Child Safeguarding Policies
Intimate Care Policy for Children
If you are working directly with a child, it is important to establish if they have intimate care needs, and who should provide or assist with this if it is necessary. Intimate care is, to some extent, individually defined and varies according to personal experience, cultural expectations and gender. It may be described as help with anything of a personal or private nature that the individual is unable to do themselves.
It is particularly important that children with additional needs are carefully listened to, in recognition of the fact that they may have difficulty expressing their concerns, and so that the importance of what they say is not underestimated.
Generally, church personnel are not expected to be involved in the provision of intimate care to children. This should be undertaken by suitably qualified people. Most importantly, it should be agreed in advance with the child and their parents as to who will carry out intimate care and how it should be done. It may be necessary to have a written intimate care plan in place.
Guidelines to be borne in mind when providing intimate care include:
- The child’s view should be ascertained.
- The parents/guardians should be consulted, and their consent sought.
- A rota of carers of the same sex as the child should be agreed.
- The sensitive nature of such tasks taken into consideration.
- The age, stage of development and ethnicity of the child will need to be considered.
- The need to treat every child with dignity and respect.
- The need to ensure an appropriate degree of privacy.
- The need to involve the child as much as possible in their own care.
- Trying to ensure consistency in who provides care.
If a child appears distressed or unhappy, this should be discussed with the child’s parents/guardian and manager/Prior. Any concerns or allegations should be reported in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Child Safeguarding Reporting Procedure.