Safeguarding Policy

 

My first responsibility and priority is towards the children in my care. I am aware of the Dorset Safeguarding Children Board Procedures (dorsetlscb.co.uk, Email info@dorsetlscb.co.uk, tel: 01305 221196). The relevant local procedures are held by me and are available on request. The MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) is the single point of contact in Dorset to report concerns I have about the safety of a child or young person. If I am concerned about a child's welfare or worried they are being abused, I will make a referral to Children’s Social Care and will discuss concerns about a child who is already known to Social Care with the relevant team (numbers listed as follows):

If the child lives in Dorset            Telephone: 01202 228866   Email: MASH@dorsetcc.gov.uk

If the child lives in Poole               Telephone: 01202 735046   Email: MASH@poole.gov.uk

If the child lives in Bournemouth   Telephone: 01202 458101 Email: MASH@bournemouth.gov.uk

If my concern requires immediate advice out of normal office hours I will contact the Out of Hours Team on Tel: 01202 657279

Hampshire 0845 6035620 (out of hours service 0845 600 4555)

Louise Dodds – Safeguarding Officer for Early Years 01305 221122/07901 114847

I would speak to the Children’s Social Care duty officer/social worker to share my concerns over an incident or emerging pattern of concerns. The duty officer/social worker will discuss with their own manager and decide upon further action, if applicable. If the initial contact is taken by Children’s Social Care as a referral, I will send a written report within 48hrs. I may also seek advice from the NSPCC helpline – help@nspcc.org.uk or 0808 800 5000.

 

I am aware that I must have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism and radicalisation under The Prevent Duty (Section 65 Education and childcare specified authorities - those registered under Chapter 2 or 2a of Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006, including childminders). I am also aware of the signs and indicators of extremism or radicalisation. Please see my promoting British values and prevent duty policy for more details. If I had any concerns I would contact the Prevent Officer in my local Dorset area –01305-224768 and my Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) as above.

I am aware of the Department for Education telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable me to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised by email to counter.extemism@education.gsi.gov.uk or through Channel. In Dorset, this is through the Safeguarding Referral Unit at Dorset Police email: sru@dorset.pnn.police.uk

I must notify Ofsted of any allegations of abuse that are alleged to have taken place while the child is in my care, including any allegations against me, or any member of my family, or other adults or children in my home who have had contact with minded children. This will be made in writing within 48hrs. Dorset has a single Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who manages allegations against staff. This LADO role is undertaken by Patrick Crawford at Dorset County Council. You can contact the LADO on 01305 221122.

I must also ensure that no individual who is unsuitable to work with children has unsupervised access to a child in my care. I have read the national statutory guidance document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ and ‘What to do if you are Worried a Child is being Abused – Advice for Practitioners 2015.

I am aware of the amendments 2017 in The Pan Dorset Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Manual.

Under my Safeguarding review (I hold a Level 3 certificate in Safeguarding Children – June 2018), I have looked at all areas of Safeguarding including: Child Protection, anti-bullying policies, managing volunteers and parents who stay in the setting, use of mobile phones, health and safety, whistle blowing, safe internet use, use of photography, intimate care, staff conduct, managing allegations against myself or another member of my family, building design, and safer recruitment and selection if I choose to work with an assistant in the future.

The updated ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ continues to makes it a legal requirement to update child protection training every three years.   I hold a mandatory Level 3 qualification attained on 6th and 7th June 2018.

I understand that child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, neglect and domestic or a mixture of these. I am aware of the physical signs of abuse and the behavioural signs of abuse within the five categories.

 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This might involve punching; kicking, biting, burning, scalding, shaking, throwing or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child.  In pregnancy an unborn child can be harmed by domestic violence.

 Signs of possible physical abuse 

  • Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them

  • Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or rough games 

  • Injuries which have not received medical attention

  • Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming

  • Bruises, bites, burns and fractures, for example, which do not have an accidental explanation

  • The child gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of injuries

  • Frozen watchfulness

Action will be taken under this heading if I have 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

  1. Any signs of a mark or injury to a child when they come into my care will be recorded, discussed with the parent, and the parent asked to countersign the existing injury record. By signing the acknowledgement to the new Safeguarding Policy you as parents/carers will be aware of my procedures.

