1.2 Safeguarding children and child protection
(Including managing allegations of abuse against a member of staff)
Little Footprints Nursery will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our safeguarding policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.
Little Footprints carry out the following procures to ensure we meet the key commitments of the Alliance Safeguarding Policy.
Key commitment 1
The Alliance is committed to building a 'culture of safe' in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of its service delivery.
Staff and volunteers
- Little Footprints designated person who co-ordinates child protection issues is:
Kerry King telephone number: 01162412020
- Little Footprints designated officer who oversees this work is:
Kerry King telephone number 01162412020
- We ensure all staff and parents are made aware of our safeguarding policies and procedures.
- We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
- Applicants for the post within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Candidates are informed of carry out 'enhanced disclosure' checks with the Criminal Records Bureau before post can be confirmed.
- Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
- We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Criminal Records Bureau checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable works or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
- Volunteers do not work unsupervised
- We abide by the protection of Vulnerable Groups Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed for reasons of child protection concern
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting
- We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children
Key commitment 2
The Alliance is committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in 'what to do if you're worried a child is being abused' (HMG 2006). Responding to suspicions of abuse
- Little Footprints Nursery acknowledges that abuse of children can take different forms: physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.
- When children are suffering from physical, sexual or through changes in their emotional abuse, or may be experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say -direct or indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play.
- Where such evidence is apparent, the child's key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the setting leader or manager who is acting as the 'designated person'. The information is stored on the child's personal file.
- We refer concerns to the local authority children's social care department and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation.
- N.B. In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children's Board.
- Little Footprints take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
- We use the detailed procedures and reporting format contained in the Pre-school Learning Alliance's publication 'Child Protection Record for use in Early Years Settings' when making a referral to children's social care or other appropriate agencies.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
- Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), observes signs or signals that gives cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being: unexplained bruising, mark or signs of possible abuse or neglect that member of staff:
- Listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
- Does not question the child;
- Makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes:
- The exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; - The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and
- The names of any other person present at the time.
- These records are signed and dated and kept in the child's personal file which is kept securely and confidentially.
Making a referral to the local authority social care team
- The Pre-school Learning Alliance's publication 'Child Protection Record' contains detailed procedures for making a referral to the local social care team, as well as a template from for recording concerns and making a referral. This is based on 'what to do if you're worried a child is being abused' (HMG 2006).
- We keep a copy of this document and follow detailed guidelines given.
- All members of staff are familiar with the Alliance's Child Protection Record and follow the procedures for recording and report.
- Parents are normally the first point of contact.
- If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the does not allow this.
- This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
Liaison with other agencies
- Little Footprints work within the Local Safeguarding Children Broad guidelines.
- We have a copy of 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused' for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
- We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the setting and social services to work well together.
- Early Learners' notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of children.
- Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also kept.
- If a referral is to be made to the local authority social care department, we act within the area's safeguarding Children and Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child's parents at the same time.
Allegations against staff
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- Little Footprints follow the guidance of the Local authority designated officer (LADO) when responding to any complaint that a member of staff, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
- We respond to any disclosure by children or staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
- Little Footprints refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority's social care department to investigate. We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted and what measures we have taken. We are always are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
- We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children's social care in conjunction with the police
- Where management committee and children's social agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the chairperson will suspend the member of staff on volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as the children and families throughout the process.
- Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the independent safeguarding Authority (ISA) of relevant information so that individuals who pose a threat to children (and vulnerable groups), can be identified and barred from working with these groups.
Key commitment 3
The Alliance is committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout its training and learning programmes for adults. It is also committed to empowering young children, through its early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.
- We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local.