IntroductionThe agency in which I have chosen is a primary school, who provide education for both girls and boys from the age of 4 to 10. The booklet is important with in the school as staff play a vital role in safeguarding children and this booklet will help provide crucial information for them. Within the booklet i will address what is abuse? and how children may be vulnerable to abuse or harm. A well as stating risk factors and cultural factors that could lead to abuse or harm to children. Within school’s staff play an essential role in protecting children from abuse. They have regular contact with children and young people so they are in a strong position to identify signs of abuse and neglect. (Nspcc, 2017) Everyone in the education service plays a part in keeping children safe from harm and abuse. Schools should be creating a safe environment and identifying pupils who are at risk of abuse and taking suitable action. (rothersome online) states that “Safeguarding children and promoting their welfare is defined as: Ensuring that children are growing up in a consistent with the provision of safe and effective carePreventing harm of children’s health or developmentTaking precaution to enable children to have the best outcomeSafeguarding is protecting vulnerable adults or children from abuse or neglect. It means making sure people are supported to get good access to health care and stay well. It is wrong if vulnerable people are not treated by professionals with the same respect as other patients. (leeds.gov, 2011)”In Northern Ireland there are almost 2,100 children in Northern Ireland were identified as needing protection from abuse in 2016 (Information Analysis Directorate 2016) Children who live with a physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disability are among the most stigmatised and marginalised of the entire world’s children. While all children are at risk of being victims of violence, disabled children find themselves at significantly increased risk because of stigma, negative traditional beliefs and ignorance.” (nspcc, 2014) This quote is extremely high and it shows that many children in Northern Ireland are suffering abuse, i hope that this booklet will give insight to all staff member so that they can keep a look out for these signs and that this number gets reduced significantly. Section 1.1 What is abuse?Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or a combination of any or all of these. Abuse can also be neglect, which is when parents or guardians don’t take care of the basic needs of the children who depend on them.An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen online.It is estimate that over half a million children are abused in the UK each year. (NSPCC 2017) Types of child abuse and signs:Physical: Physical abuse is purposefully hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts. Abusing a child is not accidental, a child who has or is suffering from abuse may be in the form of being slapped, hit, poisoned or having object thrown at them. Sometimes parents or carers will make up or cause the symptoms of illness in their child, perhaps giving them medicine they don’t need and making the child unwell – this is known as fabricated or induced illness (FII). (nspcc, 2017)Emotional abuse: can be the most difficult to identify because there are usually no outward signs of the abuse. Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents constantly criticize of threaten children until their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as much as physical abuse can. (kidshealth, 2017) Sexual abuse: sexual child abuse is when the child are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused (nspcc.org)Neglect: neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse. For example, a child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care. In addition, a, child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm. The child may not receive love, care and attention they need from their parents or carers. A child who is suffering from neglect will often suffer from other types of abuse. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage – even death. Financial: this may be limiting access to money or other resources, or by forcing all financial responsibility onto their victim while limiting their ability to provide this. Children are more vulnerable to abuse as adults may see them as a target as they are not aware of what is right and wrong, also children may not be believed if they spoke to about what is happening to them. Or that they may be scared to speak up in case they could be taken away from their family. Within schools abuse could occur as the teacher has control of what is happening within the classroom. Risk factors of abuseA greater understanding of risk factors can help professionals such as teacher working with children and families identify maltreatment and high-risk situations so they can intervene appropriately. It must be emphasised, that while certain factors often are present among families where maltreatment occurs. A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of child abuse and neglect. Although children are not responsible for the harm inflicted upon them, certain characteristics have been found to increase their risk of being maltreated. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with child abuse and neglect—they may or may not be direct causes.(cdc.gov 2017)While there are varying schools of thought on the origins of maltreatment, most theories of child maltreatment recognize that the root causes can be organized into a framework of four principal systems: (1) the child, (2) the family, (3) the community, and (4) the society. Though children are not responsible for the abuse inflicted upon them, certain child characteristics have been found to increase the risk or potential for maltreatment. Children with disabilities or mental retardation, for example, are significantly more likely to be abused (Crosse, Kaye, & Ratnofsky, 1993; Schilling & Schinke, 1984). Evidence also suggests that age and gender are predictive of maltreatment risk. Younger children are more likely to be neglected, while the risk for sexual abuse increases with age (Mraovick & Wilson, 1999). Female children and adolescents are significantly more likely than males to suffer sexual abuse. Therefore, children who suffer from disabilities and young girls more action should be taken to prevent any harm or abuse from occurring. Within school’s staff should be aware that they are more vulnerable to abuse and should have a system set up in place to protect them. section 1.2There are many factors that lead to child abuse these can be:Child factors: this is where the child is sick or unwanted has physical or developmental disability the child can be a product of abusive relationship from the parent or within a school environment. Environmental factors: overcrowding within a school, those with disabilities not having access to user friending facility. Parental factors: parent has already abused a child and has a background of abuse growing up. Parent may have mental illness or could be abusing alcohol. Community Risk FactorsCommunity violenceConcentrated neighbourhood disadvantage (e.g., high poverty and residential instability, high unemployment rates, and high density of alcohol outlets), and poor social connections.Self-harm: Self-harm can take lots of physical forms, including cutting, burning, bruising, poisoning and overdosing.There are many reasons why children try to hurt themselves. It is very important to spot the signs as soon as possible. Self-harm isn’t usually a suicide attempt or a cry for attention. Instead, it’s often a way for children to release overwhelming emotions. It’s a way of coping. So whatever the reason, it should be taken seriously. often a child who is self-harming is being bullied, under too much pressure to do well at school, being emotionally abused, grieving or having relationship problems with family or friends.Section 1.3Social and cultural factorsSocial problems are the general factors that affect and damage society. These problems affect real life and affect how people react to different situation. Social factors include:Health: Raham and Power (2004) show how throughout life, a poor start makes health worse. Social circumstances, as measured by social class, influence one’s chance of staying alive. Childhood is important because it is when physical, emotional and cognitive development patterns are established. These include the kinds of things people value about themselves and others, and are linked to ways of behaving such as smoking, eating and exercise.Housing:The role of housing becomes pivotal where services to an individual such as babies and children are involved. Issues such as dampness or cold rooms, uneven floors or loose flooring, a lack of support rails or floors that is slippery when wet can all make it difficult for the occupant to maintain good health and well-being. This can lead to poorer health and therefore more vulnerability to abuse. (Lindon 2012) – Education: poor education not only affect children but their whole families as when there is no education or literacy skills this leads to unemployment and poverty. Lack of education can have serious effects on children and this can affect them through their life. Situation like drug abuse, theft and gang violence happen more frequently in non-educational settings. Cultural factors include:Children also experience neglect and abuse due to cultural factors. The best example can be given of the old age custom of child marriage in India. Many girls are perceived as financial burdens and are forced to marry in exchange for money. Due to financial crises in the family, many young girls are sold to brothels. Several cultural differences affect child abuse and the number of child abuse cases differs from country to country. It is difficult to compare abuse from one country to another due to the difference in lifestyle, customs, legal systems and definition. Cultural and social structures can be identified by examining data from a diverse group of cultures. This will give us a better understanding of the factors responsible for abuse and factors that can assist in preventing it.In conclusion, everyone in the education service plays a part in keeping children and young people safe from harm and abuse. Creating a safe learning environment, identifying pupils who are suffering or at risk of harm and then taking suitable action, are vital to making sure that children are safe at home and at school.