Child Protection/safeguarding Policy
At ‘Nurture’ we have a duty to be aware that abuse can occur in many forms within our society. To fulfil our duty within the Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage Apr 2017, we ensure we have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
We give effect to our duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who attend our setting, where appropriate under the Children Act 1989 by:
- Creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for children and young people
- Identifying where there are child welfare concerns and taking action to address them, in partnership with other organisations where appropriate. We adhere to the content of the Working Together to Safeguard Children JUL 2018 (with particular regard to Page 60). In all aspects of our safeguarding practice we adhere to the EYFS Apr 2017 requirements and follow the procedures on the www.swcpp.org.uk website.
Our aim is to ensure as far as is possible that anyone, paid or voluntary, who seeks to work with children and young people through our organisational activities and who gains substantial access to them thereby is as safe to do so in Child Protection terms as our policy and procedure is robust and understood by all concerned and children are therefore safeguarded due to staff vigilance.
There are three main elements to the safeguarding policy:
- PREVENTION (positive and safe environment, careful and vigilant teaching, accessible support to pupils, good adult role models).
- PROTECTION (agreed procedures are followed, staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding concerns).
- SUPPORT (to children, who may have been at risk of significant harm and the way staff respond to their concerns and any work that may be required).
This policy will cover;
- Types and recognising signs of abuse
- Dealing with a disclosure of abuse
- Allegations against a member of staff
- Early help (with local referral contacts)
- Reporting your concerns; Making a safeguarding referral
- Specific safeguarding concerns outlined
- Supporting staff
- Key documents and legislation
Physical Abuse: Deliberate or intended injury to a child. Examples include:
- Hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or poisoning
- Deliberate inducement of an illness
- Any sign of a mark/injury will be recorded.
- The incident will be discussed with the parent/carer.
- The discussion will be recorded and the parent/carer be given access to any such record.
- If there are any queries regarding the injury, Local Safeguarding Board will be notified.
Sexual Abuse: Actual or likely sexual exploitation. Examples include:
- Use of force or enticement to take part in sexual activity, penetrative or non penetrative.
- Involvement in noncontact activities such as looking at or making abusive images.
- Encouraging children to watch sexual activities.
- Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
- Any sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 years (with or without agreement)
- The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager.
- The matter will be referred to the Local Authority.
Emotional Abuse: Persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection which adversely affects the child’s emotional and behavioural development. Examples include:
- Conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate.
- Overprotection, limiting exploration and learning, preventing normal social interaction or imposing inappropriate expectations.
- Causing a child to feel frightened or in danger by the witnessing or violence towards another person whether domestic or not.
- The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer.
- The discussion will be recorded and the parent/carer be given access to any such record.
- If there are any queries regarding the circumstances, the matter will be referred to the Local Authority
Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect of a child which results in significant impairment of the child’s health or development. Examples include:
- Failure to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter (including abandonment or exclusion from home)
- Failure to protect from physical or emotional harm
- Failure to meet a child’s basic emotional needs.
- Failure to ensure adequate supervision.
- Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care.
- The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer.
- The discussion will be recorded, and the parent/carer be given access to any such record.
- If there are any queries regarding the circumstances, the matter will be referred to the Local Authority.
Should any member of staff have any concerns for the welfare of any child they will immediately inform the room leader or Nursery Manager. A nursery nurses’ responsibility does not include investigating the suspected abuse. However, the staff must keep accurate records of their observations and of any thing said to them by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse. Strict confidentiality will always be observed.
The nursery aims to:
- Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of the nursery staff.
- Ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.
- Ensure all staff are familiar with Child Protection issues and procedures.
- Regularly review and update this policy.
If a child discloses to you that they have been abused, the member of staff should:
- Inform the child that in order to help them you have to tell your Manager, or Designated Safeguarding Officers:
- Kathryn Fletcher
- Tracey Nesbitt
- Jo O’Neill
- Report the disclosure to the Manager or designated safeguarding officers:
- Kathryn Fletcher
- Tracey Nesbitt
- Jo O’Neill
- If it is felt that the child is in immediate danger then the manager or member of staff should contact the police.
