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The group and its entire staff have a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society. This statement lays out the procedures that will be taken if we have reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to either emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect.

Our primary responsibility is the welfare and wellbeing of all children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents/carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance which may come to our attention.

The Group has a duty to report any suspicions about abuse to Social Care and Health whether this stems from allegations against staff, volunteers, carers or the general public.

Children will not be permitted to be in anyone’s care, other than that of their parents or keyworker. We will not be held responsible for parents/carers allowing siblings or any other child not on our register, to be in the care of any other person whilst at the group.

The Children Act 1989 (Section 47 (1)) places a duty on Social Care and Health to investigate such matters. The Group will follow the procedure set out in the Local safeguarding children’s board procedures and as such will seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently. The group will also have regard to’ What to do If You’re Worried a Child Is Being Abused’, the current Dept. of Health publication.

All staff and long term volunteers at the group are DBS checked; with the exception of Secondary School students carrying out their short term, (usually two weeks), work experience and college placement students who can provide a valid DBS check from the college and a letter from their tutor

The Group will notify OFSTED if Social Care and Health are investigating a child protection matter related to the Group.

Sharon Kevern is the DLO, Gemma Westlake is deputy DLO, the designated member of staff for child protection liaison will, together with Niki Roper, designated committee member for child protection and Sharon Kevern, Group Leader, take the lead in dealing with any concerns raised initially. They will then decide whether to take advice from outside agencies such as social services, and the police. If it is decided to discuss such issues with the parents/carers of the child this staff member will facilitate the discussions (although no discussions will take place if it is believed this would place the child at risk of significant harm).

An allegation of child abuse or neglect could lead to a criminal investigation so staff will not do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation, for example, ask a child leading questions or attempt to investigate the allegations of abuse.
Social Care and Health takes the lead role in enquiring about child protection issues related to the child whilst the employer retains the responsibility for disciplinary actions related to their staff member, volunteer or carer.

 

Physical Abuse

Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team has reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is a definite knowledge, or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented.

Procedure 

Any indication of a mark/injury to a child when they come into the group will be recorded by the child’s keyworker and brought to the attention of the designated safeguarding officer and discussed with the parent. The parent will be asked to countersign the ‘Injury on arrival’ section of the accident form.
Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/main carer will have access to such records.
(Discussion will take place unless it is believed that this would place the child at risk of significant harm)
If there appear to be any queries regarding the injury Social Care and Health and/or the police will be notified

 

Sexual Abuse

Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have witnessed occasions where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing or had an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters or had inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour.

Procedure

The observed instances will be reported by the DLO
The matter will be referred to Social Care and Health and /or the police by that staff member

 

Emotional Abuse

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

Procedure

The concern will be discussed with the parent/main carer by the DLO Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/main carer will have access to such records.
(Discussion will take place unless it is believed that this would place the child at risk of significant harm)
If there appear to be any queries regarding the circumstances, the matter will be referred to Social Health and Care and /LSCB/Ofsted

 

Neglect

Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have reason to believe that there has been persistent or severe neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation) which result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.

Procedure

The concern will be discussed with the parent/main carer by the designated member of staff for child protection liaison.
Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/main carer will have access to such
records.
(Discussion will take place unless it is believed that this would place the child at risk of significant harm)
If there appear to be any queries regarding the circumstances Social care and health and /or the police will be notified.

 

Allegations against member of staff or volunteer

Action will be taken under this heading if allegations of child abuse/neglect are made against a member of staff or volunteer working at the Group.

Procedure

The concern will be discussed with the parent/main carer by the designated member of staff for child protection liaison, unless it should refer to that person, in which case the designated committee member would deal with the matter.(Rosemary Blundell)
Such discussion will be recorded and the parent /main carer will have access to such records.
The designated staff member will report the incident to the local office and take advice.
The employer will need to decide whether to suspend the member of staff/volunteer
pending Investigations.

