Safeguarding and Child Protection

Safeguarding and Child Protection

 

Policy Statement

Our setting will work with children, parents and the community to unsure the rights and safety of children and give them the very best start in life. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-School  Alliance Safeguarding Policy.

 

Procedures

We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the  Pre-school Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

 

Key commitment 1

Staffing and Volunteers

 

  • We are committed to building a' Culture of Safety' where children , young people and vulnerable  adults are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service.

  • Our designated person and officer who co-ordinates child protection issues is Elaine Kilner, deputy safeguarding lead is Karen Nightingale.

  • We ensue all staff are trained to understand our Safeguarding Policies and Procedures

  • All staff have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues.

  • Candidates are informed of the need to carry our 'Enhanced Disclosers' checks with the Criminal Records Bureau before post can be confirmed.

  •  Where applications are rejected because of obtaining information that has been disclosed , applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.

  •  We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Disclosures and Baring Services checks for staff and volunteers to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to children.

  •  Volunteers do not work unsupervised.

  •  We record information about staff qualifications, and  the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including :

 

  • the criminal records disclosure reference number

  • the date the disclosure was obtained

  • details of who obtained it

 

  • We  inform all staff that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions , court orders or reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment with us) .

  •  We abide by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) requirements in respect of     any person who is dismissed from our employment , or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern.

  •  We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.

  •  We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children .

  • We take steps to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us.

  • Parents sign a consent form to have access to records holding visual images of their child.

  • All staff understand what the organisation expects of them in terms of their required behaviour, conduct and follows our policy in promoting positive behaviour in retention to children showing aggression towards other children.

 

 Key Commitment 2

 

Our setting is committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused'.advice for practitioners (DFE-00124-2015).

 

Responding to suspicions of abuse

 

  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms ,  physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.

  • When children are suffering from physical , sexual or emotional abuse , or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through:

 

  • Significant changes in behaviour

  • Deterioration  in general well-being

  • Their comment which may give cause for concern, of things that they say (director indirect discloser).

  • Changes in their appearance , their behaviour, or their play

  • Unexplained bruising , marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect

  • Any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.

 

 

 

  •  We are aware of other factors that affect children vulnerability such as , abuse of disabled children, fabricated or induced illness, child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession, sexual exploitation of children , such as through internet abuse and Female Genital Mutilation, that may effect, or may have affected children and young people using our provision.

  •  We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex  multiple or organised abuse, throughout forced marriage  or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. Whist this may be less likely to affect young children in our care, we may become aware of any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.

  •  Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors we follow the procedures below for reporting child protection concerns.

 

  •  Where such evidence is apparent , the child's key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the settings manager or person who is acting as the Designated Person'. The information is stored on the child's personal file

  • We refer concerns to the local authority children social care department and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation . NB – in some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.

  • Staff in the setting take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or by asking questions of the children.

  • We take account of the needs to protect young people aged 16 – 19 as defined by the Children Act 1989. This may include students or school children on work placement , young employees or young parents. Where abuse is suspected we follow the procedures for reporting any other child protection concern. The views of the young person will always be taken into account, but the setting may override the young person refusal to consent to share information if it feels that it is necessary to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult. Sharing confidential information without consent is done only when not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.

  • We have a whistle policy in place.

 

 Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

  • Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosers), or a member of staff observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour, deterioration in general well-being, unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect, that member of staff:

 

  • listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives reassurance that she / he will take action

  • does not question the child.

  • makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or discloser that includes, the date and time of the observation or the disclosure, the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible, the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time and the names of any other person present at the time.

  • These records are signed and dated and kept in the child's personal file, which is kept securely and confidential.

  • The member of staff acting as the' Designated Person' is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity.

  • Where the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Partnerships stipulates the process for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by them.

 

Keeping children safe / our wider role

 

Childcare professionals who work in the early years setting see the children in their care on a regular basis and can make important contribution to their protection by observing changes and identifying safeguarding concerns.

 

There are many different types of abuse, children can be abused by adults direct actions for example, hitting, smacking a child or by inactions for example not feeding or bathing a child. Abuse can also be in the form of indirect actions such as children being exposed to domestic violence, parent /carer alcohol and substance addictions or parents mental illness.

 

In addition staff recognise other forms of abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation known as FGM which since 1985 has been illegal in this country and following the FGM Act 2003 it is now an offence to take UK nationals and those with UK residency oversees for the purpose of such act.

 

Staff are also aware that children can be victims of child sexual exploitation known as CSE, children  can be exploited by offers of affection, gifts or money etc. (depending on age of child) as a result of them performing sexual acts.

 

Therefore safeguarding extends to protecting children from harm or the risk of harm in the setting and also in the child's community / home to minimise the risk of harm;

 

  • Parents must keep the setting up to date with contact details, and details of persons they give permission to collect.

  • Children are not permitted to leave the setting with any persons who are not listed on the

child's admission form unless parent has given the setting permission / notice to allow this.

  • Any persons collecting their child from the setting must not be under the age of 16 years old.

  • We reserve the right to call emergency contact on a child admission form if it appears a person collecting a child is under the influence of alcohol or substance misuse, if the emergency contact is unavailable we have a duty to inform local authorities (MASH) that the child may be at risk of harm.

  • If a child has not been collected at the end of the session, we allow 15 minutes and then begin to ring emergency contacts, if  unable to contact any of the contacts on the child admissions form we allow a further 15 minutes (30 minutes in total from the time a child should have been collected ) and then we will call the local authorities (Children's Social

      Services , Mash and the police.

  • If a child is going to be absent from the setting we advise parents to phone us to inform us. Persistent non attendance with no explanation from parents / carers as to why the child is absent is considered a safeguarding issue and followed up by the Safeguarding Designated Lead Professional.

