Safeguarding perpetrators

Handling disclosure about children and young people who use violence:

Young people identified as being abusive to others may also have underlying unmet needs which require addressing by education staff. These needs should be considered separately from those of the person being abused.

Concerns about the young person who is being abusive to others may need to be discussed with the designated child protection lead and senior manager. Local agencies should follow the appropriate child protection procedures, including a plan of action to address the identified needs and where necessary convene relevant meetings with the appropriate professionals in respect of the young person who is being abusive.

The young person will also need to be held responsible for their abusive actions and, where appropriate, criminal justice agencies will need to be involved. Child welfare and criminal justice agencies should work together.

For abusive conduct which is not deemed to be a child protection issue or a criminal matter, for example, use of language or ‘name calling’, interventions should include sanctions. The focus should be on positive action to promote respectful relationships.

Tailored group work for young people using abuse might be considered, it is important to remember that children and young people have the potential to change their attitudes and actions. We recommend the programmes delivered by Respect.

For more information look at Respects toolkit on ‘Working with Young People Using Violence & Abuse’ 

Staff who may be abusive

When abuse by education staff is disclosed or suspected, or there are suspicions about their behaviour which may meet the criteria for abuse. The following procedure is recommended but you will need to follow your own child protection policy and procedure:

  • The matter will be immediately referred to the Head Teacher or Director.
  • In all instances, the police will be informed as a criminal offence may have been committed.
  • The procedures to be followed for the protection of the child are those outlined in the child protection policy and procedure.
  • The staff member or volunteer who is alleged to have abused or is suspected of abuse will be suspended immediately from their role. Such action does not assume that the allegations are true but is designed to protect any child/children allegedly involved and also to prevent further allegations.
  • Any internal investigation according to disciplinary procedures will be held in abeyance until the police, social services or statutory body have indicated that they have no further involvement.

Staff can be referred to comprehensive perpetrator programmes like the ones delivered by Respect.

More information on how to deal with staff who use violence and abuse can be found in Respect’s Domestic violence resource manual for employers.