Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers
Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers is committed to Safeguarding all children, young people and vulnerable adults that we come into contact with. Safeguarding the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration in every situation. All staff and volunteers are expected to share this commitment.
Safeguarding children is vital for our setting and is a part of the legal requirements of our Ofsted registration. Having safeguards in place within our setting not only protects and promotes the welfare of children but it also enhances the confidence of staff, volunteers, parents/carers, management or governors, and the general public.
Safeguarding Legislative framework
Working Together 2018
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
Information Sharing Guidance 2018
Disqualification by Association 2018 update
Children’s Act 1989 &2004
Data Protection Act 1998
Childcare Act 2006
Our playgroup complies with local child protection procedures approved by the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Executive (GSCE).
The purpose of this Safeguarding Policy is to achieve a nurturing and child-centred environment where children can have fun, learn and be safe. So, to ensure their safety, we adopt and implement the following Safeguarding policies and procedures.
We ensure that all adults working/volunteering and looking after children in our provision are able to put the procedures into practice.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013:7) defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
· Protecting children from maltreatment;
· Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
· ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
· Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcome
Statement of Intent
We provide an environment in which all children are supported and encouraged to reach their full potential. We work to the 5 National Outcomes for children
S Staying Safe
H Being Healthy
A Enjoying and Achieving
P Making a Positive Contribution
E Economic well-being
We have a vital role to play within the Early Years sector, as we have in our care some of the most vulnerable and impressionable members of society. We will be alert to harmful behaviour by other adults in a child’s life. We will continue to focus on the learning and development, as set out by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), with our children and building on the essential British Values:-
Democracy – giving children the chance to ask, comment on questions, knowing that their views are counted, respecting each other’s values and opinions, reaching conclusions as a team and individuals.
Rule of Law – understanding rules, encouraging the children to help create rules and what is expected with regards to behaviour within the setting and environment.
Individual Liberty- looking at our differences and understanding that we can have different views and opinions.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance- sharing and respecting each other’s faith, culture and race. Embracing and learning about the differences/similarities among ourselves and our families. Challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes.
What is not acceptable
· actively promoting intolerance of other faiths, cultures and races
· failure to challenge gender stereotypes and routinely segregate girls and boys
· isolating children from their wider community
· failure to challenge behaviours (whether of staff, children or parents) that are not in line with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs
Description of processing
The following is a broad description of the way this organisation/data controller processes personal information. To understand how your own personal information is processed you may need to refer to any personal communications you have received, check any privacy notices the organisation has provided or contact the organisation to ask about your personal circumstances.
Reasons/purposes for processing information
We process personal information to enable us to provide childcare, encourage and supervise educational play, to advertise our services, to maintain our own accounts and records and to support and manage our staff.
Early help approach to ensure that we identify the pathway for the graduated and integrated approach for children and their families in assessment and planning. How we are going to identify needs, ambitions and the strengths of children. To provide a person centred approach, thus enabling everyone’s views and opinions to be taken account of.
We have regard for the Special Education Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014) and
the Equality Act (2010).
We include all children in our provision, planning for each child’s individual care and
We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children’s needs.
We identify the specific needs of children with SEND and meet those needs through a range of strategies.
We provide practitioners to help support parents and children with special education needs and disabilities.
Our practice/ provision is monitored and reviewed regularly and adjustments are made where necessary.
Our SENDco designated member of staff is Jane Knight
We ensure that the provision for children with SEND is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity
We ensure that our physical environment is as far as possible suitable for children with
We work closely with parents of children with SEND to create and maintain a positive
We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision
and review of their children’s education
We liaise with other professionals involved with children with SEND and their families.
We use the graduated pathway for identifying, assessing and responding to
Children’s needs (Universal-My Profile, My Plan/ My Plan+ and EHC)
We provide a differentiated curriculum to meet individual needs and abilities.
We ensure the effectiveness of our SEND provision by collecting information from a range of
sources e.g. My plan/My plan+ and reviews, staff management meetings, parental and
external agencies, inspections and complaints. This information is evaluated and reviewed
We respect the privacy of all children, parents and carers attending our setting.
We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children
We keep two kinds of records on children attending our setting
These include observations of children in the setting, samples of their work, summary developmental records and records of achievement.
They are kept in the office and can be accessed, and contributed to, by staff, the child and the child’s parents.
These include registration 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.
Staff will not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child’s needs.
Parents and students will not discuss any specific behaviour or observations which they may have witnessed while on the premises with any other parents or other persons and they are advised of our confidentiality policy and required to respect it.
Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.
Social Networking Sites MUST NOT be used to exchange information regarding children or our setting.
