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Safeguarding Online Training Course

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Foster Parents Society of Ontario presents - Safeguarding Online training course for foster parents.

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Safeguarding Online Training Course

  1. 1. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario You & Your Family Against Allegations of Abuse
  2. 2. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario Acknowledgement We wish to acknowledge and thank the following for their contribution, support and encouragement: Trillium Foundation Ann Dafoe, President of Hastings FPA Canadian Foster Families Association (CFFA) FPSO Board of Directors Children’s Aid Foundation
  3. 3. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario WHY Do We Need to Safeguard? While, for much of the time, foster parents do the same things that natural parents do, they have to accept that, in other ways, their task is a different one from that of the natural parents. Unlike foster parents' own children, the children in their care do not belong to them. They are held in trust. Having someone else's children is not a natural situation. The Society has ultimate responsibility for the children and is involved in their lives. Note: Throughout this training session the term “Society” has been used to stand for; CAS, Children’s Aid Society, Family & Children Services, FCS Agency, Agencies etc.
  4. 4. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario WHY?  Foster parents never think that their family will be the one that will be reported for possible abuse. However, there has been a significant increase in reports of allegations of abuse in foster families and it is likely that this trend will continue.  Foster families are at greater risk of an allegation than other families.  Foster families are held to different, higher standards for what will be considered abuse in their homes.
  5. 5. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario FOSTER FAMILIES CONSTANTLY LIVE IN A FISH BOWL
  6. 6. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario WHY?  Foster family life is highly visible in the community and held up to public scrutiny.  Consumers of social services - foster children and their biological relatives - are familiar with child abuse report procedures and effects.
  7. 7. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario WHY?  Societies are concerned about their legal liability regarding placed children.  Foster children are often "high risk" both in terms of the responses they may elicit from others and in terms of the abuse risk they pose for other children
  8. 8. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario HOW Do We Safeguard Ourselves? By Providing Foster Parents with: KNOWLEDGE & TRAINING
  9. 9. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario Training Objectives  To identify the reasons and the context for allegations  To develop family safety strategies to prevent false allegations  To understand the investigative procedure
  10. 10. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario SECTION I ALLEGATIONS
  11. 11. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario WHAT IS AN ALLEGATION? An allegation is a statement or suggestion made by an individual about another person with respect to an abusive behaviour as defined under the Child & Family Services Act.
  12. 12. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario  The child’s safety is our first concern.  Abuse allegations are serious and must be dealt with seriously because we have given the child the promise of safety.  When an abuse allegation is taken seriously the child learns that adults can be trusted.  Allegations will happen and can be a learning experience. Crisis causes learning. We need to ask what could I do differently?
  13. 13. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario SECTION II UNDERSTANDING ALLEGATIONS of ABUSE
  14. 14. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario REASONS for ALLEGATIONS of ABUSE  Actual abuse has occurred. Actual emotional, physical or sexual abuse has occurred in the foster family. The abuser could be one of the foster parents, other foster children, natural children or even a visitor to the foster home.  Language is misinterpreted. An adult's action or expression has been misinterpreted. Children who have been abused, particularly sexually, sometimes misread a situation based on an earlier experience. To the child, an action might seem a repetition of a sequence that was used when he/she was actually abused.
  15. 15. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario REASONS for ALLEGATIONS of ABUSE (cont’d)  Memories are confused with the present. Sometimes as repressed memories of abuse come to the surface, the child confuses this with abuse currently happening in the present placement. A child’s perception of day to day experiences is determined by their past. Crisis and/or stress can bring out feelings or reactions from the past. Seeing someone who looks like someone from the past can trigger feelings/reactions. These reactions can lead to false allegations based on memories of the past.
  16. 16. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario REASONS for ALLEGATIONS of ABUSE (cont’d)  Body language is misinterpreted  Revenge. The child, or perhaps someone in the child's family, has a grudge against the foster parent or Society and uses an allegation of abuse as a weapon.
