This policy meets the requirements of the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board.
We intend to create in our nursery an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. In order to achieve this we will:
Exclude known abusers
§ It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the nursery that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
§ Applicants and employees may be disqualified because they live in the same household as someone who has been disqualified.
§ All employees will be asked to sign a staff declaration informing us of any associations with others disqualified from working with children.
§ All applicants for work within the nursery, whether voluntary or paid, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide at least two references. All such references will be followed up. In the case of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history, or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought.
§ All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the nursery is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.
Seek and supply training
§ We will seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the group to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, fabricated illness, Female genital mutilation, domestic violence, Child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse as well as internet safety. (in accordance with the EYFS 3.6)
Prevent abuse by means of good practice
§ Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or with small groups in a place where they are not visible by other staff. An adult who needs to take a child aside – for example, for time out after behaviour which needs improvement – will leave the door ajar.
§ Adults who have not been police checked by OFSTED and CRB/DBS will not take children unaccompanied to the toilet.
§ Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
§ The layout of the playroom will permit constant supervision of all children.
§ Staff and students’ mobile phones should never be on their person within the baby room, children’s room, toilets or outdoor play areas. They should be stored in the designated area in the office.
§ Under no circumstance should staff take photographs of any children using their personal mobiles. Any staff doing so will face disciplinary proceedings. (see Social Networking and mobile phones Policy and Procedure for further details)
Procedure for responding to suspicions of abuse
Joeys has a duty to report any suspicions of abuse to the Local Authority. The Children Act 1989 (Section 47 (1)) places a duty on the Local Authority to investigate such matters.
§ Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child a confidential record of these changes will be made.
These may include:
Ø Significant changes in a childs behaviour
Ø Deterioration in children’s well-being
Ø Unexplained bruising, marks or sings of possible abuse or neglect
Ø Children’s comments which give cause for concern
Ø Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse
§ At the same time concerns will usually be discussed with the parent and if no adequate explanation is provided and/or the change is extreme, suspicions will be referred to the multi-agency safeguarding hub. All such suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know. The people most commonly involved will be the key worker, room leaders and Katie Smyth (Manager and Safeguarding Lead).
§ From July 2015 all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
§ The Prevent duty reinforces our existing responsibilities in respect of radicalisation of children.
§ The Prevent duty does not require childcare providers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but they must take action when they observe behaviour of concern.
§ Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from the usual on-going records of children’s progress and development. The record will include, in addition to the name, address and age of the child: timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s behaviour or appearance, without comment or interpretation: where possible, the exact words spoken by the child: dated name and signature of the recorder.
§ Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people in Joey’s other than the key worker, senior staff and the Manager.
Liaise with other bodies
§ Joeys must have regard to the Government's statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2016’. If we have concerns about children's safety or welfare, we must notify agencies with statutory responsibilities without delay. This means the local children's social care services and, in emergencies, the police.
§ Joey’s operates in accordance with Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board guidelines, these can be found on their website www.cumbrialscb.com
§ Confidential records kept on children about whom Joey’s is anxious will be shared with the Children’s Services if Joey’s feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child’s condition have not been provided. In cases of extreme concern, where immediate action is considered necessary to safeguard the wellbeing of the child, Children’s Services will be notified without prior consultation with the parents.
§ If a report on a child is to be made to the authorities, the child’s parents, or carers, will be informed at the same time as the report is made, unless Joeys feel this may put the child at greater risk.
§ Joeys will maintain ongoing contact with the registration authority, including names, addresses and telephone numbers of individual social workers, to ensure that it would be easy, in any emergency, for Joeys and Children’s Services to work well together.
§ Records will also be kept of other contact(s) as appropriate.
§ Joeys will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families and staff and volunteers in the group.
§ Where abuse at home is suspected, Joeys will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed.
§ Confidential records kept on a child will usually be shared with the child’s parents.
§ With the proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, Joeys will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.
Allegations against staff members
If a member of staff or other adult involved with Joeys is suspected of abuse or displays inappropriate behaviour. For example: inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images, parents/carers/staff should report this to the Manager. If this is not appropriate they should contact Cumbria Safeguarding Hub, telephone number: 03332401727
§ Any allegations concerning a member of staff will be dealt with immediately by the manager. The member of staff will be suspended while enquiries are carried out.
§ All staff have a duty to report any suspicious behaviour or witnessed incidents to the Manager immediately if the manager is not on site and not contactable, they should report to the deputy manager if in they unlikely event neither the Manager or Deputy are available a third senior member of staff will be named. If however the member of staff feels it necessary for any reason they should contact Cumbria Safeguarding Hub.
§ The incident must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day, telephone 01768812267 and reported to Ofsted within 14 working days.
§ Disciplinary proceedings will be followed.
§ If necessary, staff will be instantly dismissed and the matter passed to the police.
The named person responsible for all Safeguarding Children issues is Katie Smyth (Joeys Manager). In the absence of this person matters will be dealt with by Zoe Scrogham (Joeys Deputy Manager). Shirley Bennett is our Safeguarding Director.
Signed on behalf of Milnthorpe Family Centre Directors
Katie Smyth, Manager Reviewed January 2017