WHOLE setting POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING
INCORPORATING CHILD PROTECTION
THE TREASURE BOX
Policy Consultation & Review
This policy is available on my Setting’s website, on the Baby’s Days System and paper copies are available on request from me, Louise Lawson. I also inform parents and carers about this policy when their children join the Setting.
This policy will be reviewed in full by Louise Lawson on an annual basis. This policy was last reviewed and updated on 07/02/23. It is due for review on 01/09/23.
The local Police can be contacted on 101 for a non-emergency.
Or if a child is at immediate risk of harm, call the Police on 999.
|Vision, Commitment and Definitions Purpose & Aims|
|Roles & Responsibilities|
|Training & Induction|
|Procedures for Managing Concerns Specific Safeguarding Issues|
|Recording & Information Sharing Working with Parents & Carers|
|Child Protection Conferences|
|Safer Working Practice|
|Managing Allegations and Concerns|
|Other relevant policies|
|Recording form for reporting concerns|
|Induction checklist for employees & volunteers|
|Local Safeguarding Procedures|
|Advice for settings and providers where there are concerns about an adult who works within the setting How to handle a disclosure of abuse by a child The Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool E-Safety Policy Conflict of Interest Including Baby Sitting Policy Prevent referral process|
I believe that all children, young people and their families have the right to be healthy, happy and safe; to be loved, valued and respected; and have high aspirations for their future.
I am committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all adults and volunteers to share this commitment.
I will work together in an open way with children, young people and their families to identify strengths and needs, to find practical achievable solutions and to provide the right amount of information, advice and support at the right time (following the well-recognised “Signs of Safety” format).
A “child in need” is defined under the Children and Families Act 2014 as “a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled; or a child who is a young carer”.
Safeguarding and promoting the health of children is defined as:
• protecting children from maltreatment;
• preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
• ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; • taking action to enable all children to have the best chances.
Child protection is:
• part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Physical abuse can happen in any family, but children may be more at risk if their parents have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health or if they live in a home where domestic abuse happens. Babies and disabled children also have a higher risk of suffering physical abuse.
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Physical abuse can also occur outside of the family environment.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of physical abuse:
- Children with frequent injuries;
- Children with unexplained or unusual fractures or broken bones;
- Children with unexplained: bruises or cuts; burns or scalds; or bite marks.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as 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 insofar as they 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 being imposed on children. These may include 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.
Although the effects of emotional abuse might take a long time to be recognisable, early years practitioners are in a position to observe it, for example, in the way that a parent interacts with their child. Emotional abuse may involve deliberately telling a child that they are worthless, or unloved and inadequate. It may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
Emotional abuse may involve serious bullying – including online bullying through social networks, online games or mobile phones – by a child’s peers.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of emotional abuse:
- Children who are excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong;
- Parents or carers who withdraw their attention from their child, giving the child the ‘cold shoulder’;
- Parents or carers blaming their problems on their child; and
- Parents or carers who humiliate their child, for example, by name-calling or making negative comparisons.
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 can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual abuse:
- Children who display knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to their age;
- Children who use sexual language or have sexual knowledge that you wouldn’t expect them to have;
- Children who ask others to behave sexually or play sexual games; and
- Children with physical sexual health problems, including soreness in the genital and anal areas, sexually transmitted infections or underage pregnancy.
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.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of neglect:
- Children who are living in a home that is indisputably dirty or unsafe;
- Children who are left hungry or dirty;
- Children who are left without adequate clothing, e.g. not having a winter coat;
- Children who are living in dangerous conditions, i.e. around drugs, alcohol or violence;
- Children who are often angry, aggressive or self-harm;
- Children who fail to receive basic health care; and
- Parents who fail to seek medical treatment when their children are ill or are injured
The Main Indicators of Child Abuse include:
- Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones
- Fearful or withdrawn tendencies
- Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff
- Repeated injuries
- Unaddressed illnesses or injuries
- Significant changes to behaviour patterns.
Softer signs of abuse as defined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) include:
- Low self-esteem
- Oppositional habitual body rocking.
- Indiscriminate contact or affection seeking
- Over-friendliness to strangers including healthcare professionals
- Excessive clinginess, persistently resorting to gaining attention
- Demonstrating excessively ‘good’ behaviour to prevent parental or carer disapproval
- Failing to seek or accept appropriate comfort or affection from an appropriate person when significantly distressed
- Coercive controlling behaviour towards parents or carers
- Lack of ability to understand and recognise emotions
- Very young children showing excessive comforting behaviours when witnessing parental or carer distress.
Female Genital Mutilation:
I am aware of and comply with the requirements relating to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) including identifying that a girl may have been subject to (or at risk of) female genital mutilation. It is my duty to report to the Police any case where an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18.
Peer on Peer Abuse:
I am aware that children and young people are capable of abusing their peers. I encourage the children to be open and honest with me, and tell me about anything that is worrying them, including bullying, intimidation, threats or inappropriate touching or physical contact by their peers.
Children who have Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities:
I recognise that children who have Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities are particularly vulnerable and additional barriers may exist when trying to recognise signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect.
There is evidence from experience and research that indicates that disabled children are especially vulnerable in terms of abuse and neglect, and that multiple disability is associated with increased risk (risk is often enhanced because disabled children may be less able to communicate concerns, have fewer extra-familial contacts, and are more dependent on and demanding of attention from their carers).
I am aware that there are a number of factors that may result in a reluctance to act on concerns in relation to disabled children which could include:
- Over identifying with the child’s parents / carers and being reluctant to accept abuse or neglect is taking place
- A lack of knowledge about the child eg not knowing the child’s usual behaviour
- Any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home
The mental health of a parent or carer does not necessarily have an adverse impact on a child but it is essential to assess the implications for the child. If I have concerns that a child is at risk of harm because of the impact of the parent/carer’s mental health I will report my concerns in the normal way.
1. PURPOSE & AIMS
1.1 The purpose of The Treasure Box’s safeguarding policy is to ensure every child is safe and protected from harm. This means I will always work to:
- Protect children at my setting from maltreatment;
- Prevent impairment of our children’s mental and physical health or development;
- Ensure that children at my setting grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and to ensure that parents/carers have a clear understanding of the legal responsibilities relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children;
- Undertake that role so as to enable children and young people at my Setting to have the best outcomes and optimum life chances.
- Ensure all those working in my setting, either paid or unpaid, have a clear understanding of the legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
1.2 This policy will give clear direction to any adults, volunteers, visitors and parents about expected behaviour and my legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children at my setting
1.3 I fully recognise the contribution I can make to protect children from harm, and support and promote the welfare of all children who are registered at my setting. The elements of my policy are prevention, protection and support.
1.4 I recognise that my safeguarding responsibilities are clearly linked to my responsibilities for ensuring that appropriate safeguarding responses are in place for children who are absent from setting or who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. I will liaise with parents to discuss all persistently absent children and those who go missing to identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to ensure that appropriate safeguarding responses have been put in place to reduce the risk of future harm.
1.5 This policy applies to all children, adults, parents, volunteers and visitors.
2. MY ETHOS
2.1 The child’s welfare is of paramount importance. I have a philosophy where the child’s welfare is central and children are supported by safe and effective care. My setting will establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and are safe. Children at my setting will be able to talk freely to me if they are worried or concerned about something. I will reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. Victims will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence or sexual harassment.
2.2 Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. I recognise that I play a particularly important role as I am in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. I maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, I must always act in the best interests of the child.
2.3 I ensure that safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront and underpin all relevant aspects of process and policy development. I operate with the best interests of the child at heart.
2.4 Where there is a safeguarding concern, the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide. The systems I have in place are well promoted, easily understood and easily accessible for children to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be treated seriously, and knowing they can safely express their views and give feedback.
2.5 Through training, I know how to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information. I will not make promises to any child and I will not keep secrets. Every child will know what I will have to do with any information they have chosen to disclose. I am also trained to recognise that children may not feel ready or know how to tell someone that they are being abused, exploited, or neglected, and/or they may not recognise their experiences as harmful.
2.6 Throughout my broad and balanced curriculum, I will provide activities and opportunities for children to develop the knowledge, values and skills they need to identify risks, including knowing when and how to ask for help for themselves and others to stay safe (this includes online). The curriculum will cover relevant topics in an age and stage appropriate way, enabling children to learn about their rights and responsibilities to behave and stay safe in a variety of contexts on and offline. This will provide further reinforcement to help children identify risks, know when to seek support and develop the skills to ask for help from trustworthy, reliable sources.
I teach the children the NSPCC “Pants” rule, to help them learn how to keep themselves safe from abuse:
P…….. Privates are private
A…….. Always remember your body belongs to you
N……. No means No
T…….. Talk about secrets that upset you
S……. Speak up, someone can help
I have paper copies available for parents, carers and children.
2.7 At all times I will work in partnership and endeavour to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children(2018) and the Norfolk Multi Agency Safeguarding Partnership arrangements.
2.8 As part of my responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, I will provide a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified. These may include if a child:
- is disabled and has specific additional needs;
- has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan);
- has a mental health need;
- is a young carer;
- is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
- is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
- is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
- is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
- is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse;
- has returned home to their family from care;
- is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect;
- is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
- is at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation or Forced Marriage;
- is a privately fostered child
- has a family member in prison, or is affected by parental offending;
- is persistently absent from education, including persistent absences for part of the setting day.
2.9 I understand the importance of working in a way that adheres to the following legislation:
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- Equality Act 2010
- Public Sector Equality Duty
This means I do not unlawfully discriminate against children because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, or sexual orientation (protected characteristics).
2.10 This policy has been written in accordance with the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) guidance and the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (2019) and the Norfolk Threshold Guidance and the Early Years Safeguarding Toolkit requirements. All information is held in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
My Information Commissioner’s Office reference number is Z2579774.
3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
|Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP)||Louise Lawson||01692 59829107956 firstname.lastname@example.org|
3.1 It is the responsibility of every adult, volunteer and regular visitor to my setting to ensure that they carry out the requirements of this policy and, at all times, work in a way that will safeguard and promote the welfare of all of the children at this setting This includes the responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
3.2 Confidentiality: All those working in the Setting, whether paid or unpaid will:
Keep concerns confidential and only share them with those that need to know, in order to protect children, in line with the referral process.
