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Training Document: A Guide for how a Tutor Should Respond to Disclosures of Abuse or Self-Harm from Child
Training Document: A Guide for how a Tutor Should Respond to Disclosures of Abuse or Self-Harm from Child
Ethan Binder avatar
Written by Ethan Binder
Updated over a week ago


As a tutor, establishing a safe and supportive environment for students is paramount. However, there may be instances where a child discloses experiences of abuse or self-harm. This document provides guidance on how to navigate such sensitive situations with empathy, professionalism, and adherence to legal and organizational protocols.

Section 1: Recognizing Signs of Distress

  • Sudden changes in behavior, attendance, or academic performance

  • Unexplained bruises, injuries, or marks

  • Withdrawal from social interactions or excessive fearfulness

  • Expressions of hopelessness, severe anxiety, or depression

Section 2: Responding to Disclosures

  • Remain Calm and Supportive:

    • Maintain a calm demeanor to ensure the child feels safe.

    • Express concern and thank the child for trusting you with this information.

  • Listen and Validate:

    • Let the child speak without interruption.

    • Validate their feelings by acknowledging their courage in sharing.

  • Avoid Promising Secrecy:

    • Explain that you are required to share this information with trusted adults who can help.

  • Avoid Investigations:

    • Do not probe for additional information or attempt to investigate the situation.

  • Document the Conversation:

    • Note the date, time, location, and a factual account of what was disclosed.

Section 3: Reporting Procedures

  • Immediate Reporting:

    • Follow GoPeer's protocol for reporting abuse or self-harm by reporting immediately by emailing

    • Report the incident to a designated safeguarding lead immediately by emailing

  • Legal Compliance:

    • Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations regarding mandatory reporting. Contact for more information.

Section 4: Self-Care and Support for Tutors

  • Seek support from supervisors or counseling services to process the emotional impact.

  • Attend training on trauma-informed practices to better support students and manage such situations in the future.

Section 5: Continuation of Tutoring Services

  • Maintain a supportive and non-judgmental attitude.

  • Coordinate with the child’s support team to ensure a conducive learning environment moving forward.


Handling disclosures of abuse or self-harm can be challenging. Following these guidelines will aid in ensuring the safety and well-being of the child while adhering to professional and legal responsibilities. By creating a supportive educational environment, tutors contribute significantly towards the holistic development of their students.

Remember: Your response to such disclosures can significantly impact the child’s willingness to seek further help.

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