Safeguarding Children - Policy and Procedures
The safety of all children is central to Laleham Church Playgroup. We aim to provide an environment in which all children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to by complying with local child protection procedures approved by the Surrey Safeguarding Partners (formerly Safeguarding Children Board).
Laleham Church Playgroup’s Agreed Procedures:
· Exclude known abusers from working in the group by vetting prospective members of staff, whether voluntary or paid. A clean enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure (for people aged 16 and over) is required plus satisfactory references to be considered a “fit” person to work in the setting. Additional criminal records check (or checks, if more than one country) should also be made for anyone who has lived or worked abroad.
· New members of staff and existing staff applying for a new DBS disclosure must sign up to the DBS updating service. Where an DBS update check identifies that there has been a change to the disclosure details for the person a new enhanced DBS disclosure must be applied for.
· Consent must be obtained from a member of staff/volunteer before accessing the DBS update service. If consent is refused they will no longer be considered as a “fit” person and disciplinary proceedings to terminate their employment will start.
· Appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and a Deputy DSL who will be responsible for checking the “Surrey Safeguarding Children Board Manual of Procedures” at http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk each term for updates (dates to be recorded), co-coordinating child protection policy and monitoring its implementation, including ensuring that staff have appropriate training opportunities.
· Staff, regular volunteers or parents should inform the DSL or deputy DSL of any concerns/allegations about a child, staff member, volunteer or member of their household. The DSL will be responsible for recording and confidentially storing any information relating to safeguarding concerns or cases, and for liaising with parents, and consulting/informing outside agencies e.g. Health Visitor, Social Services, Police, Ofsted. (Note – it is not the role of the DSL or any member of staff to investigate an allegation. They should take a record of what is said or seen and refer it to Surrey Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) who are trained to make enquires, which will indicate whether further investigations are necessary)
· Include an explanation of safeguarding children information in the induction process for new staff, students and volunteers including how to protect themselves from accusations of abuse. They will be given a copy of our Safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they have read and understood them.
· Staff and regular volunteers are required to inform the DSL or Manager immediately if they have been, or may be, disqualified from working with children. A declaration regarding this, consisting of answering the following 4 questions, will form part of their appraisal and supervision meetings. Failure to disclose this information is a disciplinary matter.
1. Have you been involved with the Police such as interviewed, questioned, subject to a court order, bound over, received a reprimand, warning, cautioned or convicted before or during your employment at this setting?
2. Do you have parental responsibility for a child who is being assessed or who has been placed on a Child Protection Plan under section 47 of the Children’s Act 1989?
3. Do you have a medical condition that could affect your ability to work with children?
4. Are you taking any medication or any other substances on a regular basis?
· Seek and supply training to enable the staff to recognise the symptoms of possible:
1. physical abuse, including honour based violence (HBV)
3. emotional abuse
4. sexual abuse, including child sexual exploitation (CSE)
5. exposure to extremism and radicalisation (under the Prevent duty)
6. Female genital mutilation (FGM)
7. Breast ironing (BI)
8. forced marriage
9. Disguised compliance
It is our aim that all new staff will attend a “Working together to Safeguard Children: Introduction” course (or equivalent) within 6 months of joining the setting. Training should be updated 3 yearly (2 yearly for DSL and Deputy DSL).
· Prevent abuse by means of good practice:-
Adults who have been registered as “fit” will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or with small groups of children.
Adults who have not been registered as "fit" persons will not take children to the toilet and they will be supervised by a “fit” person during all contact with the children.
The layout of the playrooms and outdoor areas will allow constant supervision of all children.
A record is kept of all intimate care provided, this included the date, time, name of child, name of person providing the care and what care was provided.
A record is kept of any physical intervention used to manage a child’s behaviour, the incident will be explained to the parent/carer and they will be asked to sign the record.
Details of any accidents or injuries to a child that occur in the setting will be recorded in the Accident Book.
Parents will have the injury explained to them and will be asked to sign the record. Parents will be asked to provide us with a written record (witnessed by member of staff) of the details of any accidents/ incidents that happen to their child whilst not in our care.
Bruising in a child not independently mobile ( this includes all children under 6 months, even if they are rolling, and children with significant disabilities resulting in immobility) should result in an immediate referral to Surrey MASH at 0300 470 9100
Records are kept of children’s names, address(es) and name(s) of person(s) with parental responsibility and/or legal contact. This information is checked and updated at parent/keyperson meetings by the child’s keyperson.
Unexplained absences of children will be followed up by the manager or DSL on the day. If we are unable to contact the parents/carers we may phone the police for advice. Regular patterns of absences will also be followed up by the manager or DSL. Details of all calls and conversations will be recorded in the “Absence Log” in the back of the register.
The setting has a Whistleblowing Policy, a copy of which is given to each member of staff, student and regular volunteer and it is emphasized during the induction process and during on going staff training that they have a duty to disclose any concerns they have about the conduct of other staff, students and volunteers.
There are agreed procedures to regulate the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting, and the use of social networking sites which form part of the induction process and on going staff training.
· Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse outside the setting:-
Changes in children's behaviour/appearance will be followed up with the parents.
If we have a concern about a child we will share information with parents/carers in a confidential manner. However, if sharing information may put the child at risk of significant harm we will seek advice from Surrey MASH 0300 470 9100
All such suspicions will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know, usually parents/carers, the member(s) of staff working with the child and the DSL and Deputy DSL.