Always keep records secure and accessible only to those who need to know, in order to protect children.
Sign the safeguarding policy, which includes the requirement for confidentiality.
3.3 Parents will be expected to provide information to support their child’s needs during their time at the Setting. This includes the child’s full name, date of birth, residency address, who has parental responsibility and access, parent contact details, emergency contact details, Doctor’s name and contact details. These records should be kept up to date and staff informed of any changes.
3.4 Information will be made available to parents / carers, such as:
– Registration forms and contracts on the Baby’s Days system
– Policy & Procedure documents
– Parents’ notice board
– Ofsted parents’ poster
– Allegations against me policy
3.5 I expect parents and carers to share information about accidents and injuries that take place at home, or outside my setting. Equally, my setting has a responsibility to inform parents if an accident happens in the setting.
Information provided by parents concerning accidents, incidents and existing injuries, is held on the Baby’s Days system. Parents can access their child’s information, policies, permissions, accident/incident reports, medication forms and contracts via their secure pass-word protected e-portal. (Please refer to our Baby’s Days System Security policy.) This information is held and used with the best interests of the child in mind; if a safeguarding concern arises, details of any previous, relevant, accident or incident, will be available for review.
The Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP)
- I am the person who takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within my setting. I will carry out my role in accordance with the responsibilities outlined in Annex C of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.
- I will provide advice and support to other adults on child welfare and child protection matters. Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to me.
- As the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner, I will always be available for any adult in the setting to discuss any safeguarding concerns.
3.9 I will represent my setting at child protection conferences and core group meetings. Through appropriate training, knowledge and experience I will liaise with Children’s Services and other agencies where necessary, and make referrals of suspected abuse to Children’s Services, take part in strategy discussions and other interagency meetings and contribute to the assessment of children.
3.10 I will maintain records and child protection files ensuring that they are kept confidential and stored securely (see section 7 for more information.)
3.11 I am responsible for ensuring that all adults are aware of my policy and the procedure they need to follow. I will ensure that any adults, volunteers and regular visitors have received appropriate child protection information during induction.
3.12 I will obtain details of the Local Authority Personal Advisor appointed to guide and support a child who is a care leaver.
3.13 I will take the lead for promoting educational outcomes by knowing the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children in need are experiencing, or have experienced, and identifying the impact that these issues might be having on children’s attendance, engagement and achievement.
3.14 This will include understanding their academic progress and attainment, and maintaining a culture of high aspirations for this cohort, and supporting other adults to provide additional academic support or reasonable adjustments to help children who have or have had a social worker reach their potential.
3.15 I recognise that a child’s experiences of adversity and trauma can leave them vulnerable to further harm, as well as educationally disadvantaged in facing barriers to attendance, learning, behaviour and mental health. I will use the information that I hold about children with a social worker to make decisions in the best interests of the child’s safety, welfare and help promote educational outcomes. I will ensure that I understand children’s academic progress and attainment and I will maintain a culture of high aspirations for this cohort; identifying the challenges that children in this group might face and the additional academic support and adjustments that I could make to best support these children.
3.16 As the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner, my key roles and responsibilities are to:
• Ensure that safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and up to date; that all adults, volunteers and parents/carers have read and understood them
• Talk to CADS (Children’s Advice And Duty Service 0344 8008021) about any worries they or other adults have about a child’s welfare, and ask CADS to log the worries/concerns.
• Refer concerns to CADS (Children’s Advice And Duty Service 0344 8008021) where the child may be a child in need, including concerns about significant harm
• Refer to CADS (Children’s Advice And Duty Service 0344 8008021) or the Police where emergency action is required to secure the immediate safety of a child in an emergency situation, phone the police on 999.
• Provide written reports to help make decisions about the services a child and family may require
• Provide support, advice and expertise to other adults who may go to them for advice about a child when they have concerns about their welfare
• Attend meetings with other agencies to contribute towards plans to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
• Share concerns early so that children and families in need of support can access services and support quickly.
4. TRAINING & INDUCTION
4.1 Should any volunteers join my setting, they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They will be given a copy of my setting’s safeguarding policy along with the employees’ code of conduct, Part one and/or Annex B of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and told that I am the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP). They will also receive a copy of the behaviour policy and my setting’s response to children who go missing from education – this information is included in section 6 of this policy. All new adults are expected to read these key documents. They will also be provided with information about how to record and report safeguarding concerns.
4.2 Every new volunteer will receive safeguarding training during their induction period. This programme will include information relating to signs and symptoms of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child (including reassuring victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe), how to record, the processes for referral to Children’s Services and the statutory assessments under Section 17 and Section 47 as well as the remit of the role of the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP). The training will also include information about whistleblowing in respect of concerns about another adult’s behaviour and suitability to work with children. Any new volunteer will also receive on-line safety training as this is part of the overarching safeguarding approach of my setting.
4.3 All regular visitors and volunteers to my setting will be given a set of my safeguarding procedures; they will be informed that I am the SLP and what the recording and reporting system is. (See Appendix 2).
4.4 I have attended one of the multi-agency training courses. I will attend Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) training provided by the Local Authority every two years. In addition to formal training, I will ensure that I update my knowledge and skills at regular intervals, but at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to my role. I do this by accessing e-courier and disseminating national and local updates to any employees, attendance at SLP network meetings, Local Safeguarding Children’s Groups, Personal Development.
5. PROCEDURES FOR MANAGING CONCERNS
5.1 I adhere to child protection procedures that have been agreed locally through the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership. Where I identify children and families in need of support, I will carry out my responsibilities in accordance with Norfolk Local Assessment Protocol and the Norfolk Threshold Guidance.
5.2 Every adult, including volunteers, working with children at my setting are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, adults should always act in the interests of the child and have a responsibility to take action as outline in this policy.
5.3 Any volunteer is encouraged to report any concerns that they have and not see these as insignificant. On occasions, a referral is justified by a single incident such as an injury or disclosure of abuse. More often however, concerns accumulate over a period of time and are evidenced by building up a picture of harm over time; this is particularly true in cases of emotional abuse and neglect. In these circumstances, it is crucial that volunteers record and pass on concerns in accordance with this policy immediately to allow me as the SLP to build up a picture and access support for the child at the earliest opportunity. A reliance on memory without accurate and contemporaneous records of concern could lead to a failure to protect.
5.4 It is not the responsibility of any volunteer to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All adults, however, have a duty to recognise concerns and pass the information on in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy.
5.5 As the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP), I should be used as a first point of contact for concerns and queries regarding any safeguarding concern in my setting. Any volunteer or visitor to the setting who receives a disclosure of abuse or suspects that a child is at risk of harm must report it immediately to me.
5.6 All concerns about a child or young person should be reported without delay and recorded in writing using the agreed system in the setting (see Appendix 1 for suggested template). Records should include:
• a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern
• details of how the concern was followed up and resolved
• a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome
5.7 Following receipt of any information raising concern, I will consider what action to take and seek advice from the Norfolk Children’s Advice & Duty Service (CADS) as required. All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented.
5.8 All referrals will be made in line with Norfolk Children’s Services procedures as outlined in Appendix 3.
5.9 If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to Norfolk CADS immediately. Anybody can make a referral in these circumstances. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving adults with concerns should press for re-consideration by raising concerns again with me. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
5.10 Adults should always follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy in the first instance. However, they may also share information directly with Norfolk CADS, or the police if:
- the situation is an emergency and I am unavailable;
- they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the child’s safety.
5.11 Any adult who does not feel that concerns about a child have been responded to appropriately and in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy should raise their concerns with me. If any adult does not feel the situation has been addressed appropriately at this point should contact Norfolk CADS directly with their concerns.
6. SPECIFIC SAFEGUARDING ISSUES
6.1 I recognise that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside of the setting environment and/or can occur between children outside of the setting This is known as contextual safeguarding. It is key that all adults understand the definition of contextual safeguarding and consider whether children are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families. Through training I will ensure that any volunteers are aware that extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence. When reporting concerns, adults should include as much information and background detail as possible so the SLP can make a referral with a holistic view of the child. This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and the full context of any abuse.
6.2 I recognise that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) can face additional safeguarding challenges and these are discussed in volunteers training. These additional barriers can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
- children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying- without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
6.3 I recognise that a previously looked after child potentially remains vulnerable and all adults should have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep previously looked after children safe. When dealing with looked after children and previously looked after children, it is important that all agencies work together, and prompt action is taken when necessary to safeguard these children, who are a particularly vulnerable group.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE): County Lines and serious violence
6.4 I recognise that both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. Victims can be exploited even when activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online.
6.5 I recognise that Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse and this imbalance of power coerces, manipulates or deceives a child or young person into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator. Child sexual exploitation does not always include physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology. I understand that some children may not realise they are being exploited e.g. they may believe they are in a genuine romantic relationship.
6.6 Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:
- Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
- Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
- Children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;
- Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
- Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
- Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late;
- Physical injuries such as bruising or bleeding
- Sudden changes in their appearance
- Becoming involved in drugs or alcohol, particularly if you suspect they are being supplied by older men or women
- Becoming emotionally volatile (mood swings are common in all young people, but more severe changes could indicate that something is wrong)
- Using sexual language that you wouldn’t expect them to know
- Engaging less with their usual friends
- Appearing controlled by their phone
- Switching to a new screen when you come near the computer
- Nightmares or sleeping problems
- Running away, staying out overnight
- Changes in eating habits
- Talk of a new, older friend, boyfriend or girlfriend
- Losing contact with family and friends or becoming secretive
- Children who regularly miss school or education or don’t take part in education
6.7 I understand that criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity. Drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. Key to identifying potential involvement in county lines are missing episodes, when the victim may have been trafficked for the purpose of transporting drugs.
6.8 Signs and indicators to be aware of include:
- Changes in the way young people sometimes unaffordable new things (e.g. clothes, jewellery, cars etc.)
- Missing from home or schools and/or significant decline in performance
- New friends or relationships with those who don’t share any mutual friendships with thevictim or anyone else
- May be carrying a weapon
- Receiving more texts or calls than usual
- Sudden influx of cash, clothes or mobile phones
- Unexplained injuries
- Significant changes in emotional well-being
- Young people seen in different cars/taxis driven by unknown adults
- Young people seeming unfamiliar with your community or where they are
- Truancy, exclusion, disengagement from school
- An increase in anti-social behaviour in the community
- Unexplained injuries
- Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks.
