Dealing With Disclosure – The 4 Rs – Receive-Reassure-Record-Refer
- Listen to what is being said, try not to display shock or disbelief
- Accept what is being said but do not comment upon it
- Do not ask leading questions i.e “what did s/he do next?” (this assumes s/he did something) or “did s/he touch your private parts?” such questions may invalidate your evidence in a later prosecution in court.
- Reassure the child or young person but only as far as is honest and reliable, for example, don’t make a promise you may not be able to keep, such as “i’ll stay with you” or “everything will be ok”
- Don’t promise to keep whatever they tell you a secret, you have a duty to refer Do reassure and alleviate guilt, if the child or young person refers to it
- Do not criticise the perpetrator, the child or young person may love him/her and reconciliation may be possible.
Record and Refer
- As soon as is possible all information should be recorded. Record as much detail as possible including names, addresses and contact information
- Write the nature of the allegation, do not include your own assumptions. Stick to what was actually said/shown/described by the child or young person
- Note any observations on behaviour or emotional state or injuries and bruises Note the time, location and date of the disclosure and sign the record
- Do not investigate the matter yourself, merely receive information and be ready to refer
- Pass this information and verbal account to the Child Protection Lead as soon as possible. It is your duty to refer this information- you cannot keep a secret.
- If the Child Protection Lead has reasonable grounds to believe a child or young person has or is in danger of being subject to abuse the following procedure will be activated;
- Contact as the earliest possible opportunity the Wandsworth Safeguarding Children’s Board The child protection lead will communicate as much information about the allegation and related incidents as is consistent with the advice given to them
- At all times, the safety, protection and interests of the child or young person concerned will take precedence. The Wimbledon Synagogue staff and volunteers will work with and support parents and carers as far as they are legally able
- (Wimbledon Synagogue will assist the local authority and police, as far as it is able during any investigation of abuse or neglect. This will include disclosing written and verbal information and evidence. OFSTED will be informed of any allegations of abuse against a member of staff or volunteer or any abuse that is alleged to have taken place on the premises or during a visit or outing)
- If a member of staff or volunteer is accused of any form of child abuse s/he will be interviewed immediately by the (Head Teacher & Child Protection Lead. The person accused may choose to attend the interview accompanied by a friend or colleague. If the allegation is against the Head Teacher the interview will be carried out by the Child Protection Lead and the Chair.
- The person whom the allegation is made will be informed of the allegation and will immediately be suspended on full pay while an investigation is made.