  17. 17. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario REASONS for ALLEGATIONS of ABUSE (cont’d)  Attention seeking. This is a way of obtaining the attention the child seeks. It can also be a cry for help. A child may be getting back at the system. He/she knows that an allegation is easy to make but difficult to disprove. The foster child wants to break a placement, is not listened to, and knows this is a way to ensure a move.
  18. 18. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario REASONS for ALLEGATIONS of ABUSE (cont’d)  The child/youth may want to break the placement because:  abuse has occurred  he/she wants to go home (various reasons-might want to get back to protect siblings)  he/she believes the placement won’t last (no investment)  might want to be placed in the home of a sibling  believe that no one cares for him or her. Has a history of being unloved by parents and sibs.  conflicting loyalties, desire to please bio parents
  19. 19. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario CRITICAL EMOTIONAL STAGES THAT MIGHT LEAD TO ALLEGATIONS  Anger stage: Self expression: “I hate this place”. “You are not my mother” “I could do this at home.”  Poor Case Management: Placement disruption, or foster parent hanging in for the child.  Honeymoon period. Shock denial stage.  The crisis: “Do you still love me when I am this bad?” Questioning whether foster parent will still be there for them.
  20. 20. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario  We tend to interpret our experiences by what we know and what we have experienced. Our foster kids see us as parents. Their past experience with parents was not positive therefore they see us as not positive. POINTS TO CONSIDER
  21. 21. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario POINTS TO CONSIDER (Cont’d)  We see in others what we expect to see and miss what we do not. Children do this: They see an attitude where there is no attitude.
  22. 22. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario CONTEXT FOR MAKING ALLEGATIONS  Isolation  Too few adults  Too many children  Memory chargers  Changes  Access visits  School problems
  23. 23. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario SECTION III STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS A FAMILY SAFETY PLAN
  24. 24. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario Anything that is capable of great good is also capable of great Harm Abuse occurs more frequently in the caring profession (churches, CAS, foster families, teachers, coaches, counsellors) than in the general population as this is where abusers find ready access to their prey.
  25. 25. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Gather Background Information PRIOR to Placement: In order for foster parents to protect themselves from allegations of abuse it is important to understand the background of young people so that they can be helped to the best of individual foster parents ability. Understanding the child’s background can also help to avoid situations which may be perceived as abusive.
  26. 26. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Background Information: (cont’d) You need to know if the child was previously abused sexually, physically or emotionally. What was the sequence or process leading to the abuse? Was it tied into having a bath, being hit with a specific instrument? etc. You need to know what happened and “with what" it happened.
  27. 27. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Background Information: (cont’d) Information on the previous life experiences of the foster child will help you to be able to decide whether this child will fit into your current family constellation. When you have a victim of child sexual abuse, do you want to put an adolescent offender in the same home? If the child was sexually abused, and is sexually active, -how well protected, or aware are your own children or other foster children?
  28. 28. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Background Information: (cont’d) Has the child made previous allegations; physical or sexual or neglect? (frequency important). Has the biological family made past allegations against foster families? (frequency important). Is child physically aggressive and has he/she ever required restraints, psychotropic drugs?
  29. 29. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Background Information (cont’d) Know medical issues and is your family comfortable with these issues. What is the child’s personality and does their personality mix well with your family? How many admissions has the child experienced?
  30. 30. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Background Information (cont’d) Are there attachment difficulties with the child? How does the child feel about being in care? Is the child indiscriminate with their affection towards males? Does the child flinch/cringe when reprimanded? School difficulties i.e. supervision Frequency of access
  31. 31. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Background Information (cont’d)  Read child’s Society file thoroughly.  Get as much information about the child before he/she comes into the home from previous worker, previous and current foster parents.  Arrange a preplacement visit if possible.  Continue to acquire ongoing information regarding child (i.e. from worker, teachers, the child’s file, cub leaders, therapists, etc.)