6.9 Cuckooing is a form of county lines crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to criminally exploit them as a base for drug dealing, often in multi-occupancy or social housing properties. Signs that this is happening in a family property may be an increase in people entering or leaving the property, an increase in cars or bikes outside the home; windows covered or curtains closed for long periods, family not being seen for extended periods; signs of drug use or an increase in anti-social behaviour at the home. If I recognise any of these signs, I will report my concerns as per my reporting process.
6.10 I understand that children can become trapped by this type of exploitation as perpetrators can threaten victims (and their families) with violence or entrap and coerce them into debt. They may be coerced into carrying weapons such as knives or begin to carry a knife for a sense of protection from harm from others. I will treat these children as victims understanding that they have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears to be something they have agreed or consented to. I recognise the experience of girls who are criminally exploited can be very different to that of boys and that both boys and girls being criminally exploited may be at higher risk of sexual exploitation.
6.11 I am aware of the indicators and risk factors which may signal a child is vulnerable to or involved with serious violent crime. I make reference to the Home Office’s Preventing youth violence and gang involvementand Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance for more information.
6.12 If a child is suspected to be at risk of or involved in county lines, a referral to the Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) will be made alongside consideration of availability of local services/third sector providers who offer support to victims of county lines exploitation.
So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (including Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage
6.13 I recognise that I am well placed to identify concerns and take action to prevent children from becoming victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other forms of so-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) and provide guidance on these issues through my safeguarding training. If I have a concern regarding a child that might be at risk of HBV, I will activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multiagency liaison with police and children’s social care.
6.14 Where FGM has taken place, since 31 October 2015 there has been a mandatory reporting duty placed on practitioners. Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon practitioners in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. Further information on when and how to make a report can be found in the following Home Office guidance: Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation- procedural information Home Office (January 2020)
Breast Ironing / Flattening
6.15 Breast ironing, also known as “breast flattening”, is the process where young girls’ breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear, or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage.
Breast Ironing/Flattening is a form of physical abuse and can cause serious health issues such as:
- Tissue damage
- Discharge of milk
- Dissymmetry of the breasts
- Severe fever.
Breast Ironing is a well kept secret between a young girl and her mother or grandmother and the men in the family are generally unaware. Some indicators include:
- Unusual behaviour after a period of absence, including depression, anxiety, aggression, withdrawn, etc.
- Reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations.
- Some girls may ask for help but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.
- Girls may fear getting changed for physical activity, due to scars showing or bandages being visible.
6.16 I recognise that forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. The Forced Marriage Unit has statutory guidance and Multi-agency guidelines and can be contacted for advice or more information: Contact 020 7008 0151 or email email@example.com
Preventing radicalisation and extremism
6.17 I recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society. I will ensure that:
- Through training, I have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism is, why we need to be vigilant in setting and how to respond when concerns arise.
- There are systems in place for keeping children safe from extremist material when accessing the internet in my setting by using effective filtering and usage policies.
- I have received Prevent training and I will act as the point of contact within my setting for any concerns relating to radicalisation and extremism.
- I will make referrals in accordance with Norfolk Channel Procedures and will represent my setting at Channel meetings as required.
- Through my curriculum, I will promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children.
6.18 Through the EYFS curriculum, I will promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children.
6.19 British Values & The Prevent Duty
What is the Prevent duty?
From 1 July 2015 the Prevent Duty became law; this is a duty on all schools and registered early years providers.
British Values are a set of four values introduced to help keep children safe and promote their welfare.
What are the British Values?
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
6.20 As a childcare and early years provider I have a critical part to play. Early years providers serve arguably the most vulnerable and impressionable members of society.
In England, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) accordingly places clear duties on providers to keep children safe and promote their welfare.
It makes clear that to protect children in their care, providers must be alert to any safeguarding and child protection issues in the child’s life at home or elsewhere (paragraph 3.4 EYFS).
At The Treasure Box, I ensure I am meeting this requirement by:
• I let children know their views count and encourage them to value each other’s opinions and values. I help demonstrate democracy in action, for example, by letting children share views on what activity should come next with a show of hands.
• I provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration.
• I give children opportunities to develop enquiring minds by creating an atmosphere in our nursery where all questions are valued.
Rule of Law
• I help and support the children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, helping them to distinguish right from wrong
• I work with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, such as agreeing the rules about tidying up, and also ensuring children understand that the rules apply to everyone
• I provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example, through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course and talking about their experiences and learning
• I encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand everyone is free to have different opinions
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
• I encourage and explain to the children about the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting each other’s opinions
• I promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, by sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences
• I provide resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping
• I create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance within our nursery where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued
• I aim to arrange visits whereby children can engage with the wider community
• I encourage children to acquire a tolerant, appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures by discussing with them the similarities and differences between themselves and their friends; and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions
• I share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences
Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment
6.21 I am trained so that I am aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via child on child abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
- bullying (including cyberbullying);
- physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
- sexual violence and sexual harassment;
- sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
- initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
6.22 I recognise that children are vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by other children or siblings. Abuse perpetrated by children can be just as harmful as that perpetrated by an adult, so it is important that I remember the impact on both the victim of the abuse, as well as to focus on the support for the child exhibiting the harmful behaviour. I understand that abuse can occur in intimate personal relationships between children; and that consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi nudes images and or videos(also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery) is a form of child on child abuse.
6.23 I understand, that even if there are no reports in my setting it does not mean it is not happening, it may be the case that it is just not being reported. I recognise that children may not find it easy to tell me about their abuse and can show signs or act in ways that they hope adults will notice and react to. In some cases, the victim may not make a direct report, and this may come from a friend or a conversation that is overheard. Such abuse will always be taken as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult and the same safeguarding children procedures will apply in respect of any child who is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. I will never tolerate or dismiss concerns relating to child on child abuse and I will always challenge this. It must never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’, ‘just having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’. Doing this can lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviours, an unsafe environment for children and in worst case scenarios a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it.
6.24 I regularly review decisions and actions, and relevant policies are updated to reflect any lessons learnt. I look out for potential patterns of concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour. Where a pattern is identified, I decide upon an appropriate course of action.
6.25 I will reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. Victims will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor will a victim ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report. I will also offer appropriate support to the perpetrator and any other children involved.
6.26 I understand that I should follow my safeguarding procedures for reporting a concern if I am worried about child on child abuse. I will respond to any concerns related to child on child abuse in line with guidance outlined in Part five of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges’ (2021). I will ensure that all concerns, discussions and decisions reached are clearly recorded and any identified actions are followed up.
6.27 I will work with other agencies including the police and Children’s Social Care, as required to respond to concerns about sexual violence and harassment. I will seek consultations where there are concerns or worries about developmentally inappropriate or harmful sexual behaviour from the Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) Team as required so that I ensure I am offering the right support to the child(ren).
6.28 Support will depend on the circumstances of each case and the needs of the child, it may include completion of risk assessments to support children to remain in setting whilst safeguarding other children and the victim, delivery of early intervention in respect of HSB and/or referral to The Harbour Centre Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) where a child discloses a rape, an attempted rape or a serious sexual assault whether this has happened recently or in the past. The assault does not have to have taken place in Norfolk but the victim must live in Norfolk to access support. The SARC also has a 24/7 helpline 01603 276381 if children or adults need to speak to a Crisis Worker for help & advice. Referral forms can be found on The Harbour Centre website.
Appendix 6. gives an overview of the Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool, which is useful to refer to when considering behaviours that are normal and healthy, compared with ones that are potentially harmful.
6.29 I understand that modern slavery encompasses human trafficking and slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Exploitation can take many forms, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery, servitude, forced criminality and the removal of organs. I refer to the DfE guidance Modern slavery: how to identify and support victims for concerns of this nature.
Safeguarding responses to children who go missing
6.30 I am aware of the safeguarding responsibilities for children who are missing education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.
6.31 I adhere to the following procedures and processes to ensure there is an appropriate safeguarding response to children who missing:
- An attendance register is taken at the start of each day;
- I make every effort to contact parents and carers and follow up with the emergency contacts held;
- I hold at least two emergency contact numbers for each of the children on my roll wherever possible.
- I am alert to any concerns raised regarding children who are absent from school;
- I will ensure that each response is thorough and takes into account all the relevant information about individual children;
- I will follow the procedures outlined in my attendance policy including undertaking first day calling and monitoring data to ensure I intervene early in cases of poor attendance and/or unexplained absences.
- When removing a child from roll, I will act in accordance with statutory requirements and pass on all safeguarding files.
6.32 I am aware, through training, that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. I am well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.
6.33 I understand that where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Therefore, through training, I am aware of how children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour and education. I am aware that if I have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, I should take immediate action.
6.34 Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child. The parent or carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation; they may exaggerate a real illness and symptoms or deliberately induce an illness through poisoning with medication or other substances or they may interfere with medical treatments. Fabricated illness is a form of physical abuse and any concerns will be reported in line with our safeguarding procedures.
Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief
• Child abuse is condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths, and is never acceptable under any circumstances. Child abuse related to belief includes inflicting physical violence or emotional harm on a child by stigmatising or labelling them as evil or as a witch. Where this type of abuse occurs it causes great distress and suffering to the child.
• Everyone working or in contact with children has a responsibility to recognise and know how to act on evidence, concerns and signs that a child’s health, development and safety is being or may be threatened, especially when they suffer or are likely to suffer significant harm.
• Standard child safeguarding procedures apply and must always be followed in all cases where abuse or neglect is suspected including those that may be related to particular belief systems.
• The number of cases of child abuse linked to a belief in spirits, possession and witchcraft is small, but where it occurs the impact on the child is great, causing much distress and suffering to the child. It is likely that a proportion of this type of abuse remains unreported.
• Child abuse linked to faith or belief may occur where a child is treated as a scapegoat for perceived failure. Whilst specific beliefs, practices, terms or forms of abuse may exist, the underlying reasons for the abuse are often similar to other contexts in which children become at risk. These reasons can include family stress, deprivation, domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health problems. Children who are different in some way, perhaps because they have a disability or learning difficulty, an illness or are exceptionally bright, can also be targeted in this kind of abuse.
