Safeguarding Children Policy
Our first responsibility and priority is towards the children in our care and their welfare and well-being is paramount under Section 27 of the Children Act 1989, Section 40 of the Children Act 2006 and the government document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. Child abuse happens to children and young people of both sexes, at all ages and in all cultures, religions and social classes and both to children and young people with and without disabilities. Abuse includes the risk of peer on peer abuse which may happen in person or online. If we have any cause for concern, we will report it, following the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures Local Safeguarding Children Board Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea & Westminster.
Kids Services includes other adults who work with minded children. These adults may be registered assistants or nannies. I Lyndsey Fyffe Director take the lead responsibility (designated safeguarding lead), for safeguarding children within Kids Services, to ensure that policies and procedures are fit for purpose and that all members of staff receive relevant appropriate advice, support, guidance and training. Any safeguarding concerns must be communicated to the designated person(s) without delay.
Every worker in this setting is familiar with the relevant local procedures and is aware of where to find the most updated information. The procedures can be found by viewing the LSCB website Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
This setting has regard to the government’s statutory guidance documents: ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and the ‘Prevent duty guidance for England and Wales’. The setting also has access to other helpful documents such as ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’; and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. These documents would be referred to if a relevant situation arose.
We are aware of the indicators of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect, or a mixture of these types of abuse; and of specific situations that may indicate that the main categories are involved, such as domestic abuse, forced marriage, peer on peer abuse, substance misuse, gang activity, female genital mutilation, child sexual exploitation, radicalisation and extremism. We are aware that inappropriate adult behaviour may constitute the grooming or conditioning of children for an abusive interaction.
Children who have special educational needs or disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse due to factors such as lack of communication skills, reliance on others for intimate care and limited social experiences. We recognise the need to consider changes of behaviour and not attribute them to their disability but consider abuse as for any other child.
As a registered childminding setting, we have a duty to have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty. If we have concerns that a child or young person is at risk of radicalisation, extremism or being drawn into terrorism, we can seek advice from the Department for Education’s dedicated helpline on 020 7340 7264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If we identify patterns of behaviour that lead us to believe a child or young person is engaged in an ideology, is intent in causing harm or is capable of committing violent acts, the MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) team on 0208 753 6610 will be contacted.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that takes place worldwide in at least 28 African countries and in parts of the Middle and Far East. It also takes place within parts of Western Europe and other developed countries, primarily among immigrant and refugee communities. Women and girls from UK communities that are at risk of FGM include those in Somali, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Kurdish and Indonesian. Early years practitioners are required by law to report to the police known cases of (FGM) involving a girl under the age of 18 as it is illegal in the UK. If a member of staff is concerned that a girl has or is at risk of FGM they will report this to the designated safeguarding lead immediately who will report it to the local MASH/Children’s Social Care Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster team 0208 753 6610.
We aim to provide an environment where all children feel safe and can talk to us when they are worried about anything, enabling us to provide or seek any additional support that may be required. Any instances of discriminatory or derogatory language or behaviour (including language that is about disabled people or is homophobic or racist) will be challenged and an explanation given as to why it is unacceptable.
The designated safeguarding lead will keep up to date with child protection issues and relevant legislation by completing frequent training courses (refreshers as recommended by the LSCB) and regularly check that they have the latest version of the relevant procedures by accessing them online. Staff will either complete training themselves or the information will be disseminated to them from the designated safeguarding lead. All staff, including the designated safeguarding lead, are registered with the LSCB to receive e-mails alerts and/or e-newsletters informing them of any changes. This helps us to ensure that we are kept to date and stay aware of the signs of abuse or neglect and what to do if we have a concern.
With the increase in usage of information technology (IT) within today’s society, it is vital to safeguard children against potentially harmful exploitation. Any IT equipment used within the setting has appropriate filters in place to protect children from harmful online material. It is requested that any IT equipment children bring from home is also protected with appropriate filters. Children will be able to use IT equipment where we can safely supervise their activity and will only be allowed to play computer games or use social media sites that are listed as suitable for their age or their development stage. We understand the risks involved with games that can be played online with users from outside the setting. We will help children to understand that they should not give any personal information to people they do not know because sometimes people pretend to be someone else when online. We will tell children that we understand that the internet is a great tool for fun and learning but that they should speak up and not keep secrets if something is worrying them. We will help them to know how to identify and use the report abuse buttons that appear on websites and games if they experience something that upsets them online. We use the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) ‘Share Aware’ information to help us understand the apps, games and networks that are commonly used by children of different ages and the potential dangers with these. If we become aware of a situation that is potentially abusive, it will be reported to the local MASH/Children’s Social Care Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster team 0208 753 6610 team by the designated safeguarding lead.
Consent for taking photographs and the use of these images if applicable, will be given by parents/carers in our consent agreements. We use photographic equipment including the setting specific, designated safeguarding lead’s camera to take images of a children utilising the service. These images will only be stored and used in line with parental written consent. The setting is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller, which means we abide by strict guidelines for the storage and use of photographic images.
All photographic devices used in this setting will be stored securely with only relevant persons having access to the photographic material. We aim to ensure that any photographic equipment, are not accessible to anyone else without permission.
When the setting mobile phone(s) are used as a phone(s), they are only used for essential calls enabling us to always meet the needs of the families.
We ensure that all minded children are protected against exploitation from others by never leaving a child alone with an individual who is in possession of a camera or photographic device which may be used inappropriately (children will not have access to mobile phone(s) whilst in our care without permission).
A staff member’s personal phone will never be used to take photographs of children in the setting. On outings, the setting mobile phone will be taken for emergency purposes, but will be left with another member of staff when taking a child for nappy changing or toileting.
Parents/carers must notify us of any concerns they have about their child and any pre-existing accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded and signed by the parent/carers(s) on the day of entry.
If the designated safeguarding lead is concerned about a child’s welfare and wishes to discuss their concerns, they may contact the NSPCC or other relevant local support services for advice including the local MASH/Children’s Social Care Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster team 0208 753 6610 team. Confidentially will be assured only when there is no risk of harm to a child. In the case of an emergency, the police will be contacted directly.
If we notice:
significant changes in children’s behaviour
unexpected bruising or marks or signs of possible abuse
any comments made which give us cause for concern
deterioration in general wellbeing which causes concern
signs of neglect or abuse outside the setting
inappropriate behaviour displayed by any other child/young person encountering the child
The designated safeguarding lead will keep a factual record of the concern and will ask the parents/carers for an explanation, and signature, on the same day, providing it would not put the child at risk. They will implement the LSCB Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster team, procedures without delay to minimise any risk to the child. Unless they believe it may place the child at risk, they will advise the parent/carers that they intend to make a referral.
If a child tells us that they or another child is being abused, we will:
acknowledge their allegation and reassure them that it will be taken seriously
encourage the child to talk, without prompting or asking them leading questions. The child will not be interrupted when they are recalling significant events or made to repeat their account. We may use questioning techniques which involve using non-leading, open–ended questions that start with Tell, Explain or Describe known as the TED questioning techniques.
explain what actions must be taken, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child
record what has been disclosed using exact words where possible
make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion
The designated safeguarding lead would then report the concerns immediately to the local MASH/Children’s Social Care Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster team 0208 753 6610 on who have the experience and responsibility to assess the situation.
In all instances, a record will be made of:
the child’s full name and address
the date and time of the record
factual details of the concern, for example bruising, what the child said, who was present
details of any previous concerns
details of any explanations from the parents/carers
any action taken such as speaking to parents/carers
These notifications must be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at least within 14 days of the allegations being made. The LSCB’s procedures will also be followed including reporting it directly to the Designated Officer (DO) within 1 working day of the allegation being made. The settings insurance company will be contacted, together with any local support that is available.
Inappropriate behaviour by anyone working in the setting will be reported immediately to the designated safeguarding lead and the procedures above will be followed. If the safeguarding lead is observed displaying inappropriate behaviour then the observer must report the incident directly to Ofsted and the DO following the procedure stated above.
The designated safeguarding lead will also, under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service when a member of staff is dismissed or would have been, had they not left the setting first because they have harmed a child or put a child art risk of harm.
It is not our responsibility to attempt to investigate a situation ourselves.
Designated Officer’s Signature:
Date of next review: 01.09.2019