in a position (either paid or unpaid) which involves contact with children without
being properly and effectively vetted.
● Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed,
applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information. ● Naíscoil
Ghreanacháin adheres to the Health and Social Care Trust requirements in respect of
references and criminal record checks for staff/students/trainees and volunteers, to ensure
that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the
● Students/trainees/volunteers do not work unsupervised.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin adheres to the relevant guidelines in respect of any person who is
dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have
led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin has a procedure for recording the details of visitors to the setting. ●
There are security steps in place to ensure that we have control over who comes into the
setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
Key commitment 2
We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of
abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures
that are set out.
Responding to suspicions of abuse
● All those working with children are aware that abuse of children can take different forms –
physical, emotional and sexual, as well as neglect. Appendix 1 Definitions of Abuse &
Specific types of Abuse
● When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or may be
experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say (direct or 2
indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their
play. Appendix 2 Signs of Abuse
● Where such evidence is apparent, the child’s key worker/staff member makes a dated
record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do the leader /designated
officer. The information is stored on the child’s personal file.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will refer concerns to the Gateway team and co-operate fully in any
● Those involved will take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they
speak to children or by asking questions of children.
The designated/deputy designated officer will use detailed procedures and reporting format
when making a referral to Gateway.
● Contact will be made with Early Years Link Social Worker/Early Years Team. ● Where a
child is already known to Social Services and has a social worker, we will contact them
Contact details are:
Early Years Social Team: 0287661340
Recording suspicions of abuse
Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), or
a member of staff observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant
changes in behaviour, deterioration in general well-being, unexplained bruising, marks or signs
of possible abuse or neglect, a member of staff will:
● Listen to the child, offer reassurance and give assurance that he/she will take action.
● Not question the child.
● Make a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that
- the date and time of the observation or the disclosure;
- the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible;
- the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and
- the names of any other person present at the time.
These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s personal file which is kept securely
Making a referral to Gateway
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will follow any procedures that the Gateway team has in place. ●
Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will also inform our link social worker that we have made a referral to
the Gateway team.
● Where the child already has a social worker, Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will contact them
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will retain a copy of any forms filled in for Gateway in the child’s
● All staff are aware of the referral procedures for recording and reporting.
Contact details for Gateway Team are:
The referral gateway team/SPOE: 0300 1234 333
Out of Hours Service (after 5pm each evening, at weekends and public holidays):
028 703 25462
● Parents/carers/guardians are normally the first point of contact.
● If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents/carers/guardians are informed at the same
time as the report is made, except where guidance does not allow this. Copy of record
template Appendix 3
● This will usually be the case where the parent/carer/guardian is the likely abuser. In these
cases the investigating officer will inform parents/carers/guardians.
Liaison with other agencies
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will work with the Health and Social Care Trust guidelines.
● All staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin has procedures for contacting the Health and Social Care Trust on
child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone
numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the setting and
the Trust to work well together.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will notify the Health and Social Care Trust of any incident and any
changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children. ● If a referral is to
be made to the Gateway team, Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will act within the area’s Safeguarding
Children and Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child’s
parents/carers/guardians at the same time.
● Other agencies which may be contacted for advice. Details on Appendix 4
Allegations against staff
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin ensures that all parents/carers/guardians know the complaints
policy if they have concerns regarding the behaviour or actions of
staff/students/trainees/volunteers within the setting.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will follow the guidance of the Health and Social Care Trust when
responding to any complaint that a parent/carer/guardian has put forward. ● Naíscoil
Ghreanacháin will respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of
staff, student/trainee/volunteer within the setting, by first recording the details of any such
● Management will refer any such complaint immediately to the Gateway team and the
link social worker to investigate. Naíscoil Ghreanacháin is aware that it is an offence not
to do this.
● The Management team of Naíscoil Ghreanacháin will co-operate fully with any
investigation carried out by the Gateway team/Early Years Team.
● Where the management team and Health and Social Care Trust agree it is appropriate in
the circumstances, management will suspend the member of
staff/volunteer/student/trainee, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an
indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place but is to protect the
staff as well as the children and families throughout the process.
● Where a member of staff/student/trainee/volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging
in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children, management will notify
Gateway/Early Years and the Independent Safeguarding Authority of relevant
information so that individuals who pose a threat to children (and vulnerable adults), can
be identified and barred from working with these groups.