6.36 Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief (CALFB) can happen in families when there is a concept of belief in:
- Witchcraft and spirit possession, demons or the devil acting through children or leading them astray (traditionally seen in some Christian beliefs)
- The evil eye or djinns (traditionally known in some Islamic faith contexts) and dakani (in the Hindu context)
- Ritual or multi murders where the killing of children is believed to bring supernatural benefits, or the use of their body parts is believed to produce potent magical remedies
- Use of belief in magic or witchcraft to create fear in children to make them more compliant when they are being trafficked for domestic slavery or sexual exploitation.
This is not an exhaustive list and there will be other examples where children have been harmed when adults think that their actions have brought bad fortune.
6.37 Some of the signs and indicators may include:
- Hearing a child talk about being evil, having the devil beaten out of them, or using specific words, such as kindoki, djinn, juju, voodoo.
- Seeing a child’s behaviour change, such as becoming isolated, confused or withdrawn.
- Seeing a child’s appearance change, often deteriorating, or they may start to wear specific items to ‘protect them’.
- Noticing a change in the child’s attendance, or them suddenly going abroad for a long holiday.
6.38 I am aware that technology is a significant component in many safeguarding and wellbeing issues. Children are at risk of abuse online as well as face to face. I understand that in many cases abuse will take place concurrently via online channels and in daily life. I know that children can also abuse other children online, this can take the form of abusive, harassing, and misogynistic messages, the non-consensual sharing of indecent images, especially around chat groups, and the sharing of abusive images and pornography.
6.39 I will ensure online safety is a running and interrelated theme throughout the curriculum and is reflected in relevant policies, my role and responsibilities as the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner and any parental engagement.
6.40 More details can be found in my policy on E-Safety.
6.41 I recognise that technology, and risks and harms related to the internet evolve and change rapidly. Therefore, I consider and reflect on the risks that children face in my setting. I also communicate with parents and carers to reinforce the importance of children being safe online.
6.42 I understand that cybercrime is criminal activity committed using computers and/or the internet. It is broadly categorised as either ‘cyber-enabled’ (crimes that can happen off-line but are enabled at scale and at speed on-line) or ‘cyber dependent’ (crimes that can be committed only by using a computer).
6.43 If there are concerns about a child in this area, I will consider a referral to the Cyber Choices programmewhich aims to intervene where children are at risk of committing, or being drawn into, low level cyber-dependent offences and divert them to a more positive use of their skills and interests.
6.44 Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people who are, or who have been in a relationship, regardless of gender or sexuality. I am aware that domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents. I understand that children can be victims of domestic abuse, and this can have a detrimental and long-term impact on their health, well-being, development, and ability to learn. I am aware of the Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) and signpost victims to the service.
6.45 Domestic abuse can include:
- sexual abuse and rape (including within a relationship)
- punching, kicking, cutting, hitting with an object
- withholding money or preventing someone from earning money
- taking control over aspects of someone’s everyday life, which can include where they go and what they wear
- not letting someone leave the house
- reading emails, text messages or letters
- threatening to kill or harm them, a partner, another family member or pet.
6.46 Domestic abuse always has an impact on children. Being exposed to domestic abuse in childhood is child abuse.
Children may experience domestic abuse directly, but they can also experience it indirectly by:
- hearing the abuse from another room
- seeing a parent’s injuries or distress afterwards
- finding disarray like broken furniture
- being hurt from being nearby or trying to stop the abuse
- experiencing a reduced quality in parenting as a result of the abuse.
6.47 Impact of domestic abuse:
Domestic abuse can have a serious effect on a child’s behaviour, brain development and overall wellbeing. It undermines a child’s basic need for safety and security and can have a negative impact on a child’s:
- education outcomes
- mental health
Psychological effects of experiencing domestic abuse include:
- aggression and challenging behaviour
- anxiety – including worrying about a parent’s safety
- changes in mood
- difficulty interacting with others
- fearfulness, including fear of conflict
- suicidal thoughts or feelings.
6.48 Children who experience parental conflict may also have an increased likelihood of displaying behaviour like smoking, drug use and early sexual activity.
6.49 Domestic abuse can cause confusing relationships with parents. Children may:
- not have a strong bond with their parents/carers
- worry their parents will divorce
- hope an abused parent will leave for safety reasons
- be afraid of their parents.
Physical effects include:
- higher rates of illness and fatigue
- reduced physical growth
- impact on nervous and hormonal systems.
6.50 Developmental effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences such as domestic abuse can affect a child’s brain development. This may impact:
- executive functioning skills
- brain architecture
- and lead to overactive stress responses.
6.51 Recognising domestic abuse:
Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship. It can continue even after the relationship has ended, for example during contact visits or on social media.
Both men and women can be abused or be abusers.
Signs and indicators:
It can be difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening, because perpetrators can act very differently when other people are around.
Children who experience domestic abuse may:
- display behaviour that others perceive to be challenging
- suffer from depression and anxiety
- not do as well at school as usual.
Signs of anxiety:
Children who experience domestic abuse may feel on constant alert. Signs of anxiety or fear-related behaviour include:
- bed wetting or unexplained illness
- running away from home
- constant worry about possible danger or safety of family members
- aggression towards others.
If I think a child is in immediate danger, I will contact the police on 999. If I am worried about a child but they are not in immediate danger, I will share my concerns.
- I will follow my child protection procedures.
- Contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact my local child protection services.
- Contact the police.
Services will risk assess the situation and take action to protect the child as appropriate either through statutory involvement or other support. This may include making a referral to the local authority.
6.52 Talking about domestic abuse:
Children may find it difficult to talk about domestic abuse for many reasons. They may feel ashamed, afraid, or not have the language to describe what they’ve experienced. If they have been living with domestic abuse since they were very young, they may not realise that it’s wrong – and they may think it’s their fault.
If a child shares details of domestic abuse with me, it’s important to:
- listen carefully
- let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling me
- tell them it’s not their fault
- say I will take them seriously
- don’t confront the alleged abuser
- explain what I’ll do next
- follow the instructions above to report what the child has told me, as soon as possible.
I will never promise to keep what a child has told me a secret. I will explain that I will need to tell someone else who can help.
6.53 Giving children a voice:
People who work with children have a key role to play in recognising the signs of domestic abuse and reporting any concerns. I also have an essential role in teaching children to recognise if it’s happening in their family and know where to go to for help.
Children with special educational needs and disabilities or physical health issues
6.54 I recognise that children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or certain health conditions can face additional safeguarding challenges such as
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s condition without further exploration;
- these children being more prone to peer group isolation or bullying (including prejudice-based bullying) than other children;
- the potential for children with SEND or certain medical conditions being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in managing or reporting these challenges.
6.55 I work to address these additional challenges and consider extra pastoral support and attention for these children, along with ensuring any appropriate support for communication is in place.
Children who are lesbian, gay, bi or trans (LGBT)
6.56 The fact that a child may be LGBT is not in itself an inherent risk factor for harm. However, in line with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, I recognise that children who are LGBT or those perceived by other children to be LGBT could potentially be more vulnerable and therefore I work to reduce any additional barriers faced. I provide a safe space for these children to speak out or share their concerns with me. Through my curriculum, I counter homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and abuse.
7. RECORDS AND INFORMATION SHARING
7.1 If I am concerned about the welfare or safety of any child at my setting, I will record my concern on the agreed reporting form (Appendix 1).
7.2 Any information recorded will be kept in a separate named file, in a secure cabinet and not with the child’s academic file. These files are my responsibility. Child protection information will only be shared within setting on the basis of ‘need to know in the child’s interests’ and on the understanding that it remains strictly confidential.
7.3 Child protection information will be kept up to date. Each concern logged will include:
- a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern;
- details of how the concern was followed up and resolved;
- a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome.
Records of concern, copies of referrals, invitations to child protection conferences, core groups and reports will be stored on the child’s file. All my safeguarding records will include a chronology and will record significant events in the child’s life.
7.4 When a child leaves my setting, I will make contact with the SLP at the new setting and will ensure that the child protection file is forwarded to the receiving setting This will be within first 5 days of their start. I recognise that not providing information as per the timescales can impact on the child’s safety, welfare and educational outcomes.
7.5 I will retain evidence to demonstrate how the file has been transferred; this may be in the form of a written confirmation of receipt from the receiving setting and/or evidence of recorded delivery.
7.6 Prior to a child leaving I will consider if it would be appropriate to share any additional information with the new setting in advance, to help them put in place the right support to safeguard this child. Where a parent elects to remove their child from the Setting roll to home educate, I will make arrangements to pass any safeguarding concerns to the Services to Home Educators Team within Norfolk County Council.
8. WORKING WITH PARENTS & CARERS
8.1 I am committed to working in partnership with parents/carers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to support them to understand my statutory responsibilities in this area.
8.2 When new children join my setting, parents and carers will be informed that I have a safeguarding policy. A copy will be provided to parents on request and is available on the setting website and on the Baby’s Days system. Parents and carers will be informed of my legal duty to assist my colleagues in other agencies with child protection enquiries and what happens should I have cause to contact Norfolk Children’s Advice & Duty Service.
8.3 I am committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. I ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. I respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless I have permission, or it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard a child from harm.
8.4 I will seek to share with parents any concerns I may have about their child unless to do so may place a child at increased risk of harm. A lack of parental engagement or agreement regarding the concerns the setting has about a child will not prevent me from making a referral to Norfolk CADS in those circumstances where it is appropriate to do so.
8.5 In order to keep children safe and provide appropriate care for them, I require parents to provide accurate and up to date information regarding:
- Full names and contact details of all adults with whom the child normally lives;
- Full names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above);
- Emergency contact details (if different from above);
- Full details of any other adult authorised by the parent to collect the child from setting (if different from the above).
I will retain this information in the child’s file. I will only share information about children with adults who have parental responsibility for a pupil or where a parent has given permission and the setting has been supplied with the adult’s full details in writing.
9. CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES
9.1 Children’s Services will convene a Child Protection conference once a child protection enquiry under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 has been undertaken and the child is judged to be at continuing risk of significant harm. A review conference will take place once a child has been made the subject of a Child Protection Plan in order to monitor the safety of the child and the required reduction in risk.
9.2 I may be asked to attend a child protection conference or core group meetings on behalf of the setting in respect of individual children. I will need to have as much relevant up to date information about the child as possible and any other adult may be required to contribute to this process.
