Safeguarding Children – Policies And Procedures

Introduction

Litlington Pre-school fully recognises the responsibility to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Through their day to day contact with children, young children and vulnerable adults and direct work with families, all staff, students and volunteers at the setting have a crucial role to play in noticing indicators of possible abuse or neglect and in referring them to the Designated Person for Child Protection.  This policy sets out how the setting discharges statutory responsibilities relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children,young people and vulnerable adults who attend the setting.

 

There are four main elements to our policy:

Prevention through the support offered to children, young people and vulnerable adults and the creation and maintenance a culture of safety to protect them from abuse and harm.

Procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.

Supporting children who may have been abused or witnessed violence towards others.

Promoting a protective ethos.  Our policy applies to all staff, paid and unpaid, working in the setting, including volunteers.  Concerned parents may also contact the setting’s Designated Person/s for Child Protection.

 

  1. PREVENTION

We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult help to protect children.  The setting will therefore:

  • Establish and maintain an ethos where children, young people and vulnerable adults feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are actively listened to.
  • Ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults know that there are adults in the setting whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.

 

  1. PROCEDURES

We will follow Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)* procedures, which can be accessed online : http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/lscb/(www.cambslscb.org.uk) .Litlington Pre-school has regard for Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and What to Do if You  are Worried a Child is Being Abused 2015  (Dept of Education).A copy of ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ poster can be found on the inside of the kitchen cupboard door, the booklet can be found in both the red tin and the staff shelf in large cupboard.

*LSCB’s bring together representatives of each of the main agencies and professionals responsible for helping to protect children from abuse and neglect in a given area.  The LSCB is a multi-agency forum set up to agree how the different services and professional groups should cooperate to safeguard children in that area, and for making sure that arrangements work effectively to bring about good outcomes for children.

The Designated Persons for Child Protection in the setting are:
  Yvonne Rolfe, Debbie Windsor

 

 The following members of staff have also received Basic Child Protection training:

Hannah Richardson,

 Hailey Crilley, Evi Vironos, Helen Reynolds,Stacey Chaffey

 

Safeguarding CHILDREN – POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 The setting will:

  • Ensure it has a designated person for child protection on site at every session, who has undertaken, as a minimum, the two-day child protection training course.
  • Ensure this training is updated every three years.
  • Recognise the importance of the role of the designated person and ensure she/he has the time and training to undertake her/his duties.
  • Ensure there are contingency arrangements should the Designated Person not be available (another Designated Person person will be on site).
  • Ensure that the Designated Person has access to Social Care at the Local Authority for ‘what if’ conversations. The Emergency Duty Team (out of hours) is always available.
  • Ensure the Designated Person has access to the Early Years Safeguarding Advice Line.

 

The roles of staff and management

The setting will ensure every member of staff knows:

  • The name of the designated person and her/his role.
  • How to pass on and record concerns about a child.
  • That they have an individual responsibility for referring child protection concerns using the proper channels and within the timescales set out in LSCB procedures.

The setting will follow ‘safer recruitment’ procedures. Training will be provided for all staff from the point of their induction, and the setting will ensure that it is updated every three years at a minimum. Training made available must enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity and to respond to these in a timely and appropriate way. These may include:

  • Significant changes in children’s behaviour, appearance or play.
  • Deterioration in children’s general well-being.
  • Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of abuse or neglect.
  • Children’s comments which give cause for concern.
  • Pattern of absences or frequent absences
  • Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting for example the child’s home.
  • Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff or any other person working with the children.

The setting will ensure that all staff and volunteers recognise their duty and feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children and that such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with agreed whistle blowing policies.

 

Liaison with other agencies

The setting will work to develop effective links with relevant agencies and cooperate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters, including attendance and written reports at child in need, Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings and child protection conferences and core groups.

 

Record keeping

The setting will keep clear, detailed written records of concern about children using the Log of Concern Form (noting the date, event and action taken).The setting will ensure all records are kept secure and in locked locations. Parents do not have an automatic right to access child welfare records and consideration will be given as to what the consequences of information sharing might be. Unless it would place the child at risk of significant harm, parents will be informed that a Log of concern Form has been completed, where it will be stored   what will happen to it when the child leaves the setting.

When the child about whom there have been child welfare concerns (whether subject to a child protection plan or not) leaves the setting or transfers to school, the child’s child welfare file will be transferred to the receiving school or setting using  the following protocol:

  • The file will be marked ‘confidential, addressee only’ and sent to the Designated Person, if known, of the receiving setting or school. The file will be delivered by hand if possible; otherwise sent by delivery that can be tracked and signed for.
  • The setting will contact the receiving setting/school by telephone to make them aware that there is a child welfare file and, once sent, ask them to confirm as soon as possible that they have received the file. The setting will keep a record that the file has been received in order to be able to identify its location.
  • Parents will be made aware that child welfare records will be transferred, unless this would place the child at risk of acute harm.
  • The setting will not keep a copy of transferred records but will keep a record of the current file location and date the file was transferred.
  • If individual child welfare files cannot be transferred for any reason, the setting will archive them for 25 years from the child’s date of birth.

 

Confidentiality and information sharing

 Staff will ensure confidentiality and that the relevant and proportionate information is shared appropriately. The setting works within the guidelines set out in Information Sharing Advice for Safeguarding Practioners 2015(Department of Education)

The Designated Person will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a’ need to know’ basis only.

All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share relevant and Proportionate information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.

If a child discloses information that may indicate that they are at risk of abuse or neglect, the staff member will be clear that they cannot promise to keep the information a secret. The staff member will be honest to the child and explain that it will be necessary to tell someone else in order to help them keep them safe.

 

Communication with parents

The setting will:

  • Undertake appropriate discussion with parents prior to involvement of another agency, unless the circumstances may put the child at further risk of harm. If in any doubt, staff will seek advice from Social Care as required.
  • Ensure that parents/carers have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the setting and staff for safeguarding and child protection by ensuring that they receive a copy of this policy when registering their child at the setting.
  • Record on the log of concern form what discussions have taken place with parents and if a decision was made not to discuss the matter with parents, the reason why not.

 

  1. SUPPORTING CHILDREN

We recognise that children who are abused or witness abuse may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and trust those around them. 

We recognise that some children may adopt inappropriate or abusive behaviours and that these children may be referred on for appropriate support intervention.

The setting will endeavour to support the child through:

  • Activities to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation.
  • An ethos that actively promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and values people.
  • A behaviour policy aimed at supporting all children. All staff will agree on a consistent approach, which focuses on the behaviour of the child but does not damage the child’s sense of self worth.  The setting will ensure that the child knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but she/he is valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred.
  • Liaison with other agencies which support the child such as Social Care, and the Locality Teams.
  • A commitment to develop partnerships with parents.
  • Recognition that children living in a home environment where there is domestic abuse/violence, mental ill-health or substance misuse may be vulnerable and in need of support and protection.
  • Monitoring children’s welfare, keeping records and seeking advice or making a referral to other agencies, e.g. Social Care, when necessary.

 

Children with Disabilities

We recognise that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse.  Setting staff who deal with children with complex and multiple disabilities and/or emotional and behavioural problems should be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.

 

Prevention of Radicalisation

 The Government Prevent Strategy had raised awareness of the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism. The Counter-terrorism and Security Act, 2015 places a duty on professionals to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

If a member of staff has concerns that a child, parent or staff member may be at risk of radicalization or involvement in terrorism, they will speak with the Child Protection Designated Person.

Please also refer to Prevent and British Values Policy adopted January 2016 which will be annually reviewed.

 

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

  Child Sexual Exploitation involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, drugs, alcohol, gifts or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.

Exploitation is marked out by an imbalance of power in the relationship and involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation and sexual bullying including cyber bullying and grooming.

If CSE is suspected, the setting will complete a Log of Concern form and make a referral to Social Care.

 

Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM)

 Female genital mutilation includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure the female gential organs for non- medical reasons. It is carried out on children between the ages of  0-15, depending on the community in which they live.FGM is extremely harmful and has short and long  term effects on physical and psychological health.

FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, and is illegal in most countries, including the UK.

The setting takes these concerns seriously and staff will be made aware of the possible signs and indicators that may alert them to the possibility of FGM. Any indication that FGM is a risk, is imminent, or has already taken place will be dealt with under the child protection procedures outlined in this policy.

 

  1. PROMOTING A PROTECTIVE ETHOS

 The setting will create an ethos in which children feel secure, their viewpoints are valued, they are encouraged to talk and they are listened to. This will be achieved in the following ways:

  • All staff, including the Designated Persons, are trained regularly to ensure skills and knowledge are up-to-date.
  • Staff know how to respond to child protection concerns.
  • Contribution to an inter-agency approach to child protection by working effectively and supportively with other agencies.
  • Raising children’s awareness and actively promoting self-esteem building, so that children have a range of strategies and contacts to ensure their safety.
  • Using personal safety programmes, such as Protective Behaviours, NSPCC PANTS campaign and the Early Years Service ‘Children’s Safety Matters’ training and resourses.
  • Working with parents to build an understanding of the setting’s responsibility to the welfare of the children.
  • Ensuring the relevant policies are in place i.e. the use of mobile phones and cameras, behaviour management, intimate care, whistle-blowing, social networking.
  • Being vigilant to the inappropriate behaviour of staff or adults working with children and ensuring that all staff and volunteers know the allegations procedure and relevant contacts.
  • Staff acting as positive role models to children and young people.
  • Ensuring staff are aware of the need to maintain appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationships with children and parents/carers.

 

Preventing unsuitable people from working with children

 The setting has a duty to ensure that people looking after children are suitable to fulfill the requirements for their role. The setting will follow safer recruitment practices including verifying qualifications and ensuring appropriate DBS and reference checks are undertaken. The setting will not allow people whose suitability has not been checked, to have unsupervised contact with children.

Staff  are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment at the setting)

 

Disqualification By Association (DBA) –  The setting has a responsibility to ensure staff are suitable to work with children and not disqualified. All staff will need to declare (using the setting DBA declaration form) if they live in the same household as someone who is disqualified. Staff that may be disqualified may apply to Ofsted for a waiver of disqualification but cannot work in the setting until the waiver is confirmed. Declarations are retained by the Leader of the setting.

The setting will ensure that any disciplinary proceedings against staff relating to child protection matters are concluded in full even when the member of staff is no longer employed at the setting and that notification of any concerns is made to the relevant agencies, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and included in references where applicable.

 

For further information, refer to the setting’s Staffing, Employment and Safer Recruitment Policy.

 

5.WHISTLE BLOWING POLICY

Our whistle blowing policy is set out in a separate document and is reviewed annually.

  The whistle blowing procedure aims to help and protect both staff and children by staff and volunteers acting to prevent a problem getting worse, safeguard children and young people and reduce the potential risks to others.

The earlier a concern is raised, the easier and sooner it is possible for the setting to take action.

The responsibility for expressing concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour rests will all staff, students and volunteers.

 

  1. ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AGAINST ADULTS WHO WORK OR VOLUNTEER IN THE SETTING

 If an allegation is made against a staff member or volunteer, the following action will be taken (as per the ‘Allegations of Abuse against Adults who Work or Volunteer in a Childcare Setting’ flowchart and guidance):

  • The setting will ensure the immediate safety of the children.
  • The setting will not start to investigate and will immediately contact the Early Years Safeguarding Manager (if the Early Years Safeguarding Manager is not contactable, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be contacted direct).
  • The setting will notify Ofsted of a significant incident.
  • The Early Years Safeguarding Manager will discuss the case with the LADO, who will decide if it could be a child protection case.
  • If the LADO decides the matter is a child protection case, external/internal agencies (e.g. police) will be informed by the LADO and the setting will act upon the advice given to ensure that any investigation is not jeopardised.
  • The setting will notify Ofsted of an allegation of abuse.
  • It may be necessary for the employer to suspend the alleged perpetrator. Suspension is a neutral act to allow a thorough and fair investigation.
  • If it is agreed that the matter is not a child protection case, the setting will investigate the matter and feed back the outcome of the investigation to the Early Years Safeguarding Manager and Ofsted.

 

  1. OTHER RELATED POLICIES

Anti-Bullying

Our policy on anti-bullying is set out in our behavior policy and is reviewed annually.  We expect staff to acknowledge that to allow or condone bullying constitutes a lack of duty of care.  This may be subject to investigation under child protection procedures.

 

Racist Incidents

Our policy on racist incidents is set out in our equalities policy and is reviewed annually.  The setting records racist incidents.  We acknowledge that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

 

Policies

Our Safety Policy reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our children both within the setting environment and when away from the setting when undertaking trips and visits.

 

Use of Mobile Phones, Cameras and Technological Devices and E-Safety Policy

Our policy on use of mobile phones, cameras and sharing of images is set out in a separate document and is reviewed annually.   It is recognised that personal mobile phones and cameras have the potential to be used inappropriately and therefore the setting management has developed a policy to outline the required protocol for all staff, students volunteers and parents/carers.

 

Intimate Care Policy

Our intimate care policy is set out in a separate document and is reviewed annually. Our setting is committed to ensuring that all staff and students responsible for the intimate care of children and young people undertake their duties in a professional manner at all times.

 

  1. MANAGEMENT CHILD PROTECTION RESPONSIBILITIES

The committee fully recognizes its responsibilities with regard to child protection and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.  It will:

  • Natalie Walker is the nominated Committee member responsible for child protection who will monitor the setting’s child protection policy and practice and champion good practice in relation to child protection and safeguarding.
  • Ensure that this policy is annually reviewed in conjunction with the setting’s Designated Person/s.

Useful Contact information

Social Care( Via Cambridgeshire Direct Tel: 0345 045 5203 8am-6pm Mon – Fri

Tel: 01733 234 724 Outside Office times at Weekend

L.A.D.O Designated Officer [email protected]
Early Years Safeguarding Manager [email protected]

Tel: 01223 727967

 

This policy was amended at the A.G.M on 27th September 2017.

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