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C7.1 Safeguarding

Safeguarding Children

Introduction:

Ofsted and DfE require early years and childcare practitioners to have an ‘effective safeguarding children policy’ which must be implemented. This must be based on the Local ‘Safeguarding Children’ Board. In Greenfield’s case, this is the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board (NCSCB) Procedures.

Our prime responsibility is the welfare and wellbeing of all children in our care. We believe we have a duty to the children, parents/carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance of concern that comes to our attention. It is our duty to report any suspicions of abuse and neglect to the Local Authority who are then obliged to investigate such matters. At Greenfields we will follow the Nottingham City Safeguarding procedures laid out by the local authority and will seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently. It is our statutory responsibility to record any injuries that happen to children both in and out of nursery. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for dealing with any child protection issues are the Childcare Services Manager’s, deputised by the Setting Leaders. They have responsibility for appropriate staff training and support, information dissemination to staff, and liaison with child protection agencies and OFSTED. The designated person will continue to ensure that all staff regularly update their training and awareness on child protection issues, they also ensure that staff have a thorough understanding of the organisations safeguarding policy. Safeguarding is discussed with childcare staff at staff meetings and individual supervisions. The DSL’s update their lead professional training every 3 years. All other childcare staff attend basic safeguarding training when they first start their employment and then attend refresher training every 3 years. All staff employed by Greenfields who come into contact with children are subject to a DBS check. These are complete upon appointment and then again every 3 years. Staff also complete annual disclosure forms to inform the DSL of any changes to their circumstances in relation to their suitability. This includes anyone in their household that carries a criminal conviction. Greenfields follows safer recruitment practices and managers involved in recruitment have attended safer recruitment training. See Recruitment policy for more details. It is the policy of the organisation to provide a secure and safe environment for all children.

We aim to:

  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk whilst in the charge of childcare staff.
  • Report all cases of children being at risk both when in our care and in the care of others.
  • Ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.
  • Ensure that all staff are familiar with child protection issues and procedures.
  • Regularly review and update this policy.

Definition of abuse:

Child abuse is the ill treatment or neglect of a child under the age of eighteen years of age. The child may suffer from physical injury, physical neglect, failure to thrive, emotional or sexual abuse by a person who has custody, charge or care of the child, either caused or knowingly failed to prevent. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. If a child is found to be injured or there is cause for concern about the child’s welfare this will be discussed on most occasions with the parent/carer. In some cases of suspected abuse parents/carers may not be informed first, this is done in order to provide protection to the child and/or staff. It may also be in order not to interfere with any ongoing criminal investigations. Our aim is to work with parents/ carers in an open and professional manner in the interests of the wellbeing of your child.

Physical Abuse:

Action will be taken if childcare workers have reason to believe that there has been a physical harm to a child. Examples of this may include shaking, squeezing, burning with a cigarette, hitting with hands or objects. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness on a child.

Emotional Abuse:

Action will be taken if childcare workers have reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child likely to be caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.

Neglect:

Action will be taken if childcare workers have reason to believe that there has been persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, which result in serious impairment of the child’s health and/or development including failure to thrive.

Sexual Abuse:

Action will be taken if staff have witnessed occasions where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, and drawing or has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters or has an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behavior

Action in the event of concern:

Should any member of staff have concerns for the welfare of any child they will immediately inform the DSL. In the event of anybody (this may include children, parents, staff, other professionals or members of the public) disclosing a concern staff will keep accurate records of their observations and of anything said to them in connection with concerns regarding safeguarding issues. All safeguarding concerns should be recorded on a Safeguarding Concern Form and must include times and dates as this information may be used as future evidence. Childcare staff responsibilities do not include investigating the suspected abuse

Procedure if concerns arise:

  • Where appropriate the concern will be discussed with the parent/carer
  • Such discussions will be recorded on a Safeguarding Concern Form and in the child’s Running Record. Parents/carers will have access to such records upon request
  • Any sign of a mark or injury to a child when they arrive at Greenfields will be recorded on an Accident Record – reported from outside (GF/C/13)
  • If staff remain concerned regarding the injury, the designated person will then record it on a Body Map (GF/C/68)
  • The observed incidents will be reported to the DSL.
  • If staff remain concerned the DSL will then seek guidance the relevant local authority (see table at the end of policy). The local authority will depend on where the child lives. Contact details will be sought if necessary if children live outside of Nottinghamshire.

Action in the event of a direct referral:

If an immediate referral is required, a telephone call should be made to Children and Families Direct as soon as possible. This should then be followed up within 24 hours by a MARF (Multi Agency Referral Form) and sent via secure e-mail to Children and Families Direct. Strict confidentiality will be adhered to at all times. When making decisions regarding safeguarding children the DSL will make reference to the Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015 document.

Staff concern that action is not being taken:

In the event of the DSL not taking appropriate action, which as a consequence is exposing a child to potential harm, members of staff should regard themselves as having responsibility to raise the issues directly with Children and Families Direct immediately, advising the DSL that they have done so.

Allegations against a member of staff (Whistle blowing):

Any allegation against a member of staff will be treated seriously and investigated immediately. All information should be recorded by the DSL/Senior Manager on an incident form regarding the allegation. The Senior Manager on duty will contact The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who has overall responsibility on behalf of the local authority for managing allegations against staff. The LADO will then work with Senior Manager to consider whether it is a matter which can be properly dealt with under Greenfields disciplinary procedures or whether the police and/ or Children’s Social Care should be involved. The DSL will look at the details to determine the exact nature of the allegation. If appropriate, the member of staff will be suspended pending the final outcome of the investigation. Greenfields’ procedures will be followed with the safety of children as paramount. The local authority will lead an investigation in line with the NCSB procedures. Following this if there is evidence to substantiate allegations, disciplinary action will be taken possibly leading to dismissal. If the allegations made are found to be unsubstantiated, all relevant parties will be informed and it shall be made clear that the member of staff is exonerated. Any allegations against a member of staff will be reported to OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) and the LADO within 14 days and they will be kept informed of the outcome of any investigations.

Use of mobile phones and cameras:

In order to safeguard children from inappropriate images being taken of them, mobile phones and personal cameras are never to be taken into the nursery or after school club rooms. Staff must not use their mobile phones during work times or in any of the nursery/after school club rooms, they should be kept in their lockers and only taken out at break times. Parents/carers and visitors may not take out their phones in the nursery/after school club and will be asked to put them away or step out of the room if they do so. A centre camera will be available to take pictures of the children whilst at nursery to ensure that all pictures can be monitored and securely stored. When staff go out of the building with children a centre mobile phone will be allocated which does not have a camera or internet connection to be used for the sole purpose of making calls in an emergency. Also see social networking and mobile phone use policy for more detailed guidance

Prevent Duty:

Greenfields pays close attention to the Prevent Duty Strategy in order to safeguard children against radicalisation and extremist views. We actively promote British Values through our inclusive provision and challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes in order to develop children’s ability to safeguard themselves against radicalisation. This is also largely supported through our use of the Early Years Foundation Stage which we implement on a daily basis. Greenfields is aware of specific issues that can affect children such as radicalisation and sexual exploitation. Children can be affected by these issues directly or through the internet. Staff should be aware of signs to look for such as changes in children’s behaviour. Children may also hide their beliefs or make stereotypical/negative comments about others beliefs. All staff should monitor children’s use of the internet and they should never be left unsupervised on the computers. Children should be allowed to discuss and debate controversial issues in a safe environment to help them understand their own and others opinions. Where issues occur regarding children being at risk of radicalisation staff should record on a Safeguarding Concern Form and discuss with the DSP. Guidance should be sought from Children and Families Direct. Advice can also be obtained from the local police

If additional advice is required in relation to any safeguarding concerns the DSL will contact the 0-19 Safeguarding Coordinator for Nottingham City as part of the Nottingham City Safeguarding Board Team.

Important Contacts

Children and Families Direct

(safeguarding advice and referrals for Nottingham City) 0115 8764800 Out of hours 0115 8761000

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

(safeguarding advice and referrals for Nottingham County) 0300 500 80 90

Nottingham City Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

0115 8762302/0115 8764762

Police

101 (non-emergency number)

Nottingham City 0-19 Safeguarding Coordinator

0115 8764725

MARF Form

Multi Agency Referral Form
Candf.direct@nottinghamcity.gcsx.gov.uk