9.3 All reports for child protection conferences will be prepared in advance using the guidance and template report provided by the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership. The information contained in the report will be shared with parents before the conference as appropriate and will include information relating to the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development and the child’s presentation at setting. In order to complete such reports, all relevant information will be sought from any other adults working with the child in setting.
9.4 Clearly child protection conferences can be upsetting for parents. I recognise that I am likely to have more contact with parents than other professionals involved. I will work in an open and honest way with any parent whose child has been referred to Children’s Services or whose child is subject to a child protection plan. My responsibility is to promote the protection and welfare of all children and my aim is to achieve this in partnership with parents.
10. SAFER RECRUITMENT
10.0 Not currently applicable, as I am working on my own.
11. SAFER WORKING PRACTICE
11.1 All adults who come into contact with our children, have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare. There is a legal duty placed upon us to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of our children are competent, confident and safe to do so.
11.2 All adults in the setting will be provided with a copy of our Setting’s Code of Conduct at induction. They will be expected to know our Setting’s Code of Conduct, and understand the responsibilities which are part of their role. Adults should always act, and be seen to act, in the child’s best interests, avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions, and take responsibility for their own actions and behaviour.
11.3 If visitors, volunteers or parent helpers are working with children, they will never be left alone with them.
11.4 Guidance about acceptable conduct and safe practice will be given to all adults and volunteers during induction. These are sensible steps that every adult should take in their daily professional conduct with children. This advice can be found in ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’ (May 2019). All adults and volunteers are expected to carry out their work in accordance with this guidance and will be made aware that failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action.
11.5 Propriety and Behaviour:
This means that adults and volunteers should not:
• behave in a manner which would lead any reasonable person to question their suitability to work with children or act as a role model.
• make, or encourage others to make, unprofessional personal comments which scapegoat, demean or humiliate, or which might be interpreted as such.
This means that adults should:
• be aware that behaviour in their personal lives may impact upon their work with children and families
• follow codes of conduct found in the handbook.
• understand that the behaviour and actions of their spouse/ partner (or other family members) may raise questions about their suitability to work with children.
11.6 Dress and Appearance:
A person’s dress and appearance are matters of personal choice and self-expression. However, adults should dress in ways which are appropriate to their role and this may need to be different from how they dress when not at work. Adults who work with young children should ensure they are dressed appropriately for the tasks and the work they undertake. Those who dress in a manner which could be considered as inappropriate, could render themselves vulnerable to criticism or allegations.
11.7 Access to Inappropriate Images and Internet Usage:
There are no circumstances that will justify adults possessing indecent images of children.
Adults who access and possess links to such websites will be viewed as a significant and potential threat to children. Accessing, making and storing indecent images of children is illegal. This will lead to criminal investigation and the individual being barred from working with children, if proven.
Adults should not use equipment belonging to their setting to access adult pornography; neither should personal equipment containing these images or links to them be brought into the setting. This will raise serious concerns about the suitability of the adult to continue to work with children. Adults should ensure that children are not exposed to any inappropriate images or web links. Adults ensure that internet equipment used by children have the appropriate controls with regards to access. e.g. personal passwords should be kept confidential.
This means that The Treasure Box:
• has a clear e-safety policy in place, about access to and use of the internet
• makes guidance available to both adults and children about appropriate usage. This means that adults should:
• follow The Treasure Box guidance on the use of IT equipment
• ensure that children are not exposed to unsuitable material on the internet
• ensure that any films or material shown to children are age appropriate.
Please see my E-Safety Policy in Appendix 7 for further details about internet use, photography, social media and mobile phones.
12. MANAGING ALLEGATIONS
12.1 I maintain a culture where adults are encouraged to share concerns and can follow whistleblowing and child protection referral procedures. Adults should work and be seen to work, in an open and transparent way. Adults are responsible for their own actions and behaviour, and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions. Adults should continually monitor and review their practice and ensure they follow the guidance contained in this policy document.
An example of being responsible for one’s own actions, whilst avoiding conduct that might lead to mis-interpretation includes:
When working alone, childminders need to consider how they balance providing adequate supervision of children (within sight and/or hearing) whilst they attend to their own toileting needs. When working alone, childminders can leave the WC door just ajar and turn the WC light off, to afford them privacy. When working alone and out and about, childminders can take children into the Disabled toilet and busy the children with an activity facing away from them, or keep children on wrist-strap reins underneath the cubicle door, to afford themselves enough privacy. When out and about in nature / the woods, children are encouraged to do “wild wees” and childminders can choose to do the same, whilst wrapped in a towel /cot-sheet for privacy.
Allegations that may meet the harms threshold
12.2 My aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the wellbeing and very best outcomes for the children at my setting. I do, however, recognise that sometimes the behaviour of adults may lead to an allegation of abuse being made.
12.3 Allegations sometimes arise from a differing understanding of the same event, but when they occur, they are distressing and difficult for all concerned. I also recognise that many allegations are genuine and there are some adults who deliberately seek to harm or abuse children. I work to the thresholds for harm as set out in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018) and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2022) below. An allegation may relate to a person who works / volunteers with children who has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child and/or;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child and/or;
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; and/or
- behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.
The 4th bullet point above recognises circumstances where an adult is involved in an incident outside of my setting which did not involve children but could have an impact on their suitability to work with children; this is known as transferrable risk.
12.4 I recognise my responsibility to report / refer allegations or behaviours of concern and / or harm to children by adults in positions of trust who are not employed by the setting to the LADO service directly at email@example.com These are adults such as those in the voluntary sector, taxi drivers, escorts, and fosters carers.
12.5 I will take all possible steps to safeguard children and to ensure that the adults in my setting are safe to work with children. When concerns arise, I will always ensure that the procedures outlined in the local protocol Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children and Part 4 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2022) are adhered to and will seek appropriate advice. I will make a referral to the LADO service using the LADO referral form The completed LADO referral form is then sent via e-mail
to: LADO@norfolk.gov.uk. See Appendix 4 for further details.
12.6 If an allegation is made or information is received about any adult who works/ volunteer in my setting which indicates that they may be unsuitable to work / volunteer with children, I should be informed immediately.
In the event of allegations of abuse being made against me, the procedure described in 12.4 should be followed.
12.7 I will seek advice from the LADO within one working day. I will not undertake further investigations before receiving advice from the LADO.
12.8 Any adult who does not feel confident in reporting their concern to me, should contact the LADO directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
12.9 Further information and guidance documents in relation to the LADO process, forms, leaflets and the Allegations against Persons who Work/Volunteer with Children Procedures are found on the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership website. Further national guidance can be found at: Advice on whistleblowing. The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is also available for adults who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Adults can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday or via e-mail: email@example.com.
12.10 I have a legal duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child, or if there is reason to believe that someone has committed one of a number of listed offences, and who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity or would have been removed had they not left. The DBS will consider whether to bar the person. If these circumstances arise in relation to someone at my setting, a referral will be made as soon as possible after the removal of the individual in accordance with advice from the LADO.
Concerns that do not meet the harm threshold
12.11 The term ‘low-level’ concern does not mean that it is insignificant, it means that the behaviour towards a child does not meet the thresholds as stated above. I recognise a low-level concern to be something which is
- inconsistent with the employees’ code of conduct, including inappropriate conduct outside of work; and
- does not meet the allegations threshold or is otherwise not considered serious enough to consider a referral to the LADO.
12.12 I promote an open and transparent culture in which all concerns about all adults working in or on behalf of the setting are dealt with promptly and appropriately. Through training, I am aware of what low level concerns are and understand the importance of reporting and these types of concerns in writing.
12.13 I will always be the ultimate decision maker in respect of all low-level concerns.
12.14 I understand the importance of recording low-level concerns and the actions taken. The records are kept confidential and stored securely. I will review the records I hold to identify potential patterns and take action. Please note, where a child, parent/carer or volunteer makes an allegation of harm, this will not be considered as a ‘low level’ concern without consultation with the LADO service directly.
13 RELEVANT POLICIES
13.1 To underpin the values and ethos of my setting and my intent to ensure that children at my setting are appropriately safeguarded, the following policies are also included under my safeguarding umbrella:
1. Equality of opportunity
2. Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
3. Administration of medicines, and support to children with medical needs
4. Behaviour management
5. Complaint procedure
6. Dropping off and collection including non collection
7. Children who go missing
8. Emergency evacuation
9. Nappy changing/personal care
11. Safer recruitment
12. Using a Key person
13. Observation, assessment and planning
14. Partnership with parents
16. Health and safety
17. Risk assessment
18. Staff disciplinary procedures
20. Allegations against adults
21. Accidents and incidents
22. E-safety including:
Use of images, photography and videos
Use of social media sites
Use of mobile phones
Empty pockets policy (Found within the E-safety policy.)
24. Conflict of Interest, Including Baby Sitting
25. Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs
26. Data Privacy and the General Data Protection Regulation
27. Staff Code of Conduct
29. Touch and physical contact
14. STATUTORY FRAMEWORK
This policy has been devised in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
- Working Together to Safeguard Children DfE (July 2018)
- Keeping Children Safe in Education DfE (2022)
- Working Together to Improve setting Attendance, DfE (2022)
- Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures
- Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership Protocol: Allegations Against Persons Who Work with Children
- Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings (Feb 2022)
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused DfE (March 2015)
- Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services DfE (July 2018)
- The Prevent duty: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers DfE (June 2015)
- Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation- procedural information Home Office (December 2015)
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges DfE (July 2021)
- Child sexual exploitation: guide for practitioners DFE (February 2017)
- Teaching online safety in setting DfE (June 2019)
- Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools DfE (November 2018)
- Data protection: toolkit for schools DfE (September 2018)
- Promoting the education of children with a social worker (June 2021)
- Preventing youth violence and gang involvement
- Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines
- Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education
- •Disqualification Under the Childcare Act 2006 (2016)
- • Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years Education and Skills Settings (2019)
- • ‘Norfolk Threshold Guide’ (2019)
Appendix 1: Draft Recording Form for Safeguarding Concerns
Adults, volunteers and regular visitors are required to complete this form and pass it to the SLP Louise Lawson if they have a safeguarding concern about a child in our Setting.
Please see paper copy of this form, as illustrated below:
Appendix 2: Safeguarding Induction Sheet for new and regular visitors or volunteers.