Grievances against any staff members must be kept confidential and discussed with the playleader on the playgroup site.
Sharing of information – medical, emergency or suspected child protection procedures.
Our playgroup is committed in providing an environment where the children show respect to themselves, other people and our resources.
We treat everyone as individuals, regardless of, race origin, culture and linguistic background, sex, social group and disability.
All of the adult team are responsible for issues concerning behaviour, and all staff show good understanding on handling children’s behaviour.
The aim of our policy is to create a positive environment where children can learn and develop. Where adults regularly supervise and encourage positive behaviour to help promote children’s welfare and development. We provide an environment that is stimulating, interesting, fun, exciting to learn and where children know their boundaries and expectations. We aim to achieve this by encouraging the children to be independent, confident and to express themselves when and where ever they can. We will listen to them and encourage them to listen to others. As adults we will show respect to the children which they will learn to pass on to others and themselves. Children will be encouraged to help make rules and boundaries for the setting, these will be kept in a folder for all to see, they will be made up of photographs and writing. We will review our policies on a regular basis so that information can be kept up to date.
No form of punishment will be used in any way, to any child in our care. Physical intervention should only be used to manage a child’s behaviour if it is necessary to prevent personal injury to the child, other children or an adult, to prevent serious damage to property or in what would reasonably be regarded as exceptional circumstances.
Any occasion where physical intervention is used to manage a child’s behaviour will be recorded and parents informed about it on the same day, by completing a physical intervention form.
Our named practitioner for behaviour management is Sharon Johnson.
Appropriate training has been attended thus enabling the practitioner to fulfil the role.
Roles and responsibilities of the named practitioner.
To support and share information with the adult team. Feeding back on training that is attended so that everyone is clear and consistent in the way that they approach behaviour management. Making referrals to outside agencies for advice and assistance to ensure that the needs of all children are met. Encouraging parent to have an input and involvement with the policy, asking them for their views and opinions.
Creating a Positive Environment and Behaviour Management Strategy.
We believe that a positive environment will encourage the children and adults, to be positive in all that they try to do.
Encourage appropriate behaviour in all communications with children, staff and parents and demonstrate that good behaviour is valued.
Establishing clear expectations and boundaries for behaviour that is suitable for the child’s level of perception.
We encourage positive behaviour and show praise for children’s achievements, such as WOW vouchers given at home and in the setting.
We ensure that the child feels valued and needed, even when their behaviour is unacceptable.
We encourage the children to accept their own actions and to be aware of the choices that they choose to make.
Activities are planned to encourage sharing and turn-taking.
The use of positive language will be used by adults at all times towards children, such as:- good listening, sharing, walk please.
Staff, volunteers, students and parents should model positive behaviour by treating each other with friendliness, care and courtesy.
We record all incidents relating to behaviour.
Negative behaviour is dealt with as early as possible.
We operate a zero tolerance setting, this means that we will not accept rude, threatening or aggressive behaviour from any person that appears to be.
We work in partnership with parents/carers to address them of recurring unacceptable behaviour in a child. Evidence will be recorded confidentially of each incident to help us understand the cause and to decide jointly with the parents/carers how to respond appropriately.
This involves the constant physical, mental or verbal abuse of another child or adult.
We take bullying very seriously.
We intervene at the earliest point.
We explain why bullying is inappropriate behaviour.
We make sure that praise is given to a child if they show acceptable behaviour rather than unacceptable behaviour.
Reassurance is given to a child who has been bullied.
We do not label bullies.
We discuss what has happened in a confidential manner with parents and we all decide on the best way to help the child to improve their behaviour.
We share what has happened with the parents of the child who has been bullied , but never divulge the name of the child , and explain to them that a plan is in place to help the child learn more acceptable behaviour.
We operate a zero tolerance setting, this means that we will not accept rude, threatening or aggressive behaviour, to any member of the adult team from any person that appears to be breaching the rules that are put in place to protect the safety and well-being of the setting.
No inappropriate language or phrases must be used by any adult on the premises.
Any person presenting themselves in an aggressive manner will be asked to leave.
Should anyone feel threatened in any way, we reserve the right to contact the police for assistance.
We are aware of and respect the different cultures/religions and there may be various ways of interacting with other people.
Every practitioner’s priority is the well-being and safety of all the children in the setting. All employees and those involved within the setting should be aware of the importance of preventing and eliminating wrongdoing within the setting. Staff/volunteers/parents and carers should be watchful for illegal, inappropriate or unethical conduct and report anything of that nature that they become aware of. This takes priority over any loyalty towards work colleagues.
