|WHOLE SETTING POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING,
INCORPORATING CHILD PROTECTION
The Treasure Box, Hickling
Policy Consultation & Review
This policy is available on our Setting’s website, on the parents’ notice board and paper copies are available on request from Louise Lawson. We also inform parents and carers about this policy when their children join our Setting and via our online e-portal Baby’s Days.
We recognise the expertise our staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns on a daily basis and we therefore invite staff to contribute to and shape this policy and associated safeguarding arrangements.
The policy is provided to all staff at induction alongside our Staff Code of Conduct, behaviour policy and the safeguarding response to those pupils who are missing from education. In addition, all staff are provided with Part One of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2019).
This policy will be reviewed in full by Louise Lawson on an annual basis. This policy was last reviewed and agreed on 01/09/19. It is due for review on 01/09/20
Manager and Safeguarding Lead Practitioner
Our 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
1. Purpose & Aims
2. Setting Ethos
3. Roles & Responsibilities
4. Training & Induction
5. Procedures for Managing Concerns
6. Specific Safeguarding Issues
7. Recording & Information Sharing
8. Working with Parents & Carers
9. Child Protection Conferences
10. Safer Recruitment
11. Safer Working Practice
12. Managing Allegations against Staff
13. Other relevant policies
14. Statutory Framework
1 Recording form for reporting concerns
2 Induction checklist for staff & volunteers
3 Local Safeguarding Procedures
4 Advice for Settings and providers where there are concerns about an adult who works within the setting
5 How to handle a disclosure of abuse by a child
We 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.
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
We 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”.
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.
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.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate, or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact: it can also occur through the use of technology. One of the key factors found in most cases of child exploitation is the presence of some form of exchange: sexual activity in return for something.
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
Female Genital Mutilation:
We are 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 our 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:
We are aware that children and young people are capable of abusing their peers. We encourage the children to be open and honest with us, and tell us 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:
We 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.
1. PURPOSE & AIMS
1.1 The purpose of The Treasure Box’s safeguarding policy is to ensure every child who is on roll at our Setting is safe and protected from harm. This means we will always work to:
• Protect children and young people at our Setting from maltreatment and harm;
• Prevent impairment of our children’s and young people’s health or development;
• Ensure that children and young people at our 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 our Setting to have the best outcomes and optimum life chances.
• Ensure all those working in the 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 staff, volunteers, visitors and parents about expected behaviour and our legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children at our Setting.
1.3 Our Setting fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children from harm and supporting and promoting the welfare of all children who are registered pupils at our Setting. The elements of our policy are prevention, protection and support.
1.4 We recognise that our safeguarding responsibilities are clearly linked to our 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. Staff will regularly liaise with the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (Louise Lawson) to discuss all persistently absent pupils 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 pupils, staff, parents, governors, volunteers and visitors.
2. OUR ETHOS
2.1 The child’s welfare is of paramount importance. We have a philosophy where the child’s welfare is central and children and young people are supported by safe and effective care. Our Setting will establish and maintain an ethos where pupils feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and are safe. Children at our Setting will be able to talk freely to any member of staff at our Setting if they are worried or concerned about something.
2.2 Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. We recognise that staff at our Setting play a particularly important role as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. All staff are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members must always act in the best interests of the child.
2.3 All staff and regular visitors will, through training and induction, know how
to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information. We will not make promises to any child and we will not keep secrets. The child will be told what the adult will have to do with any information they have chosen to disclose.
2.4 Throughout our curriculum we will provide activities and opportunities for children to develop the skills they need to identify risks and stay safe. This will also be extended to include material that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills.
We 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
We have paper copies available for parents, carers and children.
2.5 At all times we will work in partnership with, and endeavour to establish positive and 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. The same professional standards will always be applied regardless of culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.
2.6 As part of our responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, we 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);
• 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 a privately fostered child.
2.7 We 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.
2.8 We also have regard for our responsibilities under The Prevent Duty to help protect the children we look after from being drawn into extremism and terrorism. At our Setting we actively promote British Values to help build the children’s resistance to radicalisation.
2.9 This policy has been written in accordance with the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) guidance and the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (2019) and the Early Years Safeguarding Toolkit requirements. All information is held in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Our Information Commissioner’s Office reference number is Z2579774.
