Q1: A. Scenario 1 : Students are required to complete a separate report to demonstrate their understanding of Scenario 1. 2
Q2: A. Scenario 2 : Students are required to complete a separate report to demonstrate their understanding of Scenario 2. 5
Q3: B. Students must then choose one scenario and prepare a sample conversation that they would have with a colleague in relation to their concerns. This conversation should highlight your understanding of the legal and ethical considerations discussed in your report. 7
You are working with 2 ½ year old Clara at a craft activity indoors, it is a hot day. Clara is wearing a long sleeve top with a high neck and trousers, socks and sneakers. You ask Clara if she would like to change into cooler clothing she shakes her head and moves to another activity.
You then notice that she begins to sweat so you go to her bag to see if she has a change of clothes. When you don’t find any, you return with clothes from the service- a T-shirt and shorts. You ask Clara if she would like to change into cooler clothes. Clara is reluctant at first and looks down at the ground, although she eventually comes with you to change her clothing.
Upon assisting Clara with changing her clothing, you notice bruising on her back and upper torso. The bruises are of different colour, some are yellow and brown, where others are more red and purple. It seems they are similar in shape and size. Clara does not look at you or answer when you ask about what happened.
The child has the right to get proper physical, emotional and medical care and education in a safeguarding environment. It is the obligation of their parents or caregivers to provide protection against any kind of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The family has the right to make well informed decision in favour of the child’s mental and physical health and well-being.
The type of abuse which is suspected is physical abuse. She is having bruises on her back and upper torso that clearly indicates physical abuse.
Clara was wearing long sleeves top with high neck and trousers, socks and sneaker which was not very comfortable for a hot day. She was sweating a lot due to her dressing. On asking her to if she wants to change, she denied first. However, she eventually asked to change. While changing, she was reluctant in removing cloth due to the fear of exposing marks. On asking about the bruises, she was become vague and avoided looking at me. This is the behaviour shown by children going through physical abuse.
The physical abuse often create a long lasting impact on the individual. The wound and bruises will heal with the passage of time, but the emotional, sociological and psychological impact could be life-long lasting. Although the physical abuse may cause serious medical injuries.
The UN clearly states in article 19 of Child Convention on the Right of a Child stated that children must be protected from all kinds of mental or physical violence, abuse or injury, maltreatment, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation under the care of the parents or legal guardians (UNICEF). Article 39 of Child Convention on the Right of a Child states that the government must take appropriate measure to promote psychological and physical recovery of the child victim who faced any kind of abuse, neglect or exploitation (UNICEF). The child rights are being breeched as Clara is not well protected by her parents or caregiver against physical abuse.
The NQS area relevant to this scenario is violation of Quality Area 2 and Quality Area 5. Quality Area 2 states that it is the right of children to experience quality care and education in a safe and secure environment which ensure their safety and promote their health and wellbeing (ACECQA, 2018). Another quality standard which was violated, Quality Area 5 states that the relationship with children must be respectful and responsive and should develop sense of belonging and security in children (ACECQA, 2018).
The procedure follow in this scenario is to provide immediate assistance, reporting to authorities, contacting parents or caregivers and providing support (Early Childhood Guidance, 2016). Clara need immediate treatment for bruises, but before treatment her situation will be recorded as evidence. Then the concerned authorities are informed. The parents or caregiver will be informed and investigated about physical abuse. In meantime, Clara will be getting clinical support for physical and mental health.
In this situation, my response will be in accordance with the code of ethics. The code of ethics that should be follow while looking after children are to provide and maintain healthy and safe environment that ensures children’s safety and enhance learning. I need to ensure that the children are not discriminated on the basis of gender, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion. My response will be based on practical evidence, research and complete knowledge about the child’s condition and their family.
First thing that must be done is to collect evidences that could verify physical abuse. Expert nurses present on ground must be contacted to confirm the case of physical abuse. The result should be compiled into a concise, clear, detailed and legible report which includes the condition of the child, family and the interactions between family and staff (Lyden, 2011). All the concerns, observation and treatment provided must be documented. Then this report will be forwarded to supervisor and official authorities. The child abuse must not be taken lightly, and if needed, court case can be filed. To prevent physical abuse happening again, the abuser need to be severely punished.
If I fail to respond, then the physical, mental and emotional well-being of Clara will be at risk. The abuser would not stop until and unless they got exposed and Clara would be needing clinical assistance in order to recover from the impact of abuse. Not responding to such abuse will also reduce vigilance in staff towards child abuse.
The children in your 3 year old group are getting their food ready for an outdoor picnic. You notice that David doesn’t have any food packed, so you make him a sandwich. You are aware that this is not the first time he has attended care with no lunch in the past few weeks.
David eats the sandwich quickly without stopping to talk with the other children. You notice that as the picnic progresses nobody will sit next to David and the children who are seated close to him quickly finish their food and move off to play.
David asks if he can go to the toilet indoors. When David is gone, Samantha who was seated next to David approaches you. You ask Samantha why she didn’t finish her food today, she tells you that David is smelly.