We all have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and at my Setting I take this responsibility seriously.
If you have any concerns about a child or young person in our Setting, you must share this information immediately with the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) Louise Lawson.
Do not think that your worry is insignificant if it is about hygiene, appearance or behaviour – I would rather you told me, as I would rather know about something that appears small, than miss a worrying situation.
If you think the matter is very serious and may be related to child protection, for example, physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect, you must find Louise Lawson and provide them with a written record of your concern. A copy of the form to complete is attached to this Policy and others can be obtained from the setting. Please ensure you complete all sections as described.
Any allegation concerning an adult, a child’s foster carer or a volunteer should be reported immediately to the Manager Louise Lawson. If an allegation is made about the Manager, you should pass this information to Ofsted. Alternatively, you can contact the Local Authority Duty Desk on 01603 307797. NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is also available for adults who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Adults at the setting can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The people you should talk to in Setting are:
Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP): Louise Lawson
Contact Number: 01692 598291 / 07956 647529
At The Treasure Box I strive to safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children.
Appendix 3: Local Safeguarding Procedures
Children’s Advice and Duty Service- CADS
Appendix 4: Advice for Settings where there are concerns about an adult who works within the setting.
Allegations Against Persons who work with Children, Protocol 8.3 needs to be read, when making a referral to Norfolk LADO service
Working Together to Safeguard Children, March 2015, also gives information about Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, which places duties on a range of organisations and individuals in relation to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
All allegations of abuse of children, by those who work with children, must be taken seriously.
• A child is anyone under the age of 18.
• An employee (person) is anyone working with children, be it in an employed (all sectors and settings) or voluntary capacity.
• An employer is anyone working with or providing services to children (all sectors and settings)
• Any allegation against a person who works with children should be reported immediately to a senior Manager within the organisation.
• The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police.
THE ROLE OF THE LADO
The role of the LADO is to be involved in the management and oversight of allegations against people who work with children. They are not responsible for undertaking investigations. They can provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations. Please note:
• Incidents where one child harms another child, or a parent who does not work with children harms their own children do not need to be reported to the LADO Service, these need to referred directly to Norfolk CADS (Children’s Advice And Duty Service) 0344 800 8021.
• Norfolk LADO service do not deal with allegations re: bullying, unless there is clear evidence that it is by an adult working with children.
• Parental complaints need to go through the Setting’s complaints process, initially raising the complaint with the Manager of the Setting in the first instance.
• General dissatisfaction with a Setting/team or individual needs to go through the settings complaints process.
Fill in a referral/consultation form if you want advice, if the behaviour you are reporting meets the LADO criteria, or you are unsure. Sometimes behaviours may concern you and make you wonder whether someone is suitable to work with children i.e. there has been a pattern of inappropriate behaviour that has been addressed via disciplinary procedures but the behaviour continues to occur.
For both forms please ensure you give as much detail as possible, so we are able to make an informed decision on the way forward.
Once the LADO Referral/Consultation form has been completed, it needs to be returned to LADO@norfolk.gov.uk where it will be read by the duty LADO who will then respond with the appropriate advice and information.
• Allegations and concerns about adults who work with children should be reported to Louise Lawson and managed according to the flow chart. Louise will:
1. keep a clear and detailed summary of any allegations made
2. keep details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved
3. keep details of any action taken and decisions reached in the adult’s personnel file
4. keep more detailed information relating to disciplinary hearings, suitability checks and concerns that have been reported to LADO, in a separate and confidential file
5. not disclose information to the adult who is the subject of the concern but work under the guidance of the LADO team
6. not have access to information held about herself, if Ofsted are investigating her
7. respect confidentiality
8. securely keep all records associated with a LADO issue.
• The Ofsted “Parents” poster and “Allegations referral process” will be clearly displayed in the Setting at all times.
Appendix 5: How to handle a disclosure of abuse by a child.
Adults may have a concern about the safety / welfare of a child
this might be because:
• they have noticed a change in a child and a number of the possible indicators of abuse have been observed
• the child has become withdrawn or their attendance at the Setting is irregular
• they have noticed some of the high risk factors within the family
• the child has spoken to them about abuse
• they have noticed an unexplained injury
or the child may disclose that they have been abused.
Whenever a child reports that they are suffering or have suffered significant harm through abuse or neglect, or have caused or are causing physical or sexual harm to others, the initial response from all professionals should be limited to listening carefully to what the child says to:
• Clarify the concerns;
• Offer re-assurance about how the child will be kept safe;
• Explain what action will be taken and within what timeframe.
The child must not be pressed for information, led or cross-examined or given false assurances of absolute confidentiality, as this could prejudice police investigations, especially in cases of sexual abuse.
If the child can understand the significance and consequences of making a referral to LA children’s social care, they should be asked their view.
However, it should be explained to the child that whilst their view will be taken into account, the professional has a responsibility to take whatever action is required to ensure the child’s safety and the safety of other children.
If a child chooses to speak to you about abuse, it is likely that they are doing so because they feel you will listen to them, and that they can trust you. It is important that you engage with a child in a way that is appropriate to their age and ability.
Consideration should always be given to children who have no or limited expressive language.
Disclosure is about seeking support and your response can have a significant impact on the child’s ability to access further help and recover from the trauma.
• Stay calm and be supportive to the child. This includes letting the child know that you will take them seriously, and that your first responsibility is to ensure that they are kept safe from harm.
• Listen carefully to the child and let them go at their own pace and in their own way. This means not interrupting them, and allowing them the time and opportunity to say what they have to say in their own words. Avoid expressing your own views on the matter. A reaction of shock or disbelief could cause the child to ‘shut down’, retract or stop talking
• Let them know they’ve done the right thing. Reassurance can make a big impact to the child who may have been keeping the abuse secret
• Tell them it’s not their fault. Abuse is never the child’s fault and they need to know this
• Say you will take them seriously. A child could keep abuse secret in fear they won’t be believed. They’ve told you because they want help and trust you’ll be the person who will listen to and support them.
• Don’t talk to the alleged abuser. Confronting the alleged abuser about what the child’s told you could make the situation a lot worse for the child
• Explain what you’ll do next. Tell the child that you will need to pass information on if they tell you something that makes you think they are unsafe or at risk. For younger children, this will mean telling them that you need to tell ‘someone who can help’.
• Don’t delay reporting the abuse. The sooner the abuse is reported after the child discloses the better, so details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly. Record the information in writing and pass this to the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (Louise) without delay. If you are the parent you can choose to go straight to Children’s Services or the Police.
• Record the date, time and any information given to you; always use the words said to you – never interpret what was said or put it in your own words as this information could be used as evidence. Also record what was happening immediately before the child spoke to you. Sign and date the record.
• If a child exhibits behaviour that gives you cause for concern, you can ask “Why did you do that?” or “What made you do that?”
• NOT promise confidentiality – make it clear to the child you will need to pass on information to keep them safe.
•NOT ask leading questions – a leading question is one that suggests an answer. It is acceptable to ask a child to help you understand what they are saying, but it is not appropriate to put ideas in their head or ask them about things they haven’t told you about first.
• NOT interrogate the child or attempt to reach conclusions about what they appear to be saying.
• NOT investigate an allegation or suspicion of abuse or neglect or evaluate risk. This task is a complex task and should only be undertaken by social workers, police officers and other professionals such as paediatricians, who have appropriate expertise and training.
Remember: Whilst it is your role to be a supportive listener, it is not your role to counsel the child or investigate his or her claims. Child protection workers will undertake investigations and professional counsellors may be accessed to provide counselling.
Adults should always make a clear record of what is said and what is observed and pass it on to the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (Louise) for inclusion in any referral made. So far as possible the exact words and phrases that the child has used should be recorded. Translating or clarifying words should be avoided. Records will be written up without delay on the Baby’s Days System using the Record of Concerns form. A back up paper copy, will also be made, and kept securely in a locked, fireproof file.
Record as follows:
• Record the name of the child
• Record what was said / observed immediately or who passed information to you
• The date and time of the observation
• The recorder’s name and role (Childminder / Parent)
• Record what was happening immediately before the child spoke to you, or you became worried
• Write down the concerns in a clear and factual way; include diagrams / body map of any physical injuries
• If a child or adult has disclosed information, write it down in the exact words used
• When recording, ensure that all those present, the times and the date are identified, and the record is signed by the person recording.
Sharing concerns with the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner SLP (Louise)
The record of your observations / concerns about the child should be shared with the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (Louise) immediately. The Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (Louise) will also sign and date any record of concern.
Discussion with parents / carers
It is important that early years and childcare settings work in partnership with parents / carers in order to build open and supportive professional relationships with families. This is particularly important when there are concerns about a child, so that those relationships are already established and regular communication is part of everyday practice.
It is best practice to share concerns with parents / carers.
However, before doing so, consider:
• Is it in the best interest of the child to share information with parents / carers?
• By sharing information with parents / carers will the child be placed at further risk of harm?
The parents / carers should not be informed if by doing so, it is felt that the child will be put at risk of harm.
Discussions with parents and carers will follow the best practice “Signs of Safety” format:
• What is working well?
• What are we worried about?
• What do we need to see happening, to make things better for the child?
Please see our “Having difficult discussions with parents” Policy for further information.
Making a referral:
Report any safeguarding concerns about any child to the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (Louise Lawson) who will make a referral.
• If the concern involves an immediate risk of significant harm or a clear allegation of abuse, make a REFERRAL
• If the concern involves a serious concern about a child’s welfare such as ongoing serious neglect or emotional harm, make a REFERRAL
Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) – what to do if you need to make a referral call:
Professionals concerned about a child in Norfolk and wanting to speak to someone, can call the Children’s Advice and Duty Service, on their direct line 0344 800 8021. Members of the public can do this through the Customer Service Centre on 0344 800 8020. Professionals may wish to refer to the FAQ’s to help prepare for the conversation.
For any call raising concerns about a child, CADS will ask:
• all of the details known to you/your agency about the child;
• their family composition including siblings, and where possible extended family members and anyone important in the child’s life;
• the nature of the concern and how immediate it is;
• Any and what kind of work/support you have provided to the child or family to date.
They will also need to know where the child is now and whether you have informed parents/carers of your concern.