  32. 32. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  The Decision to Foster:  Are you able to say “NO” or can you be convinced to take “just one more”;  Are you able to say no, because the child doesn't fit into your current mix of kids - or because you are not going to put your own kids at risk?  Are you able to say no because your skills cannot meet the needs of the child?  Solicit other family members’ opinions;
  33. 33. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS The Decision to Foster: (cont’d)  Ask yourself if this placement can truly work;  Can I manage/help this child;  Do I have or can I access the required training. Have you had specialized training to prepare you to work with the type of children that you have agreed to foster? If you have not, then you are potentially setting yourself up. You need background information and concrete ideas on bow to help the children you are caring for. Love is not enough.
  34. 34. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  The Setting The physical layout of your home, and the space you have for extra children should be considered.  Do you have the space or are you making space?  Have you got an agreement on the number of children you will/can take?  Do you stick to your agreement or do you allow yourself to be convinced to take "just one more"?
  35. 35. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS The Setting (cont’d)  Look at the sleeping arrangements in particular, e.g., who is sleeping in what rooms, what are their backgrounds, what is the attitude toward sharing?  How important is your child(ren)’s personal space?
  36. 36. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Training & Education: Foster parents need a general understanding of children's behaviours and the reasons for behaviours. While certain behaviours may not always be understood, knowing what children may be seeking from the various behaviours can be helpful.
  37. 37. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Training & Education (cont’d)  Take training courses/parenting courses; Participate in any training that is available on working with children and youth who have been physically or sexually abused. It is important that both parents participate in the training sessions, not just one. Make time to read books or pamphlets that will increase your awareness of abuse of children and offer specific ideas on how you can help those who have suffered abuse.
  38. 38. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario Training & Education (cont’d)  Specialized courses may be required to work with specific children;  Attend cluster and FPA meetings  Use CYW support system, your worker and Resource worker whenever available. STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS
  39. 39. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Training & Education (cont’d)  Access the mentors and Foster Parent Peer Support person.  Obtain a copy of your Society 's procedures for handling allegations of abuse, particularly those related to foster care. If your foster family association has developed procedures in conjunction with your Society then get a copy. If you have any questions, then seek answers. It is better to have the procedures before it is too late
  40. 40. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Training & Education (cont’d)  Get training in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)  Know your Society’s discipline policy  Know your Society’s position on use of restraints.
  41. 41. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Respite  Have an agreement with your Society as to relief for this child; You should not live 24 hours a day/365 days a year without some breaks from fostering.  Foster children require a lot of emotional support. You need to be rejuvenated, and you also need time to be alone with your own family.  Respite should be considered mandatory and be available a minimum of once a month.
  42. 42. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Respite (cont’d)  Do not assume relief, get it in the Plan of Care;  Ask for extra relief and support during the “difficult” times;  Take recuperation time after a particularly difficult incident has occurred.
  43. 43. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Support  Build and maintain a support system. As a foster family you need better support systems than most people. You have many additional pressures caused by the problems of the children you may have, disrupted family dynamics, and difficulties that may arise in dealing with the social worker or the Society.
  44. 44. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Support (cont’d)  Support can come to you from attending meetings of your local foster family association, through close friends, or from your own extended family. It is very important that you have someone to turn to in time of crisis. Make sure you have an up-to-date list of your foster family association's emergency contact people.
  45. 45. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Support (cont’d)  Have a plan at the beginning outlining the amount and type of support that will be required to meet the needs of the child, e.g., CYW, group and individual counselling;  Revise the support plan regularly, particularly after the “honeymoon” period;
  46. 46. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Support (cont’d)  Know your limits, ask for assistance when you reach them (Mentor, Foster Parent Peer Support Person, CYW & Resource Workers);  Don’t be afraid to say you are in over your head.
