It is our responsibility under section 11 of the Children Act and duties under “working together” to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements exist within our setting to identify, and support those children who are suffering harm or are likely to suffer harm.
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.
- the welfare of the child/young person is paramount
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and their agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare
- all staff and management have a full and active part to play in protecting the children in our setting from harm, and that the child’s welfare is our paramount concern.
- a safe, caring, positive and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child free from discrimination or bullying where children can learn and develop happily.
- a stimulating environment to support open communication
- an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties
- support to the child to development security, confidence and resilience.
The aims of this policy are:
- Ensure children are never placed a t risk whilst in our care.
- Ensure confidentiality is maintained at all times.
- Ensure all staff members are alert to the signs and understand what is meant by safeguarding and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed
- To raise the awareness with all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
- To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure we contribute to assessments of need and support plans for those children where appropriate.
- To acknowledge the need for effective and appropriate communication between all members of staff in relation to safeguarding children and young people.
- To develop a structured procedure within the setting which will be followed by all members of the staff in cases of suspected abuse.
- To develop effective working relationships with all other agencies, involved in safeguarding children.
- To ensure that all adults within our setting who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability. This includes other community users of our facilities, following correct staff recruitment and selection procedures
- Reviewed the policy every 6 months minimum.
Our setting procedures for safeguarding children will be in line with Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.
The designated safeguarding officers for the setting are Louise Hammond and Megan Clatworthy
- All adults, (including volunteers) new to our setting will be made aware of this policy and the procedures for child protection, the name and contact details of the Designated Person and have these explained, as part of their induction into the setting.
- We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Disclosure and Barring Service (and Criminal Records Bureau – CRB) checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
- All members of staff are provided with opportunities at least every three years to receive training in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse, how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse and the procedure to be followed in appropriately sharing a concern of possible abuse or a disclosure of abuse.
- We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the setting.
- 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.
- Children will be supported by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interaction.
- Activities will be devised according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence.
- We will act quickly and responsibly in any instance that comes to our attention.
- We have a duty of care to report any suspicions of abuse to the local authority who have an obligation to investigate such matters.
- We will not comment publicly or privately about suspected abuse.
- We will keep accurate records of observations; the information will be kept in a lock cabinet complying with the data protection act (1998)
- We notify 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 and displayed.
- We recognise that a child who is abused, who witnesses violence or who lives in a violent environment may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame him/herself, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth.
- We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.
Our setting will support all children and young people by:
- Encouraging the development of self-esteem and resilience in every aspect of life
- Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment.
- Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
- Notifying Safeguarding board as soon as there is a significant concern.
- Notifying Social Care when a child/young person attending the centre is privately fostered.
- Providing continuing support to a child (about whom there have been concerns) who leaves the setting by ensuring that such concerns and medical records are forwarded under confidential cover to the Designated Person at the pupil’s new setting immediately.
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. This includes the reporting of concerns, providing information, 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.
Useful Contacts/Telephone Numbers:
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC): firstname.lastname@example.org Text: 88858 / Tel:08088005000
- OFSTED: 0300 123 1231 email@example.com
- Southend Local Authority Designated Safeguarding Officer: 01702 534706.
- SSPC@southend.gov.uk or 01702 215007 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southend Council 01702 215007 (Multi agency safeguarding hub option 1, MASH + Team Option 3)