Policy & Procedure No.20
1. Statement of Intent
Millfield Pre-school (MPS) wants to work with children, parents/carers and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.
Our aims are to:
a. Create an environment within MPS which encourages children to develop a positive self-image, regardless of race, language, religion, culture or home background.
b. Help children establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers and with other adults.
c. Encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.
d. Enable children to have the self-confidence and vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
e. Work with parents/carers to build their understanding of, and commitment to the welfare of all our children.
Legal framework guidelines:
Children’s Act 1989
Protection of Children Act 1989
Human Rights Act 1998
Data Protection Act 1998
Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families 2000
Education Act 2000
What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused 2003
Safer Activities For Everyone
Safe From Harm: A Code of Practice for Safeguarding the Welfare of Children in Voluntary Organisations in England and Wales (Home Office London 2003)
Children Act 2004
Freedom of Information Act
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) Policies and Procedures
Liaison with other bodies:
a. We work within the LSCB guidelines.
b. We hold a copy of LSCB guidelines available for staff and parents/carers.
c. We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which affect the wellbeing of children.
We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in MPS to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect, and so that we are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals. We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in MPS.
a. The layout of the room allows for constant supervision. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, the door is left ajar.
b. When staff are engaged in toileting, nappy changing or dealing with toilet accidents, the child’s privacy is respected.
c. Staff sensitively clean the child and re-dress them. Children are not allowed to move around the setting in a state of undress.
d. When staff administer first aid to the children and others are in the setting, they use appropriate and sensitive
touch to deal with the injury.
e. During supervision and play, practitioners, volunteers, students and visitors use only appropriate touch with the children and each other.
a. We introduce key elements of child protection into our Foundation Stage Curriculum so that children can develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
b. We create within MPS a culture of value and respect for the individual.
c. We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is appropriate for the ages and stages of our children.
6. Staff Allegations
When an allegation is made against a member of staff, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and Ofsted will be informed. They will inform the group of the next stage in the procedure.
(LADO telephone number: 01603 223473)
a. We follow the guidelines of the LSCB when investigating any complaint that a practitioner or volunteer has abused a child.
b. We adhere to the disclosure and recording procedures when investigating an allegation that a practitioner or volunteer has abused a child as if it were an allegation by any other person.
c. With reference to abusive behaviour, if a parent/carer, practitioner or volunteer has concerns about any other member of staff, they must carry out the following procedure:
i. Speak to the Lead Practitioner/Manager or Senior Assistant about concerns and make a written statement. The Committee will be informed.
ii. The allegations will be investigated and the staff member suspended while the investigation takes place. If the allegation is not proven, they will be reinstated.
iii. You may speak directly to the Chairperson of the Committee about your concerns if preferred. This will be treated in confidence.
iv. If the concerns relate to a volunteer, student or visitor in the group, the procedures at Paragraph 6c i-iii above are followed.
v. If the concerns relate to the Lead Practitioner/Manager or Senior Assistant, these concerns are directed straight to the Committee. Procedures will be followed as at Paragraph 6c ii.
7. Responding to suspicions of abuse
a. We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms: physical, emotional, sexual or neglect.
b. When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this may be demonstrated through changes in their behaviour or in their play. Where such changes in behaviour occur, or where children’s play gives cause for concern, MPS investigates.
c. We allow investigation to be carried out with sensitivity. Staff at MPS take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or ask questions of children.
d. Where a child shows signs and symptoms of ‘failure to thrive’ or neglect, we make appropriate referrals.
Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff:
a. Offers reassurance to the child.
b. Listens to the child.
c. Gives reassurance that she or he will take action.
d. Informs the nominated person as soon as possible.
e. Does not question the child.
9. Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
As soon as possible, the member of staff is to complete the following written evidence while it is still fresh in their mind:
a. The child’s name.
b. The child’s address.
c. The age of the child.
d. The date and time of the observation or disclosure.
e. An objective record of the observation or disclosure.
f. The exact words spoken by the child.
g. The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time.
h. The names of any other person present at the time.
These records are signed and dated and held in a separate confidential file. They may be used in evidence. All members of staff are conversant with the procedures for recording and reporting.
10. Informing Parents/Carers
Parents/carers are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents/carers are informed at the same time that the report is made, except where this contravenes the guidance set out by the LSCB. This refers to concerns that the safety of the child will be threatened.
a. All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know.
b. Sharing of information is under the guidance of the LSCB.
c. Staff may contact the Children’s Services at any time.
d. Please also refer to the flow chart at the appendix to this Policy and Procedure. (This flow chart is also prominently displayed on the Parent Notice Board.)
12. Support to Families
a. MPS takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers in the group.
b. MPS continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation.
c. Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents, or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate under the guidance of the LSCB.
d. With the proviso that the care of the child is paramount, we at MPS will do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.
Referrals and Helpline telephone number: 0344 800 8020 (24 hour service)
Children’s Services for North/East telephone number: 01493 448190
Police Emergency telephone number: 999
We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy in an emergency for MPS and Children’s Services to work well together. If a report is made to the authorities, MPS acts within the LSCB guidelines when deciding whether we must inform the child’s parents/carers at the same time.
13. Staffing and Volunteering
a. Our named person who co-ordinates Safeguarding and Welfare issues is Rachel Griffiths.
b. We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of the children.
c. Applicants for posts within MPS are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
d. MPS abides 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 MPS, or has any access to the children.
e. Volunteers, visitors and students do not work unsupervised.
f. We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from MPS’s employment or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concerns.
g. MPS has procedures for recording the details of visitors.
h. We take security steps to ensure that we maintain control over who comes into the premises so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
i. We obtain parents/carers written permission to photograph their children whilst at MPS and for use in their Learning Journeys and for visual displays within MPS. All photographs are appropriate to the child’s learning and sensitive to their welfare.
j. We obtain parents/carers written permission for their children to be photographed/video’d by the media. Only photographs sensitive to the child’s welfare are permitted. The photographer is not allowed unsupervised access to the children.
k. MPS gives only the child’s first name as identification.
l. Written permission will be sought from parents/carers before photographic material is used on the official MPS website (this site is only updated by authorised staff).