Where an allegation is made against a member of staff, the relevant disciplinary procedures stated in the whistle blowing policy will be carried out as well as reporting the case to OFSTED and the Local Authority Child Protection Unit.
Tel: 0300 123 1231
If you have concerns about a professional working with a child you need to contact your Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on: 01872 326536
There are situations which may occur in a family’s life where they may benefit from additional support that cannot be provided solely by universal services.
These can include when a child:
- Is disabled and has specific additional needs.
- Has special educational needs.
- Is a young carer.
- Is showing signs of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour.
- Is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health, domestic violence;
- Is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.
- Is showing signs of displaying behaviour or views that are considered to be extreme.
These children are therefore more vulnerable; the Setting will identify who their vulnerable children are, ensuring ALL Staff know the processes to secure advice, help and support where needed. In the first instance a discussion should take place with the DSL and a record kept of this discussion. If further advice is needed or the setting wishes to make a referral then they would contact the Early Help Hub.
Additional guidance can also be accessed by using the CIOS SCB multi agency threshold document. This guidance is available via the following link:
Within Cornwall the Early Help Hub is the first point of contact when considering additional support for children and their families
- Support is provided: from pre-birth to the age of 18 (or 25 when the young person has additional needs) when the child, young person or family has needs that are not met solely by universal services.
- It is single point of access for professionals, families and young people to access Early Help Services in Cornwall.
- The triage team decides which Early Help service best meets the needs identified in the request for help. It is then allocated to the appropriate service within 48 hrs.
- Telephone: 01872 322277
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/earlyhelphub
In the first instance if a member of staff has a concern about a child they should report this immediately to the Designated safeguarding officers.
The Designated safeguarding officers may well have information that other members of staff do not know about a child and their family. Staff should be told on a “need to know basis”. However insignificant you think your concern might be pass it on to your Designated safeguarding officers. It may only be a small bit of information, but it helps to form a bigger picture.
If the Designated safeguarding officers are not available.
If there is an immediate concern about a child or their family, any member of staff can phone the MARU for advice and guidance if the Designated safeguarding officers are not available.
If the concerns arise out of office hours contact 01208 251300
If they are unsure, they can contact MARU for advice and guidance.
Contacting MARU (for advice or when making a referral)
Ensure that you have as much factual information about the child as possible when you phone include:
- Full name
- Family composition details (including names of parent(s) and siblings)
- Any key professionals working with the school
- Factual information about the concerns you have
Making a referral in writing:
You will need to back any phone call up in writing by completing the multi-agency referral form. This is available from the CIOS SCB website www.safechildren-cios.co.uk You must then send it in by secure email which is clearly highlighted on the referral form:
MARU Secure email: email@example.com
Settings should ensure they have spoken to the family about their concerns and proposed actions unless to do so would place the child at risk or when in exceptional circumstances; the decision not to inform parents/carers must be justified and the details recorded. If a child makes a disclosure or presents with an injury, it is imperative that advice is sought immediately prior to the child returning home and as soon as the setting become aware of this.
Resolution of Professional Differences
In the event that the setting disagrees with the actions or decisions of another agency we will consider using the Resolution of Professional Differences policy also referred to as the escalation policy. The policy is available via the following link:
If the Child/Family are already known to Social Care
When a member of Staff, parent, practitioner, or another person has concerns for a child, and if the setting are aware that the case is already open to social care then they should contact the allocated worker. If they do not know the name of the worker they can contact MARU who will provide contact details of the worker and/or their manager.
