Alternative Childrearing Practices - Safeguarding Children Board
ALTERNATIVE CHILDREARING PRACTICES Welcome By: CYNTHIA OKPOKIRI Wednesday 21st April 2016 Welcome
Who are you? Introductions Describe yourself in three short sentences Professional; personal, and fun description! Learning Contract Equality Act 2010
Treat no one less favourably due to personal/group characteristics like age, gender, race etc. Constructive Criticism
Confidentiality Allow others to participate Respect difference What is each
person hoping to gain from this training? Great Expectations! What are you expecting from this training? Do you feel you need this training? Why? Or why not? What do you hope to achieve from this training?
Why do we need to look at issues concerning childrearing and discipline? 1 Identity and address different cultural childrearing practices; with focus on Physical Chastisement (PC) 2
Examine personal and professional values. 3 To understand sociocultural dynamics of other non-European/immigrant families.
4 Use of legislation, theoretical concepts, and research. Training Overview Why This Course? Culture & Faith: Messages from Serious Case Reviews
Social and cultural isolation or fear of isolation Cultural conflict within families Religion and culture as a distraction from child protection issues Professional misconceptions, lack of confidence and lack of knowledge Self-identity Legal ambiguity Interplay between religion, culture, and childrearing
Professionals and Professionalism The composition of persons here requires that we consider physical chastisement from a professional outlook. Iterative Look at PC For physical chastisement
Against physical chastisement Neutral (any neutral parties?) How professionals can address PC in practice TWENTY QUESTIONS! Are there particular races, ethnicities, classes, or general group of peoples that
are inclined to use physical chastisement? Fact: All races, ethnicities, cultures, indigenous, immigrant populations use physical abuse! (Smith, M. et al., (2002) Unpublished DoH Normative Study of Childrens Injuries). Research with 700 white
British parents who all anonymously admitted using PC, including tapping. Two Some authors suggest that some groups of peoples use PC more than others.
Fact: The jury is still out on that one (see May-Chahal and Cawson, 2005). Some studies suggest that White British families predominantly use mild, and infrequent physical chastisement.
Three Other authors suggest that the difference is in the degree to which certain groups employ physical chastisement. Fact:
The jury is also out on that one, although some studies maintain that black and/or black African and other BME groups do (see Barn et al., 2006). Four While other authors suggest
that certain groups (examples) are more often referred to social services than others (reasons). Reasons for higher referrals Many local authority statistics suggest this (referral differences) might be the case. (Chand and Thoburn, 2006).
Reasons may include racism, cultural incompetence, etc). UK Population 87.1% (55,010,359) of population at 2011 census were white 2.0% (1,250,229) were of mixed racial background 6.9% (4,373,339) were Asian or Asian British 3% (1,904,684) were Black or Black British
0.9% (580,374) were from other ethnic groups 0.1% (63,193) were white other (including gypsy, Irish travellers) Ethnicity in Care By 31st March 2015, 69,540 children were in the care of local authorities (DfE, 2016).
Ethnicity in Care 77% (53,600) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were white 9% (6,170) were of mixed racial background 4% (2,660) were Asian or Asian British 7% (4,920) were Black or Black British 2% (1,700) were from other ethnic groups 1% (500) were other (refused or information not yet available)
Fact: Fact: Black (black African/ black other/ black British/ black and white British) children are overrepresented in the care system Lets agree that certain immigrant groups not only use PC somewhat more than others, but also get
referred to the authorities more than others. It is important that we explore the common group characteristics these are in addition to other relative factors. Characteristics/Identity of BME Discrimination & Double
Presence of disabled children Culture Ethnicity Language Religion Sexuality Poverty and class Refugee and asylum seekers Activity: I will call the Police if
A mother asks her 10year old son to make his bed but he refuses. Mother says he wont be allowed to go and play football with his mates until he tidies his bed of all the clutter. Son replies, I will call the Police if you make me do house work. How is the mother likely to respond if she is indigenous white British? How will she respond if she is first-generation Black African, or any other BME immigrant?
POWER OF THE LAW The law guides our practices with families. Children Act 1989, section 1 (1) talks about the paramountcy principle. I assume that we all know the basics, so, we wont digress into that aspect
to enable us focus on how having the childs best interest impacts on chastisement. Section 3 explains the rights of parents, their duties, powers and responsibilities over their child or the childs property. Section 47 gives many professionals in this space, but
especially social workers and the police, the power to investigate possible harm to a child. Children Act 2004, section 120 extends definition of harm to include children witnessing domestic violence. Also extends to chastisement that leads to bruising, cuts, grazes, swelling, or
scratches, etc. Effects of Physical Chastisement Some children report being afraid of their parents Some children hate their parents Effective deterrent some children learn to meet their parents expectations Some children internalise the pain some authors argue that this behaviour is culturally learned.
Some parents have guilt and self-hate. It allows some parents feel more empowered Name other effects of physical chastisement on both children and parents? ----------------fine line----------------------- It is widely agreed that it is a fine line between physical chastisement ------- and physical abuse.
So, let us briefly look at types and effect of physical abuse. Some Controversial Practices Early marriage, Child marriage, child engagements Forced marriage (including widows) Marriage by proxy Bonus wife Dowry violence
Son preference Sex-selective abortion Restrictions on movement of girls & women Children not allowed to express their views
Home alone Private fostering Abandonment: disabled children Female Genital Mutilation Male Circumcision Breast ironing
Scarring Branding Piercing (ear, noise, lips, genitalia and eyebrows Physical chastisement: Rubbing pepper unto the eyes and rectum of children
Cutting a female childs hair as punishment Trokosi Muti-killings Nutritional violence Force feeding Witchcraft accusations / Kindoki
Effects of Physical Abuse Maiming of children, other health complications, death! Innumerable! However, we want to make a clear distinction between physical chastisement and physical abuse. Why?
Because the law also does. Why Parents Use PC Their religion advocates it (Christianity, Islam, Hindu, etc). This is often the first reason. The law allows it. Yes, the Children Act 1989 does! Effective deterrent (according to some). Penalty or punishment (often requires harsher methods) Loss of parental control no other option of
discipline left Poor parenting skills More reasons why parents use PC? The 'Different' Child Many children likely to experience physical chastisement may exhibit physical, emotional or mental characteristics that set them apart from others. These may include: Stubbornness / rebelliousness / over-independence Naughtiness stealing, beating others, disrespecting
elders Nightmares / sleepwalking / bedwetting Intelligence Very bright or even less able children with learning disabilities are especially vulnerable Physical Health Conditions epilepsy, TB. Stuttering Disabled physical or mental including autism Case Study In a court case in July 201, Mrs. Justice
Pauffley admonished professionals: http ://www.theguardian.com/society/201 5/jun/10/make-allowances-for-immigr ants-who-slap-their-children-says-high -court-judge Backlash The backlash included those from NSPCC, MPs, the media and other
agencies. Let us analyse some: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti cle-3119207/Rebuked-Ministers-join-c hild-protection-campaigners-denounci ng-judge-s-suggestion-migrants-hit-chi ldren.html Father denied using belt; mother admitted never seeing him use a belt, but said father had smacked the boy with his hand on occasion. Can the house give a verdict? Who
is right, Mrs. Justice Pauffley or her opponents? Children Act 1989 Section 22(5)(c) requires local authorities and child welfare professionals to give due consideration to a childs religion, racial origin, cultural and linguistic heritage. Traditional and religious therapeutic measures used by immigrant families are often viewed with deep suspicion and as detrimental to the child by practitioners even when there is little evidence to confirm such views (Bernard and Gupta, 2008:483). However, these
practices do not always imply intent to harm but could be different set of values and beliefs. The law does recognise cultural differences but does not permit it in relation to abuse! The law recognises reasonable chastisement. What is Reasonable?
While some find the term reasonable problematic, I do not. Reasonable implies that the law wants the professionals to be competent, and use their intelligence, expertise and professionalism efficiently. And in comes Cultural Competence The cultural competence model was developed in
USA (Cross et al 1989,Carballeira 1997) by professionals working with ethnic minority communities It is effective work by children safeguarding professionals with families of diverse cultures that simultaneously affirms the strengths, values, and knowledges of the different groups, while properly supporting the children (Bernard and Gupta, 2008, pp. 476).
Achieving Cultural Competence Respect Culturally Culturally Competent Competent Seek
Seek to to understand/ understand/ Learn Learn Empathise/ Empathise/ Appreciate/
Appreciate/ Genuinenes Genuinenes ss Reflect Ethnocentrism Relativism
Moderate & context sensitive position- between two extremes What Works? Easier questions to ask 1.What are we worried about? 2.What is working well? 3.What needs to happen?
We will be passionate about physical abuse, to prevent it wherever it occurs or is likely to, and to prosecute wilful perpetrators. But we will not get excited about physical chastisement. We can encourage parents to use alternative means of child behavioural management (examples). If physical chastisement must be used, it must never be in anger and within the law (see Turner and Muller, 2004 for reasons
why). We can support immigrant parents adapt to non-physical (or at least, less physical) discipline, without implying that the former is European and the latter is not, and without alienating or vilifying such immigrant parents.
The law empowers professionals to reason. Reason counters excitement, and the othering of physical chastisement/abuse. We will demonstrate cultural competence and professionalism by seeking to understand the holistic needs of the child and
exactly how either physical chastisement impacts on her overall wellbeing. Keyword is WELLBEING! Some Key Legislation & Policies Children Act 1989; A childs race, culture, and language and race must be taken into consideration during assessment. Amended 2004. FGM Act 2003.
Fostering and Adoption Act 2002. Common Assessment Framework (CAF); Take family into consideration when assessing a child (BACAF believe in inter-dependency of family members, not in individualism, which they believe is a Western ideology). References Bernard C. & Gupta A. (2008) Black African Children and the Child Protection System. British Journal of Social Work 38: 476-492.
Chand A. & Thoburn J. (2006) Research review: Child protection referrals and minority ethnic children and families. Child and Family Social Work 11: 368-377. May-Chahal, C. & Cawson, P. (2005) Measuring child maltreatment in the United Kingdom: a study of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. Child Abuse and Neglect, 29, 969984. Smith M., Boddy, J., Hall, S., Morse, C., Pitt, C., and Reid, M. (2002) A Normative Study of Children's Injuries. Thomas Conran Research Unit: Institute of Education, London. Turner, H. A., & Muller, P. A. (2004) Long-term effects of child
corporal punishment on depressive symptoms in young adults: potential moderators and mediators. Journal of Family Issues 25.6: 761-782. QUESTIONS? Contact Presenter Contact information
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