  47. 47. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Discipline & Treatment:  Know and use appropriate discipline and treatment procedures;  Do not hesitate to ask for concrete ideas from Society staff and other professionals regarding strategies for particular behaviour problems;  Know your Society’s discipline & use of restraints policy.  Have CPI Training.
  48. 48. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Social Isolation:  Take the time for your personal relationships, e.g. spouse, family and friends; Don’t sacrifice your personal relationships for the “sake of the kids”.  Build up a strong support system.
  49. 49. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Reporting:  You must report serious occurrences;  Know what serious occurrences are and the procedure for reporting them;
  50. 50. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Reporting: (cont’d)  Report any event which can be interpreted as an abusive situation or inappropriate behaviour;  Make sure that you keep your social worker informed of significant events such as all illness, self-injury, or injuries due to fights or falls.  If there are changing dynamics in the foster family such as illness of one foster parent or behaviour changes in the foster child, inform your worker.
  51. 51. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Reporting: (cont’d)  If your foster child has a problem, let the child's worker know as soon as possible. Make sure you keep a record in your daily log of what you talked about with your worker (times, days, topics, etc.). Check to see that your worker correctly interpreted what you said.
  52. 52. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Reporting: (cont’d)  Keep a copy of all annual assessments and documentation pertaining to your home.  If possible, report serious misbehaviours with the child present;  Voice mail and emails are considered reporting.
  53. 53. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Record Keeping:  Maintain recording/logs of each and every foster child in your home. Keeping daily records: Allows you to review situations; Provides your child's social worker with additional information that can help in decision-making; Maintains a record of accidents, fights or disagreements; Allows you to maintain a record of how you handled these situations.
  54. 54. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Record Keeping: (cont’d)  Recording should include both positive and negative situations that your children have encountered each day.  Your log should also keep a list of all people who visit you during a given day.  Your log should be in a type of journal where pages cannot be removed or added. This will add credibility to your notes should they be required in court. i.e. nothing added or altered after the fact.
  55. 55. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Record Keeping: (cont’d)  Encourage your children to keep diaries. Another interesting idea, utilized by a number of foster parents, is to have your foster children make monthly written comments on the home. This is like an evaluation, but is an informal way of opening communication and catching issues of concern that may be developing.
  56. 56. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Record Keeping: (cont’d)  Personal notes/logs should be kept by you in a locked file;  Society reports must be returned when the child moves or upon request of the Society – it is a legal responsibility;  Share all records/logs with worker(s).
  57. 57. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Don’t Set Yourself Up:  It is strongly recommended that you not leave your children alone without an appropriate and authorized adult present. Make sure you know your Society 's regulation on who constitutes an authorized adult.  Be aware and/or limit one-on-one time with children who have been sexually abused, particularly, if you are of the opposite sex;  It is strongly suggested that teen or adult males NOT be alone in the home or car with female children/teens.  Be aware of jokes or sarcasm which can be misconstrued;
  58. 58. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Don’t Set Yourself Up: (cont’d)  Know your foster child's personal space in relation to touching, and hugging;  Look at who does what and if it is appropriate. e.g., baths, dressing the child, time spent in the bedroom or bathroom.  Have house rules for everyone about privacy, night dress, etc. particularly when dealing with foster children who are sexually aware, or have been known to have been sexually abused.  Give the child be given a copy of these rules to keep.
  59. 59. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Don’t Set Yourself Up: (cont’d)  Be Aware of Self and Family Limits. Do you know what your limits are? Can you define the types of problems that you are able to cope with and those that you are not? Do you know when you are getting to the 'end of your rope’? Can you tell when your family, as a unit, is being affected and having difficulty? Are you able to take a break between placements of children and young people? Are you taking care of your own needs?
  60. 60. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Pre-placement visits:  Planning for a new foster child for your family should include, wherever possible, a pre-placement visit. It is also important that your natural children and any significant others be present.  Pre-placement visits can be advantageous for several reasons. This visit allows you and your family a chance to get to know the child. If you involve your whole family in the decision-making around a new foster child, then this will give all of you a chance to discuss and arrive at a decision.