There are specific issues that have become critical issues in Safeguarding that Settings will endeavour to ensure ALL their Staff and Governors are familiar with; having processes in place to identify, report, monitor and which are included within teaching:
- Bullying including cyber bullying
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
- Domestic Violence
- Fabricated or induced illness
- Faith abuse
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Forced Marriage
- Gangs and Youth Violence
- Gender based violence/Violence against women and girls (VAWG)
- Mental Health
- Private Fostering
- Preventing Radicalisation
- Online abuse/Sexting
- Teenage Relationship abuse
- Missing children and vulnerable adults
- Child sexual abuse within the family
- Poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children
The DSL will join the contextual safeguarding network ( www.contextualsafeguarding.org.uk ) and be familiar with the process of understanding the vulnerabilities that could lead to potential harm in the community, rather than within the home of a child.
Contextual Safeguarding has been developed by Carlene Firmin at the University of Bedfordshire over the past six years to inform policy and practice approaches to safeguarding adolescents. Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online can feature violence and abuse. Parents and carers have little influence over these contexts, and young people’s experiences of extra-familial abuse can undermine parent-child relationships. This concept will be included in our staff training.
Schools and Colleges can access broad government guidance on the issues listed above via https://www.gov.uk/childcare-parenting/preventing-neglect-abuse-and-exploitation and local procedures and strategies are available through www.safechildren-cios.co.uk
We will incorporate signs of abuse and specific safeguarding issues into briefings, staff induction training, and ongoing development training to all Staff and Governors/Trustees. Annex A of KCSIE (September 2018) provides more detail on the following:
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group take advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 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 or facilitator. 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. (DfE Child Sexual Exploitation February 2017).
All suspected or actual cases of CSE are a safeguarding concern in which Child Protection procedures must be followed; this will include a referral to MARU and where the risk is immediate to the police. If any staff are concerned about a pupil, they will refer to the Designated Safeguarding Lead/s and the CSE lead within the School.
In addition, the setting would access the CSE tool kit on the South West Child Protection Procedures website. http://www.swcpp.org.uk.
We will complete the Cornwall MACSE Person/ Location of Concern Form (and email it to MultiAgencyReferralUnit@cornwall.gcsx.gov.uk) if we have information about local Missing and/or a Child Sexual Exploitation group of concerns relating to potential perpetrators of Child Sexual Exploitation and / or locations, venues or vehicles relating to actual/potential sexual exploitation of children to alert the Police, or in the event or crime or immediate concerns for child safety; we will call 999. The Police will consider this information immediately; the Multi-Agency Advice Team (MAAT) will collate any other relevant information and along with any other police information, this will then be considered at the relevant MACSE Group.
The DfE have published guidance stating that education settings must promote British values i.e learning right from wrong, taking turns, sharing and challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes (see Prevent duty Policy and British Values policy). Ofsted will be required to inspect our setting against these criteria’s as part of our safeguarding duty. We will not carry out unnecessary intrusion into our families lives but our staff will take action when they observe behaviour of concern and share concerns at the earliest opportunity as part of this Safeguarding Policy. In the instance of a member of staff hearing a child/staff/volunteer/ third party worker, parent or carer make an anti-Semitic or discriminatory comment we would contact the local prevent lead and follow a Prevent action plan as deemed necessary. Referrals might be made to Channel (this is a programme that provides support for individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism where they are deemed to be within the pre-criminal space). If a person is suspected to be within criminal activity and this is made known to us, we will contact the police by calling 101 (non-emergency) or 0800 789 321 (anti-terrorist hotline). This information has been taken from the guidance document and our policy on this will comply with the requirements under The Counter-Terrorism and Security bill March 2015.
HM Prevent duty guidance
DfE Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools; Departmental advice for maintained schools November 2014
DfE The Prevent duty; Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers June 2015
Cornwall Channel referral process document
We will ensure ALL staff adhere to their duties in the Prevent guidance 2015 to prevent radicalisation (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protecting-children-from-radicalisation-the-prevent-duty)
The Principle /Chair of Governors/Trustee/Committee will:
- Establish or use existing mechanisms for understanding the risk of extremism
- Ensure staff understand the risk and build capabilities to deal with issues arising
- Communicate the importance of the duty
- Ensure All Staff and Governors/Committee/Trustees implement the duty.