  2. The observed instances will be recorded and any marks recorded on a body map if the injury is clear to see and this adds to the description of the injury.

  3. If there appears to be any discrepancy or query regarding the injury or the injury is discovered after the parent/carer has left and the child discloses the name of the person causing the injury, this will be shared with MASH who may notify the police if there is any concern that the child is in danger of significant harm.

 

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may involve physical contact including penetrative sex, oral sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as involving children in watching sexual activities, producing or looking at sexual images, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Abusers can be men, women or other children.

Signs of possible sexual abuse

  • Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse

  • The child has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour for their age, or regularly engages in sexual play inappropriate for their age

  • Sexual activity through words, play or drawing

  • Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains

  • The child is sexually provocative or seductive with adults

  • Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home

  • Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares which sometimes have overt or veiled sexual connotations

  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

Action will be taken under this heading if I have witnessed occasions where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, and drawing or had an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour. Action will be taken if I have reason to believe or a child has indicated child sexual exploitation.

Procedure

  1. The observed instances will be recorded.

  2. The matter will be referred to MASH who will notify the police if there is any concern that the child is in danger of significant harm.

 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a severe adverse effect on a child's emotional development.  It includes conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Emotional abuse may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate.  It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child, over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from taking part in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person.  It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of children, or it may occur alone.

Signs of possible emotional abuse

  • Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety, changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clingy

  • Obsessions or phobias

  • Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration

  • Seeking adult attention and not mixing well with other children

  • Sleep or speech disorders

  • Negative statements about self

  • Highly aggressive or cruel to others

  • Extreme shyness or passivity

  • Running away, stealing and lying

Action will be taken under this heading if I 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 maltreatment or rejection.

 

Procedure

  1. The observed instances will be recorded.

  2. The matter will be referred to MASH who will notify the police if there is any concern that the child is in danger of significant harm.

 

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect is when a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), medical care, or protection from physical and emotional harm or danger.  It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after a child because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In pregnancy neglect may occur as a result of misusing alcohol or drugs.

Signs of possible neglect

  • Dirty skin, body smells, unwashed, uncombed hair and untreated lice

  • Clothing that is dirty, too big or small, or inappropriate for weather conditions

  • Frequently left unsupervised or alone

  • Frequent diarrhoea

  • Frequent tiredness

  • Untreated illnesses, infected cuts or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to

  • Frequently hungry

  • Overeating junk food

 

Action will be taken under this heading if I 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 results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive. A chapter ’Overweight and Obese Children’ has been added to The Pan Dorset Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Manual. This section sets out the need to act in cases where children’s health is affected by obesity and clearly states that serious obesity is a safeguarding issue and should be addressed as such.

 

Procedure

  1. The observed instances will be recorded.

  2. The matter will be referred to CSC who will notify the police if there is any concern that the child is in danger of significant harm.

 

Domestic

It's often difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening, because it usually takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are around.

Children who witness domestic abuse may:

  • become aggressive

  • display anti-social behaviour

  • suffer from depression or anxiety

  • not do as well at school - due to difficulties at home or disruption of moving to and from refuges.

 

Procedure

  1. The observed instances will be recorded.

  2. The matter will be referred to MASH who will notify the police if there is any concern that the child is in danger of significant harm.

 

The Children Act of 1989 places a duty on CSC (Children’s Social Care) to investigate such matters. As a registered childminder, I, Mrs Holly Orme will follow the procedures set out by DSCB (Dorset Safeguarding Children Board) and will take guidance from MASH on further action or procedures to be followed. All records will be kept confidential on a need to know basis.

