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Safeguarding children young people and vulnerable adults

17-06-2024

Policy statement

Our setting will work with children, young people and vulnerable adults, 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 our commitments and duty of care.

Key commitment 1

We committed to building a 'culture of safety' in which children young people and vulnerable adults are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.

§   Our designated person (a member of staff) who co-ordinates child young people and vulnerable adults protection issues is:

Sondra McHugh

§  Our designated officer (a member of the management team) who oversees this work is:]

Thi My Nu Vu

  • The designated person and officer ensure they have links with statutory and voluntary organisations with regard to safeguarding 
  • We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware of them too.

§  All staff have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues, are alert to the signs and symptoms of abuse, and understand their professional duty to ensure safeguarding concerns are reported to the local authority children’s social work team.

§  All staff are confident to ask questions in relation to any safeguarding concerns and know not to just take things at face value but can be respectfully sceptical.

  • Adequate and appropriate staffing resources are provided 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.
  • Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks and other suitability checks are carried out for staff and volunteers prior to their post being confirmed, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
  • Where applications are rejected based on information disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
  • Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks are carried out on anyone living or working on the premises.

§  Volunteers do not work unsupervised.

§  Information is recorded about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:

-       the criminal records disclosure reference number;

-       the date the disclosure was obtained; and

-       details of who obtained it.

§  All staff and volunteers are informed 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).

§  All staff and volunteers are required to notify us if anyone in their household (including family members, lodgers, partners etc.) has any relevant convictions, court orders, reprimands and warnings or has been barred from, or had registration refused or cancelled in relation to any childcare provision, or have had orders made in relation to care of their children.

§  We notify the Disclosure and Barring Service 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.

§  Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting.

§  Security steps are taken to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.

§  Steps are taken 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.

§  Any personal information is held securely and in line with data protection requirements and guidance from the ICO

§  The designated person in the setting has responsibility for ensuring that there is an adequate online policy in place

§  We keep a written record of all complaints and concerns including details of how they were responded to.

§  We ensure that robust risk assessments are completed, that they are seen and signed by all relevant staff and that they are regularly reviewed and updated, in line with our health and safety policy.

§  The designated officer will support the designated person to undertake their role adequately and offer advice, guidance, supervision and support.

  • Any existing injuries that a child comes to the setting with are recorded and parents are requested to sign this record, where applicable this information may be notified to the local child protection agencies. 

§  The designated person will inform the designated officer at the first opportunity of every significant safeguarding concern, however this should not delay any referrals being made to the children’s social worker services, the DO in the local authority, Ofsted or Riddor.

Key commitment 2

We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused' (HMG 2015). and ‘No Secrets’ (DoH 2015).

Responding to suspicions of abuse

§  We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.

§  We ensure that all staff have an understanding of the additional vulnerabilities that arise from inequalities of race, gender, disability, language, religion, sexual orientation or culture and that these receive full consideration in relation to child, young person or vulnerable adult protection.

§  When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through:

-       significant changes in their behaviour;

-       deterioration in their general well-being;

-       their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect 

-       disclosure);

-       changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play;

-       unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; and

-       any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.

 

 

 

There are four categories of abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

Physical abuse

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 (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).

Emotional abuse

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 for meeting 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 overprotection 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, although it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

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 and non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect

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 misuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing or shelter, including exclusion from home or abandonment; failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; failure to ensure adequate supervision, including the use of inadequate care-takers; or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

(Definitions taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children)

Indicators of abuse and what you might see

It is vital that staff are aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the designated person.  I/we are aware that it is my/our responsibility to report concerns. It is not my/your responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused. 

A child who is being abused and/or neglected may:

§  have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries

§  show signs of pain or discomfort

§  look unkempt and uncared for

§  change their eating habits

§  have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships

§  appear fearful

§  be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety

§  self-harm

§  frequently be absent or arrive late

§  show signs of not wanting to go home

§  display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy-go-lucky to withdrawn

§  become disinterested in play activities

§  be constantly tired or preoccupied

§  be wary of physical contact

§  display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age.

 

We understand that there are indicators of child abuse; however, these should not be considered as a definitive list, but used when considering the possibility of abuse in children.  

Further guidance

§  Working Together to Safeguard Children (HMG, 2022) 

§  What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG, 2015)

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

§  Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (HMG 2008)

§  Hidden Harm – Responding to the Needs of Children of Problem Drug Users (ACMD, 2003)

§  Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing Safeguarding Services (DfE 2018)

§  Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check

§  Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (HMG, 2015)

§  Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings, (Ofsted, 2019