Don't think what if I'm wrong - think what if I’m right.
Whistle blowing policies and procedures are put in place to provide protection for the person against victimisation or reprisals from other members of staff (verbally or physically) when the concerns are genuine and accurate. If a member of staff is a victim of reprisals then an employment tribunal may be able to take action.
We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
All our staff and the committee have DBS checks.
We have a SCR (Single Central Record) for recording staff/committee/students identification 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.
Staff and volunteers are asked to provide relevant and up to date information
Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the playgroup.
Staff hold up to date qualifications regarding safeguarding/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.
We have regard to the ‘ Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018′, this is a Government statutory guidance (www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2).
Supervision meetings are held for staff, to discuss staff training needs and ensure safe practice within the setting. It is a confidential meeting between the supervisor and supervisee to discuss matters that are important to them:- continual professional development that will be based on personal values as well as the settings aims and standards. (Supervision Policy).
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.
Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly „consensual‟ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship.
The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyber bullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is a form of physical abuse against children. FGM is also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting. FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies. FGM is defined by the World Health Organisation as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. FGM has no health benefits for girls and women and procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth.
The Female Genital Mutilation Act was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in March 2004. It was made illegal to: practice FGM in the UK; take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country; and aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad.
The age at which girls undergo FGM varies enormously according to the community. The procedure may be carried out when the girl is newborn, during childhood, adolescence, at marriage or during the first pregnancy. However, in the majority of cases FGM takes place between the ages of 5-8 and therefore girls within that age bracket are at a higher risk.
The sign that children may be at risk of FGM are as follows: Child is female, from a culture where FGM is practised, and parents request an extended summer holiday to the country of origin.
If staff are concerned that a child is at risk of FGM, they must tell the safeguarding lead. The safeguarding lead must request to meet parents in private, and ask them directly if they are seeking to take their daughter abroad to have FGM carried out on her. If the safeguarding lead is dissatisfied with their response and has real concerns that FGM may be imminent, they should refer the matter to First Response or to the Police. The parents should be told about the referral only if it is felt that it will not bring further risk to the child.
Domestic violence is the abuse of one person over another who is, or has been, in a relationship. The abuse may be verbal, sexual, physical, emotional or financial, and is usually, but not exclusively, perpetrated by men against women. It occurs in all groups and sections of society and may be experienced differently to, and compounded by racism, sexuality, disability, age, religion, culture or class.
Staff may be working with children experiencing violence at home. Children experiencing abuse may demonstrate may be affected in a number of different ways. Staff will need to treat them sensitively and record their concerns.
We are committed to supporting the well-being and safety of children and acknowledge the profound and damaging effects of domestic violence on them.
We ensure all staff hold an Enhanced Disclosure form the Criminal Records Bureau.
All children are supervised by staff at all times, and the correct staff ratio is adhered to always.
At least two adults must be present when children are on the premises (one must be a member of staff with a relevant level 3 qualification).
Rota parents and people whose suitability has not been checked are not left alone with the children.
Parents are aware that they must inform a member of staff if the usual person who collects their child will not be collecting, and details of who the child will be leaving with must be given in writing when the child arrives.
In the event of an emergency, permission may be given over the telephone by the parent. The parent must give a password which the collector will say on arrival.
Systems are in place to ensure the safe arrival and departure of all children.
The times of the children’s arrivals and departures are recorded and on fileThe arrival and departure of all adults (staff, visitors, volunteers) are recorded and on file.
Our systems prevent unauthorised access to the building.
Our systems prevent children leaving the premises unnoticed.
Our outdoor area is securely fenced.
Our outdoor area is checked for any risks before use.
If any equipment is wet, it is wiped dry before use.
The sand pit is covered when not in use, and the sand is changed regularly.
All outdoor activities are supervised, ensuring that we have correct staff ratio.
Our outdoor area is securely fenced.
Our outdoor area is checked for any risks before use.
If any equipment is wet, it is wiped dry before use.
The sandpit is covered when not in use, and the sand is changed regularly.
All outdoor activities are supervised, ensuring that we have the correct staff ratio.
Food and Drink
All food and drink is stored appropriately.
Parents are advised about what can be stored safely within their child’s lunch boxes.
No nuts are allowed on the premises.
All hot drinks must be consumed in the kitchen out of the children’s reach and not carried through the play area.
Snack time and lunch time is appropriately supervised and children do not walk about with food.
We provide healthy, balanced and nutritious snacks.
Drinks are available to the children at all times.
We have a notice displayed clearly in the kitchen containing all details of any allergies or dietary requirements.
All staff has up to date Food Hygiene Training.
