This policy is underpinned by:
- Children Act 1989 & 2004
- Data Protection 1998
- The Protection of Children Act 1999
- (fgm) Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Race Relations Act 1996
- Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975, 1986
- Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999
- Human Rights Act 2000
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
- The Sexual Offenders Act 2000
- “What to Do if You are Worried a Child is Being Abused”
- The Common Assessment Framework (2005)
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Preventing Duty (Counter Terrorism & Security Act)
- Working together 2015
Statement of Intent
Our pre-school will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.
We aim to work with children, parents and outside agencies to create an environment where children feel safe and can develop self-confidence and a positive self-image. Fundamentally, we promote an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to.
We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.
Staff and volunteers
- Our designated staff member who co-ordinates safeguarding issues is: Diane Button. Their role is clearly communicated to all staff and parents see Safeguarding officer job description.
- Our designated officer who oversees this work is: Diane Button.
- Diane will ensure all staff, volunteers and parents are made aware of our safeguarding policies and procedures.
- New staff members receive safeguarding children training and a copy of the preschool’s safeguarding children policy within the first week of employment.
- It is a requirement of all staff that they undertake safeguarding training at regular intervals and this is recorded within their individual staff records.
- All staff members have a copy of the “what to do if you’re worried a child is being abused” booklet.
- Parent helpers and volunteers receive a comprehensive induction which includes a copy of this policy and access to safeguarding children information
- We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
- A referral chart for concerns regarding children is on display within the setting
- Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Candidates are informed of the need to carry out 'enhanced disclosure' checks with the Disclosure and Barring service (DBS) before posts can be confirmed.
- Where applications are rejected because of 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 Disclosure and Barring checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
- Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
- We abide by the Protection of 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 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 unauthorized person has unsupervised access to the children.
Responding to suspicions of abuse
We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.
When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or may be experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behavior, or their play.
Where such evidence is apparent, the child's key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses the situation in private with the manager and Diane Button. The information is stored on the child's personal file. Chairperson to be kept informed.
We refer concerns to the local ‘Customer First’, on 0808 800 4005 which is the initial point of contact for Social Services, we co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation. In some cases, this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. Any referral made to ‘Customer First’ must be followed up with a MARF within 24 hours.
We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
We use the detailed procedures and reporting format contained in the Local Safeguarding Children Board handbook when making a referral to children’s social care or other appropriate agencies.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), observes signs or signals that gives cause for concern, such as significant changes in behavior; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect that member of staff:
1. listens to the child,
2. offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
3. do not question the child;
4. makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that
5. any doubts contact MASH for advice on 0345 6061 499
♣ 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 date and time;
♣ the names of any other person present at the time.
These records are signed and dated and kept separately from the day to day developmental records kept on individual children. Each record will be on a separate sheet of paper to ensure confidentiality. Confidential records will be kept in a locked filing cabinet, which only the manager, Safeguarding Officer, and Chairperson will have access to. When a member of staff has reason to make a confidential record they will hand the record to the manager or Safeguarding Officer to file on their behalf. They will not divulge anything about the work they are doing other than to the above-named individuals. Records that are relevant to a child protection matter may have to be disclosed to the police, solicitors or courts if required by civil or criminal proceedings.
Making a referral to the local authority social care team
The Pre-school Learning Alliance's publication 'Child Protection Record’ contains detailed procedures for making a referral to the local social care team, as well as a template form for recording concerns and making a referral. This is based on ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2006).
We keep a copy of this document and follow the detailed guidelines given and follow the Local Safeguarding Children's Board procedures and flow chart that are displayed in the Pre-school.
All members of staff are familiar with the Alliance’s Child Protection Record and the Local Safeguarding Children's Board flowchart, they will follow these procedures for recording and reporting.
Parents are normally the first point of contact.
If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser, or by doing so the child is put at further risk. In these cases, the investigating officers will not inform parents.
Liaison with other agencies
We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.
We have a copy of 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused' for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
We have procedures for contacting the local authority (LADO) 0300 123 2044 on child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the setting and social services to work well together. These records will be kept in the operational plan.
Customer First 0808 800 4005
We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of children.
Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also kept. Number 0808 800 5000
If a referral is to be made to the local authority social care department, we act within the area’s Safeguarding Children and Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child's parents at the same time.
