Spotting Early Signs of Abuse

As teachers, it is vital you are able to spot the early signs of abuse, especially when it comes to intervention and putting in place the steps to help the child or children in need. This blog will cover some of the early signs of abuse as well as how a digital recording system is key to reporting and managing any wellbeing or safeguarding concerns you may have.

Behaviour Changes 

One of the biggest indicators that something is going on in a child’s life is behaviour changes. This could be that a usually talkative and energetic child has suddenly become withdrawn or that a normally quiet and shy child is now being loud and being extroverted. These are quite drastic changes but they can be more subtle. Even as small as a change in behaviour pattern, e.g. Billy always plays football at break time but recently, he has started sitting under the tree. These could very well be just a symptom of growing up or a fallout with his friends but equally, it might not be. If we don’t spot these changes then we can’t be there to help early. 

Outbursts 

Many people attribute poor behaviour as the catalyst to outbursts but outbursts, however large or small, could be an inability to control their emotions any longer. They can’t find the words to express what is happening to them or how they are feeling, it all gets too much for them and they explode. Again, this could just be that the child is struggling to manage their own behaviour but it could also not be.  

Anxiety 

From time to time children can worry but these are usually about the bigger things, a move, a change of class or even a change of adult in the classroom but when they start to overly worry about the seemingly small things, a broken pencil or a lost sock. When these worries can lead to outbursts or even shut down then this could be an early indicator that something isn’t right. It might not be that the child is being abused but it could be that they are suffering with their mental health. Either way, the child needs help and support. 

Poor Friendship 

Some children find it hard to make friends for a variety of reasons and others flit from friend to friend but children who find it hard to play games with other children without it ending in arguments or who would rather be on their own that with their peers could signal a sign of abuse or needing of mental health support. Either way, if you are concerned about a child and their friendship groups, report to your DSL immediately.  

All of these indicators are potential signs of abuse, it may very well not be but it is up to you to report them all the same. The DSL will investigate further and take necessary action but if they don’t know or are not told then they can’t put much-needed support in place for your children.  

Managing and Reporting your Concerns  

Part of early intervention is being able to record, report and manage concerns about the students in your care. The pros of a digital system are that concerns can be recorded and sorted in one place so the safeguarding lead can access all the information and act accordingly. 

MyConcern is our safeguarding software designed by child protection experts for the easy recording, managing, and reporting of concerns. MyConcern allows anyone responsible for the protection of children, young people and adults at risk to easily manage and record all safeguarding and wellbeing concerns. 

Additionally, MyConcern helps to protect those at risk by allowing early intervention using a trusted, secure and intuitive platform. It also provides safeguarding leads with peace of mind by meeting the statutory, legal and moral obligations they have to those in their care. 

Author
Vikkey Chaffe
Head of Community Relations

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