We display the Environmental Health Award for food hygiene.
Ofsted will be notified as soon a possible of any food poisoning affecting 2 or more children looked after on the premises. Ofsted must be notified within 14 days of the incident occurring.
We recognise that children will use computers at some time. They are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. However, we know that some men, women and young people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and emails, to enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, web cam photography or face-to-face meetings. The centre has an e-safety policy that is known to all staff and children and a Code of Conduct which requires mobile phones to be off during services.
To protect children we will:
Ask for parental and the child’s consent for photographs to be taken or published (for e.g., on our website or in newspapers or publications).
Use only the child’s first name with an image.
Ensure children are appropriately dressed.
Encourage child to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them.
Have a policy regarding staff use of mobile phones within the workplace.
While bullying between children is not a separate incident of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause considerable anxiety and distress.
First Aid and Medication
At least one member of staff with up to date first aid training is on the premises, or on visits at all times.
The first aid kit is checked and re stocked monthly, and it is kept out of children’s reach.
Parents give prior written permission for the administration of each and every medication
If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training will be provided for the relevant member of staff by a health professional.
The parent must inform staff in writing what the medication is for, the dose, and frequency of the medication, and any changes to the prescription or the support required when necessary.
All medicines administered are recorded in a log book at the time of administration.
The child has an individual record sheet in the log book, and the medication, dosage, and time of administration is recorded and signed by the member of staff.
At the beginning of each session, the parent should notify the staff of when the child had his/her last dose of medicine, how much was given, and when the next dose is due and dosage needed.
Staff will check the expiry dates of all medication before administration. Only medicines prescribed for that child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist will be administered.
Medicines will be stored in a cupboard out of children’s reach, or in the fridge if necessary, in the original container in which it was dispensed, which shows the prescribers instructions for administration.
Non prescription medicines include cough preparation, pain and fever relief, teething gel, and sun cream, which may be administered by staff, but only with prior consent of the parent, and only when there is a health reason to do so.
Parents are asked to put sun cream on their children before a session.
Long Term Medication
We must have sufficient information about the medical condition of any child with long term medical needs and this is recorded in the child’s personal records.
A health care plan for these individual children is located within the medicines folder, and kept confidential.
Our accident book is kept safely and accessibly
All accidents are recorded and any first aid treatment is recorded immediately after the event.
All staff know where the accident book is and how to complete it.
Parents are informed in writing of any accident or injuries their child may have sustained whilst in our care, and of any first aid treatment which may have been administered.
The accident book is reviewed termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.
At Hempsted Playgroup, assessing the risks in the setting and the environment is of utmost importance to help minimise the hazards associated with learning. Children need to take risks to enable them to learn safely. A risk assessment is essential in providing the safety of children and adults within the setting.
To look at what hazards are within the setting and immediate environment.
How the risk will be removed or minimised.
Who will check for risks and how regularly?
We have risk assessments for indoors and outdoors. Daily risk assessment sheets are used so that we can identify any hazards and deal with them straight away, if possible. Individual risk assessments are used equipment, outings, immediate environment and resources. Hazards that are identified are written down on the risk assessment sheet, who might be harmed, is the risk high, medium or low and what action is to be taken.
They are reviewed regularly to see if they need amending, make sure the actions have been dealt with and keeping within the requirements needed.
We encourage parents, children, students and volunteers to complete a risk assessment. This familiarises them with the procedures that need to be taken when identifying a risk.
Outings and Visits
Parents sign permission forms for their child to be taken on local outings within the session.
Parents sign individual permission forms for any planned major outings.
A risk assessment is carried out at the place we have planned to visit, before the outing takes place.
The adult/ child ratio is high during major trips. Parents are asked to come on the trip along with all members of staff to ensure this high ratio is met.
Records are kept of the vehicles used to transport children, with named drivers and appropriate insurance cover. Drivers using their own transport should have adequate insurance cover.
The first aid kit, mobile phone and attendance register for the day is always taken on every outing or visit
All children take a drink with them on visits and food for the duration. If a child in nappies comes along, a spare change of clothes, nappies, and wipes should be taken. Spare pants and clothes for other children should be taken in case of accidents.
Animals visiting the setting are free from disease, do not pose a health risk and are safe to be with children.
Children must wash heir hands using plenty of soap and warm running water after contact with animals.
Outdoor footwear (preferably wellies) worn to farm visits are to be cleaned of mud and debris and should not be worn indoors.
Indoor Learning Environment
The layout of the room is open plan and allows constant supervision.
The children’s toilet door is always opened up and a safety hook is put on to prevent the door closing on fingers. 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.
