Child abuse is a global phenomenon. It occurs in all countries and in all societies. It involves the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children. It is nearly always preventable.
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN COUNCIL BELIEVES THAT
- Children have the right to a happy, healthy and secure childhood
- The abuse of children is an abuse of their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Child abuse is never acceptable.
This leaflet is intended primarily for Aberystwyth Town Council staff and volunteers, but may serve generally as an introduction to Aberystwyth Town Council’s Child Protection Policy. It describes the Council’s commitment to prevent abuse and protect children with whom it comes into contact, as well as outlining the main elements of the policy. The aim is to help raise awareness of child abuse and of what is expected of staff and others within the Council.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND CHILD ABUSE
The Council’s vision is of a world where the lives of all children reflect the international standards set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes the right to freedom from abuse and exploitation.
The child protection policy aims to translate this commitment to children’s rights into a practical reality through our work with children.
Through its emphasis on prevention, the policy aims to minimise the risks of children being abused.
The Council will also do all it can to ensure that children who are being abused, or who are at risk of abuse, are supported and given protection.
It is also possible that, on occasions, staff and others engaged by the Council or its partners to work with children, may pose a risk to children and abuse their position of trust.
The policy demands the highest standards of professional practice in work with children and describes the values and principles that must underpin our approach to children.
COUNCIL’S POLICY COMMITMENT
Aberystwyth Town Council’s child protection policy covers all contact with children across the world and ensures that staff, volunteers and other representatives of Aberystwyth Town Council, and also our partners:
• areaware of the problem of child abuse
• safeguard children from abuse through good practice
• report all concerns about possible abuse
- respond appropriately when abuse is discovered or suspected.
To this end, the policy document includes:
• A Statement of Commitment to safeguard children from abuse and to ensure that action is taken to support and protect children wherever and whenever abuse is suspected.
•Procedures for raising and reporting concerns - there is a mandatory requirement to raise any concerns within Council.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE POLICY?
All staff, volunteers and other representatives of Aberystwyth Town Council must be familiar with the policy and be aware of the problem of abuse and the risks to children.
Everyone’s prime responsibility is to prevent child abuse.
This means raising any concerns you may have about the safety of children and/or the behaviour of adults.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE OR SUSPECT POSSIBLE ABUSE?
Concerns for the safety and well being of children can arise in a variety ways and in the whole range of different settings in which Council works. For example, a child may tell you or display signs that they are being abused; someone may hint that a child is at risk or that a colleague is an abuser; you may witness or hear about abuse in another organisation.
If you have any suspicions or concerns regarding possible child abuse, or if there is anything with which you feel uncomfortable, you should raise these with your line manager or your main contact within Council. If this is not possible, seek out a senior manager.
Consult the Framework for Action contained in the policy. A local reporting process should also be available in every part of the organisation so that it is clear who to go to if you have a concern.
The important thing is to act on your concerns!
If you are a member of the Council’s staff team, a volunteer or a representative of the Council, and would like to learn more about the child protection policy then please speak with the Town Clerk.