3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Role Name Contact details
Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) Louise Lawson 01692 598291
3.1 It is the responsibility of every member of staff, volunteer and regular visitor to our 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 pupils at this Setting. This includes the responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn. There is a commitment for all workers, whether paid or unpaid in the Setting, to undertake appropriate training in line with NSCB guidance and their role and to keep this updated.
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 staff policy
3.5 We expect parents and carers to share information about accidents and injuries that take place at home, or outside our setting. Equally, our 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)
3.6 The Safeguarding Lead Practitioner is a senior member of staff,
who takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within our Setting. The SLP will carry out their role in accordance with the responsibilities outlined in Annex B of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.
3.7 The SLP will provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and
child protection matters. Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to the SLP.
3.8 The Safeguarding Lead Practitioner will always be available (during work hours) for staff in the Setting to discuss any safeguarding concerns. If in exceptional circumstances, the SLP is not available on site in person, we will ensure that they are available via telephone and/or any other relevant media.
3.9 The SLP at The Treasure Box will represent our Setting at child protection conferences and core group meetings. Through appropriate training, knowledge and experience our SLP 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 The SLP will maintain written records and child protection files ensuring that they are kept confidential and stored securely.
3.11 The SLP is responsible for ensuring that all staff members and volunteers are aware of our policy and the procedure they need to follow. They will ensure that all staff, volunteers and regular visitors have received appropriate child protection information during induction.
3.12 The SLP will obtain details of the Local Authority Personal Advisor appointed to guide and support a child who is a care leaver.
As the Safeguarding Lead Practitioner at The Treasure Box, Louise Lawson's key roles and responsibilities are to:
• Ensure that safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and up to date; that staff, 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 staff 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 staff members 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.
3.13 As an employer, Louise Lawson has a duty of care towards her employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which requires her to provide a safe working environment for staff and guidance about safe working practices. Thus, Louise has a duty of care for the well-being of employees and to ensure that employees are treated fairly and reasonably in all circumstances. Staff who are subject to an allegation should therefore be supported and the principles of natural justice applied.
This means that Louise will:
• foster a culture of openness and support
• ensure that systems are in place for concerns to be raised
• ensure that there is in place effective recording systems which confirm discussions, decisions and the outcomes of any actions taken.
• ensure that staff are not placed in situations which render them particularly vulnerable
• ensure that all staff are aware of expectations, policies and procedures
Health and Safety Act 1974:
3.14 The Health and Safety Act 1974 also imposes a duty on employees to take care of themselves and anyone else who may be affected by their actions or failings. An employer’s duty of care and the staff duty of care towards children should not conflict. This ‘duty’ can be demonstrated through the use and implementation of this policy.
4. TRAINING & INDUCTION
4.1 When new staff join our Setting they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They will be given a copy of our Setting’s safeguarding policy along with the staff code of conduct, Part one and Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and told who our Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) is. They will also receive a copy of the behaviour policy and the Setting’s response to children who go missing from education – this information is included in section 6 of this policy. All staff are expected to read these key documents. They will also be provided with the safeguarding recording form, given information on how to complete it and who to pass it to.
4.2 Every new member of staff or 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, 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 whistle-blowing in respect of concerns about another adult’s behaviour and suitability to work with children. Staff will also receive on-line safety training as this is part of the overarching safeguarding approach of our Setting. This Policy is available in paper format and on the Baby’s Days System.
4.3 In addition to the safeguarding induction, we will ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part one of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. In order to achieve this we will ensure that:
• all members of staff will undertake appropriate safeguarding training every 2 years;
• all staff members receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings), as required, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
4.4 All regular visitors, temporary staff and volunteers to our Setting will be given a set of our safeguarding procedures; they will be informed of whom our SLP is and what the recording and reporting system is.
4.5 The SLP, and any other senior member of staff who may be in the position of making referrals or attending child protection conferences or core groups, has attended one of the multi-agency training courses organised by Norfolk Safeguarding Children’s Partnership. The SLP will attend Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) training provided by the Local Authority every two years. In addition to formal training, the SLP will ensure that they update their knowledge and skills at regular intervals, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
4.6 We actively encourage all of our staff to keep up to date with the most recent local and national safeguarding advice and guidance, Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2019) provides links to guidance on specific safeguarding issues such as Child Sexual Exploitation and Female Genital Mutilation. In addition, local guidance can be accessed via Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership and within the Safeguarding Section of the Norfolk Settings website: http://www.Settings.norfolk.gov.uk/safeguarding.
