Child Protection and Safeguarding

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Includes whistle blowing

Policy statement

Our setting 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.

Procedures

We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet all commitments of the Child Protection & Safeguarding Children Policy.

Staff and volunteers

▪        Our designated child protection lead person who co-ordinates safeguarding issues is:

    Mrs Lavender and Mrs Tatler Tatler

▪        Our designated child protection lead person who is responsible for all safeguarding concerns, issues, referrals (a member of the management team) is:

   Mrs Lavender,  Mrs Tatler, Miss Gard

▪        We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware of them too. Staff will attend up to date safeguarding training every two years.

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

▪        We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.

▪        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 DBS before posts 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 DBS checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or  has access to the children.

▪        Staff are registered for the DBS update service and yearly updates are completed.

▪        Volunteers do not work unsupervised.

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

-        the DBS disclosure reference number;

-        the date the disclosure was obtained;

-        Name and company name 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 and have access to records holding visual images of their child.

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 experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through: See Working together to safeguard children 2018, Definitions of Abuse leaflet at end of this policy

▪        We take into account factors affecting parental capacity, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical illness or parent’s learning disability.

▪        We are aware of other factors that affect children’s 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 affect, 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, through forced marriage or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. While 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.

▪        Staff will also look for "soft" signs that could indicate that a child is being abused or neglected, such as excessive clinginess, low self-esteem, and over-friendliness towards strangers.

▪        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 member of staff 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’s 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 LADO

▪        We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.

▪        We take account of the need 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 procedure for reporting any other child protection concerns. The views of the young person will always be taken into account, but the setting may override the young person’s 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 where not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

▪        Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), 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 assurance that she or he will take action;

-        does not question the child;

-        makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure 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 confidentially.

▪        The member of staff acting as the 'designated person' is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity.

▪        Where the Safeguarding and review service stipulates the process for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by the Safeguarding and review service (LADO)

Making a referral to the local authority children's multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH)

▪        We use the local authority referral paperwork, which is completed after speaking to the MASH team if we have concerns about a childs welfare. Following the ‘What to do if you're worried a child is being abused’

▪        We keep a copy of this document alongside the procedures for recording and reporting set down by our Safeguarding service (LADO), which we follow .

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 referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will be made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board 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 parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the social workers will inform parents.

 

Liaison with other agencies

▪        We work within the Safeguarding service guidelines.

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

▪        We have procedures for contacting LADO regarding 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 children's social care to work well together.

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

▪        Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also kept.

Allegations against staff

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

▪        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 Safeguarding and review service when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or 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 living or 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.

▪        We have a Duty to refer such complaint immediately to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to investigate:

▪        We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted, as well as what measures we have taken. We are aware that 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 owners/managers 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 the 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 caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children (and vulnerable groups) can be identified and barred from working with these groups.

Training

▪        We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals 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 designated persons receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

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

Planning

▪        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.

Curriculum

▪        We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.

▪        We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children's heritage arising from their colour, 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.

▪        We promote fundamental British Values by encouraging children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging children to know their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. When appropriate, demonstrate democracy in action, for example, children sharing views on what the theme of their role play area could be with a show of hands. Staff can support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children should be given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.

Confidentiality

▪        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.

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, information sharing, 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.

Legal framework

Primary legislation

▪        Children Act (1989 s17, s47)

▪        Protection of Children Act (1999)

▪        Data Protection Act (2018)

▪        The Children Act (Every Child Matters) (2004)

▪        Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)

▪        Childcare Act (2006, s 40)

Secondary legislation

▪        Sexual Offences Act (2003)

▪        Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)

▪        Equalities Act (2010)

▪        Data Protection Act (1998) Non Statutory Guidance

Further guidance

▪        Working Together to Safeguard Children

▪        What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG 2016)

▪        Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)

▪        Early Help for Children and Young People: A Guide for Practitioners (CWDC 2010)

▪        Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

▪        Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (HMG 2014) 

▪        Independent Safeguarding Authority: www.isa.homeoffice.gov.uk

▪        The Definition of Significant Harm Section 47 enquiries may involve Police and Health professionals, and any other agency with involvement with the child or family. This may lead to a Child Protection Conference and Plan.

▪        Section 47 enquiries Where there is risk of significant harm, and a working relationship with parents or carers to protect the child proves this is not possible, Children’s Social Care and the Local Authority Legal Services will give consideration to the need for a Care Order to acquire parental responsibility and decide where the child will live.

Record Keeping 

●      When ever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, Physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from the usual and on going records of the child’s progress and development.

●      This record will include, in addition to the Name, DOB of the child, Place, timed and dated observations describing objectively the child’s behaviour/appearance without personal comment or interpretation.

●      A pre-existing injury record, which includes a body map will be completed and attached if a child enters Pre-school with bruising or marks, unexplained.

●      It must be, the exact words spoken by the child, the date/time, name and signature of the recorder.

●      Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people in the nursery other than the pre school managers, key person, or other member of staff as appropriate.   

Contact Numbers

●      If you wish to make a referral about a child/ young person who you believe to be in need, including where there is a risk of significant harm, you should complete a child referral form and contact the Children’s Social Care Team responsible for the child’s home address.

Office hours 9am – 5pm

●      MASH (multi agency safeguarding hub) -  0300 555 0050

www.dudley.gov.uk/earlyhelpcaf

●      LADO – local Authority Designated Officer (Dudley) – 01384 813110

●      In an emergency, outside normal office hours contact the - Emergency Duty Team    0300 555 8574

●      Police child abuse investigation unit can be contacted on - 0845 113 5000 or 101

PC Paul Davies, Dudley Young Persons Police

Paul.davies@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

Brierley Hill Police Station – 0121 626 8127

●      PREVENT – Police prevent officer-Matt Dyson 07825862128

Community engagement officer-Samantha Hughes 07795667538

DFE helpline – 0207 340 7264

Counter.extremism@educationa.gsi.gov.uk

●      OFSTED General helpline – 0300 123 1231

●      OFSTED whistleblower hotline – 0300 123 3155 / whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

 Whistle Blowing 

Foundry Road Pre-School is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability. In line with that commitment we encourage employees and others with

Serious concerns about any aspect of the settings, operations to come forward and voice those concerns. It is recognised that certain cases will have to proceed on a confidential basis. This policy document makes it clear that employees can do something without fear of reprisals.

This Whistle Blowing Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees to raise serious concerns within the setting rather than overlooking a problem or blowing the whistle outside.

Staff have the right and individual responsibility to raise any matters of concern regarding poor practice at work.

Staff are responsible for safety and well being of all children attending the setting and this is priority over loyalty towards colleagues. General principles:

The policy is intended to;

• Encourage and enable individuals to raise genuine and legitimate concerns.

• Support staff to take an active role in the elimination of poor practice.

• Ensure concerns are appropriately investigated.

• Protect those making the complaint from victimisation or retaliation.

In addition to the whistle blowing policy, the setting has other policies and procedures covering discipline, grievance and complaints. This policy is intended to complement these,

and to cover concerns that fall outside the scope of other procedures.

The management will investigate, promptly and thoroughly, all concerns raised in accordance with this policy, and will take appropriate action.

Confidentiality

The management will do it’s best to protect a person’s identity when a concern is raised, however in some circumstances identities will have to be revealed to the person complained against and the complainant may be asked to provide written or verbal evidence in support of their complaint.

If a person’s identity is to be disclosed, he or she will be told before the disclosure and the reasons why the disclosure is necessary.

Having raised the concerns the management will expect the complainant not to talk about it to any other person, inside or outside the setting.

Anonymous complaints

Concerns expressed anonymously, are much less powerful and harder to investigate, however they may be considered.

Untrue allegations

If an allegation is made in good faith but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against the complainant. If, however, an allegation proves to be malicious, action may be taken against the person responsible for the malicious act.

How to raise a concern

In the first instance, concerns should be raised with management. However this may not always be appropriate, if your concern is regarding management then you should go straight to Social Services Department and OFSTED regional office immediately. Concerns are best raised in writing. You are invited to set out the background and history of the concern giving names, dates and places where possible, and the reason why you are particularly concerned. The earlier you express your concerns the easier it is to take action. If you do not wish to put the allegations in writing, the person to whom you are making the Complaint too will make a written record of the interview and will ask you to sign to confirm accuracy of the notes taken.

Although you will not be expected to prove the truth about your allegations, you will be required to demonstrate that there are sufficient grounds for your concern

You should NOT:

• Investigate the matter yourself.

• Alert those suspected of being involved.

• Approach or accuse individuals.

• Tell anyone other than the designated persons (i.e. management).

Within a week of the receipt of your concern, you will receive a written acknowledgment of your concern, with a copy of your statement where appropriate.

 

The management will investigate your concern and within 2 weeks you will be informed of what action is being taken and will be kept up to date on the progress of the Investigation. You will also be informed of the outcome any investigation. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, you may elevate your concerns directly to the Ofsted Tel: 0300 123 3155, email whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk.