Child protection Level 1

Child protection training is important for everyone no matter your occupation nor how frequently you work with children and/or their families. This Introduction to Safeguarding Children course is a positive first step towards increasing and improving your knowledge and will provide you with a thorough overview of how to recognise the warning signs of abuse, what to do with any concerns that you may have and how to feel confident in protecting children from harm. The course uses a variety of written text, interactive exercises and real-life cases to help you understand more about your responsibilities.

What is safeguarding?

What is safeguarding?

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from   

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is part of the safeguarding . It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of .

Safeguarding responsabilities

Safeguarding responsibilities

Schools have a statutory duty to protect children in their care. They must hav

  • a child protection policy
    • child protection procedures
    • a designated lead for child protection - both on the board of trustees and in the senior management team
    • safe  processes

The school environment must be a safe place for children. And schools must ensure that adults who work in the school, including volunteers, don't pose a risk to children.

Staff should receive in how to identify and respond to child protection concerns.

What are the issues we face in safeguarding and child protection?

What are the issues we face?

‘Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child.

It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention.

We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.’


Types of Abuse

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

It's often difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening, because it usually takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are around.

Children who witness domestic abuse may:

  • become aggressive
  • display anti-social behaviour
  • suffer from depression or anxiety
  • not do as well at school - due to difficulties at home or disruption of moving to and from different homes.

Its important that you provide support and advice to young people who may be experiencing domestic abuse. The video above gives an example of domestic abuse in the home. 

Can you think of a time where a child's experience of domestic abuse may affect them in sport?

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse...

"Sexual abuse is any act that involves the child in any activity for the sexual gratification of another person, whether or not it is claimed that the child either consented or assented.

"Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or in watching sexual activities, using sexual language towards a child or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways."

(Scottish Government, 2010)

Contact Abuse

Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration. It includes:

  • sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child's wearing clothes or not
  • rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child's mouth, vagina or anus
  • forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity
  • making a child take their clothes off, touch someone else's genitals or masturbate.

Non - Contact Abuse

Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, exploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. It includes:

  • encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
  • not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others
  • meeting a child following sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them
  • online abuse including making, viewing or distributing child abuse images
  • allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images
  • showing pornography to a child
  • sexually exploiting a child for money, power or status (child exploitation).

How might young people experience sexual abuse


Poor appearance and Hygiene

They may:

  • be smelly or dirty
  • have unwashed clothes
  • have inadequate clothing, e.g. not having a winter coat
  • seem hungry or turn up to school without having breakfast or any lunch money
  • have frequent and untreated nappy rash in infants.

Health and development problems

They may have:

  • untreated injuries, medical and dental issues
  • repeated accidental injuries caused by lack of supervision
  • recurring illnesses or infections
  • not been given appropriate medicines
  • missed medical appointments such as vaccinations
  • poor muscle tone or prominent joints
  • skin sores, rashes, flea bites, scabies or ringworm
  • thin or swollen tummy
  • anaemia
  • tiredness
  • faltering weight or growth and not reaching developmental milestones (known as failure to thrive)
  • poor language, communication or social skills.

Housing and family problems

They may be:

  • living in an unsuitable home environment for example dog mess being left or not having any heating
  • left alone for a long time
  • taking on the role of carer for other family members.

What you might notice.

There are a whole range of signs and symptoms that come along with neglect. As someone with close and regular access to children, you may be the first to spot the signs of neglect. It is therefore, important that you know them and react quickly. 

Effects on relationships and attachment

A parent or carer's behaviour has a big impact on a child. It can also affect the relationship between parent and child.

This relationship, or bond, between a child and their primary caregiver - usually mum or dad but sometimes another family member or carer - is described by attachment theory.

When a child is neglected they don't usually have a good relationship or bond with their parent. Psychologists would describe this as a poor attachment.

Poor attachment can significantly affect the relationships that people have throughout their lives, including how they interact with their own children. Early intervention can change attachment patterns, reducing harm to a child and helping them to form positive attachments in adulthood.

(Howe, 2011)

How might you notice a child being neglected through your role working with children?

Physical Abuse

What causes physical abuse 

Adults who physically abuse children may have:

  • emotional or behavioural problems such as difficulty controlling their anger
  • family or relationship problems
  • experienced abuse as a child
  • parenting difficulties including unrealistic expectations of children, not understanding a child’s needs or no idea how to respond to a child
  • health issues.

Another definition of physical abuse can be ‘harm or injury or if the nature and intensity of training and competition exceeds the capacity of a child’s immature and growing body.’

13,880 children and young people contacted ChildLine about physical abuse in 2014.


  • commonly on the head but also on the ear or neck or soft areas - the abdomen, back and buttocks
  • defensive wounds commonly on the forearm, upper arm, back of the leg, hands or feet
  • clusters of bruises on the upper arm, outside of the thigh or on the body
  • bruises with dots of blood under the skin
  • a bruised scalp and swollen eyes from hair being pulled violently
  • bruises in the shape of a hand or object.


Burns or scalds(

  • can be from hot liquids, hot objects, flames, chemicals or electricity
  • on the hands, back, shoulders or buttocks; scalds may be on lower limbs, both arms and/or both legs
  • a clear edge to the burn or scald
  • sometimes in the shape or an implement for example, a circular cigarette burn
  • multiple burns or scalds.

Fractures or broken bones

  • fractures to the ribs or the leg bones in babies
  • multiple fractures or breaks at different stages of healing

How can you notice physical abuse within your role? how might it occur?

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s emotional health and development.

Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them.

Children who are emotionally abused are usually suffering another type of abuse or neglect at the same time – but this isn’t always the case.

What does emotional abuse include?

Because there's an element of emotional abuse in all other types of child abuse and neglect, it can be difficult to spot the signs and to separate what's emotional abuse from other types of abuse.

Emotional abuse includes:

  • humiliating or constantly criticising a child
  • threatening, shouting at a child or calling them names
  • making the child the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt a child
  • blaming, scapegoating
  • making a child perform degrading acts
  • not recognising a child's own individuality, trying to control their lives
  • pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations
  • exposing a child to distressing events or interactions such as domestic abuse or drug taking
  • failing to promote a child's social development
  • not allowing them to have friends
  • persistently ignoring them
  • being absent
  • manipulating a child
  • never saying anything kind, expressing positive feelings or congratulating a child on successes
  • never showing any emotions in interactions with a child, also known as emotional neglect.

Emotional abuse is the 2nd most common reason for children needing protection from abuse

How might emotional abuse occur within your context? how can you stop this?

Methods of intervention

When a child Makes a disclosure...

What to do if a child makes a disclosure to you..

You have a responsibility to tell people what you are told so the situation can be resolved. You need to make the child aware of this process.

How should you respond when a child starts telling you something worrying?

  • Stay calm
  • Let the child talk freely at their own pace rather than trying to lead them down a certain path of questioning
  • Reassure the child
  • Only ask questions to determine whether there is cause for concern so you can refer the matter
  • Record what they have said as accurately as possible, as soon as possible, and tell them what will happen next

Handling an allegation or disclosure:


Rush into actions that may be inappropriate

Make promises you cannot keep (eg. you will not tell anyone)

Ask more questions than are necessary for you to be sure that you need to act

Take sole responsibility – consult someone else

The disclosure cycle

The above diagram gives an idea of the process that should be followed if a child makes a disclosure to you. 

Scenario 1

Scenario 2