Hunnypot Corner’s Safeguarding Children from Harm Policy

 

Policy Statement

 

Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery recognises its key statutory duty to safeguard children who attend its services. Everyone employed by the service has a responsibility in relation to child safeguarding. This includes staff being aware of the potential risks of abuse and raising any concerns to their line manager.

In this regard, the organisation recognises the definition of safeguarding adopted in statutory guidance:

  • protecting children from maltreatment

  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development

  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

 

Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery recognises the importance of good leadership in establishing a culture of safeguarding and ensuring that the appropriate policies and procedures are in place and are followed by all staff. At all times, the organisation will seek to take a child-centred approach where the needs of the child are put first.

 

The Aims of the Policy

The aims of this policy are to:

  • ensure that children in this setting feel “protected and safe” at all times

  • establish a positive culture of safeguarding

  • ensure that staff are clear about the procedures to follow where they are concerned about the safety of a child 

  • raise awareness of individual responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse

  • provide a systematic means of monitoring, recording and reporting of concerns and cases

  • provide guidance on recognising and dealing with suspected child abuse

  • provide a framework for inter-agency communication and effective liaison

  • identify strategies and interventions available to support children at risk.

 

Guidance

Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery recognises that it must have regard to all relevant statutory and best practice guidance on child safeguarding. In this regard, staff and managers are expected to be aware of the requirements of the following guidance:

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children — A Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children (July 2018), HM Government

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education — Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges (September 2019), Department for Education

  • Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings (September 2018), Ofsted 

  • The Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (2015), HM Government

  • What to Do if You’re Worried a Child is Being Abused — Advice for Practitioners (March 2015), Department for Education.

 

Managers and practitioners should also be aware of and follow any professional guidance that applies to their roles.

 

Procedure

In order to safeguard children, this organisation will:

  • embed a positive culture and ethos where safeguarding is considered as a key part of everyday life in the service

  • empower staff to deliver a strong, robust and proactive response to child safeguarding that reduces the risk of harm or actual harm occurring

  • ensure that staff are clear about procedures where they are concerned about the safety of a child 

  • adopt child safeguarding procedures and guidelines as recommended by our local safeguarding partners

  • work closely with the safeguarding partners and engage fully in local strategies and processes, including those related to learning from reviews 

  • implement appropriate procedures and audit their effectiveness

  • raise awareness with staff that concerns about the welfare of a child and child protection are taken seriously, with appropriate action being taken

  • create an environment where children are listened to and their concerns taken seriously

  • ensure a timely response to any safeguarding concerns

  • practice effective multi-agency working to help plan support around a child 

  • share information with other agencies on a need-to-know basis

  • involve parents and children, except where doing so would put the child at greater risk of harm

  • ensure that children are protected from all forms of potential abuse, including bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination 

  • follow safer recruitment guidance and procedures which includes the vetting of all new staff

  • provide effective staff management through access to supervision, support and training

  • review this policy at regular intervals to ensure it is updated and informs day-to-day practice.

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) at this setting is Charley King. Her role is to help co-ordinate any concerns that are raised regarding the welfare of a child and to liaise with other professionals where appropriate, including the local authority safeguarding board and social care.

 

The designated person will:

  • co-ordinate action within the provision and liaise with social care and other agencies over cases of abuse and suspected abuse

  • act as a source of advice within the provision

  • ensure that staff are familiar with the provision’s policy and procedure

  • make child protection referrals, recording and reporting accordingly

  • liaise with agencies about individual cases

  • organise training on child protection and safeguarding children within the provision

  • ensure that appropriate strategies for recording and reporting incidents are kept within the provision

  • provide appropriate feedback to members of staff as and when necessary.

 

Leaders and Managers

At Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery, it is recognised that leaders, managers and senior practitioners have a key role in helping to set a positive culture where safeguarding is seen as a high priority and abuse in any form is not tolerated.

 

Staff

Staff should:

  • be alert to the signs of abuse as detailed in the child protection policy

  • report any concerns immediately, where possible to the designated person (DSL).

  • consult with the designated person if in any doubt as to how to proceed

  • make any necessary written records in an appropriate and timely way

  • attend appropriate training and ensure that they are updated 

  • follow the advice given in this policy in relation to how to handle disclosures.

 

 

 

Partnerships with Parents

It is important that the provision has an established approach to working with parents. Parents’ and children’s need for privacy should be respected. However, the priority is the needs of the child and effective liaison is crucial for this.

It should be recognised that families from different backgrounds and cultures may have different approaches to child rearing. These differences should be acknowledged and respected provided they do not place the child at risk as defined later in this policy.

Where possible, staff should work with and share information with parents. Permission for liaison and information sharing with outside agencies should be sought unless it places the child at risk. In these cases, it is preferable to seek advice from social care or make a child protection referral.

 

Informing Parents

Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the LSCB/ local authority children’s social care team/Police does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser, or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases, the investigating officers will inform parents.

 

Support to Families

The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff, students and volunteers within the nursery.

The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interests of the child.

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 in line with guidance of the LSCB with the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount. We will do all in our power to support and work with the child's family.

 

 

Guidance on Recognising Abuse

Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children are harmed by someone often in a position of power. It is not the responsibility of staff to decide whether child abuse is occurring but to act on any concerns and report these to the appropriate party. The health, safety and protection of a child are paramount.

 

 

Abuse might fall into the categories of:

  • physical

  • emotional

  • sexual

  • neglect.

 

In addition to the above, staff should also be alert to the risks of other specific safeguarding issues, including:

  • bullying (including cyberbullying)

  • children missing education

  • children missing from home or care

  • child sexual exploitation (CSE)

  • domestic violence

  • drug misuse

  • online abuse

  • fabricated or induced illness

  • faith abuse

  • female genital mutilation (FGM)

  • forced marriage

  • gangs and youth violence

  • gender-based violence/violence against women and girls

  • hate crime

  • “honour” based violence

  • radicalisation

  • human trafficking.

  • Peer on Peer abuse

 

Note:

This list is not fully inclusive and staff should refer to appropriate statutory guidance such as Working Together or Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Staff should respond appropriately to signs and symptoms in a child which gives them cause for concern. 

 

These include:

  • significant changes in children’s behaviour or appearance

  • frequent mood changes

  • deterioration in their general wellbeing

  • unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse

  • signs of neglect such as being unkempt

  • comments children make which give cause for concern

  • not wanting to go home

  • seductive behaviour

  • a child who is quiet and withdrawn

  • a child who gives the impression of being unloved and unhappy.

 

More details on how to recognise signs of abuse are included in the staff handbook.

 

Policy on Dealing with Suspected Abuse

All staff should refer concerns to the designated person as soon as possible. In the meantime, they should:

  • consider the child’s welfare as paramount

  • believe the child and take them seriously

  • remain calm and caring

  • reassure the child that they have done the right thing in talking to them

  • make notes of the conversation as soon as possible, using the child’s own words

  • explain what will happen next and who will be told.

 

Staff should not:

  • promise confidentiality

  • postpone the discussion until a different time

  • interpret what they have been told

  • probe or ask leading questions.

 

Where the staff member suspects that a child is being abused, they should:

  • immediately tell their line manager or the designated person for safeguarding and child protection about their concerns

  • make factual notes of what has occurred, using the child’s own words where relevant, and any action taken.

The designated person will follow the procedure below.

  • Where possible, they will discuss concerns with the child and their parents and obtain agreement to making a referral to children’s social care unless this discussion would put the child at increased risk of significant harm.

  • Seek professional advice if unsure about whether or not to talk to parents first.

  • When a referral is made, agree what the child and parents will be told by whom and when. Inform the recipient of the referral what information has already been discussed with the child and their parents.

  • If a telephone referral is made, it must be confirmed in writing within 48 hours. Children’s social care should acknowledge the written referral within one working day of receiving it, indicating the course of action chosen. If nothing has been heard back within three working days, contact children’s social care again.

  • Under no circumstances confront the abuser. There is a risk of forewarning the abuser and compromising any investigation or prosecution.

 

Confidentiality

Relevant information about the protection of children must be shared with the investigative agencies, but only on a “need to know” basis.

Staff should be careful in subsequent discussions and ensure that information is only given to the appropriate person. All staff should be kept aware of issues relating to confidentiality and the status of information they may hold.

 

 

Staffing and Volunteering

Our policy is to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. We only allow an adult who is employed by the nursery to care for children and who has an enhanced clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to be left alone with children. We do not allow volunteers to be alone with children or any other adult who may be present in the nursery regardless of whether or not they have a DBS clearance.

All staff will attend child protection training and receive initial basic child protection training during their induction period. This will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers/potential abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery. During induction staff will be given contact details for the LADO (local authority designated officer), the local authority children’s services team(MASH), the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.

 

 

Employees, students or volunteers of the nursery or any other person living or working on the nursery premises

If an allegation is made against a member of staff, student or volunteer or any other person who lives or works on the nursery premises regardless of whether the allegation relates to the nursery premises or elsewhere, we will follow the procedure below.

The allegation should be reported to the senior manager on duty. If this person is the subject of the allegation, then this should be reported to the registered owner instead.

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), Ofsted and the LSCB will then be informed immediately in order for this to be investigated by the appropriate bodies promptly:

The LADO will be informed immediately for advice and guidance

A full investigation will be carried out by the appropriate professionals (LADO, Ofsted, LSCB) to determine how this will be handled

• The nursery will follow all instructions from the LADO, Ofsted, LSCB and ask all staff members to do the same and co-operate where required

• Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation in line with LADO support and advice

• The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff during an investigation

• All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities

• Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being re-instated

• Founded allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisations including the local authority children’s social care team and where an offence is believed to have been committed, the police, and will result in the termination of employment. Ofsted will be notified immediately of this decision. The nursery will also notify the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to ensure their records are updated

• All records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for

10 years if that is longer. This will ensure accurate information is available for references and future DBS checks and avoids any unnecessary re- investigation

• The nursery retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry

 

Our nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the registered person at the earliest opportunity.

The Setting’s legal responsibility for safeguarding the welfare of children goes beyond pure child protection. The duty is now to ensure that safeguarding permeates all activity and functions. This policy therefore complements and supports a range of other policies.

 

Mobile phones

 

To ensure the safety of children within our care the following stipulations have been put into place regarding mobile phones smart watches and tablets:-

 

Mobile phones/smart watches and tablets are not to be turned on during your working hours and must be locked away in the office or in your lockers

 

Mobile phones/smart watches and tablets must not be used unless on a designated break and then this must be away from the children

 

Mobile phones/smart watches and tablets should be stored safely in staff lockers or manager’s office at all times during the hours of your working day

 

If any of the above points are found to be happening then the member of staff involved will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal.

 

On instances when staff may have their mobile phones on them, such as

when they are outside of the nursery premises on an outing, no photos are allowed to be taken using their mobile phones. (Phones are used for emergencies only).

 

Cameras

Only nursery cameras are to be used to take photos of the children, no personal cameras are allowed to be used. Photos are taken of the children on trips out but the cameras are returned back to nursery and do not go home with any staff members. All photos are printed on nursery premises and used accordingly. Once the photos are finished with they are either sent home with the child or shredded. We receive prior permission from the parents to take photos of all the children. At the end of each day all the cameras are locked in the office.

Parents are asked not to take photos of the children when helping out on trips. For occasions such as the nativity we ask for parent permission for photos to be taken, if any parents do not wish this to happen no parents are allowed to take any photos.

No photos are to be put on any social networking sites.

 

 

DSL: Charley King

 

LADO: lado@havering.gov.uk or 01708431653

 

MASH: 01708433222. Out of hours: 01708433999

 

If you feel a child is in immediate risk and you are unable to contact any of the above the police should be called.

Review September 2021

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 

Policy Statement:

 

Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery’s Child Protection Policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by The Children Act 1989 and 2004, The Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 Welfare Requirements, Sections 175 and 176 Education Act 2002 and related guidance including The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (1999), Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) and What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2006).

 

The staff team at Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery take our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care very seriously.

The designated person for Child Protection who has overall responsibility for child protection practice in the setting is: Charley King, with Becky Leaney and Karen Stimpson taking the deputy DSL role.

 

As part of the ethos of the setting we are committed to:

  • Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern.

  • Providing an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected

  • Supporting children to feel confident to talk openly and be sure of being listened to

  • Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties

  • Using learning at the setting to provide opportunities for increasing self awareness, self esteem, assertiveness and decision making so that young children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others.

  • Working with parents/carers to build an understanding of the setting’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations.

  • Ensuring all staff members have the confidence and knowledge to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the setting’s procedures and lines of communication.

  • Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘in need’ including the need for protection, keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.

  • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies.

 

 

 

Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery’s staff role and responsibility in Child Protection

 

Everyone involved in the care of young children has a role to play in their protection. As a member of staff in Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery, you are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance. If you have any reason to suspect that a child in your care is being abused, or is likely to be abused, you have a ‘duty of care’ to take action on behalf of the child by following the setting’s Child Protection Policy.

 

The setting’s Designated Person for Child Protection/Safeguarding (DSL) is responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating child protection action within the setting

  • Liaising with other agencies

  • Ensuring the locally established procedures are followed including reporting and referral processes

  • Acting as a consultant for other setting staff to discuss concerns

  • Making referrals as necessary

  • Maintaining a confidential record system

  • Representing or ensuring the setting is represented at inter-agency meetings in particular Strategy Discussions and Child Protection Conferences.

  • Managing and monitoring the setting’s part in child care and child protection plans

  • Ensuring all setting staff have received appropriate and up to date child protection training.

  • Liaising with other professionals.

  • Once a child leaves our setting to attend Primary School the DSL will hand over all documentation and records to the school personally during a pre arranged visit.  The school will sign a form to acknowledged their receipt of the documentation and this is then kept on file for up to 25 years from when the child left the setting.

     

 

In the event the designated person is unavailable, staff should talk to Owner or one of the deputy safeguarding         lead’s without delay.

 

What is child abuse?

 

The Children Act 1989 refers to “Significant Harm” rather than abuse. However, abuse is any behaviour, action or inaction, which significantly harms the physical and/or emotional development of a child. A child may be abused by parents, other relatives or carers, professionals and other children, and can occur in any family, in any area of society, regardless of social class or geographical location.

Abuse falls into four main categories (The following definitions are from Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010):

 

 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. 

 

Risk indicators may include

  • An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury

  • Varying explanations for the cause of an injury

  • Unexplained delay in seeking medical attention.

  • Repeated minor injuries

  • Reluctance to give information or mention previous injuries

  • Arms and legs kept covered in hot weather

  • Self harm

 

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

 

 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child 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 to meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations including 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 (including cyber 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, though it may occur alone.

 

Recognising emotional abuse:

Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise as signs are usually behavioural rather than physical and the indicators of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse

 

Indicators of emotional abuse

  • Developmental delay

  • Withdrawn 

  • Low esteem, lack of confidence

  • Nervous behaviour

  • Aggressive behaviour towards others

  • Self destructive behaviour

  • Over reacting to mistakes

  • Frozen watchfulness

  • Fear of parent or carer

  • Abnormal attachment between child and parent/carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or no attachment

  • Bed wetting or wetting/soiling during the day

 

   

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

 

Recognising sexual abuse

  • Inappropriate sexualised conduct

  • Sexually explicit behaviour, conversation or play inappropriate for the age of the child

  • Self harm

  • Withdrawing from those around him/her

 

Physical indicators of sexual abuse

  • Pain or itching in genital area

  • Blood on underclothes

  • Bruising to thighs, abdomen, buttocks

  • Sexually transmitted diseases

 

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 abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to, provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

 

Recognising neglect

  • Appears frightened of parents

  • Acts in a way inappropriate for his/her age and development

  • Low self esteem

  • Poor sense of identity

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Poor social relationships/interaction

  • Lack of proper clothing or inappropriate for the weather

  • Always hungry

Risk indicators

  • The parent or carer may have unrealistic expectations of child

  • The parent or carer may persistently avoid child health services and treatment of the child’s sporadic illnesses

  • The parent or carer may frequently complain about the child and may fail to provide attention and praise.

  • Failure by parents or carers to meet the basic essential needs.

  • Poor attendance or frequently absent from nursery

  • Failure of a child to grow within normal expected growth pattern

  • Child thrives away from home environment

 

 

Understanding the child’s world

As a member of staff, you are familiar with the many factors, which can affect how children learn, how they react, and how they develop. When you are concerned about any child, it is helpful to be familiar with government guidance to help agencies to work together in taking a common approach to assessment and service planning. A child’s developmental needs are affected in different ways by the parenting capacity of carers, and by the family and the environmental situation of the child.

 

How to share your concerns

Keep a factual note of any concerns, i.e. what you have observed and heard. Discuss your concerns with the setting designated safeguarding officer (DSL), If there are serious concerns and she is not available, or you do not feel your concerns have been taken seriously and immediate advice is needed then contact:

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on: 

Sign and date your records for future reference.

If appropriate share any initial concerns with the child’s parents/guardians, as there may be a perfectly innocent explanation for changes which you have observed, for example:

  • A sudden change in behaviour could be due to the death or illness of a close family member or a pet.

  • Weight loss and/or failing to thrive could be a symptom of an illness.

  • A sibling or another child could have inflicted an injury accidentally.

 

However, if:

  • You suspect sexual abuse, or you do not get an explanation which you feel is consistent or acceptable from the parents/guardian and feel that discussing the issue with them may put the child at further risk of significant harm Or

  • You think a criminal offence has been committed.

 

Then you must discuss your concerns with the designated person (DSL), without delay.

 

Concerns or uncertainties

There may be occasions when you have concerns about a child, which do not appear to justify a referral of suspected child abuse, but nonetheless leave you feeling uncomfortable. In these circumstances, following consultation with the designated person, you must telephone either:

 

  • Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on: 01708431653

  • Multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH) on:01708433222

 

You do not need to give the child’s name at this point, although it may be helpful to ascertain if there is a previous social services history. The Duty Social Worker will advise you whether or not your concerns do justify making a child protection referral.

The Social Worker may consider the child to be ‘a child in need’ rather than ‘a child at risk of significant harm’. In this case, a referral to Children’s Social Services should be made but only with the parent’s/guardians agreement.

Families sometimes have a negative perception of the role of Children’s Social Services, and are reluctant to contact them, fearing that their children may be taken into care. The reality is that Children’s Social Services can offer a lot of help, both directly and through other agencies, to families who are experiencing difficulties, so your influence and support in the referral process will be very important. Children’s Social Services will assess the family, probably along with other agencies, and put in a support package if appropriate.

 

If the family concerned is reluctant for Children’s Social Services to be contacted and following a discussion with the designated person, you could ask the parents’/guardians permission to contact another relevant agency on their behalf such as the Health Visitor. It is important to document that parental consent had been obtained.

 

Serious Concerns

If you are reasonably confident that the child concerned is likely to be at risk, you must immediately discuss this with your designated officer. He/she will then telephone the LADO immediately on: 01708431653 or lado@havering.gov.uk, stating that he/she has serious concerns about a child in our care. If Local Designated Officer is not available, then you should speak to the MASH Team on: 01708433355 or mash@havering.gov.uk 

 

When making a referral, the following information will need to be provided;

  • The name, address, date of birth, ethnic origin and gender of the child.

  • The names and contact telephone numbers of parents, and other carers or close family members if known.

  • The name, address and telephone number of the child’s Doctor, and Health Visitor if applicable

  • The incidents which give cause for concern with dates and times

  • The nature of the injuries observed, and/or the reason for your concerns.

 

Following a telephone referral, it will be expected to follow this up in writing, within 24 hours by completing an inter-agency referral form. The form can only be sent electronically through a secure email.

 

Under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989, Local Authorities have a statutory duty to make enquiries, where they have “reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm”. The Children’s Social Services Department carries this responsibility on behalf of the Local Authority. Once we have made a referral, we have fulfilled our responsibility to the child. It is at this point that Children’s Social Services will take over and a decision will be made on what happens next. All referrals are taken seriously, and the needs of the child and family will be assessed, so that appropriate enquiries are followed up and support can be put into place where relevant. Enquires will be made to other professionals and the child’s family. The nursery may be included in these enquiries, and we may be part of any on-going support for the child. Under Section 47(9) all staff at Hunnypot Corner Day Nursery has a duty to co-operate with these enquiries if required to do so.

 

What will be the outcome?

Having made a referral about a child, you will probably want to know the outcome of the investigation. You should receive some information, but for reasons of confidentiality, this will be on a ‘need to know’ basis. The designated person should be invited to participate in any meetings set up for the child.

How to respond to a child who discloses something to you.

 

Do’s

  • Listen and avoid interrupting except to clarify and treat any allegations seriously, ensuring that the child understands that you believe what they are saying and confirming that they are right to bring this to your attention and talking about it to a responsible adult.

  • Allow the child or young person to make the disclosure at their own pace and in their own way.

  • Reassure the child that they are in no way to blame for the actions of others and tell them of the next steps and why you may be informing others.

  • Record – making precise notes on your conversation with the child, date and time the report and include actions taken.

  • Take appropriate action – passing the information to the designated person immediately.

  • Seek support – never deal with a disclosure alone, always seek support and guidance.

 

Don’t

  • Promise not to tell anyone – you will need to share a child protection concern with the designated person.

  • Ask leading questions – this could jeopardise later court actions

  • Express doubt or disbelief – reassure the child that they were right to tell you

  • Interrogate the child - it is not your place to do so, this must be carried out by a suitably qualified professional, ie from Children’s Social Care or the Police.

  • Do not exaggerate or embellish what you have heard in any way, record everything as it has been said or expressed to you.

  • Assume someone else will deal with it – always act! You may be the only person this child has shared this information with.

 

 

Record Keeping

 Staff can play a vital role in helping children in need or at risk by effective monitoring and record keeping. Any incident or behavioural change in a child or young person that gives cause for concern should be recorded on a Safeguarding Concern Report Form, copies of which are kept in the Safeguarding Children’s File. It is important that records are kept factual and reflect the words used by the child or young person. Records must be signed and dated with timings if appropriate.

Information to be recorded:

  • Child’s name and date of birth

  • The incident with dates and times

  • A verbatim record of what the child or young person has said

  • If recording bruising/injuries indicate position, colour, size, shape and time on body map.

  • Action taken.

 

What to do if you need to take emergency action to protect a child

On very rare occasions, it may be necessary to act quickly, for example, to protect a child from a drunken or violent parent. In these circumstances, it would be appropriate to discuss this with the Manager, DSL or person in charge immediately who should telephone the police.

In an unlikely event that a child is brought to the setting with serious injuries, it would be appropriate to discuss this with the Manager or person in charge immediately who should telephone for an ambulance.

However, it is important to remember that these types of scenarios are very unlikely to happen.

 

What support is available to staff

Any member of the team affected by issues arising from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from their Designated Person for Child protection. In addition, regular supervision is provided for all staff on a monthly basis.

The designated person for child protection can put staff and parents/guardians in touch with outside agencies for professional support if they wish.

 

Monitoring and Review

All setting personnel and visiting staff will have access to a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss the contents. The policy will also be available to parents/guardians.

This policy has been written to reflect the new guidance and legislation issued in relation to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

The policy should be followed and adhered to at all times along with the settings safeguarding policy and will be reviewed annually.

All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its contents.

Review Sep 2021