5. PROCEDURES FOR MANAGING CONCERNS
5.1 The Treasure Box adheres to child protection procedures that have been agreed locally through the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership. Where we identify children and families in need of support, we will carry out our responsibilities in accordance with Norfolk Local Assessment Protocol and the Norfolk Threshold Guidance.
5.2 Every member of staff including volunteers working with children at our Setting are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child and have a responsibility to take action as outline in this policy.
5.3 All staff are 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 staff record and pass on concerns in accordance with this policy immediately to allow 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 Setting staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff, however, have a duty to recognise concerns and pass the information on in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy.
5.5 The Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) should be used as a first point of contact for concerns and queries regarding any safeguarding concern in our Setting. Any member of staff 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 the SLP. In the absence of the above, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior member of staff.
5.6 All concerns about a child or young person should be reported without delay and recorded in writing using the agreed template (see Appendix 1).
5.7 Following the receipt of any information raising a concern, the SLP 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 the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration by raising concerns again with the SLP. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
5.10 Staff 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 the designated senior person is unavailable;
• they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the pupil’s safety.
5.11 Any member of staff 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 Louise Lawson. If any member of staff does not feel the situation has been addressed appropriately at this point, they should contact Norfolk CADS directly with their concerns.
5.12 For the procedure for how to handle a disclosure of abuse from a child, please see Appendix 5.
6. SPECIFIC SAFEGUARDING ISSUES
6.1 At The Treasure Box we 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 Setting staff are aware of the definition of contextual safeguarding and when reporting concerns, they 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 We recognise that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) can face additional safeguarding challenges and these are discussed in staff 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 the difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
6.3 At The Treasure Box we recognise that a previously looked after child potentially remains vulnerable and all staff 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)
6.4 At The Treasure Box we recognise that Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive 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.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE): County Lines
6.5 At The Treasure Box we 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.
So-called “honour-based” violence (including Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage
6.6 At The Treasure Box we recognise that our staff are 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 our safeguarding training. If staff have a concern regarding a child that might be at risk of HBV they should inform the SLP who will activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multiagency liaison with police and children’s social care.
6.7 Where FGM has taken place, since 31 October 2015 there has been a mandatory reporting duty placed on Early Years Professionals. 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 Early Years Professionals 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. We will provide guidance and support to our Early Years Professionals on this requirement and 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 (December 2015)
6.8 At The Treasure Box we 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
6.9 We recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society:
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
Settings are expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas:
• That they are protecting children and young people by having robust safeguarding policies.
• Ensuring that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.
• Ensuring that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk, to challenge extremist ideas and to know how to respond when concerns arise.
• Ensuring that children are safe from extremist material when accessing the internet.
• Prevent training has been received by the SLP Louise Lawson and she will act as the point of contact within our Setting for any concerns relating to radicalisation and extremism.
• Referrals are made by the SLP in accordance with Norfolk Channel procedures and the SLP will represent our Setting at Channel meetings as required.
• Through the curriculum, the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is promoted.
As a childcare and early years provider we 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, we ensure we are meeting this requirement by:
• We let children know their views count and encourage them to value each other’s opinions and values. We help demonstrate democracy in action, for example, by letting children share views on what activity should come next with a show of hands.
• We provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration
• We give children opportunities to develop enquiring minds by creating an atmosphere in our nursery where all questions are valued
Rule of Law
• We help and support the children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, helping them to distinguish right from wrong • We 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
• We 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
• We 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
• We encourage and explain to the children about the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting each other’s opinions
• We promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, by sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences
• We provide resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping
• We create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance within our nursery where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued
• We aim to arrange visits whereby children can engage with the wider community
• We 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
• We share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences
Peer on peer abuse
6.10 We recognise that children are also vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by their peers or siblings. Abuse perpetrated by children can be just as harmful as that perpetrated by an adult, so it is important that all staff and volunteers to remember the impact on both the victim of the abuse as well as to focus on the support for the child or young person exhibiting the harmful behaviour. 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. Staff must never tolerate or dismiss concerns relating to peer on peer abuse; it must never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’, ‘just having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’.
6.11 At The Treasure Box all staff are trained so that they are aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer 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;
• up skirting
• sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
• initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
6.12 All staff will understand that they should follow our safeguarding procedures for reporting a concern if they are worried about peer on peer abuse. The SLP will respond to any concerns related to peer on peer abuse in line with guidance outlined in Part five of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in Settings and colleges’ (May 2018). We will ensure that all concerns, discussions and decisions reached are clearly recorded and any identified actions are followed up.
6.13 We will work with other agencies as required to respond to concerns about sexual violence and harassment. We 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 we ensure we are offering the right support to the child(ren). 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 pupil 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 pupils or staff need to speak to a Crisis Worker for help & advice. Referral forms can be found on The Harbour Centre website.
Safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education
6.14 At The Treasure Box all staff should be 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.
6.15 At The Treasure Box we adhere to the following procedures and processes to ensure there is an appropriate safeguarding response to children who missing:
• An attendance register is taken each day;
• We make every effort to contact parents and carers and follow up with the emergency contacts held;
• We hold at least two emergency contact numbers for each of the pupils on our roll wherever possible.
• Staff will alert the SLP to any concerns raised regarding children who are absent from Setting;
• The SLP will ensure that each response is thorough and takes into account all the relevant information about individual children;
• When removing a child from roll we will pass on all safeguarding files to the next / receiving Setting.
7. RECORDS AND INFORMATION SHARING
7.1 If staff are concerned about the welfare or safety of any child at our Setting they will record their concern on the agreed reporting form (Appendix 1). They should ensure that the form is signed and dated. Any concerns should be passed to the SLP without delay.
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 will be the responsibility of the SLP. 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 only be kept in the file and this file will be kept up to date. Records of concern, copies of referrals, invitations to child protection conferences, core groups and reports will be stored here. All our safeguarding files will include; a chronology, contents front cover and will record significant events in the child’s life.
7.4 When a child leaves our Setting, the SLP will make contact with the SLP at the new Setting and will ensure that the child protection file is forwarded to the receiving Setting in an appropriately agreed manner. We 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. Where a parent elects to remove their child from the Setting roll to home educate, the Setting 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 The Treasure Box is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to support them to understand our statutory responsibilities in this area.
8.2 When new pupils join our Setting, parents and carers will be informed that we have a safeguarding policy. A copy will be provided to parents on request and is available on the Setting website. Parents and carers will be informed of our legal duty to assist our colleagues in other agencies with child protection enquiries and what happens should we have cause to make a referral to Norfolk CADS.
8.3 We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission, or it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard a child from harm.
8.4 We will seek to share with parents any concerns we 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 the SLP 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, the Setting requires 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).
The Setting will retain this information on the pupil file. The Setting will only share information about pupils 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 Staff members may be asked to attend a child protection conference or core group meetings on behalf of the Setting in respect of individual children. Usually the person representing the Setting at these meetings will be the SLP or the child’s Key Person. In any event, the person attending will need to have as much relevant up to date information about the child as possible; any member of staff 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 staff working with the child in Setting.
9.4 Clearly child protection conferences can be upsetting for parents. We recognise that we are likely to have more contact with parents than other professionals involved. We 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. Our responsibility is to promote the protection and welfare of all children and our aim is to achieve this in partnership with our parents.
10. SAFER RECRUITMENT
10.1 We will ensure that the Manager has completed appropriate safer recruitment training. At all times the Manager will ensure that safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2019). At least one person involved in conducting an interview will have received safer recruitment training.
10.2 At The Treasure Box we will use the recruitment and selection process to deter and reject unsuitable candidates. We require evidence of original academic certificates. We do not accept testimonials and will insist on taking up references prior to appointment. We will question the contents of application forms if we are unclear about them, we will undertake Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks and use any other means of ensuring we are recruiting and selecting the most suitable people to work with our children.
10.3 We will maintain a record of all safer recruitment checks carried out in line with statutory requirements. A senior member of staff will check the record regularly to ensure that it meets statutory requirements.
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 staff 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 employment or 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 staff 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 staff 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 staff 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 staff 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 staff 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. It is preferred that Treasure Box staff should wear navy tops with our Logo embroidered on them.
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 workplace. 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. Treasure Box staff 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 our E-Safety Policy for further details about internet use, photography, social media and mobile phones.
12. MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
12.1 Our aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the wellbeing and very best outcomes for the children at our Setting. However, we do recognise that sometimes the behaviour of adults may lead to an allegation of abuse being made.
An allegation may relate to a person who has:
• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child:
• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child:
• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
12.2 Allegations sometimes arise from a differing understanding of the same event, but when they occur, they are distressing and difficult for all concerned. We also recognise that many allegations are genuine and there are some adults who deliberately seek to harm or abuse children.
12.3 We will take all possible steps to safeguard our children and to ensure that the adults in our Setting are safe to work with children. We 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 (2019) are adhered to and will seek appropriate advice. The first point of contact for Settings regarding LADO (Local Area and Designated Officer) issues is via the Local Authority Duty Desk on 01603 307797. A Duty Advisor will give advice and guidance on next steps. If the advice is to make a referral to LADO then the form should be completed. Direct contact details for the LADO are- e-mail: LADO@norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01603 223693. Ofsted should also be informed.
If there are concerns about a child’s immediate safety, the police should be contacted on 999.
See Appendix 4 for further details.
12.4 All staff are clear that they have a duty to share concerns about other staff members, and that they can follow the Whistle-blowing policy. There may well be times when adults are concerned about the behaviour of their colleagues, so we have a culture in which everyone feels safe about sharing concerns, knowing that they will be taken seriously and treated sensitively and confidentially.
If an allegation is made or information is received about any adult who works in our setting, which indicates that they may be unsuitable to work with children, the member of staff receiving the information should inform the Manager Louise Lawson immediately. This includes concerns relating to agency and supply staff and volunteers.
In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Manager Louise Lawson, the procedure described in 12.3 should be followed.
12.5 The Manager will seek advice from the LADO within one working day. No member of staff will undertake further investigations before receiving advice from the LADO.
12.6 Any member of staff or volunteer who does not feel confident to raise their concerns with the Manager, should contact the LADO directly on 01603 223693. Further national guidance can be found at: Advice on whistleblowing. The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is also available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff 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.
12.7 The Setting has 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 the member of staff 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 a member of staff at our Setting, a referral will be made as soon as possible after the resignation or removal of the individual in accordance with advice from the LADO.
13 RELEVANT POLICIES
13.1 To underpin the values and ethos of our Setting and our intent to ensure that pupils at our Setting are appropriately safeguarded the following policies are also included under our 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 (2019)
• 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’ (May 2019)
• ‘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 Settings 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 Settings and colleges’, DfE (May 2018)
• ‘Teaching online safety in Setting’ DfE (June 2019)
• Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (2017)
• Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)
• Disqualification Under the Childcare Act 2006 (2016)
• Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years Education and skills Settings (2019)
Appendix 1: Draft Recording Form for Safeguarding Concerns
Staff, 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.
Full name of child
Date of Birth
Your name and position in Setting
Nature of concern/disclosure
Please include where you were when the child made a disclosure, what you saw, who else was there, what did the child say or do and what you said.
Time & date of incident:
Who are you passing this information to?
[Ensure that if there is an injury, this is recorded (size and shape) and a body map is completed]
[Make it clear if you have a raised a concern about a similar issue previously]
Time form completed:
Indicate clearly where the injury was seen and attach this Body Map Diagram to the Recording Form
Appendix 2: Safeguarding Induction Sheet for new or supply staff and regular visitors or volunteers.
We all have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and at our Setting we 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 our Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP) Louise Lawson.
Do not think that your worry is insignificant if it is about hygiene, appearance or behaviour – we would rather you told us, as we 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 any member of staff. Please ensure you complete all sections as described.
If you are unable to locate Louise Lawson, ask a member of the Setting staff to find them and to ask them to speak with you immediately about a confidential and urgent matter.
Any allegation concerning a member of staff, 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 staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday or via e-mail: email@example.com.
The people you should talk to in Setting are:
Safeguarding Lead Practitioner (SLP): Louise Lawson
Contact Number: 01692 598291 / 07977 447689
At The Treasure Box we strive to safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children.
Appendix 3: Local Safeguarding Procedures
Children’s Advice and Duty Service- CADS
Before contacting CADS, please see the flow chart for how to make a referral.
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: http://norfolkscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/contents.html#individuals
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?”
Adults should NOT:
• Promise confidentiality - make it clear to the child you will need to pass on information to keep them safe.
• 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.
• Interrogate the child or attempt to reach conclusions about what they appear to be saying.
• 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 your 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 NSCP’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 NSCP Business Unit with questions as they arise on firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be passed to the Head of Children’s Advice and Duty Service.