Should an allegation be made against a staff member, committee member student or volunteer we have a clear procedure to be followed;
We ensure that all parents/carers/staff/committee members/students and volunteers know how to complain should they have any concerns about the behavior or actions of a member of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone working on the premises, which may include an allegation of abuse.
On occasion, we may seek the guidance from a relevant professional at Suffolk County Council, our insurers or the Preschool Learning Alliance 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 will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (0300 123 2044) to report any allegations against staff, students, or volunteers. Regardless of whether the complainant wishes to take the matter further.
We follow the guidelines laid down by the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board when we respond to any allegation made against a member of staff, committee member, student or volunteer that a child has been abused.
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 have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident. Accurately recording what is said, without questioning/asking leading questions and without interviewing the person making the allegation and without interviewing the person about whom the allegation has been made against as we understand that this may jeopardize any future proceedings.
We refer any such complaint, whatever this may be, immediately to Customer First by telephone, giving the details of the child, we then contact the Local Area Designated Officer for Safeguarding (0300 123 2044) and inform Ofsted within 14 days. (Registered providers must inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children on the premises (or elsewhere) as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegation being made, and of the action taken in respect of these allegations. A registered provider, who without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits an offence Statutory.
We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
Where the management committee and the Local Area Designated Officer for Safeguarding agree, it is appropriate in the circumstances, the chairperson/manager will suspend members of staff on full pay, or any student and volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of an admission of guilt but is in place to protect the person who the allegation has been made against and children and their families throughout the process.
Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Independent Barring Board administrators so that the name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred List. Details on staff notice board in office
We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting, to ensure that they are able to recognize the indicators of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the setting.
The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision.
No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others. The toilets is propped open when a member of staff is assisting children in the bathroom
A Nappy changing procedure is included within the operational plan
Early Years Foundation Stage
We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our program to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for the individual, having positive regard for children's heritage arising from their color, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know.
Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
All staff, committee members and volunteers within the preschool sign a confidentiality agreement.
Support to families
We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers in the group.
We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.
We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting's designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Designated Safeguarding officer Diane Button
This policy was reviewed January 2017.
Signed on behalf of the Preschool: Jennifer Clark Chairperson
Designated Safeguarding officer Diane Button
This policy will be reviewed annually unless legislation or guidance requires it to be reviewed before
Further Information in respect of Safeguarding Children
Physical abuse – Where a child is physically hurt, injured, un-necessary surgery (fgm) or killed. This can involve hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning and biting. It also includes giving a child poisonous substances, inappropriate drugs and alcohol and attempted suffocation and drowning. In some cases, excessive force may be used when feeding or changing a child’s nappy.
Sexual abuse – Where children (girls and boys) are sexually abused by adults or other children who use them to meet their own sexual needs; this might be Female Genital Mutilation, sexual intercourse, also includes fondling, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and exposing children to pornographic material – including videos.
Neglect – Where parents or carers fail to meet the basic and essential needs of their children to have food, clothes, warmth and medical care. Leaving children alone and unsupervised is also an example of neglect. In addition; parents refusing to give love and affection to their children is an example of emotional neglect.
Emotional abuse – Where constant lack of love and affection, or threats, verbal attacks, taunting and shouting can lead to a loss of self-esteem, making a child nervous and withdrawn. (fgm) also causes emotional issues
Signs of abuse - You may notice emotional or social behaviour that is abnormal or unusual for a child. There may be changes in the standards of health in a young child. All types of abuse can impact on a child’s health and can lead to impairment or developmental delay.
Neglect can also show physically as poor standards of cleanliness, physical care or hygiene, infection and infestation. Frequent bruises, grazes and injuries particularly to the fleshy parts of the body can be signs of physical abuse. No one sign (unless it is overwhelmingly obvious) is likely to make you absolutely sure that a child is being abused. More than one explanation is possible and you must be careful not to jump to conclusions but the possibility that abuse has taken place should be considered.
Other Child Protection Issues which staff should be mindful of include difficulties experienced by adults who are responsible for children, such as; domestic violence incidents, mental health issues and substance and alcohol abuse. If in doubt liaise with the appropriate professionals as per our Safeguarding Children Policy. Alternatively, if you have a concern about a child or vulnerable adult you can contact Suffolk County Council Social Care Services and seek their advice about the way forward. The Customer First office telephone number - 0808 800 4005. After 6.45pm emergency duty team telephone number is 01473 299669. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or postal address: Customer First, Customer Service Direct, PO Box 771, Needham Market, Ipswich IP6 8WB.