Allegations of child abuse or neglect could lead to a criminal investigation so I will not do anything to jeopardise this, for example, ask a child leading questions or attempt to investigate allegations myself. I will listen carefully and not interrupt; I won’t promise confidentiality; I will clarify the facts with open questions but will not ask too much or try to investigate; I will not make judgements as to whether I think the child is telling the truth; I will try not to appear shocked or upset; I will not ask the child to repeat themselves; I will explain what actions I must take, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child; I will make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion; I will not inform the parents/carer if the child is alleging physical or sexual abuse but will contact the CSC and follow their advice on procedures. If initial clarification is needed or if requested by CSC, I may use open ended questions (T.E.D., Tell me, Explain to me and Describe to me) but I will be mindful that CSC and the police are responsible for child protection matters.

Allegations against myself, a member of my family or a visitor, or an assistant working with me

Action will be taken under this heading if a concern is raised or allegation is made against any of the above which suggests that a child has been harmed or is vulnerable to abuse. Dorset has a single Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who manages allegations against staff. This LADO role is undertaken by Patrick Crawford at Dorset County Council 01305 221122.

 

Procedure

  1. This should also be notified to me and I will contact CSC for advice (see tel. nos. above) and direction of procedure to follow. Alternatively, a parent or carer may contact CSC themselves.

  2. Ofsted will then be notified of the allegation.

  3. In all instances, I will record:

  • child’s full name and address

  • the date and time of the record

  • factual details of the concern, for example bruising, what the child said, who was present

  • details of any previous concerns

  • details of any explanations from myself, a member of my family or a visitor, or an assistant working with me, the parents

  • actions taken such as speaking to parents.

  1. Suspension of my childminding service/assistant may be considered necessary if:

  • There is cause to suspect a child is at risk of significant harm, or

  • The allegation warrants investigation by the police, or

  • In the case of an assistant, the allegation is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal.

 

In the case of an assistant, the suspended person will be suspended on half pay during the period of the investigation. If there is no proof of any misconduct and a suspended person is to return to work, appropriate support will be set up e.g. my management of contact with child/children/parents who made the allegation. If the complaint is upheld the assistant would be dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following usual disciplinary procedures.

Ensuring suitability of childminders/assistants to work with children

In accordance with the Childcare Act 2006 and the EYFS 2017 Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements, myself and any assistants that I may work with in the future, family members (aged 16yrs and over) living or working at 38 Ham Lane, Ferndown, will be subject to rigorous checks and reference checks (health check, reference check through the Disclosure and Barring Service under my Safer Recruitment and Selection Policy). I have a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm. I will follow the enhanced clarification of aspects of disqualification or living with a disqualified person when recruiting an assistant in the Revised 2017 EYFS. All assistants will be contracted to attend training in Safeguarding Children and Young People and will be asked to familiarise themselves with this document. Childminding assistant job roles include responsibility to safeguard children and report to the LADO any concerns.

We must:

  • Give comfort and support to the child as appropriate

  • Not force the child to talk about the abuse or ask leading questions

  • Maintain confidentiality for the protection of the child and family

  • Speak to children’s social care to ensure that appropriate action can be taken

  • Record, using clear language, what has been seen or heard

  • I must ensure that conduct (or that of assistants/family members) is at all times exemplary and does not put children in danger or bring the setting into disrepute

Visitors including students who have not undergone these checks will be fully supervised and never left alone with the children.

Visitors will be asked to sign in and read a statement regarding our commitment to safeguarding children and young people.

Working with parents and carers

I am providing all parents/carers with a copy of this Safeguarding Policy to impress upon all, my commitment to your child’s well-being; so that you will understand the clear procedure I will follow in the event that I have reason to believe that a child may be at significant risk of harm.

Parents/carers can be reassured that allegations against myself, family members, assistants, visitors, of abuse or neglect will be taken seriously and will be reported to CSC to investigate. The concern should be made to me or if I am the person who is the subject of the allegation, directly to Children’s Social Care.

At all times your child’s well-being comes first. I follow the procedures outlined in my confidentiality policy. I aim to share all information with parents but in some instances (where I am worried about a child’s well-being and think they are at risk of significant harm) I may make a referral to MASH or will dial 999 without having first discussed it with the parent/carer.

