Reviewed and updated in line with the NSCB folder- ‘Safeguarding in early years and childcare’ 2012.
We aim to promote children’s rights to be strong, resilient and listened to. We do this by creating an environment which will develop a positive self-image, a sense of independence and enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
We aim to promote satisfying relationships within families, between peers and other adults.
We aim to build parents’ understanding of, and their commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.
Our designated Child Protection coordinator/ SLP is Angie Ward. In her absence Heather Kirby will be responsible.
We operate a setting where all staff members are suitably vetted, and no volunteers are left with unsupervised access to the children.
We work alongside all relevant agencies and within the latest guidelines, in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal, for reasons of protection concerns.
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting, and have security steps to ensure that no unauthorised person has unauthorised access to the children.
Responding to Suspicions of Abuse
We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional and sexual, as well as neglect. We remain vigilant for any signs that children are suffering from any of these forms of abuse. This may be demonstrated by the things they say [direct or indirect disclosure] or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour or their play. Where such evidence is apparent, a dated record of the details will be made.
Any concerns will be discussed by the member of staff who first noticed the signs of abuse, and the Manager/SLP Angie Ward. The information will be recorded, dated, timed and stored in a personal file, and kept locked away. The SLP will then inform Children’s services in cases where either the child could be in immediate risk of harm, or there are serious concerns about a child’s welfare. If the concerns involve ongoing worries, and no immediate risk to the child then the CAF process will be initiated.
Staff in the setting take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children, or by asking questions of the children.
Allegations against Staff
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or any volunteer within the setting. This may include an allegation of abuse.
- We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff may have taken, or is taking place by first recording the details of any such alleged incidents.
- All such concerns and allegations should be reported to the SLP or the Deputy, who then in turn will report to Children’s services if there are concerns about a child’s immediate safety or LADO if there is no immediate safety concern. Ofsted will also be informed.
- We would co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by social services.
- Our Policy is to suspend the member of staff on full pay for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but it is to protect the staff, as well as the children, and the family throughout the process.
- If the allegation concern’s the SLP/Manager herself the Deputy will then take charge, and then all the above steps will be taken.
Recording Suspicions of Abuse and Disclosures
All members of staff know the procedures for recording and reporting details, and referring them to the SLP. We have a copy of the flowchart showing the steps to take if anyone in an early years setting has a concern about a child, taken from the NSCB Safeguarding folder.
We have a copy of ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ for parents and staff. All staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
We have procedures for contacting the Children’s services on child protection issues. We notify the registered authority OFSTED, of any incident or accident, and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children.
The setting continues to welcome the child and family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse. We follow any procedures set out by the Social Services Department, in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting the child and the family subsequent to any investigation.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential, and shared only with those who need to know. Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, as they need to be informed and give their consent, unless it is felt this will put the child at risk of harm.
We aim to attend all training opportunities to improve our knowledge to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible abuse, and the guidelines for making referrals.
Children’s services Child Protection Referrals
0344 800 8020 or 01493 448190
More information can be found in the NSCB Safeguarding folder.