Only staff members and the child’s own parent are permitted to change nappies. If a child who attends playgroup requires a nappy change, then the child’s key person is responsible for changing them in the first instance, depending upon how the staff are deployed at the time.
The bathroom door MUST be kept open at all times for child protection reasons.
All soiled nappies should be returned to the child’s parent at the end of the session, as disposal facilities are not available at this setting.
Nappy Changing Procedure
Spray the changing mat with anti-bacterial spray and dry with paper towel.
Place a clean nappy, baby wipes and nappy sack within easy reach.
Wash hands with anti-bacterial soap.
Put on a pair of disposable gloves and apron.
Lie the child on the changing mat carefully, giving lots of reassurance to them, remove the appropriate items of the child’s clothing.
Remove the child’s soiled nappy.
Clean the child using baby wipes (use wipes the parent has sent with the child. If none are available, use playgroup ones, but check child’s records first for details of allergies/ eczema etc).
Put the clean nappy on to the child and dress them.
Lift the child off the changing area and give lots of praise.
Place the soiled nappy, gloves and wipes into a nappy sack and tie.
Spray and wipe the changing mat and apron with anti-bacterial spray.
Wash your hands with anti- bacterial soap and help the child to wash their hands, explaining to them why we need to wash our hands.
Return the dirty nappy to the parent at the end of the session
Identifying and recognising the signs of abuse and harm
Harm means ill-treatment or impairment of health and development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another; Development means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development; Health includes physical and mental health; Ill-treatment includes sexual abuse and other forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.
Abuse and Neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them, or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
Physical Abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional Abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. It may also include neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.
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.
'There may be some circumstances where it is not appropriate to seek consent, because the individual cannot give consent, or it is not reasonable to obtain consent, or because to gain consent would put a child’s or young person’s safety at risk.'
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential, and shared only with people who need to know (under the guidance of the Children and Young Peoples Directorate)
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.
1. Ofsted must be notified as soon as an allegation has been made, no later than 14 days after an allegation has been made. Tel 08456 404040
Seek advice before proceeding
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 426994 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.
2. Contact the Children and Young Peoples Directorate social work team.
Tel 01452 58 3636
3. The Children and Young Peoples Directorate will convene a strategy discussion to decide on how an investigation will be conducted
4. The strategy will be discussed with a police officer from the child protection unit, the chairperson of this playgroup, and any other relevant professionals appropriate to the child.
5. If, following this discussion, it is decided to suspend the member of staff; they will be suspended on full pay while investigations are taking place.
6 .The child’s family will be given information about the concerns, advised on the processes, and outcomes reached.
7. Staff will be treated fairly and honestly, and will have full support of the other staff members and committee while investigations are taking place.
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 should:-
Share your concern with the supervisor, manager or designated safeguarding lead to explain your concerns
If you have a concern but are unsure how to proceed contact the
Children’s Helpdesk Tel: 01452 426565 and ask to speak to a social work practitioner.
In cases where you are clear a social work assessment is required make a referral to Children’s Helpdesk Tel: 01452 426565 within 24 hours (immediately if the concern is about physical injury or sexual abuse) The CYPD (Children and Young Peoples Directorate) social care section will then take responsibility for managing any subsequent enquiries. The referrer should confirm the details of the concern to CYPD, in writing, within 48 hours.
Complete a confidential written record of the nature and circumstances of the concern and include any previous concerns.
The Childs name
The Childs address
The Childs age
The date and time of the observation or disclosure
An objective record of the observation or disclosure
The words spoken by the child
The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time
The names of any other persons present at the time
For out of hours social work advice contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01452 614 194 Log a welfare concern with the Children and Young Peoples Directorate Safeguarding Children Service Tel 01452 58 3636 (Out Of Hours to Police Control Room Tel 0845 090 1234) without delay.
Resolving Profession Differences (Escalation Policy)
Occasionally situations arise when workers within one agency feel that the decision made by a worker from another agency on a child protection or child in need case is not a safe decision. Disagreements could arise in a number of areas, but are most likely to arise around: Levels of Need Roles and responsibilities The need for action Communication The safety of individual children is the paramount consideration in any professional disagreement and any unresolved issues should be addressed with due consideration to the risks that might exist for the child. All workers should feel able to challenge decision-making and to see this as their right and responsibility in order to promote the best multi-agency safeguarding practice.
If you feel that you have not got the response from social care regarding the concerns for the child then use the ‘resolution of professional difficulties’ (escalation) procedures.
Reviewed August 2019
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
The Prevent Duty
SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability)
Child Sexual Exploitation