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Encouraging Child Protective Practices

Encouraging Child Protective Practices

Ensuring the safety and care of a child is the responsibility of a carer in partnership with the Caseworker. On a day-to-day basis, the carer should know the whereabouts of a child whether they are at school, visiting friends, on contact visits with family, or when and where they are engaged in leisure pursuits.

A child has the right to pursue planned and agreed activities on an independent and semi-independent basis (as appropriate to their age), but a  also has a right to be free from worry and concern with regard to the safety and wellbeing of a child for whom they are responsible day-to-day.

A family calendar or whiteboard can help everyone to keep track of the household’s movements, as can an understanding that a child will telephone their carer  if they are going to be late home. This is a common courtesy that the whole household should consider observing. Mobile telephones can also be useful for keeping in contact, as are reverse charge telephone services. Carrying some form of identification, perhaps just a card in a wallet that records the name of the child and an emergency contact, may also help out if a child falls ill or is injured, and unable to communicate with helpers.

A preventative measure is to teach a child protective practices such as an awareness of ‘stranger danger’, not getting into a car with someone they don’t know, awareness of safety houses en route to school and shops and a plan of action to seek safety and protection from adults. While this is a good idea for all children, it may be especially important for children in care who may be subject to additional risk.

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