  61. 61. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Alternate Caregivers: In order to decrease the potential for an allegation of abuse in the foster family setting, it is important that you take some protective steps when you obtain an alternate caregiver. You should:  Obtain a substitute caregiver from a pool of trained and approved foster parents.  Utilize a substitute caregiver that has been approved by the Society .
  62. 62. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Alternate Caregivers: (cont’d)  Utilize a caregiver who knows your children and their backgrounds.  Try to have a substitute caregiver stay in your home, rather than moving your foster children to another home.  Do not utilize, for any reason, an untrained caregiver or any other caregiver without permission of your Society.  Consult your children about who they would prefer as an alternative caregiver.
  63. 63. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering  Foster parents need to have clear rules of what is acceptable in their home. These house rules need to take into account specific ways of protecting the entire foster family from abuse or possible allegations of abuse.
  64. 64. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)  Foster parents should establish "house rules" based on the history and the special needs of the child accepted for foster placement. They should be documented and attached to the plan of care. It is important for the social worker to understand the rules. This can help stop a child from getting accidental permission from the worker to break a rule.  Usually it is helpful to establish and follow "house rules" which cover the following areas: privacy, reasonable dress code, physical contact and exchange of affection, communication, no secrets, and third party presence.
  65. 65. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d) Basic House Rules:  Bathroom door closed unless you have to assist a child with personal hygiene. In this case, it would be advisable to leave the bathroom door open, or have another adult present if possible.  Only one child at a time in the bathroom.  Do not allow children to go into each other's bedrooms. (or no door closed)  Everyone should be properly clothed when in public areas of the house. Wear a housecoat or robe.
  66. 66. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d) Basic House Rules (cont’d)  Beach clothes are for beach and pool only.  Develop consequences with all the children in your home.  A closed bathroom and bedroom door are to be respected.  Always knock, or ask permission, before entering another person's bedroom.  Beds are for sleeping ONLY!  Rules should be age appropriate.
  67. 67. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d) Basic House Rules (cont’d)  Never permit the child to see you without clothes on.  Never permit the child to walk around wearing inappropriate clothing, i.e. black nighties, or too little clothing.  Avoid bathing, even young children, without other adults in the home and present in the bathing area.
  68. 68. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Understand child’s boundary issues  Hugging is a boundary issue  Wear discreet clothing Mom, Dad & Kids  Gestures- watch body language  Use safe language. –suggestive language is risky. Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d) GUIDELINES TO AVOID SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
  69. 69. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)  Physical activities/games – be cautious, Twister, tickling etc.  Lights on – whenever with child  Who can talk about sex – decide what is prudent  Watch for the come-on/the crush  Who is left alone with whom?  Traveling alone with whom? GUIDELINES TO AVOID SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
  70. 70. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS GUIDELINES TO AVOID PHYSICAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS KNOW YOURSELF!  Know your own triggers  Check your emotional balance. Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  71. 71. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline Discipline is a part of the parent-child relationship that can often get foster parents in trouble. Many allegations of physical abuse revolve around the use of discipline. It is important that you know your Society's policy on discipline and that you follow those policies. The consequences of not following your Society's policy or procedures is that you may be charged with abuse. Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  72. 72. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline (cont’d) Discipline is a necessary part of the parent-child relationship and of a child's maturation. Through the sensitive and judicious use of discipline, a child learns to become self-disciplined and self-confident. Therefore, it is an expectation that social workers and foster parents approach the issue of discipline with knowledge, patience and consistency. Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  73. 73. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline (cont’d) Discipline is used for the purpose of teaching and guiding a child towards desirable and acceptable behaviours, rather than retribution for wrongdoing. The basis for all successful work with children is creating and sustaining a good relationship with the child. Cultivate relationships employing positive measures which build self-esteem and cooperation. Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  74. 74. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline (cont’d) UNACCEPTABLE DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES  deliberately harsh or degrading responses that could result in the humiliation of a child or the undermining of a child's self- respect  deprivation of basic needs including food, shelter, clothing, bedding or sleep  extensive and prolonged withholding of emotional response or stimulation after the undesirable behaviour of the child has stopped  placing or keeping a child in a locked room Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  75. 75. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline (cont’d) UNACCEPTABLE DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES  threatening removal of the foster child from the foster home in an attempt to control behaviour. It is recognized that foster parents, with older children or teens, may well have some behaviours that they will not tolerate in their home. They may discuss these matters with a child, recognizing that removal could be a consequence, of such behaviours. Plans for serious consequences are best discussed with the child, foster parent, and social worker together.  corporal punishment  punching, shaking, shoving, pinching, slapping or other forms of aggressive physical contact Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  76. 76. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline (cont’d) ACCEPTABLE DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES  Positive reinforcement and praise, use of rewards  Modelling  Routines and Limits  Clear Expectations and follow-through  Prompting  Redirecting/distraction  Verbal Disapproval Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  77. 77. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Discipline (cont’d) ACCEPTABLE DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES  Withholding or granting privileges  Grounding  Time-outs  Logical Consequences  Chores, Assignment, Restitution  Negotiating, Problem Solving, Choices  Ignoring  Motion Detectors Sensible Caregiving & Prudent Fostering (cont’d)
  78. 78. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS  Prudence is Your Protection  Report immediately, any inappropriate behaviour.  Seek immediate medical attention for any medical concerns, i.e. urinary infections for it could grow into allegations.  Don't try to resolve trauma all by yourself.  Report to the worker, any unlawful behaviour, either in the home or community, i.e. substance abuse.  Minimize discussion with the child of a sexual nature, as this could become their fantasy.  Report problems in school.
  79. 79. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Family meetings give a chance for everyone in the foster family to be heard on issues arising in the family. They encourage open communication within the family and may help to keep potentially abusive situations or "secrets" from developing. If everyone in the family has the right to participate and have input, then the likelihood of an allegation due to feelings of not being heard or listened to, is less likely.  FAMILY MEETINGS
  80. 80. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Purpose of family meetings:  Being heard.  Expressing positive feelings about one another and giving encouragement.  Distributing chores fairly among members  Expressing concerns, feelings and complaints.  Settling conflicts and dealing with recurring issues.  Planning family recreation FAMILY MEETINGS (cont’d)
  81. 81. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Guidelines for Family Meetings:  Meet at a regularly scheduled time so that family members can make their plans accordingly and can count on a time to discuss the issues important to them.  Share the responsibilities of the meeting itself by rotating who chairs the meeting.  Keep minutes of family meetings so that you have a record of issues, plans and decisions. FAMILY MEETINGS (cont’d)
  82. 82. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Guidelines for Family Meetings:  Together, plan the amount of time you will reserve for family meetings.  In deciding who will do the household chores, parents and children together make a list of necessary chores and then decide how to distribute them.  Any agreements made in the family meeting are to be in effect until the next meeting. FAMILY MEETINGS (cont’d)
  83. 83. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario STRATEGIES TO PREVENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS Guidelines for Family Meetings:  Any complaint about decisions from a meeting should be deferred until the next session.  All family members have opportunity to bring up matters important to them.  Make sure your meetings are more than job distribution and problem solving sessions. FAMILY MEETINGS (cont’d)
  84. 84. Course Certificate If you wish to receive a Course Certificate, please do the following: Follow the link below to access the Safeguarding quiz. Fill in your name as you wish it to appear on your certificate and provide an email address to mail your certificate to. Click here to start the quiz A Course Certificate will be emailed to you shortly after successful completion of the quiz. A mark of 90% or higher is required. Thank you for your interest in this online training course.

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