Key commitment 3
Naíscoil Ghreanacháin is committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout
child protection training for staff. Naíscoil Ghreanacháin is also committed to empowering young
children, through our curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.
● Management will seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to
ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of possible physical abuse,
emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the Health and
Social Care Trust guidelines for making referrals.
● Management will ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording
their concerns in the setting.
● Management will ensure that staff/volunteers are trained in Safeguarding Children/Child
Protection in line with current regulations and this will be reviewed annually at staff
appraisals where training needs can be identified.
● The layout of the room allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with
staff/volunteer/students/trainees in a one-to-one situation without being visible to
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin introduces key elements of keeping children safe into our
programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children,
so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and that they may develop
● an understanding of why and how to keep safe. This is referred to as Preventative
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin creates a culture of value and respect for every individual within
the setting, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour,
ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background. We also understand
the additional vulnerability of children with disabilities. (See Appendix 5)
We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for all children.
● All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who
need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Health and Social
Support to families
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin believes in building trusting and supportive relationships with
families, staff/students/trainees/volunteers in the group.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin makes clear to parents/carers/guardians our roles and
responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns,
providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the Health
and Social Care Trust.
● Naíscoil Ghreanacháin follows child protection guidelines as set out by Health and Social
Care Trust in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting that child
and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
● Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents/carers/guardians in
accordance with Health and Social Care Trust guidelines.
Understanding the Needs of Children in Northern Ireland (UNOCINI)
Naíscoil Ghreanacháin is aware of the referral system of UNOCINI – Understanding the Needs of
Children in Northern Ireland. The registering social worker and the Gateway Team will keep us
informed of any changes and training available.
‘Understanding the Needs of Children in Northern Ireland’ (UNOCINI) is a framework to support
professionals in assessment and planning to better meet the needs of children and their family.
The UNOCINI model is used to enable practitioners and their agencies to communicate their
concerns about children using a common format, language and understanding of the levels of
need, concern or risk for all children across Northern Ireland.
The UNOCINI referral form must be completed whenever staff wish to refer a child or young
person to children’s social services for support, safeguarding or a fuller assessment of a child’s
Reporting Procedures with relevant contact details are displayed on noticeboard in foyer and
attached as Appendix 6
Types of Abuse
Child abuse may take a number of forms, including:
Neglect is the failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing,
hygiene, supervision or shelter that is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s
health or development. Children who are neglected often also suffer from other types of abuse.
Physical Abuse is deliberately physically hurting a child. It might take a variety of different
forms, including hitting, biting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding,
drowning or suffocating a child.
Sexual Abuse occurs when others use and exploit children sexually for their own gratification or
gain or the gratification of others. Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault
by penetration (for example, rape, or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation,
kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as
involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or
watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or
grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via e-technology). Sexual abuse is not solely
perpetrated by adult males. Women can commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Emotional Abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. It is also sometimes called
psychological abuse and it can have severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional
development. Emotional abuse may involve deliberately telling a child that they are worthless,
or unloved and inadequate. It may include not giving a child opportunities to express their
views, deliberately silencing them, or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
Emotional abuse may involve bullying – including online bullying through social networks, online
games or mobile phones – by a child’s peers.
Exploitation is the intentional ill-treatment, manipulation or abuse of power and control over a
child or young person; to take selfish or unfair advantage of a child or young person or situation,
for personal gain. It may manifest itself in many forms such as child labour, slavery, servitude,
engagement in criminal activity, begging, benefit or other financial fraud or child trafficking. It
extends to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children for the
purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can be sexual in nature.
A child may suffer or be at risk of suffering from one or more types of abuse and abuse may
take place on a single occasion or may occur repeatedly over time.
Bullying – the repeated use of power by one or more persons intentionally to harm, hurt or
adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others.
Although bullying is not defined as abuse, in its more extreme form it would be regarded as
physical and/or emotional abuse.
Specific Types of Abuse
Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse
The Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy (2016) defines domestic and
sexual violence and abuse as follows:-
Domestic Violence and Abuse:
‘threatening, controlling, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, virtual, physical,
verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on anyone (irrespective of age, ethnicity,
religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any form of disability) by a current or
former intimate partner or family member.’
Sexual Violence and Abuse:
‘any behaviour (physical, psychological, verbal, virtual/online) perceived to be of a sexual nature
which is controlling, coercive, exploitative, harmful, or unwanted that is inflicted on anyone
(irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any form of
Please note that coercive, exploitative and harmful behaviour includes taking advantage of an
individual’s incapacity to give informed consent.
Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls.
FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female
genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure is
also referred to as ‘cutting’, ‘female circumcision’ and ‘initiation’. The practice is medically
unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when
the mutilation is carried out and in later life.
FGM is a form of child abuse and, as such, staff have a statutory duty to report cases, including
suspicion, to the appropriate agencies, through agreed and established school procedures.
In the UK, FGM has been a specific criminal offence since the Prohibition of Female
Circumcision Act 1985. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 replaced the 1985 Act in
England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Serious Crime Act 2015 further strengthened the
law on FGM.
FGM is a complex issue with many men and women from practising communities considering it
to be normal to protect their cultural identity. The procedure may be carried out when the girl is
newborn, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during the first pregnancy.
However, the majority of cases are thought to take place between the ages of five and eight,
putting children in this age bracket at highest risk.
Children who Display Harmful Sexualised Behaviour
Learning about sex and sexual behaviour is a normal part of a child’s development. It will help
them as they grow up, and as they start to make decisions about relationships. Schools support
children and young people, through the Personal Development element of the curriculum, to
develop their understanding of relationships and sexuality and the responsibilities of healthy
relationships. Teachers are often therefore in a good position to consider if behaviour is within
the normal continuum or otherwise. It must also be borne in mind that sexually harmful
behaviour is primarily a child protection concern. There may remain issues to be addressed
through the schools positive behaviour policy but it is important to always apply principles that
It is important to distinguish between different sexual behaviours – these can be defined as
‘healthy’, ‘problematic’ or ‘sexually harmful’. More details on each type of behaviour can be
found in DE Circular 2016/05 ‘Children Who Display Harmful Sexualised Behaviour’.
Healthy sexual behaviour will normally have no need for intervention, however consideration
may be required as to appropriateness within a school setting.
Problematic sexual behaviour requires some level of intervention, depending on the activity and
level of concern. For example, a one-off incident may simply require liaising with
parents/carers/guardians on setting clear direction that the behaviour is unacceptable,
explaining boundaries and providing information and education. Alternatively, if the behaviour
is considered to be more serious, perhaps because there are a number of aspects of concern,
advice from the EA CPSS may be required.
The CPSS will advise if additional advice from PSNI or Social Services is required.
Online safety means acting and staying safe when using digital technologies. It is wider than
simply internet technology and includes electronic communication via text messages, social
environments and apps, and using games consoles through any digital device. In all cases, in
schools and elsewhere, it is a paramount concern.
Signs of Child Abuse
All professionals working with children and their families need to be aware of the indicators of
child abuse. Where a professional is unsure but has concerns that a child may have been
harmed or may be at risk of being harmed it is essential that they consult with, and share
information with, other relevant professionals. In all cases there needs to be an assessment of
the nature of the injury or allegation in relation to the explanation offered and the family
circumstances. Injuries alone are not always conclusive.
Suspicion should be raised by
● Delay in seeking treatment
● Inadequate or discrepant explanations
● A lack of any explanation for injuries
● Injuries of different ages
● A history of previous injuries
● Failure to thrive
● The parent/carer/guardian showing little or no anxiety about the child’s condition
● The parent/carer/guardian coldly blames the child
● Evidence of marital violence
● The child telling you
● Someone else telling you
● Noticing signs i.e. physical injury, the child’s behaviour, staff/volunteer’s behaviour
● Unexplained prolonged absence from setting
Signs which suggest physical abuse
Most inflicted injuries are not the result of conscious, premeditated acts by the carer, but
sudden outbursts with no considered intent of harming the child or of doing so seriously. The
severity of the injury is often a matter of chance. It is not necessary to establish intent to cause
harm to the child to conclude that the child has been subject to abuse.
Possible signs which may suggest physical abuse
The following is a brief list of possible signs :
● Any bruising on a baby (pre-toddling)
● Multiple bruising other than on the shins
● Bruise and scratches to the face and head
● Bi-lateral black eyes
● Torn upper fraenulum
● Finger tip bruising which suggests a child may have been forcibly gripped
● Finger marks or hand weal’s
● Bite marks
● Weal marks and severe bruising
● Cigarette burns
● Linear bruises or burns
● Head injury, which may present as drowsiness or vomiting.