Kathryn Fletcher and Tracey Nesbitt will respond to any concern about Radicalisation/Prevent as a Safeguarding concern and will report in the usual way using local safeguarding procedures. We will seek to work in partnership, undertaking risk assessments where appropriate and proportionate to risk, building our children’s resilience to radicalisation.
When reviewing our PREVENT duties we would consider the guidance contained on the Safer Cornwall website (link below).
What can we do to help our children understand these issues and help protect them?
- Provide a safe space for them to debate controversial issues.
- Help them to build resilience and the critical thinking they need to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
- Give them confidence to explore different perspectives, question, and challenge.
The setting is committed to providing effective filtering systems and this will include monitoring the activities of children when on-line in the setting or using 3G or 4G access (ie parents waiting outside to collect). We follow the guidance set out in Annex C (KCSIE September 2018) Please refer to Nurture day Nursery’s Online safety policy.
Additional contact details:
Concerns can be discussed with the Prevent Lead for Cornwall: Steve Rowell email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARU can also be contacted for advice: 0300 1231 116
Emergency Out of Hours: Tel No: 01208 251300
If immediate and serious concerns call the police on 999
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Nurture Day Nursery & Pre-School recognises and understands that there is a now a mandatory reporting duty for all teachers to report to the police where it is believed an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 in the UK. Failure to do so may result in legal/disciplinary action being taken.
All suspected or actual cases of FGM are a Safeguarding concern in which safeguarding procedures will be followed; this will include a referral to the police and to Children’s Social Care via MARU. If any staff are concerned about a child, they will refer to the Safeguarding Designated Lead/s within the Setting unless there is a good reason not to do so. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): all adults within our setting, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM in line with our child protection requirements. There is a range of potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM, and we use the signs and symptoms handout as a guide. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM, therefore we will be aware of and understand girls who would be ‘at risk’ by using the Unicef Map of prevalence within our admissions procedure. Girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 11-12 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines for FGM. Staff will liaise with the Multi Agency Referral Unit and Police under section 47 of the Children Act 1989. Staff will receive training on FGM and use the signs and symptoms handout as a consistent guide to recognition of concerns.
If any child (under-18) or vulnerable adult has symptoms or signs of FGM, or we have good reason to suspect they are at risk of FGM having considered their family history or other relevant factors, we will refer using our standard existing safeguarding procedures, as is the procedure with all other instances of child abuse. This referral is initially to the Multi-Agency Referral Unit, whilst also contacting the police for advice. Additionally, when a person is identified as being at risk of FGM, this information must be shared with the GP and health visitor as part of safeguarding actions (See section 47 of the 1989 Children Act).
We will follow the HM Government Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation chapter nine and adhere to the Mandatory Reporting Requirements under FGM legislation. Risk Assessment and actions
- Very Low – We have few pupils from the cultural heritage where FGM and forced marriage is more typical.
Action – close monitoring of the admissions information, using the MAP of FGM prevalence. Effective supervision of the pupils, good home â€“ setting liaison practices, robust safeguarding procedures and multi-agency partnership work, provision of a setting counsellor and provision of the Family Support Team. Awareness and monitoring of all children and families (including those from the ‘at risk’ cultural groups, particularly those that voice a desire to follow a family/cultural tradition)
Domestic abuse may take many forms. Witnessing the physical and emotional suffering of a parent may cause considerable distress to children and both the physical assaults and psychological abuse suffered by adult victims who experience domestic abuse can have a negative impact on their ability to look after their children. Children can still suffer the effects of domestic abuse, even if they do not witness the incidents directly. However in up to 90% of incidents involving domestic violence where children reside in the home, the children are in the same or the next room. Children’s exposure to parental conflict, even where violence is not present, can lead to serious anxiety and distress among children. Children can see setting as a safe retreat from problems at home or alternatively not attend the setting through a perceived need to be at home to protect abused parents or siblings.
Domestic abuse can therefore have a damaging effect on a child’s health, educational attainment and emotional well-being and development. The potential scale of the impact on children is not always easy to assess but may manifest itself as behavioural, emotional or social difficulties, including poor self-esteem, withdrawal, absenteeism, adult-child conflict. Children sometimes disclose what is happening or may be reluctant to do so hoping that someone will realise something is wrong.
Domestic abuse is included in our staff training as there is an increased focus on the damaging impact of domestic abuse on the well-being of children.
Children in care
The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. We ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep children in care safe. KCSIE (revised September 2018)
The designated child in care lead will ensure that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility. They are also responsible for ensuring that they also have information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the local authority looking after him/her. The designated children in care lead will have details of the child’s social worker. They will have drawn up an individual education plan in consultation with the children in care education support service (CICESS).
The designated child in care lead will attend regular training/briefings provided by Cornwall Council regardless of whether there are currently children within the school who are in care.
As a setting we recognise the needs of young carers in that they can be more vulnerable or placed at risk. We aim to be able to identify young carers and ensure they are supported to help reach their potential with an understanding that staff and volunteers may need to refer into early help services for an assessment of their needs via the Early Help Hub.
A private fostering arrangement is when a child is cared for consecutively for 28 days or longer by someone who is not a member of that child’s immediate family. In such a case the local authority should be informed.
If the setting is aware of such an arrangement being in place they must advise the family that the school have a responsibility to inform the local authority and encourage the family to advise the local authority themselves.
Advice or a referral can be made via MARU.
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
The above are offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
These offences include holding a person in a position of slavery,
servitude forced or compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel
with the intention of exploiting them soon after.
Although human trafficking often involves an international cross-border element, it is also possible to be a victim of modern slavery within your own country.
It is possible to be a victim even if consent has been given to be moved.
Children cannot give consent to being exploited therefore the element of coercion o deception does not need to be present to prove an offence.
If you hold information that could lead to the identification, discovery and recovery of victims in the UK, you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700.
Advice or referral can be made via MARU (0300 1231 116) or for Vulnerable Adults (0300 1234 131).
Our setting recognise that all staff may find dealing with safeguarding and child protection concerns very difficult and upsetting. It may trigger memories of their own difficult childhood, or be an experience they have had as an adult, or a member of their family, or close friendship group has experienced.
The setting hopes in such situations that the individual staff member would be able to talk to a member of the senior leadership team in the setting who can make enquiries into what support may be available for the individual member of staff.
There are many organisations within Cornwall who offer support services to individuals on a range of very sensitive issues e.g. Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse (current and historic) drug and alcohol misuse, mental health. More information can be accessed via MARU or the Early Help Hub.
In addition the member of staff should be able to access support through:
- Their own GP.
- The Samaritans Telephone: 116 123
- NSPCC HELPLINE Telephone: 0808 800 5000 ( not just there for children)
The DSL and Safeguarding Governor/committee/trustee will take responsibility for updating this policy and information, all staff and the Governing Body of key changes.
This is an overarching policy and should be read in conjunction with the following documents:
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (JUL 2018), which is statutory guidance to be read and followed by all those providing services for children and families, including those in education. The guidance is available via the following link: http://www.workingtogetheronline.co.uk/index.html
“Keeping Children Safe in Education” (Sept 2018), which is the statutory guidance for Schools and Colleges. The guidance is available via the following link (deemed best practice for early years to follow): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education–2
What to do if worried a child is being Abused: Advice for Practitioners’.
March 2015. The guidance is available via the following link:
“Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing Safeguarding Services to
Children, Young People, Parents and Carers”. JUL 2018. The guidance is available via the following link:
“The Prevent Duty Departmental, advice for Schools and child care providers” June 2015. The guidance is available via the following link:
Multi-agency Statutory Guidance on Female Genital Mutilation. The guidance is available via the following link:
Multi-agency Statutory Guidance for dealing with Forced Marriage July 2016: This guidance is available via the following link:
Child Sexual Exploitation – Further guidance is available via the following link:
Child Sexual Exploitation Definition and a guide for Practitioners DfE February 2017
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