  • The setting must also be made aware if a private fostering arrangement has taken place. The nationally accepted definition of private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 years old (18 if disabled ) is cared  for by someone which is not their parent or a close relative. This is a private arrangement made between a parent and carer for 28 days or more. (close relatives are defined as step -parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts , uncles whether of full blood, half blood or marriage / affinity. Many private fostering arrangements remain unknown to the local authority. This is a cause for concern as it leaves privately fostered children and young people without safeguards provided by law and are considered a particular vulnerable group.

  • Parents inform staff if their child has received a bump / bruise at home as it must be recorded in our 'Home Bumps' book and signed by the carer / parent. If we observe a child has a mark / bruise that is not explained to us we will ask how this occurred . Any injury present on a child that cannot be explained by the parent / carer may be a safeguarding issue.

Making a referral to the local authority children's social team

 

  • The Pre-school  Alliance Publication 'Safeguarding Children ' contains procedures for making a referral to the local children's social care team, as well as a template form for recording concerns and making referral. This is based on 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused', advice for practitioners DFE- 0012402015)

  • We keep a copy of this document alongside the procedures for recording and reporting set down by the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, which we follow where local procedures differ from those of the Pre-school Alliance.

Informing parents

 

  • Parents are normally the first point of contact. We discuss concerns with parents to gain their view of events, unless we feel this may put the child in greater danger.

  • We inform parents when we make a record of concerns in their child's file and  that we also make a note of any discussion we have with them regarding a concern.

  • If a suspicion of abuse warrants a referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral is made , except where the guidance of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed in greater danger.

  • This will usually be the case where the parents is the likely abuser. In these cases this social worker will inform the parents.

Liaisons with other bodies

 

We work within the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance (NSCP).

We have the current version of 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused', available for parents and staff and we ensure that all staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.

 

  • We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including maintaining  a list of names and telephone numbers of social workers , to ensure that it is easy, in an emergency for the setting and children's social care to work together. (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub 0300 126 1000) out of hours service ) 01604 626938.

  • We notify the registered authority Ofsted 0300123 1231 of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements , which may effect the well-being of the children or where allegations of abuse is made against a member of staff (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). Notifications to Ofsted are made as soon as it is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegation being made.

  • Details of the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children contacts are also kept (NSPCC 0808800500).

 

Allegations against staff

 

  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviours or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting which may include an allegation of abused.

  • We respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff or any other person working with the children , which includes:

 

- inappropriate sexual comments;

- excessive one to one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images.

 

  • We follow the guidance of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting has abused a child.

  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting , may taken or is taking place, by first recording details of any such alleged incident.

  • We refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority Designated Officer by completing the appropriate form and emailing it directly to:

Mash@northamptonshire.gcsx.gov.uk

 

  • We also report any such alleged incidents to Ofsted, as well as that measures we have taken. We are aware it is an offence not to do this.

  • We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children's social care in conjunction with the police

  • Where the management team and children's social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the chair will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the volunteer  for the  duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect staff as well as children and families throughout the process.

 

Disciplinary action

 

  • Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that cause concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults , we will notify the Discloser and Barring Service of the relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children and vulnerable groups can be identified and barred from working with the groups.

 

Key commitment 3

 

Our setting is committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout its training and learning programs for adults. It is also committed to empowering young children through its early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong , resilient and listened to.

 

Training

  • We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authorities guidelines for making referrals. Staff update their training every two years.

  • We ensure the Designated Person receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Northampton Safeguarding Children Partnership.

  • We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns that may have about the provision.

  • We ensure staff are aware of the Prevent Duty 2015, and are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to  radicalisation. We refer to the Channel Duty Guidance document for information and contact details support that we may need.

  • We ensure staff are aware of peer on peer abuse and know how to respond appropriately is such abuse is identified in the setting.

 

Planning

 

  • The layout of the room allows for constant supervision . No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one to one situation without being visible to other or in sound of others.

 

Disclosures

 

  1. offers reassurance to the child

  2. listens to the child

  3. gives reassurance that she / he will take action

 

The member of staff does not question the child.

 

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures.

 

Staff makes a record of:

 

  1. The child name

  2. The child address

  3. The age of the children

  4. The date of the observation

  5. The time of the observation or the disclosures

  6. An objective record of the observation or disclosure, the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible

  7. The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time

  8. The names of any other person present at the time

These records are signed and dated and kept in the child personal file

All members of staff know the procedures of recording and reporting

 

Informing Parents

 

1.Parents are normally the first point of contact

2.If suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership does not allow this.

3.This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officer will inform the parents.

 

Confidentiality

 

All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and only shared with those who need to know. Any information shared under the guidance of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership / local safeguarding partners in line with the GDPR Data Protection Act 2018 and working together 2018.

 

Support to families

 

We believe in building a  trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers in the group.

 

We make it clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, sharing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all time with the local children's social care team.

 

We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child's social care worker in relation to the settings designated role and tasks in supporting the child and the family, subsequent to any investigation.

 

Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parent or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records proceeder and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.

 

Legal framework

 

Primary legislation

  • Children Act (1989 s47)

  • Protection of Children Act (1999)

  • Data Protection Act (2018)

  • The children Act (every Child Matters (2004)

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)

 

Secondary legislation

  • Sexual Offences Act (2003)

  • Criminal Justice and Court Service Act (2000)

  • Equalities Offences Act (2003)

Further Guidance

 

Other useful Pre-school Alliance publications

  • Safeguarding Children (2010)

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01604 820082   /   sunnysideplaygroup@btconnect.com   /   Sunnyside Pre-school Play Group, Reynard Way, Northampton, NN2 8QS