Safeguarding Children Today
It is the belief of CIS’ters that SAFEGUARDING IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL ADULTS; and not children.
Whilst as a society we can, and should, provide sensitive awareness training for children and young people, we should not seek to abdicate our responsibilities as society from the specific role of safeguarding.
Reporting concerns related to children
If you believe that a child is being sexually abused (or any other form of abuse), then please contact your nearest police station so that you can discuss your anxieties and ensure that adequate safeguarding actions are taken. A child is in no position to stop the abuse – adults are.
This initiative is led by the National Crime Agency, via CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Prevention). THINKuKNOW includes a range of resources that can be used by parents, carers and teacher – and are age appropriate. They help raise awareness, in a sensitive and helpful way, of how to manage access to the internet; in a safe way. You can also report any anxieties you have directly to CEOP, via THINKuKNOW – and they have considerable success in taking action against offenders using technology to access children and young people.
What every parent/carer should know
HM Government (2015) description is:
"CSA involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
"The activities 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 of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
"Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children."
Please be able to see what is in front of you; and hear what the child is or is trying to tell you – about what is happening to them. Do not turn away.
Child sex offender disclosure project
The child sex offender disclosure scheme (CSOD) was rolled out across all England and Wales police forces in 2011, following a successful pilot. It lets people who care for children apply to find out if someone has a record for child sexual offences.
The child sex offender disclosure scheme in England and Wales (also sometimes known as “Sarah’s Law”), allows anyone to formally ask the police if someone with access to a child has a record for child sexual offences. Police will reveal details confidentially to the person most able to protect the child (usually parents, carers or guardians) if they think it is in the child’s interests.
Scotland run a similar nationwide scheme called Keeping children safe which allows parents, carers and guardians of children under 18 years old to ask the police if someone who has contact with their child has a record for sexual offences against children, or other offences that could put that child at risk.
No such scheme is formally available in Northern Ireland. However, information on sex offenders can be, and is, shared in a controlled way by the police where necessary for the purposes of child protection or risk management.
For more information on the schemes listed – view the Child sex offender disclosure scheme - An Information Service factsheet