Notice to callers:
• Preparing for the conversation: please see the tools developed by the CADS to support communication. This includes, FAQs and a flow chart. Please remember to record your concerns for the internal audit trail.
• Consent: It is good practice and the expectation that you seek consent from parents. We acknowledge that there are occasions when to do so could put a child at risk or undermine the investigation into a serious crime. In these instances, we would accept a call without consent from the parents. Reasons for not seeking consent should be clearly stated when speaking with CADS and recorded on internal systems for your records. For more information see the Norfolk Threshold Guide.
CHILDREN’S ADVICE & DUTY SERVICE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why are you changing the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)?
We want to provide the best service to Norfolk’s children and families, as well as to our partner agencies. The MASH has been under significant pressure because of increasing numbers of contacts and referrals and we want to manage these better, so that children get the right support first time.
What are the changes?
The biggest change is the creation of our new Children’s Advice and Duty Service. This will be made up of senior social workers, who will provide advice and support to other professionals and ask key questions about the risks and strengths within families. They will then agree together who is best placed to meet the needs of a child. The service will no longer take written referrals.
Will the MASH still exist?
Yes, the MASH will continue and will provide vital cross agency checks for those children most at risk. The new Children’s Advice and Duty service will mean that the MASH will be able to get support to those children who need it the most.
What is the aim of the new Children’s Advice and Duty Service?
The aim is to get the right support to children and families first time. We’re basing it on what’s worked well elsewhere. By talking through concerns and solutions with professionals we can work even better together and get support earlier to families. At the moment we are carrying out too many unnecessary social work assessments and we want to make sure that we’re only doing these assessments where they are needed.
What information do I need to give when I call?
Professionals can use the Children’s Advice and Duty Service flowchart to prepare for their call. This includes details on what information the Consultant Social Worker handling the call might need.
What is the number of the new service?
PROFESSIONALS: If you are a professional, i.e. working with a child or young person in a formal or voluntary setting and not a family member or member of the public, you can contact the Children’s Advice and Duty Service on their direct line: 0344 800 8021.
PUBLIC: If you are a member of the public contact the Norfolk County Council Customer Services on 0344 800 8020 who will put you through to the Children’s Advice and Duty Service if the call concerns a child’s safety.
What sort of things can I call the service about?
Anybody can call with any safeguarding concern they might have about a child.
If there is no written referral, how do I evidence that I have made contact with Children’s Services? How will information be recorded?
Every phone call will be followed up in writing by the Consultant Social Worker. It is also best practice to keep a record of the contact you have made, the discussion and any decisions made. Professionals should also record whether they have obtained parental consent and if not, why not.
What records of the conversation will be made and how will they be kept?
This will depend on the individual discussion and the risks identified to a child. It will also depend on whether Professionals have got consent from the child’s parent. However, we will record all of the conversations on our system; by having a record, we will also be able to see when there might be a repetition or accumulation of concerns about a child.
What is the difference between a conversation, consultation and referral?
All calls will result in a conversation. The outcome of the conversation will depend on the levels of concerns raised and the agreed course of action. We are moving away from the restrictions of terminology like consultation and referral, however, the Consultant Social Worker and caller will agree and record the outcome of any conversation.
Do I have to get parents’ consent before I make a call?
It is good practice and the expectation that Professionals seek consent from parents. We acknowledge that there are occasions when to do so could put a child at risk or undermine the investigation into a serious crime. In these instances, we would accept a call without consent from the parents. Reasons for not seeking consent should be clearly stated when speaking with CADS and recorded on internal systems for Professionals’ records. What are the opening hours of the Children’s Advice and Duty Service?
The service will run Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm.
What do I do outside of these hours?
You can continue to contact our Emergency Duty Team on 0344 800 8020.
What happens if I disagree with what the social worker recommends?
The aim of the new service is to work together to come up with the right support or service for a child or family. We hope that professional disagreements will be rare but if you wish to escalate you can follow the NSCB’s resolving professional disagreement policy.
How can I provide feedback about the service?
When the caller receives the record of the conversation, there will be a link included to a short survey so that all callers can feedback on the service provided.
How can I contribute to the FAQs?
This is an iterative document and will be reviewed monthly. Callers can e-mail the NSCB Business Unit with questions as they arise on email@example.com, and they will be passed to the Head of Children’s Advice and Duty Service.
The Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool
Behaviours for 0-5 year olds:
All green, amber and red behaviours require some form of attention and response. It is the level of intervention that will vary.
• holding or playing with own genitals
• attempting to touch or curiosity about other children’s genitals
• attempting to touch or curiosity about breasts, bottoms or genitals of adults
• games e.g. mummies and daddies, doctors and nurses
• enjoying nakedness
• interest in body parts and what they do
• curiosity about the differences between boys and girls.
What is green behaviour?
Green behaviours reflect safe and healthy sexual development. They are:
• displayed between children or young people of similar age or developmental ability
• reflective of natural curiosity, experimentation, consensual activities and positive choices.
What can you do?
Green behaviours provide opportunities to give positive feedback and additional information.
• preoccupation with adult sexual behaviour
• pulling other children’s pants down/ skirts up/trousers down against their will
• talking about sex using adult slang
• preoccupation with touching the genitals of other people
• following others into toilets or changing rooms to look at them or touch them
• talking about sexual activities seen on TV/online.
What is amber behaviour?
Amber behaviours have the potential to be outside of safe and healthy behaviour. They may be:
• unusual for that particular child or young person
• of potential concern due to age, or developmental differences
• of potential concern due to activity type, frequency, duration or context in which they occur.
What can you do?
Amber behaviours signal the need to take notice and gather information to assess the appropriate action.
• persistently touching the genitals of other children
• persistent attempts to touch the genitals of adults
• simulation of sexual activity in play
• sexual behaviour between young children involving penetration with objects
• forcing other children to engage in sexual play.
What is red behaviour?
Red behaviours are outside of safe and healthy behaviour. They may be:
• excessive, secretive, compulsive, coercive, degrading or threatening
• involving significant age, developmental, or power differences
• of concern due to the activity type, frequency, duration or the context in which they occur.
What can you do?
Red behaviours indicate a need for immediate intervention and action.
ICT, digital and mobile technology resources are now regarded as essential to support learning, teaching and personal and social development. They form part of an essential life skill. When using technology with young children and adults in their setting, professionals need to ensure that the resource is used safely and responsibly. This policy sets out some guidelines for us to use.
E-Safety is about ensuring children are not harmed, placed at risk or bullied through use of the internet, emails, blogs, and social networking sites; or by mobile phones and electronic devices and games. E-Safety is considered a safeguarding issue.
How will internet access be authorised?
• All users of the internet will need to agree to responsible internet use.
• For younger users, access to the internet will be closely supervised by an adult allowing access to specific and agreed sites only.
• Older children and young people may be provided with wider access and greater autonomy in line with their age and maturity of use. However, an adult will always be available to monitor and supervise internet use.
How will the risks be assessed?
• In common with other media such as magazines, books and DVDs, some material available via the Internet is unsuitable for children and young people. The Treasure Box will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material.
How should The Treasure Box website content be managed?
• Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of children and young people under the age of 16 are published on the setting’s web site.
• Website photographs that include children and young people will be selected carefully and will not enable individuals to be clearly identified.
• Names of children and young people will not be used anywhere on the website.
• Louise Lawson will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.
Communication, Managing e-mail:
• The Treasure Box promotes safe use of e-communications with other practitioners, professionals, parents/carers.
• People should immediately report to Louise if they receive offensive e-mails in connection with their work.
• E-mails sent to an external organisation should be written carefully before sending, in the same way as a letter written on headed paper.
Use of photography:
Working with children involves making observations on their learning and development, often using a camera to record images. It is important that this is done in ways that are legal and safeguard the privacy, dignity, safety and wellbeing of children. Informed written consent is always obtained from parents and carers. The consent for each use of photographs makes it clear what the photos will be used for:
To record the child’s daily routine,
To record the child’s development,
To display on the activities wall in the playroom,
To appear in our activities photo albums,
For my course work,
For The Treasure Box’s web site, Social Media sites and Facebook page,
For children to appear alongside other children in their learning journeys and diaries,
To be added to the secure e-portal Baby’s Days System.
Storage of images:
The recording of images of children’s activities and achievements is done on the designated Treasure Box iPhone and iPad. The images are always appropriate and proportionate to the activity undertaken. Only Louise has access to all of these photos. Parents / carers have access to their own children’s photos via the paper Learning Folders. Images that appear on The Treasure Box web site, Social Media sites and Facebook page will never identify any particular child eg. only arms/legs/backs shown.
There are no circumstances that will justify any adult in the setting possessing indecent images of children. Adults who access and possess links to such websites will be viewed as a significant threat to children. It is never appropriate for adults to take photos of the setting’s children for their personal use. Adults who work with children must make sure that children are not exposed to any inappropriate images or web links.
• Only the designated setting devices are to be used to take any photo within the setting or on outings.
• Images taken on these devices must be deemed suitable, without putting the child/children in any compromising positions that could cause embarrassment or distress.
• I am responsible for the location of the devices.
• The devices are password / finger print protected.
• Photographs will be recorded in children’s learning journeys as soon as possible.
• Under no circumstances will devices of any kind be taken into the WC, bathroom or changing area.
• Failure to adhere to the contents of this policy may lead to disciplinary procedures and criminal charges being made.
Use of Social Media sites:
“Social Media” is the term commonly given to websites or online tools that build and maintain community engagement. Examples include: message boards, blogs, social networking and content sharing (eg. Twitter, Bebo, MySpace, and Facebook) and multi-media sharing websites (eg. Flickr and YouTube).
For individuals, social networking sites provide tremendous potential opportunities for staying in touch with friends and family.
As a childcare worker, I have a professional image to uphold and how I conduct myself online helps determine this image. There have been instances of childcare professionals demonstrating professional misconduct while engaging in inappropriate dialogue about their setting and/or children, staff and parents; or posting pictures and videos of themselves engaged in inappropriate activity. Increasingly, staff online identities are too often public and can cause serious repercussions, both privately and professionally.
It is never appropriate for adults to name or otherwise identify any child or family that they work with on a social networking site and it is never appropriate to post pictures of, or to discuss or comment on, a child or family they work with.
One of the hallmarks of social networks is the ability to “friend” others:
creating a group of others that share interests and personal news.
