In support of the Child Protection Act of Thailand, B.E. 2546 (CPA) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), NIVA has adopted a child protection policy and will follow the procedures outlined below:
The following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect:
- Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance;
- Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention;
- Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes;
- Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen;
- Lacks adult supervision;
- Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn; and/or
- Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home.
- Shows little concern for the child;
- Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems at school or home;
- Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves;
- Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome;
- Demands an excessive level of physical and/or academic performance which the child cannot achieve; and/or
- Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs.
The Parent and Child:
- Rarely touch or look at each other;
- Consider their relationship entirely negative; and/or
- State that they do not like each other.
Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the child:
- Has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, and/or black eye(s);
- Has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school;
- Seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home;
- Shrinks at the approach of adults; and/or
- Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver.
Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver:
- Offers conflicting, unconvincing, or no explanation for the child’s injury;
- Describes the child as “evil,” or in some other very negative way;
- Uses harsh physical discipline with the child; and/or
- Has a history of abuse as a child.
Consider the possibility of neglect when the child:
- Is frequently absent from school;
- Begs or steals food or money;
- Lacks needed medical and/or dental care, immunizations, and/or glasses;
- Is consistently dirty and has severe body odor;
- Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather;
- Abuses alcohol or other drugs; and/or
- States that there is no one at home to provide care.
Consider the possibility of neglect when the parent or other adult caregiver:
- Appears to be indifferent to the child;
- Seems apathetic or depressed;
- Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner; and/or
- Is abusing alcohol or other drugs.
Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the child:
- Has difficulty walking or sitting;
- Suddenly refuses to change for PE class or participate in physical activities;
- Reports nightmares or bedwetting;
- Experiences a sudden change in appetite;
- Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior;
- Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease;
- Runs away; and/or
- Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver.
Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver:
- Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child’s contact with other children, especially those of the opposite sex;
- Is secretive and isolated; and/or
- Is jealous or controlling with family members.
Consider the possibility of emotional maltreatment when the child:
- Shows extremes in behavior, such as being overly compliant, demanding, aggressive, or passive;
- Is either inappropriately adult (parenting other children, for example) or inappropriately infantile (frequently rocking or head-banging, for example);
- Is significantly delayed in physical or emotional development;
- Is suicidal and/or has attempted suicide; and/or
- Reports a lack of attachment to the parent.
Consider the possibility of emotional maltreatment when the parent or other adult caregiver:
- Constantly blames, belittles, or berates the child;
- Is unconcerned about the child and refuses to consider offers of help for the child’s problems; and/or
- Overtly rejects the child.
Other Concerns That Will Require Child Protection
While abuse is of utmost concern when it comes to child protection policy, there are other concerns that may also cause harm or undue stress on children and young people, including:
- Confrontational situations that happen at the School without the mediation of appropriate school personnel;
- Death in the family or School community;
- Self-harm or suicidal behavior;
- Bullying or cyberbullying;
- Risks associated with the School’s facilities and events, use of outsourced transportation, members of staff, etc.;
- Outbreak of contagious diseases.
In the event that a potential case of abuse is recognized or observed, the initial role of any teacher or staff is not to verify or investigate the situation, but rather to report the concern and enable the child to receive immediate help and mitigation. The same focus is given to disclosures of any form of abuse.
Any teacher or staff should immediately report potential cases of abuse to their immediate supervisor or the designated Child Protection Coordinator. The same applies to disclosures of any form of abuse. The matter will then be recorded in a document that provides the following important details:
- Name, age and grade level of the child;
- Date, time and place of abuse or observation of possible abuse;
- Name of any other person present;
- What happened/how;
- The child’s appearance, behavior, speech, mood, obvious injuries, etc. A body map must be used to mark the observed injuries;
- If a child or any other adult speaks, take note of all the details as they are said rather than your personal interpretation.
The Child Protection Team will review the report and make administrative decisions that may include contacting appropriate authorities.
Once a case has been reported to the authorities, the School’s role becomes limited as teachers and staff will not take part in the investigation. They may, however, be required to give information as needed, or to provide support to the concerned child.
Confidentiality and Recordkeeping
Confidentiality is a matter that should be thoroughly discussed and understood by all teachers and staff, especially if it concerns child protection. Any report or disclosure regarding any form of abuse must be kept confidential for the benefit of the child. But the concerned child/student should not be guaranteed that the situation will be kept secret, as proper recording and reporting will be required for further investigation by the School’s Child Protection Team as well as the appropriate authorities.
Pertinent information will be shared with other teachers or staff on a “need to know basis” only. Teachers and staff with access to any sensitive information are required to observe confidentiality at all times.