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Social interaction with children

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Social or Overly Familiar Interactions with Children
Gifts Rewards and Favouritism
Infatuations

Social or Overly Familiar Interactions with Children

All staff who work with children and young people have a professional relationship with boundaries that must be maintained. While there may be some social or personal involvement, for example, a staff member may be friends with the child’s parent, care must be taken to ensure the interactions and socialising between professionals and children or young people continues to be safe and appropriate.

Gifts Rewards and Favouritism

All adults should be aware of their organisations guidance on rewards including arrangements for the declaration of gifts received and given.
The giving of gifts or rewards to children should be part of an agreed policy for supporting positive behaviour or recognising particular achievements. Any gifts should be given openly and not be based on favouritism. Adults need to be aware however, that the giving of gifts can be misinterpreted by others as a gesture either to bribe or ‘groom’ a young person.  
Care should also be taken to ensure that adults do not accept any gift that might be construed as a bribe by others, or lead the giver to expect preferential treatment.

Infatuations

Occasionally, a child or young person may develop an infatuation with an adult who works with them. These adults should deal with these situations sensitively and appropriately to maintain the dignity and safety of all concerned. They should remain aware, however, that such infatuations carry a high risk of words or actions being misinterpreted and should therefore make every effort to ensure that their own behaviour is above reproach.

An adult, who becomes aware that a child or young person is developing an infatuation, should discuss this at the earliest opportunity with a senior manager and  parent/carer so appropriate action can be taken to avoid any hurt, distress or embarrassment.