If a concern or allegation is reported to me, a decision will be made regarding the next step which could be to discuss the concern with the parent/carer; take further advice; or to raise the concern with MASH. The duty Officer/social worker will advise me on necessary procedures, depending on the severity of the concern. MASH may investigate if the concern has reached the threshold for this to be taken forward.

The CSC officer may arrange a visit to the family/setting to see the child and parents for themselves. If this leads them to suspect a child has been abused or neglected, advice and support will be offered to improve the care of the child.

I will continue to provide the best care for the child and work to support parents/carers in a confidential non-judgemental manner.

Whistle Blowing

Everyone connected to my setting should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of safeguarding. Any such concerns should be raised with me. If your concern is about me contact Children’s Social Care.

Mobile phone/camera/iPad

Under the Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2017, it is a requirement for me to get parental permission for using and storing personal information on my mobile phone and tablet. My mobile phone plays a vital role in my emergency plan both when the children and I are out and as part of our fire drill evacuation equipment. At all times, I will ensure that my phone is fully charged to be able to use in the event of emergencies and when necessary to contact parents/carers when their child is ill or so a parent/carer can contact me. For each child, I have all the emergency contact details as per contract/child record form stored in my mobile phone. By signing to say that you have read and understood my safeguarding policy, you give your permission for me to store these personal details on my mobile phone which will be subject to my Confidentiality Policy. My mobile phone has a camera facility, which I will use to take pictures of minded children. As I import the photos onto my computer I delete all photos of minded children from the camera on both my Phone and Tablet. Visitors to my home including parents/carers are requested not to take photographs that include other minded children as well as their own child on either their mobile phone or with a camera. Older minded children who have their own mobile phone will have its use restricted. All phones will be held by me and if a child wants to make a call they will be able to request to use their phone. They will not be allowed to use the camera facility to take photographs of any minded children. If your child has a games console etc. with camera facilities that they wish to bring into the setting please let me know. This is so that we can work together for the safety of all children in attendance and ensure appropriate access to material when using the internet.   My mobile phone and tablet have a password, so all personal details are protected in the event that the phone is either lost or stolen.

Under the Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2017, it is a requirement for me to get parental permission for the use of my camera, Phone and tablet. This is now part of the Safeguarding Policy. By signing to say you have read and understood my Safeguarding Policy you are giving permission for me, Mrs Holly Orme, to photograph or video your child/ren whilst in my care. These images will only be used in reports for parents, displays in the setting, for pictorial records for the children to enjoy; to enhance the child’s personal development observations in line with the EYFS guidelines which

 

Ofsted will inspect on a regular basis; to support my continuing qualifications and in newsletters.

By signing to say you have read and understood my Safeguarding Policy you are giving permission that the image of your child/ren’s face can appear alongside other children in the setting in photographs and videos that will be used in the above ways.

By signing you acknowledge that in videoing the children in play; they will regularly identify each other in conversation. This will create a situation where a child’s image and name are linked. By signing you are giving permission for this to happen, understanding that I, Mrs Holly Orme, am aware of my obligations under the General Date Protection Regulation and will not share these video images with anyone outside of the setting without parental consent from every child in the footage.

As a parent if you receive images of me and my family alongside your child/ren or alongside other children in the setting, you will respect me and my family’s privacy and that of the other children pictured, by not publishing or making the images available to the public in paper form, on any social networking sites (examples of such sites include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat/Kik, Yellow, Twitter, MySpace and You Tube), or in any other format. Photos posted on such a site become the property of the site. Please be respectful of me and my family’s privacy as well as the privacy of all children and families that use my setting if you share a photo with a family member and ensure they follow the same Safeguarding and Data Protection rules in not posting images on social networking sites.

At no time will I put any images of minded children onto social network sites. When posting blogs on my website of activities the children and I have enjoyed, I will make sure that any child’s face is obscured or the photo is edited so a child is only visible by their core and limbs.

The images that I take are stored in folders for each child on my computer, which is not used by any other member of my family. The computer is protected by a password in the event that it is stolen. Images are regularly transferred from my tablet and Phone (which are password protected) to the computer and then deleted on the devices in line with my obligations to protect personal information being passed without the person’s consent (General Data Protection Regulation)

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