SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND CHILD PROTECTION
Little Rockets Childcare 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.
Staff and volunteers
Our designated person who co-ordinates child protection issues is : Amanda Saunders (or her Deputy in her absence) at Langney nursery and Sonya Willson (or her Deputy in her absence) at Eastbourne.
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 children’s needs.
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 Records 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 protection of Vulnerable Groups Act requirements, 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 in our visitors book.
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. Proof of identity will always be sought.
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, Amanda Saunders, Sonya Willson or the child’s key person will make a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with Amanda or Sonya. 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. In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
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, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect, that member of staff :
1. listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
2. does not question the child;
3. makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes :
the date and time of the observation or the 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(s) present at the time.
These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s personal file which is kept secure and confidentially.
Making a referral to the local authority social care team
We keep detailed procedures for making a referral to the local social care team, as well as a template form 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 the detailed guidelines given.
All members of staff are familiar with and follow the procedures for recording and reporting.
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 Local Safeguarding Children’s 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.
Liaison with other agencies
We work within the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board 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.
Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and National Safeguarding Unit 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, which may include an allegation of abuse.
We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff, or volunteer within the setting has abused a child.
We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting 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 care department to investigate. We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted and what measures we have taken. We 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 the setting owner and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the owner will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the 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 children and families throughout the process.