Bullying within residential establishments for young people is recognised as a risk but will not be tolerated.
Bullying is any behaviour which is deliberately intended to hurt, threaten or frighten another person or group of people. It is usually unprovoked, is often repeated and can continue for a long period of time. It usually reflects an imbalance and abuse of power. Bullying behaviours are aggressive although they may not seem so.
S. Sharp; Sheffield Project 1991 Bullying can take many forms including name-calling, physical or emotional harassment and inappropriate use of humour. Bullying can be on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation and disability.The values and principles of Services for Children and Young People state that everyone will be treated with dignity and respect and their welfare and safety will be paramount. Everyone has the right not to be bullied and the service recognises bullying as a serious issue.
Addressing bullying In order to address bullying staff within the Secure Unit must:-
- Recognise that bullying can take place within the Secure Unit and can be committed by either adults or young people
- As part of the admission process every young person will be made aware that bullying is not acceptable and what to do if they are being bullied or witness another young person either bullying or being bullied.
- A relaxed, friendly, non-aggressive atmosphere will be developed within the unit to reduce the risk of violence or bullying.
- Young people will be encouraged to view bullying as a problem for everyone and not just an individual issue. They should be encouraged to intervene themselves to prevent bullying or to bring adult assistance immediately
- Bullying must be discussed openly and on a regular basis with all young people.
- Staff must act as appropriate role models and must not engage in any sort of bullying, verbal abuse or fun-fighting.
- Young people who are being bullied will be supported and appropriate guidance will be given to those who bully.
- Bullying must be discussed on a regular basis in team meetings, individual supervision, young people's meetings and reviews
- Serious bullying (leading to injury, assault or threat of injury) must be reported to the Manager who will refer the situation to the relevant Team Manager in relation to the Child Protection Procedures. This discussion should be with the knowledge of the young people involved.
- Risk assessments will be carried out into times; places and circumstances in which the risk of bullying is greatest and subsequent action will be taken.
- Training will be given to staff in relation to the awareness and management of bullying.
- Any member of staff who witnesses or suspects that any form of bullying is occurring must act immediately to prevent it continuing and record incidents appropriately.
There are three aspects to managing an effective response to bullying; the young people who are bullied; the young people who bully; and the capacity of each units physical resources, staff resources, and internal processes to contribute to the safer caring of young people. The bullied young person
- When it is identified or suspected that a young person is being bullied Staff will acknowledge the bullying, reassure the victim that he/she is not to blame and to offer opportunities for him/her to share their distress.
- The staff will offer opportunities for the young person to discuss bullying with his/her key worker and other supportive individuals identified by the young person and/or staff.
- There will be attempts to create a resolution strategy for the individual victim.
- Information on the existence and nature of bullying will be recorded in the young person's file and handover book.
- The outcome of the various forms of support offered will be recorded in the young person file.
- Where appropriate, the issue of bullying will be raised at young person meetings.
- The person carrying on the bullying
- A young person who bullies should be informed that such behaviour is unacceptable to the ethos of the home.
- The fact of having been so informed should be recorded in the young person files along with a summary of the outcome of the attempt to discuss the issue
- Attempts should be made to assist the young person to develop positive methods of achieving control, status and influence as an alternative to bullying through enhancing self-esteem, confidence, communication and conflict resolution skills.
- The input to and outcome of such attempts should be incorporated into the Personal Care Plan and recorded in the young person's file.
The Procedure of the Unit
All staff should ensure that bullying or threatening behaviour is not tolerated in the unit.
All staff should respond to bullying in the first instance by:
- Listening to the victim
- Reassuring the victim
- Continuing to offer help, advice and support to the victim
- The unit will, where relevant, inform both sets of parents of incidents of bullying.
- The unit will routinely discuss bullying at team and change over meetings, both in terms of individual young people and the group as a whole.
- The manager of the unit will routinely audit the physical characteristics of the building and times of the day in order to identify where and when bullying is more likely to occur.
- The unit will devise measures such as leaflets/posters in order that the issue of bullying achieves an appropriate profile.
- In order to improve safety and deal comprehensively with bullying it is essential that accurate information on the nature and extent of bullying, is noted. Therefore the young person's social worker will be informed of incidents and actions as they occur.
- Bullying is discussed regularly at young person's meetings.
- Bullying incidents and action taken are recorded as a matter of course.
- Bullying will be reported as Child Protection Concern.
- Bullying by staff towards other staff or young people should be reported to the Service Manager and disciplinary procedures will be referred to.
- Child protection
- Youth Offending
- Children with Disabilities