You notice that David has been gone for a while, when you go inside to find him, you see David eating food from the other children’s bags.
It is the right of the child to get proper care and protection from any form of abuse, neglecting behaviour or exploitation. The family has the right to look after their children and fulfil all of their nutritional and dietary requirements.
The type of abuse identified in this case is serious neglect. Serious neglect is when a parent of caregiver fails to take care of child’s basic requirements like food, hygiene, shelter, such that the consequences starts affecting child’s health and wellbeing.
David is stealing food from other children’s bag. This indicate that he is deprive from food. His smelliness indicates that he has not taken bath since past few days and this is now affecting his hygiene and health.
David incubates the habit of stealing food from other children’s lunchbox as he is severely food deprive. Other children are hesitated sitting and eating next to David, because he smells. His hygiene is affecting his social interaction and community partnerships. This lowers his self-confidence and self-esteem.
The UN clearly states in article 19 of Child Convention on the Right of a Child stated that children must be protected from all kinds of mental or physical violence, abuse or injury, maltreatment, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation under the care of the parents or legal guardians (UNICEF). Article 39 of Child Convention on the Right of a Child states that the government must take appropriate measure to promote psychological and physical recovery of the child victim who faced any kind of abuse, neglect or exploitation (UNICEF). David is facing neglect from his parents or caregiver which is the directly breeches the UN Rights of the Child.
The NQS area relevant to this scenario is violation of Quality Area 6. This quality standard states that the fundamental to achieve quality outcome for children is through corporative relationship with families. Social interaction based on consultation, communication and cooperation are very important (ACECQA, 2018). In this case, the cooperation collaborative relationship between David and his family is not so strong. His care taking by his family is not as per the standard.
The very first thing that must be done is to counsel David and get to know the reason. It is possible that this may be the result of his parents getting separated as this problem started recently. Then the statements are recorded as evidence for future need. The authorities are informed and the parents or caregivers are counselled. Meanwhile, David will be given proper clinical treatment to recover his health and counselled for emotional and psychological support. His social interaction must be promoted.
In this situation, my response will be in accordance with the code of ethics. The code of ethics that should be follow while looking after children are to provide and maintain healthy and safe environment that ensures children’s safety and enhance learning. I need to ensure that the children are getting proper care by the parent or caregivers and are not subjected to any kind of neglect. My response will be based on practical evidence, research and complete knowledge about the child’s condition and their family.
While David is counselled, his statements must be recorded which can be later used as evidence for child neglect. His parents or caregiver must be interviewed regarding the situation of David and this interaction must be noted down. All the data documented must be well detailed, precise and clear. It will be reported to the concerned authorities. The authorities can identify the abusers and arrange proper counselling session or punishment for them.
If I fail to respond to this abuse, it could possibly cause fatal damage to David’s health. He may grow weak due to lack of proper nutrition and diet. He may suffer from skin infection or similar infections due to getting cleaned up regularly. Moreover, the worse impact will be on his mental and social well-being. Not responding to such abuse will also reduce vigilance in staff towards child neglect.
Conversation between me and colleague
Me: Good afternoon, a girl of age 2.5 years named Clara, I suspect she is victim of physical abuse.
Colleague: What? Do you have any evidence?
Me: Yes, she has bruises on her back and torso. Some of them are fresh while some are old. She was also hesitated when I asked her to change her long sleeves top and high neck and trouser with cooler clothes. It was a hot day and she was sweating. On asking her how she got bruises, she was embarrassed and avoided looking at me.
Colleague: That surely verify the case of physical abuse. But what will you now?
Me: The code of conduct says that I must provide safe and secure environment to promote health and safety of the child. It is a child’s legal right to be safe and healthy and protected from any harm.
Colleague: I understand. How will you report it and to whom?
Me: I prepared a report which have the detail about Clara’s bruises, her psychological state and conversation between me and Clara and some additional details. I will forward it to the supervisors as well as the government authorities. The parents will be informed and interviewed. All the conversation will be recorded and will be used to identify the abuser.
Colleague: Very well. But what will happen to Clara while carrying out all these procedures?
Me: She will be under clinical treatment and will be supported for her physical, mental, emotional and psychological health by trained professionals.
Colleague: Great. She must be given adequate care and protection, it is her right. And the abuser must be recognised and strict action must be taken against them.
Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/child-rights-convention/convention-text
Impact of Physical Abuse on Children. Retrieved from https://www.ferry-county.com/Courts%20and%20Law/Sex%20Offender%20Info/Impact_of_Physical_Abuse_on_Children.pdf
Lyden, C. (2011). Uncovering child abuse. Nursing2019, vol. 41, pp. 1-5.
National Quality Standard. (2018). Australia’s Children Education and Care Quality Authority. Retrieved from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard
PROTECT Identifying and Responding to All Forms of Abuse in Early Childhood Services. (2016). Early Childhood Guidance. Retrieved from https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/programs/health/protect/EarlyChildhood_Guidance.pdf
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