If there appear to be any issues or concerns regarding the circumstances Social Services and /or the police will be notified. The matter will also be reported to Ofsted and the Local Authority child protection unit.

 

Confidentiality

The aim of the group is to promote an environment of respect with reference to confidential information relating to the children, families or group users and the groups business (please see our confidentiality policy.) However, if it becomes necessary to disclose information concerning a child and/or member of staff (if the allegation is made against a staff member/volunteer) to an outside agency, the following procedure will be followed:

The consent of the parent/main carer of that child and/or the consent of the staff member to the disclosure will be sought first (unless it is believed that obtaining such consent would place the child at risk of significant harm).

If it is believed that obtaining such consent would place the child at risk of significant harm, the disclosure will be made without obtaining consent (bearing in mind the public interest in safeguarding the child’s welfare overrides the need to keep information confidential).

 

PLEASE NOTE:

Dorset now has a single point of contact for referrals 01202 228866

THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE PROCEDURES. IF ANY CHILD IS THOUGHT TO BE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, WE WILL IMMEDIATELY CONTACT SOCIAL HEALTH AND CARE AT BATH ROAD, STURMINSTER NEWTON TEL: 01258 472652 AND/OR THE POLICE CHILD PROTECTION UNIT, ON TEL: 01202 552099

The designated staff member for child protection liaison will confirm any referral in writing within 48 hours and Social Health and Care should acknowledge receipt within 1 working day, the group will contact them if no acknowledgement has been received within 3 working days.

  • ·Please see camera and mobile phone policy
  • See Appendix 1 – safeguarding information for staff – Are you worried about a child in your care?

     

     

    APPENDIX 1 –

     Safeguarding Information for Staff

     

    Are you worried about a child in your care? 

    All childminders, staff and volunteers running day nurseries, pre-school groups, crèches, out-of-school clubs and holiday schemes have an important part to play in helping parents care for their children. They can work with parents during times of stress offering support and respite.

    Most children are subject to minor accidental injuries, but there may be occasions when you are concerned about the nature or frequency of injury. If you are concerned, you should raise the matter immediately with the designated member of staff for child protection liaison. who will then discuss the concerns with the parents/carers of the child unless it is believed that such discussion would place the child at risk of significant harm.

    Any concerns of this nature should be reported by the designated staff member for child protection liaison to the local Social Care and Health office promptly where staff will advise them and can decide what action, if any, needs to be taken. The information provided by a day carer may be part of a larger picture of abuse or neglect.

    Remember that an allegation of child abuse or neglect could lead to a criminal investigation so do not do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation, for example, ask a child leading questions or attempt to investigate the allegations of abuse.

    Parents should be aware from your introductory leaflets, letters or posters that you are obliged to inform Social Services of any concern you may have that a child may be at risk or has been abused. The safety of children may include a duty to share confidential information with others involved in protecting children.

    It is important that day care workers understand something about child abuse and neglect, and are familiar with the procedures for reporting abuse. Your Child Care Support Officer can advise you about this, and will be able to tell you about local training opportunities. (Tel: 0845 0701007)

    A few danger indication to look out for and write down

    • ·Behaviour changes for no obvious reason.
    • ·Bruising in unusual places – arms, stomach, around the mouth, head and back.
    • ·Finger marks – each finger may mark or bruise the skin.
    • ·Bite marks
    • ·Child not using a leg or arm – it may have been broken by a blow
    • ·Inadequate clothing for the time of year.
    • ·Weight loss or an unexplained increase in appetite

    However, the most important indication may not be those listed above, but things that you notice about a child that you know well, that make you feel concerned and uneasy. In such cases you should feel confident in the experience you have of working closely with children, and tell Sharon Kevern, the designated staff member for child protection liaison, who will then telephone the Social Health and Care duty social worker or the Dorset Safeguarding Children’s board. www.dorsetlscb.co.uk.

    The early years safeguarding officer is Louise Dodds at county hall.

    LADDO Patrick Crawford 01305 221122

    Please ensure that you are familiar with our safeguarding children Policy and