Child Protection

Our Child Protection Policy

Our pre-school will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of the children and give them the very best start in life.

We intend to create an environment in which children are protected from abuse and harm in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to.

Staffing and volunteers

  • Our designated person (a member of staff) who co-ordinates child protection issues is

Evelyn Williamson                 

  • Our designated officer (a committee member) who oversees this work is

Duncan Thomson

  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • Candidates are informed of the need to carry out ‘enhanced disclosure’ checks with the Criminal Records Bureau before posts 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 Record Bureau checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
  • We abide by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have lead to dismissal 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.
  • Parents sign to agree to photographs being taken for the purpose of recording the child’s development.
  • Records are kept of staff qualifications CRB checks and vetting processes
  • Mobile phones belonging to staff members are not used during working hours

Responding to suspicions of abuse

  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual as well as neglect.
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or 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 securely on the child’s personal file.
  • Staff in the setting take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or by asking questions of children.

Allegations against staff

  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteer action within the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
  • We follow the guidance of the Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child.
  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
  • We refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority’s social service department to investigate.
  • We also inform Ofsted of the incident
  • We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
  • Our policy is to suspend the member of staff on full pay 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 children and families throughout the process.

Disciplinary Action

  • Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting or internally disciplined because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority 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

Training

  • We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and so that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
  • We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the setting.
  • We ensure that the designated persons receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board

Planning

  • The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one to one situation without being visible to others.

Curriculum

  • We introduce key elements of child protection into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be ‘strong, resilient and listened to’ and so that they develop understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for the individual, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.

Disclosures

Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff:

  • offers reassurance to the child;
  • listens to the child; and
  • gives reassurance that she or he will take action.

The member of staff does not question the child

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

Staff make a record of:

  • the child’s name;
  • the age of the child;
  • the date and time of the observation or the disclosure;
  • an objective record of the observation or disclosure;
  • 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 securely in the child’s personal file.

All members of staff know the procedures for recording and reporting concerns, and we have a copy of ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’for reference.

Informing parents

  • 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 Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children Board 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.

 Confidentiality

  • All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children Board

Support to families

  • The setting believes in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers in the group.
  • The setting makes clear to parents its role and responsibilities in relation to Child Protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local social services department.
  • The setting continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
  • We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the social services department in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting the child and the family, subsequent to any investigation.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children Board
  • Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Tel No.01628 683234
  • NSPCC Tel No 0808 800 5000
  • Ofsted Tel No 0300 123 1231
  • Local Authority Designated Officer Tel No 01628 683202

 

Policy adopted at the management committee meeting held 23.4.2014