If a child discloses anything to you please follow these procedures:
- Listen to what is being said.
- Accept what is said.
- Try to take notes (if possible).
- Reassure the young person but only so far as is honest and reliable.
- Do not make promises that you cannot keep.
- Do not promise confidentiality.
- Do reassure the young person and try to alleviate the guilt e.g. “You are not to blame”.
- React to the young person only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to do a referral. DO NOT INTERROGATE.
- Do not ask leading questions e.g. “What did he do next?” (this assumes something else did happen) “Did he touch your private parts?” such questions may invalidate your evidence and the child’s if the case goes to court.
- Do ask open ended questions, like “Anything else you would like to tell me?”
- Do not criticise the perpetrator, the young person might love him / her.
- Do not ask the pupil to repeat it to another member of staff.
- Record the time and date of the disclosure and if the child uses “pet” names for parts of their anatomy then use the actual words the child uses and do not translate them into “proper” words.
- Use the body map to record any bruising or marks.
- Record only observable or factual things do not state opinions.
Discuss with your designated person (Mrs C Patterson, Mrs D Coates, Mrs D Shields) for Child Protection issues or concerns.
- Have all details ready e.g.
Date of Birth
Mother / Father / Carers name
Any other family members (siblings)
Details of concern.