● Fractures of dislocations with implausible explanations
Possible behavioural Indicators
● Wary or watchful of adult contact
● Behavioural extremes, aggression/withdrawn
● Afraid to go home
● Reluctance to change clothing
Signs and symptoms of sexual abuse
Possible physical Indicators
● Finger tip bruising on inner thighs
● Itching, soreness, discharge, bleeding, pain on passing urine, repeated urinary tract
● Injuries to the genital area
● Faecal soiling, rectal bleeding
● Sexually transmitted disease
● Persistent abdominal pain and headaches without apparent cause
● Fear, anxiety, misery and physical complaints
● Sudden changes of mood
● Eating disturbances
● Regressive behaviour – overly clinging, bed wetting
● Sleep disturbances – night terrors, nightmares, sleep-walking and refusal to go to bed
● Disobedience, disruptiveness, destructiveness, aggression and often by antisocial
● Changes in relationships with peers or peer group
● Undue/unusual preoccupation in sexual matters
● Sexualised behaviour towards adults and other children
● Explicit sexual play
It should be recognised that many of these signs and symptoms may be caused by conditions
unrelated to sexual abuse. Care must be taken to exclude the possibility of medical causes for a
child presenting with physical symptoms.
Signs which may suggest neglect
Each indicator should not be seen in isolation. It should take account of the child’s age and
development and it will need to be persistent or severe, resulting in a significant impairment of
the child’s health or development for neglect to be considered to meet the threshold criteria for
the child protection procedures to apply. However less clear concerns about neglect should not
be ignored by professionals. Information should be shared and the family engaged in a case plan
to provide the necessary support at an early stage.
It is important to be aware that the following signs may be caused by other aspects of the child’s
living environment such as poverty, bereavement, stressful change or discrimination.
Possible indicators of neglectful behaviour
● Failure to provide sufficient food on a regular basis (child therefore being small and
● Failure to provide appropriate food for age and health needs (e.g. when a child has special
dietary needs such as diabetes)
● Failure to ensure personal hygiene, including keeping skin/hair clean and washed regularly
(e.g. excessive nappy rash, ingrained dirt, urine/excrement smells) ● Failure to take to
medical appointments. Failure to give medication. Failure to seek treatment including failure
to make pre-school children available for medical, developmental and cognitive assessments
● Failure to ensure that the child attends Naíscoil Ghreanacháin regularly and punctually
● Failure to provide appropriate safety and protection from harm
● Failure to ensure appropriate hygiene condition in the home (e.g. ingrained dirt, rotten
food, excrement and urine, animal faeces, soiled bedclothes)
● Failure to provide adequate warmth in the home, including appropriate bedding and
● Failure to provide appropriate supervision within the home (left alone, left with
unsuitable carers, locked in bedrooms) or outside the home (young children
regularly in the street at late hours)
Signs which may suggest emotional abuse
For emotional abuse to be said to be present a causal link must be established between the
signs in the children and specific abusive acts by their parents/carers/guardians. It is important
to be aware that the signs may be caused by other aspects of the child’s living environment,
such as poverty, bereavement, stressful change, or discrimination. These signs are not in
themselves indicative of emotionally abusive acts by the parents/carers/guardians.
● Habit Disorders – rocking, thumb sucking, over-eating, disturbed sleeping ● Conduct
Disorders – withdrawal, stealing, destructiveness, smearing of faeces, bedwetting, excessive
● Affect Disorders – anxiety, depression, absence of attachment behaviour, low self-esteem,
inappropriate attention seeking or avoiding behaviour, frozen awareness ● Behavioural
Extremes – overly compliant or disobedient, overly passive or aggressive ● Delays in Physical,
Social or Intellectual Development – poor growth, speech delay, under achievement, inability
to form peer relationships, inability to be independent or to concentrate
Possible indicators of emotionally abusing behaviours in adults
● Rejecting – treating a child differently in a way which suggests dislike, refusing to help a
child or to acknowledge a child’s request for assistance
● Degrading – labelling a child as inferior or worthless or unlovable
● Terrorising – threatening a child, exposing brutal or violent behaviour, alternately indulging
or abusing so that the child is unable to predict adult moods and actions, threatening to
● Isolating – not allowing the child to interact with the carer or other adults or children ●
Corrupting – teaching acts which degrade or criminalise, encouraging anti-social behaviour
as being usual or appropriate such as aggression
● Exploiting – using the child solely to gratify adult needs such as giving the child the role of
servant or parent
● Denying – denying the child’s need for praise or physical attention or stimulation or
affection or education or discipline, being emotionally unavailable, seriously unrealistic
expectations of a child in relation to its age
All forms of abuse have an emotional component however emotional abuse often occurs where
there are no indicators that other forms of abuse have taken place. Children who have been
emotionally abused often carry the psychological consequences of the abuse into adulthood
with adverse effect on their behaviour, relationships and parenting ability. It is essential
therefore that professionals recognise the signs of this very damaging form of abuse at an early
stage. Where professionals are unsure as to whether abuse is occurring, they should consult and
share information with other relevant professionals.
Signs and symptoms of Bullying
● Emotional-excluding, being unkind
● Physical- hitting, kicking, theft
● Racist- racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
● Sexual- unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
● Homophobic- because of or focusing on the issue of sexuality
● Verbal- name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
● Cyber- text messages, picture/video and phone calls, email, websites.
The damage inflicted by bullying can frequently be underestimated. It can cause considerable
distress to children, to the extent that it affects their health and development.
Appendix 3Naíscoil GhreanacháinReport Form
Name of child
Please complete if a child has disclosed to you about abuse
If no disclosure has been made please state Not Applicable (N/A)
When was the disclosure made? (Date & time)
Where was the disclosure made?
What were the immediate circumstances leading to disclosure?
Were others present at the time of disclosure?
If yes please state who (Names & positions)
Record factually what was disclosed. Where possible, record the exact words spoken by the
Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser?
Reason for suspicion including factual description of the child’s behaviour/change in
Reason for suspicion including factual description of the child’s appearance
Time and date of observations
Did the child need medical attention?
Any action taken
Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of
somebody else? If so, record details.
Name and signature of recorder Date
Referred to designated person Date
Duty Social Worker Gateway Team (Health & Social Care Trust)
Gateway team :
Out of hours Emergency Service (after 5p.m. each evening, at weekends and
public/bank holidays) : 028 95049999
Northern Early Years Social Services Team:
8e Coleraine Road,
028 276 61340
PSNI The Central Referral Unit (CRU) based in Antrim Road PSNI Station is part of the Public
Protection Unit and is the central referral point for child sexual and physical abuse allegations.
The office is open Monday to Friday 8 am to 9 pm and weekends and public holidays 9 am to 5
pm. Telephone: 028 9025 9299
Phone: If you are worried about a child and need advice – 0808 800 5000
Text number: 0800 056 0566 or 0800 1111
Name of setting
Designated Person: Sinéad Uí Chatháin
Deputy Designated Person: Sylvia Brown
Contact Details on parent’s notice board for gateway teams Social Services and
Children with Disability
In recognising child abuse all professionals should be aware that children with a disability can be
particularly vulnerable to abuse for a number of reasons and that detection can be especially
● Signs may be confused or because of the nature of the disability there may be a ●
tendency to explain away signs such as bruising or inappropriate sexual behaviour. ●
Children with a disability are often more dependent on adults, including for intimate care
and may be cared for by a number of different adults.
● Children with disabilities may be unable to recognise abusive behaviour because they may
have learning difficulties, a lack of education or information and because they may have
reduced exposure to the norm of adult/child interaction. For example, a disabled child
may have difficulty in differentiating between appropriate and inappropriate touching.
● Children with disabilities may have little opportunity for involvement with adults or other
children outside their home or care setting. Consequently, they have reduced
opportunity to disclose any abuse.
● Children with disabilities may be unable to convey their experiences to others, or
adults may be unable to communicate with them.
● Children with disabilities often have low self-esteem and consequently may lack the
confidence to disclose abuse.
● Parents/carers/guardians and family members of children with a disability often
experience considerable stress both in coming to terms with the disability and in
managing the ongoing care of the child.
● There is still societal and professional reluctance to accept that disabled children could be
● The often specialist nature of services for children with a disability separates them from
the mainstream services for children and families. This can lead to insufficient
knowledge of child protection issues within the specialist disability services and insufficient
knowledge about disability in the child protection services.
PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING ABUSE
‘I can contact the NI Public Services Ombudsman Tel: 0800 343 424’
For further advice or if I’m still concerned
This policy will be reviewed annually by the management team to ensure it remains fit for
This policy was adopted by Naíscoil Ghreanacháin management team.
(on behalf of the Management Team)
Date: ……………………… Signed………………………………………….. Date:
……………………… Signed ………………………………………….. Date: