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Safeguarding Policy

Introduction

 

Little Wombatz fully recognises the responsibility to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.

 

Through their day to day contact with children 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 who attend the setting.

 

There are four main elements to our policy:

 

PREVENTION through the support offered to children and the creation and maintenance of a whole setting protective ethos.

 

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

 

SUPPORTING CHILDREN who may have been abused.

 

PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE WORKING WITH CHILDREN Our policy applies to all staff, paid and unpaid, working in the setting including volunteers.  Concerned parents may also contact the setting Designated Person 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 feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are actively listened to

 

  • Ensure children know that there are adults in the setting whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty

 

2.  PROCEDURES

 

We will follow Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures, which can be accessed online.  A copy of ‘what to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ can be found in the staff information folder.

 

*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 Person for Child Protection in the setting is Chris Barton.

 

The second person who has undergone designated person training is Monique Cooper.

 

The setting will:

 

 

  • Ensure it has a designated person for child protection on site at every session,  who has undertaken, as a minimum, the 2 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 has the time and training to undertake her duties

 

  • Ensure there are contingency arrangements should the designated person not be available (another trained person will be on site)

 

  • Ensure that the designated person will take advice from a child protection specialist when managing complex cases.  The designated person has access to Social Care for ‘what if’ conversations.  The emergency duty team (out of hours) is also available.

 

The Role of Setting Staff and the Management

 

The setting will ensure every member of staff knows:

 

  • The name of the designated person and her  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 ensure that it is updated every three years at a minimum, so that they know:

 

  • Their personal responsibility
  • The local procedures
  • The need to be vigilant in identifying cases of abuse
  • How to support and respond to a child who tell of abuse

 

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 the child protection matters including attendance and written reports at child protection conferences and core groups.

 

 

 

Record Keeping

 

The setting will keep clear detailed written records of concern about children using the logging a concern form (noting the date, event and action taken), even where there is no need to refer the matter to Social Care immediately.

 

The setting will ensure all records are kept secure and in locked locations.

 

When the child about whom there have been child protection concerns (whether subject to a child protection plan or not) leaves the setting or transfers to school, the child’s child protection 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 recorded delivery.

 

  • The setting will contact the receiving setting/school by telephone to make them aware that there is a child protection 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.

 

  • If individual child protection 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 protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately.  If in any doubt about confidentiality, staff will seek advice from or Social Care as required.

 

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 information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.

 

All staff must be clear with children that they cannot promise to keep secrets.

 

The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Guidance on the Sharing of Information on Children in Need and in Need of Protection can be accessed from the LSCB website at www.cambslsbc.org.uk.

 

Communication with Parents

 

The setting will:

 

  • Undertake appropriate discussion with parents prior to involvement of another agency (unless the circumstances will put the child at further risk of harm)

 

  • Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the setting and staff for child protection by setting out its obligations in the setting brochure and ensuring that is policy is available for them to read on the website.

 

 

 

3.  SUPPORTING THE CHILD AT RISK

 

We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and trust those around them.  They may feel unhappiness, humiliation and some sense of self-blame.

 

We recognise that some children actually adopt abusive behaviours and that these children must be referred on for appropriate support and intervention.

 

The setting will endeavour to support the child through:

 

  • Activities to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation

 

  • The setting ethos that actively promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and values people

 

  • The setting’s behaviour policy is aimed at supporting vulnerable 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 s/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 productive and supportive relationships with parents

 

  • Recognition that children living in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse are vulnerable and in need to support and protection

 

  • Vigilantly monitoring children’s welfare, keeping records and notifying Social Care when appropriate to do so.

 

 

Drug/Alcohol Misusing Parents

 

Further enquiries and/or further action will be taken when the setting receives reliable information about drug and alcohol abuse by a child’s parent/carers in the following circumstances:

 

  • The parental misuse is regarded as problematic (i.e. multiple drug use including injection)

 

  • A chaotic and unpredictable home environment exists which can be attributed to drug or alcohol misuse

 

  • Children are not being provided with acceptable or consistent levels of social and health care

 

  • Children are exposed to criminal behaviour

 

 

Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Additional Needs

 

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.

 

If the setting has children with emotional and behavioural difficulties or challenging behaviours the staff will be supported to decide appropriate strategies that will reduce anxiety for the individual child and raise self-esteem as part of an overall behaviour support plan agreed with parents.

 

We are aware that children who may have communication difficulties are particularly vulnerable to abuse because they may be unable to express themselves to others.  Such children will often exhibit changes in behaviour or signs and symptoms of abuse recognised by staff with a good knowledge of the child.

 

Where necessary, the setting will provide additional training to staff to use other communication systems communication systems such as Makaton.

 

We promote high standards of practice, including ensuring that disabled children know how to raise concerns, and have access to a range of adults with whom they can communicate.

 

Staff will receive appropriate training in relation to Intimate Care. Staff will only carry our intimate care for a child if assistance is required. If support is required, staff will follow the child’s intimate care plan.  Unless a child has a particular need, staff should not accompany children into the toilet cubicle.  * Refer to the setting’s Intimate Care Policy.

 

4.  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’ flow chart and guidance):

 

  • The setting will ensure the immediate safety of the children

 

  • The setting will immediately contact the Early Years Named Senior Officer (if the Early Years Named Senior Officer is not contactable, the LADO should be contacted direct)
  • The setting will notify Ofsted of a significant incident

 

  • The Early Years Named Senior Officer will notify the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) 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

 

  • 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 Named Senior Officer and Ofsted

 

 

 

 

5. PROTECTIVE ETHOS

Staff members and volunteers must be alert to the inappropriate behaviours of other staff or any other person working within the setting. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.

 

 

USEFUL NUMBERS

 

 

Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre

(Social Care)

0345 045 5203
Early Years Named Senior Officer

(Gemma Hope)

01223 714760 or 07876 038762

 

Local Authority Designated officer (LADO) 01223 727967
Ofsted 0300 123 1231

 

Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) 01480 373522
Police – Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) 01480 847743

 

 

This policy was adopted at a meeting of

Little Wombatz

 

Held on (date)                                                  14 August 2012