· If there is an allegation of abuse these agencies will be informed without delay:
- Surrey MASH - call 0300 470 9100
- Police – call 999
Surrey County Council’s Local Authority Child Protection Designated Officer (LADO) can offer support.
If we feel the child will be at risk of significant harm if allowed to go home with a parent/carer, we will seek advice from MASH.
· Respond to allegations of abuse made against a member of staff or volunteer:-
If an accusation of abuse is made against a member of staff or a volunteer (whether the allegation relates to serious harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere) or a member of their household, a written record of the allegation will be made and the adult concerned will be told of the nature of the allegation and informed that, in line with Surrey Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) Policy, the allegations will be reported within 24 hours to:
Surrey County Council’s Local Authority Child Protection Designated Officer (LADO)
Call 0300 123 1650 and then option 3
Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)– call 0300 470 9100
Police – call 999
Ofsted (call 0300 123 1231) should be informed as soon as possible but within 14 days.
The investigation will be carried out in line with SSCB Procedures. Any member of staff who has an allegation of abuse made against them will either only be allowed supervised access to the children or will be suspended from work for the duration of the investigation, as advised by the investigating body.
If a member of staff is dismissed (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child, or put a child at risk of harm, a referral will be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (telephone 01325 953795 or visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-referrals-form-and-guidance for guidance)
Records of unfounded allegations of a child protection nature will be kept until the member of staff’s normal retirement age or 10 years after the date of the allegation. Records of allegations found to be malicious will be removed from personnel files and destroyed.
· Keep records: -
Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child's behaviour, language, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from any other records. The record will include the name, age and address of the child; timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child's behaviour/appearance, without comment; where possible the exact words spoken by the child; the dated name and signature of the recorder.
Such records will be kept securely in a separate file and will not be accessible to people in the playgroup other than the DSL, deputy DSL and the Manager (if different).
The Early Help Assessment (EHA) procedure will be used if we have concerns about a child. This will help us to find out whether the child has additional needs or needs that mean they have been, or are likely to be, significantly harmed.
If a referral is made to the appropriate authorities for investigation Surrey County Council’s multi-agency referral form must be used. Verbal referrals must be confirmed in writing, within 24 hours, using the Multi-Agency Referral Form, including a body map when appropriate. (The form is available on line at: www.surreyscb.org.uk/professionals and click on resources for professionals)
All sensitive information must be sent via a secure email eg Egress
· Liaise with other bodies-
The playgroup operates in accordance with local authority guidelines. Confidential records kept on children about whom the playgroup have concerns will be shared with the Surrey MASH if the playgroup feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child's condition have not been provided.
Information about child protection concerns or cases will need to be passed to a child’s new setting or school and this can be done without permission from the child’s parents/carers. A record will be kept of the information shared, the reason for sharing and who made the decision (always DSL and one other eg Deputy DSL, manager or Surrey Safeguarding Advisor).
Information will be shared following Surrey’s Multi-Agency Information Sharing Protocol (MAISP)
DSL /Deputy DSL/Manager may need to be contacted outside of playgroup hours/term dates on a safeguarding issue and we will do our best to facilitate this (eg by providing manager’s home contact details on all correspondence; checking group’s email account during holiday periods)
· Support families: -
The playgroup will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families, staff and volunteers in the group.
With the proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the confidential records kept on a child will be shared with the child's parents, and the playgroup will do all in its power to support and work with the child's family.
The policy was adopted by Laleham Church Playgroup at a meeting on 12th October 2018
Signed on behalf of Laleham Church Playgroup.........................................................
Wendy Williams is designated as the staff member responsible for child protection issues (DSL). Susie Morris is the deputy DSL
Contact Numbers and Information:
Surrey Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) -for all referrals and advice
Telephone 0300 470 9100 between 9am-5pm from Monday to Friday
Secure email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Emergency Duty Team can be contacted out of hours (between 5pm and 9am and at weekends)
on 01483 517898
North East Early Help Co-ordination Hub – 01372 833133
For concerns about a child who already has an allocated social worker/professional ring them directly or via area referral hub
North East Referral hub – 0300123 1610
Children and Families Service Local Authority Child Protection Designated Officer (LADO)
at 0300 123 1650 and then option 3
Secure email address- email@example.com
Information on Surrey’s Multi-Agency Information Sharing Protocol (MAISP)- https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/23749/MAISP-v5.pdf
Surrey Safeguarding Advisor for childcare providers – Sue Monk
Telephone - 01372 833826
Mobile- 07800 622005
Secure email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone 0300 123 1231 (Early Years Complaints Line)
Telephone 0300 123 3155 (Whistleblowing hotline or email- email@example.com )
Mrs Jan Vince
All Saints PCC, Children’s Advocate
Telephone 01932 560515
Or c/o The Parish Office
Laleham TW18 1RZ Telephone 01784 441160
Police – to report concerns call 101 or in an emergency where the immediate safety of a child, young person or adult is at risk, dial 999
Surrey Safeguarding Children Board Manual of Procedures is available online at: http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk
Surrey Safeguarding Children Board: www.surreyscb.org.uk
Statutory requirements –“Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018” www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children
“Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2015” www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance
Information and guidance (including DSL initial training) can be found at: www.surreyscb.org.uk
Details of Safeguarding training workshops are at: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/childcare-professionals
Details of the Disclosure and Barring Service – www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
DBS update checking service - https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/crsc/check?execution=e4s1