Early Years Practitioners are strongly advised not to accept invitations to friend children or parents within these social networking sites. When children and parents gain access into a worker’s network of friends and acquaintances and are able to view personal photos, the dynamic is altered. ‘Friending’ children and parents provides more information than should be shared in an educational setting. It is important to maintain a professional relationship, to avoid relationships that could be misconstrued and/or are contrary to the ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who Work with Children and Young People (November 2007)’.
For the protection of my professional reputation, it is expected that I will comply with the following practices:
Friends and ‘friending’:
• Never accept children as friends on personal social networking sites.
• Do not accept parents as friends on personal social networking sites.
• Do not initiate friendships with children and parents.
• Remember that people classified as ‘friends’ have the ability to download and share information with others.
• Do not write or respond to anything deemed to be defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libellous. Exercise caution with regards to exaggeration, colourful language, guesswork, obscenity, copyrighted materials, legal conclusions, and derogatory remarks or characterisations.
• Consider whether a particular posting puts my effectiveness as an education and childcare professional at risk.
• Post only what I want the world to see. Imagine that all work contacts are all able to visit the site. It is not like posting something to a web site or blog and then realising that a story or photo should be taken down. On a social networking site, once you post something it may be available, even after it is removed from the site.
• Do not discuss children, parents or co-workers or publicly criticize the setting’s policies, activities or business.
• Do not post images that include childcare and/or parents.
• Visit the profile’s security and privacy settings. At a minimum, childcare professionals should have all privacy settings set to “only friends”.
• “Friends of friends” and “Networks and Friends” open my content to a large group of unknown people. My privacy and that of my family may be a risk. People I do not know may be looking at me, my work, my home, my children, my grandchildren; -my life!
• I am advised not to accept invitations from parents to “friend” on social networking sites and to do so may put me in a difficult work position. I am expected to maintain a professional relationship with you that is not compromised by sharing information on a social networking site.
• Similarly I would ask you not to post information on your site that could affect other families and their children from my childcare setting. This particularly would apply if children’s names or photographs were to appear in the context of my setting.
• I would always take legal advice if my setting were to be quoted in a defamatory way on a social networking site.
Empty Pocket Policy:
In order to safeguard children in my care there is a requirement for volunteers and visitors on arrival at The Treasure Box to place electronic devices, which can capture or store images e.g. mobile phones, cameras, games consoles, iPads or tablets, USB sticks, smart watches, in secure storage. It is the individual’s responsibility to abide by our Empty Pocket Policy at all times.
My Empty Pocket Policy is there to protect and safeguard children and adults.
Use of Mobile Phones:
Statement of intent:
It is my intention to provide an environment in which children and parents are safe from images being recorded and inappropriately used or shown. My aim is to help eliminate the following concerns:
1) Being distracted from my work with children
2) The inappropriate use of mobile phone cameras around children.
As an education and childcare professional, I recognise that it is important for me to be able to communicate with parents instantly. I use the landline phone when I am at home and a mobile phone designated for the Treasure Box business.
My aim is to:
Have a clear policy on the acceptable use of mobile phones and their cameras, that is understood and adhered to by all parties concerned without exception. In order to achieve this aim, I operate the following acceptable use policy:
• Adults who work with children must not carry or use or access their personal mobile phones during working hours.
• Adults must ensure that their personal mobile telephones/devices are left with their personal belongings, in agreed storage or preferably left in their car, throughout contact time with children.
• Under no circumstances does The Treasure Box allow someone to contact a current child or parent/carer using a device other than that belonging to the setting.
• If any adult in the setting has a family emergency or similar, the setting’s phone should be used. If particular circumstances require the visitor to keep their mobile phone to hand, prior permission must be sought from Louise and the mobile phone should be accessed in her presence.
• All parent helpers/students/volunteers will be requested to place their mobile phone in the appropriate safe storage place and not take or make calls or text messages during child contact time.
• It is the responsibility of all adults to be vigilant and report any concerns of other adult’s behaviour immediately to Louise or another party such as Ofsted or the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). Concerns will be taken seriously, logged and investigated appropriately.
• Louise reserves the right to check the image contents of a volunteer’s mobile phone, should there be any cause for concern over the appropriate use of it. Should inappropriate material be found then the LADO will be contacted immediately. Louise will follow the guidance of the LADO as to the appropriate measures to be taken.
Mobile phone technology has developed significantly to include internet access and wireless connections as well as camera, video and sound recording and sending and receiving messages. They are now an extremely effective method of communication. However, I understand that there is a need to balance the advantages with the potential for misuse, and intend to protect the children in my care with the following procedures:
Ensuring that ALL visitors to the setting during operating hours, keep their mobile phone out of reach of the children, and refrain from using it in the setting. And that visitors’ tablets / laptops have the camera lens covered, to prevent any images of the children being taken.
Ensuring that all members of staff leave their personal phones in a safe storage area and do not access them during operating hours.
Ensuring that the setting’s phone is kept out of the reach of children.
The use of the setting’s mobile phone during operating hours will not detract from the quality of supervision and care of the children.
Conflict Of Interest Including Babysitting Policy
“All adults working with children have a responsibility to maintain public confidence in their ability to safeguard the welfare and best interest of children and other adults. It is therefore expected that staff adopt and promote a high standard of personal conduct.
All adults in contact with children should therefore understand and be aware that safe practice also involves using judgment and integrity about behaviours in places other than the work setting” *
* Extract taken from Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with children and young people.
Conflict of Interest, a Definition:
A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. A conflict of interest within a normal work environment, could exist in several kinds of situations, for example:
• with a public official whose personal interests conflict with his/her professional position
• with an employee who works for one company but who may have personal interests that compete with his/her employment
• with a person who has a position of authority in one organisation that conflicts with his or her interests in another organisation
• with a person who has conflicting responsibilities
A conflict of interest within a childcare setting might be:
• A member of staff is related to a child within the setting.
• The Manager of the setting has a close friendship with one of the families.
• A member of staff has a close relationship with the Manager. *
• A member of staff holds a second employment.
• A member of staff has a connection with families within their workplace through social networking.
• A member of staff provides baby-sitting services for a family of the setting.
*”A close relationship is defined as such by virtue of association, which is a family relationship, personal partnership, civil partnership or marriage. This may also apply to close friendships, guardianships (Godparent) or business partners.” Extract taken from Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with children and young people.
The following applies, only if members of staff are in employment at The Treasure Box and does not apply to Louise working on her own:
Principles for effective Professional practice within the workplace:
• No employee should allow their outside activities to interfere with their work. They should not allow any conflicts between their duties or their private interest to affect their ability to carry out their duties effectively.
• No employee should make use of or exploit the provision, their connection with the provision or information obtained in the course of their duties to further their own private interest.
• No employee should act in a manner likely to bring the provision into disrepute or effect the reputation of the business.
• Adults should be aware that behaviour in their personal lives may impact upon their work with children. Adults should understand that the behaviour and actions of their family members may raise questions about their suitability to work with children. *
• Employees have a duty to disclose any potential or apparent conflict of interest which may affect their ability to carry out their role. All employees should then complete a conflict of interest form and any declaration made will be discussed with Louise.
• Adults should always approve any planned social contact with children or families with Louise. Report and record any situation which may place a child at risk or which may compromise the setting or their own professional standing.*
• Employees should at all times follow their employers Code of Conduct. Employers have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent conflict of interests within the workplace. i.e. re-deployment of staff if related to a child in their care.
* Extracts taken from Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with children and young people.
No Babysitting Policy
To ensure children are treated equally and no favouritism is shown, The Treasure Box does not condone staff entering into private babysitting arrangements with parents and carers outside of the normal working day. By operating a No Babysitting Policy we are actively safeguarding our staff and all the children in our care.
This is because:
• The Treasure Box cannot be held liable or responsible for any child once they are in the care of a baby-sitter, even if the baby-sitter is a member of staff.
• The Treasure Box cannot be held liable or responsible for the actions or inactions of a member of staff outside of the normal working day.
• The Treasure Box would not be able to protect members of staff from allegations made against them outside of the normal working day.
• The Treasure Box staff are aware that anything witnessed outside of the setting must be dealt with by them as an individual rather than as an employee; this includes safeguarding matters.
Family events policy
We are always honoured when we are invited to your family events; birthdays, weddings, christenings etc. We would love to attend all of these occasions, but would not like to upset anyone, by being able to attend one event and not another, so we have decided as a Setting to politely decline all invitations, from all families, lest we offend anybody! We would, however, really love to see pictures of these occasions on Baby’s Days please! 🙂
The Treasure Box realises that some parents/children may want to give gifts of appreciation from time to time e.g. when a child leaves, at Christmas or when a member of staff leaves. Whilst these gifts are greatly appreciated, we felt we needed some guidelines to ensure these gifts were never seen as anything more.
Families should never feel obligated / pressured to give gifts to any member of staff or the setting as a whole.
It is unacceptable for any member of staff to receive gifts on a regular basis or gifts of any significant value.
Care should be taken to ensure that adults do not accept any gift that might be construed as a bribe by others or lead the giver to expect preferential treatment.
The receipt of gifts will be recorded in order to safeguard members of staff, children and their families.
Gifts should be inexpensive; a maximum value of up to £10 is common in other childcare settings.
Gifts of food at Christmas will be equally divided between members of staff, with any remainder going into the cupboard to be shared with the children.
Any member of staff who feels they are expected to offer special treatment to a child because of a gift, should report it to Louise. Louise will then take appropriate action by either returning the gift, or speaking to the person in question about our policy on treating all children equally.
Declaration of Conflict of Interest
for The Treasure Box:
Employee Full Name:
1. Is there any relationship either internal or external which you feel could cause a potential or apparent conflict of interest?
If Yes, please give details
2. Are you engaged in any other paid employment?
If yes please give details
3. To your knowledge do you or any member of your family have a significant or influential relationship with any of the following:-
a) Families of the children in your care
b) Louise Lawson (Manager)
c) Any other employee
If yes please give details
I ________________________________ have read and understood the conflict of interest policy and I confirm that I have completed the declaration form to the best of my knowledge. I understand that if any information provided is found to be incorrect I may face disciplinary action.
I understand that my employer may take necessary steps to prevent conflict of interests.
Staff signature: –
Any action taken will be clearly recorded.
Prevent can be accessed here
The Referral Process through Channel can be accessed here
or downloaded here: