Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers
Child Protection Policy
Our playgroup complies with local child protection procedures approved by the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Executive(GSCE).
We ensure that all adults working and looking after children in our provision are able to put the procedures into practice. (Safeguarding Policy)
From the start of September 2020 schools/settings have become fully open to all children. As a Local Authority, Educational and childcare Settings and Education Service we have a duty to support our vulnerable children and their families and take a collective responsibility to support our children and be accountable for our responses for vulnerable Children during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Where children have an EHCP there is a requirement for schools and EY settings to make provision for all elements of the child’s plan.
As a whole system we are looking to secure the best outcomes for children and understand from discussions with Ofsted, DfE and RSC this will be a key focal point of discussions with education settings and local authorities.
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Sharon Johnson
Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Jane Knight
It is essential that the designated safeguarding lead, deputy, staff and volunteers are familiar with the content of the following key documents:-
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2018
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018
Ofsted Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings 2019
The Prevent duty July 2015
Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2017 (EYFS)
Staff hold up to date qualifications regarding child protection. They are trained to recognise signs and symptoms of abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual or neglect, and how to report and record their concerns. They are aware of the guidelines of making referrals. Their qualifications are regularly updated.
We notify the registration authority (OFSTED) of any incident or accident, and any changes in our arrangement which affect the well-being of children.
The member of staff who coordinates child protection/safeguarding issues is Sharon Johnson
We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
All our staff, management committee and students have DBS checks.
We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and police checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person, or unfit person works at the playgroup, or has access to the children.
Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the playgroup.
The layout of the room is open plan and allows constant supervision.
The children’s toilet door is always left ajar. Only trained staff are allowed to assist children in the toilets.
Nappy changing by a member of staff is performed with the adult toilet door open.
Personal Mobile telephones are not permitted inside the main playgroup building and must only be used and kept in the office. This applies to all who enter the building whilst children are present. Playgroups phone/mobile phone, may be used within the main playgroup building. (ICT Policy)
Photographs of children will only be taken on the setting’s camera or mobile phone and specific procedures for the use of photographs are listed in our Policy for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)(Health and Safety Policy)
These include observations of children in the setting, samples of their work, summary developmental records, learning journey’s and records of achievement.
They can be accessed, and contributed to by staff, the child and the child’s parents at any time. The development records are passed on to parents when the child leaves the playgroup.
These include registration forms, GDPR forms, signed consents, and correspondence concerning the child or family, reports or minutes from meetings concerning the child from other agencies, an ongoing record of relevant contact with parents, and observations by staff on any confidential matter involving the child, such as developmental concerns or child protection matters.
These confidential records are kept in a lockable cupboard in the office
Parents have access to the files and records of their own children but do not have access to information about any other child
We inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the personal records that we keep:-
Physical intervention, bullying and behaviour issues (Behaviour Management Policy), any concerns/changes in relation to the child or the family unit (SEND, Safeguarding, Confidentiality Policies ).
We ensure that all parents know how to complain about a member of staff or volunteer within the playgroup, including any allegation of abuse. (Complaints Policy)
We follow the guidance of the GSCE when investigating any allegation against a member of staff or volunteer
If a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff or volunteer, that person
Offers reassurance to the child
Listens to the child
Does not question the child
Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time the report is made, except where the Children and Young Peoples Directorate does not allow this. (Usually if the parent is the suspected abuser) In this case the investigating officers will inform parents. (Confidentiality Policy)
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential, and shared only with people who need to know (Confidentiality Policy)
Procedures which would be taken following a suspicion of abuse or disclosure
All staff have a responsibility to report any allegations or concerns of a child protection nature that come to their attention. When a concern is raised the member of staff would:
Professional has concerns
If a Professional has a concern about the well-being of a child (or unborn baby), then that professional should:-
Consultation with supervisor
Professional discusses concerns with supervisor or Designated Safeguarding Lead to decide next steps.
Discussion with parents
Discuss with parents/carers of the child and explain what steps will be taken (as long as this does not put the child at further risk or affect a police investigation).
MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub)
Where there are urgent concerns, professional contacts Gloucestershire MASH on 01452 426565 (option 3).
Seeking advice from Children's Social Care
Professional can contact the Children's Practitioner Advice Line on 01452 426565 to discuss their concerns with a qualified social worker and receive advice about whether a referral is appropriate or whether there are alternative ways of addressing their concerns on a discussion in principle basis.
Making a Request for Service to Children's Social Care
Unless there are urgent concerns, professional completes Multi Agency Service Request Form. This is passed on to a social work team and the caller will be contacted by a social worker within 24 hours (unless there are immediate risks in which case the professional will put through to a social work team straight away). The social work team will discuss whether the referral is appropriate and what action can/will be taken. Please use the Gloucestershire Childrens Services Portal to submit a MARF.
Resolving professional Difference (escalation policy)
Remember to use the ‘resolution of professional difficulties (escalation) procedures if you are left feeling that the response from social care has not addressed your concerns for the child. Advice about procedural issues including using the resolving professional differences procedures can be obtained through the Safeguarding Children Service on 01452 58 3629
For out of hours social work advice please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01452 614 194
Support to families
The playgroup will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. We will support and work with the child’s family.
Procedures which we would take following an allegation of abuse by a member of staff or volunteer, either on the premises or elsewhere
Allegations of serious harm or abuse made against a member of staff or volunteer either at playgroup or elsewhere, must be made in confidence to the designated safeguarding lead (DSL). It should also be put in writing within 48 hours to maintain their accuracy.
A member of staff or volunteer has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children Inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff or volunteer
Summary of Allegations Management Procedures
Concern about a member of staff or a volunteer working with children
If a professional receives an allegation or has a concern about the behaviour of a member of staff working or volunteering with children and that concern could amount to:
a. a member of staff or volunteer has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
b. possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
c. behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
Then that professional should:-
Report their concerns Report the concern to the most senior person not implicated in the allegation.
Completion of written record
Complete a written record of the nature and circumstances surrounding the concern, including any previous concerns help. Include where the concern came from and brief details only.
Seek advice before proceeding – Initial Discussion
Always contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for advice prior to investigating the allegation. This is because it might meet the criminal threshold and so your investigation could interfere with a Police or Social Care investigation.
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) – Tel: 01452 426320 - Nigel Hatten. He is supported by Tracy Brooks and Jenny Kadodia, the Allegations Management Co-Ordinators.
The LADO will offer advice on any immediate action required and will assist with employment and safeguarding issues.
Allegations Management Process
If, after your Initial Discussion with the LADO, it is agreed that the allegation meets the criteria, a multi-agency meeting will be convened and you will be invited. This might result in a criminal investigation, a Social Care investigation and/or an investigation to inform whether disciplinary action is required. If it is agreed that the allegation does not meet the criteria, the LADO will record the Initial Discussion and send it to you for your records. Any further action will be taken within your setting if necessary.
Further meetings might be required and these will be convened by the LADO, with your input at all times.
Further information on the Allegations Management process can be found in the Government Document: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the South West Procedures. http://www.online-procedures.co.uk/swcpp/procedures/allegations-against-staff/allegation
Reviewed September 2020