Child Protection Policy and Procedure
The 2017 EYFS indicates that children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them (EYFS page 16:3.1). The child protection section of the EYFS (16:3.4) identifies the importance of providers being alert to any concerns in the child’s life, home or elsewhere, along with the importance of having a named designated person to hold the overall responsibility for safeguarding children.
Insert name here is the named designated person for the setting, however everybody has a ‘duty of care’ to protect children and can therefore themselves make a direct referral to the relevant agency.
The HM Government document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
This policy will set out the procedures I will follow to ensure that your child will be kept safe whilst in my care, that any concerns will be quickly acted upon to ensure their welfare is protected and that children are supported to understand their own safety and the safety of their peers through the introduction and implementation of the Fundamental British Values.
As a childminder I aim to:
- Never put children at risk whilst they are accessing my setting
- Work within my confidentiality policy to ensure any information is shared taking into account the Data Protection Act 1998
- Access training every two years as defined within the ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 document. Assistants will access training every three years but will be informed of any updates on a regular basis. Mandatory training will include: Basic Awareness, Refresher in Safeguarding Children, PREVENT/WRAP and FGM online training. All certificates will be copied and stored confidentially in the staff folder
- Be vigilant to signs and indicators or abuse, including any of the wider safeguarding criteria, including: Radicalisation, FGM, CSE, DV, Peer on Peer abuse, Online Abuse (cyber bullying), Fabricated Illness and Private Fostering
- Ensure children are protected against dangerous dogs whilst accessing my setting, this will include parents/carers collecting with dogs, school arrival and collection and outings
- Regularly review and update this policy in line with Local, National and legislative changes. Reviews will take place immediately after the policy has been used or at least annually
- Share the child protection policy and procedure with parents at the point of registration and inform them regularly of any amendments to the policy
To ensure children are safeguarded within the setting, I will:
- Request that all visitors to the setting sign in and out of the visitors book
- Ensure all people living in the setting who are 16 years and over and regular visitors complete an enhanced criminal record check through the DBS. All DBS reference numbers will be recorded and stored within the setting
- Contact the LADO and Ofsted where there is an allegation made against myself, staff or anyone living in the household or regular visitor
- Carry out a comprehensive recruitment process (where appropriate), considering employment history, qualifications and eligibility to work within the UK. All applicants will be expected to complete a declaration of suitability at the point of application, in addition two references will be sought
- Complete a thorough induction procedure with new staff, students and volunteers to ensure they are clear of their responsibilities for safeguarding children
- Carry out risk assessment to ensure any assistants awaiting a DBS check are never left alone with the children or carry out intimate care routines
- Ensure that anyone carrying out school runs or accompanying children on outings are appropriately vetted by Ofsted (EY2 form), have a clear enhanced DBS check and have accessed Paediatric First Aid. Assistants will never have sole charge of the children for any longer than two hours in any one day and this will be arranged in consultation with the parent/carer
- Complete comprehensive risk assessments for the indoor and outdoor provision, school runs and outings
- Follow the procedure for monitoring children’s absences
- Allocate each child a named key person on entry, along with a ‘buddy’ to this role, this will ensure that children are supported at all times and that parents have a central point of contact
- Request parental consent to take images of the children. I will inform parents of the reasons for taking any photographs, how they will be used, how they will be printed and stored and how after use, they will be disposed off
- Register with the ICO
- Ensure appropriate use of mobile phones whilst in the setting (this includes the parents)
- Ensure that any face book page is confidential through a ‘closed account’
- Complete comprehensive accident and incident forms should the need arise. These will be shared with the parent/carer at the point of collection and a parental signature requested. All completed documentation will be stored confidentially and monitored on a regular basis
- Request that parents complete and existing injury form for any injuries that have taken place away from the setting, these will be stored confidentially and regularly monitored to ensure children are adequately safeguarded
- Administer medication as identified in the ‘administering medication’ policy and procedure
Categories of abuse and wider safeguarding responsibilities
Physical abuse – May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child
Fabricated illness – Fabricated or induced illness (FII) is a rare form of child abuse. It occurs when a parent or carer, usually the child’s biological mother, exaggerates or deliberately causes symptoms of illness in the child.
FII covers a wide range of symptoms and behaviours involving parents seeking healthcare for a child. This ranges from extreme neglect (failing to seek medical care) to induced illness.
Behaviours in FII include a mother or other carer who:
- persuades healthcare professionals that their child is ill when they’re perfectly healthy
- exaggerates or lies about their child’s symptoms
- manipulates test results to suggest the presence of illness – for example, by putting glucose in urine samples to suggest the child has diabetes
- deliberately induces symptoms of illness – for example, by poisoning her child with unnecessary medication or other substances
Sexual abuse – Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Child Sexual Exploitation – Sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse and can be defined as the following: Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability
Female Genital Mutilation – Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the partial or full cutting of a girl’s clitoris and labia, for non-medical reasons, nearly always on girls between four and 12 years old.
The procedure can cause severe bleeding, infection, infertility and even death. Afterwards, girls are often taken out of school and forced into early marriage. FGM can have devastating physical, psychological, and social consequences for the rest of girls’ lives.
There are four main types of FGM:
- Type 1 (clitoridectomy)– removing part or all of the clitoris.
- Type 2 (excision)– removing part or all of the clitoris and the inner labia (lips that surround the vagina), with or without removal of the labia majora (larger outer lips).
- Type 3(infibulation)– narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal, formed by cutting and repositioning the labia.
- Other harmful procedures to the female genitals, including pricking, piercing, cutting, scraping or burning the area.
FGM can follow a different referral process, please see the referral section for further information
Neglect – The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Emotional Abuse – The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), 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 maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Private Fostering – When children and young people are looked after by someone who is not their parent or a close relative, this could be private fostering. It is a private arrangement between the parent/ person with PR, and someone else. Doncaster Children’s Services Trust (DCST) does not facilitate the arrangement, but has a duty to assess and monitor it, to safeguard the child.
Private Fostering is when a child or young person:
- Is aged under 16 (18 if they have a disability)
- Who lives with someone outside their immediate family (‘close relative’ is someone related by blood/ affinity, e.g. brother, sister, half sibling, uncle, aunt, grandparent or anyone with parental responsibility. Others, e.g. friend, neighbour, great aunt and uncle, great grandparents are defined as private foster carers)
- The arrangement is for more than 28 days
If I become aware of any Private Fostering arrangements I will make a referral directly to the Referral and Response Team on 01302 737777 or alternatively I will contact Florence Jurua Joseph on 07881 832134 or 01302 737789 or 734771 or email: Florence-Jurua.Joseph@dcstrust.co.uk
A child makes a disclosure or you are worried a child is being abused
- Where a child makes a disclosure of abuse it is important that I give my full attention to the child, showing him that I am interest in what he is saying
- I will not promise confidentiality, I will however explain to the child that I am going to help him and only speak to those people who will be able to help
- I will reassure the child that what has happened is not their fault, this will eliminate any guilt the child may be experiencing
- I will record the conversation on a ‘confidential record form’, the conversation will be recorded exactly how the child has described, I will not put my own assumptions within the policy
- I will not ask the child any leading questions, I will allow the child to speak at his own pace but offer reassurance
- For disclosure of abuse I will make an immediate referral to the Referral and Response Team on: 01302 737777. Explaining events
- I will complete the ‘Multi-agency Referral form’ within 24 hours of receiving it, I will however ascertain a way for this to be emailed back to R & R securely
- All conversations will be recorded and a chronology started, this will be added to through the duration of the investigation, where conversations or correspondence has taken place
- If I am uncertain as to whether a child is at risk of potential harm I will contact the help line numbers of R&R for further advice and support on: 01302 737722, 737636, 737033
Referral for FGM
If during my role as a childminder I observe evidence to suggest that a female child has been a victim of FGM, I will inform the police on 101 as a criminal act has been committed. The mandatory referral is part of the legal duty identified within the FGM Act 2003 (amended in the Serious Crime Act 2015). If I have reason to believe that the child may have FGM carried out as a crime has not yet been committed I follow my usual procedure for referral and follow advise provided, this may result in a referral to the police.
Allegations against a member of staff
- As a childminder I have a complaints procedure in place and this is shared with the parents at the point of registration. I explain that should they have any concerns about any aspect of my practice then they are within their rights to make a formal complaint following the procedure. In addition if any of my staff have concerns about a colleagues conduct then they themselves can make a complaint following the whistleblowing policy and procedure.
- If a child, parent or staff member makes an allegation against myself, my staff or anybody living or visiting my premises I will contact the LADO in the first instance to inform him of the allegation and to ascertain the next steps moving forward, this may result in an internal investigation taking place.
- Contact to the LADO will be within 24 hours.
- Ofsted will be informed following contact with the LADO, this will be with immediate effect but within 14 days as identified within the EYFS Statutory framework. Following advice from the LADO a referral may be made to the DBS
- A chronology will be implemented and will continue for the duration of the investigation
Parents must contact me if their child is going to be absent from my setting. If the child fails to attend and I have had no correspondence from/with the parent, I will contact them direct. If I am unable to make contact I will ring the other contacts listed on the child’s registration form in order to ascertain a reason for the absence, this will take place within an hour of the child’s expected arrival time. Dates and reasons for absence will be recorded and regularly monitored. Unexplained absences may result in a referral being made to the police.
Peer on Peer
If I observe peer on peer abuse I will follow my behaviour policy, all incidents will be recorded and where possible shared with the parents. Good behaviour will be promoted through the Fundamental British values
I am aware that abuse can happen online and this can be problematic due to children’s access to the internet. Children will not have sole use of electronics during their time in the child minding setting. The use of the computer, laptop or tablet will be under strict supervision by me. Any internet use will be restricted and appropriate security controls implemented. Children are not permitted to bring their own electronic devices into my setting as this would prove difficult to manage. I will support parents to keep their children safe online within the home environment by providing appropriate literature. If I have concerns regarding cyber bullying or children being groomed on the internet I will make appropriate referrals to the Referral and Response team on 01302 737777
Children directly or indirectly involved in Domestic Violence can be affected both physically and emotionally, if I have reason to believe that any of the children accessing my setting are victims of domestic violence I will make a direct referral to the Referral and Response team on 01302 737777. All concerns will be recorded and stored confidentially
To be in line with the updates of the DSCB, the following procedure will be implemented in order to ensure the children’s safety in relation to dangerous dogs:
- My own dogs will be kept away from the children. A risk assessment will be implemented to identify any risk associated with the dog, this will include the importance of ‘cleaning up’ after the dog prior to the children arriving for their session. My dogs will access a section of the outdoor provision away from the children
- Parents/carers will be discouraged to bring their dogs when they are arriving and/or departing the setting
- The children will be educated that not all dogs are friendly and that contact with any dog will only take place when being supervised by me
- There will be risk assessments in place for each type of outing where dog safety will be considered
There may be times where a child and family would benefit from additional support to ensure their health and development are not compromised, this does not necessarily mean that the child is at risk of intentional harm. Where additional support is identified I will meet with the parents and discuss the concerns I have. Often a referral to the Early Help Hub may be necessary in order to complete an Early Help Assessment, this can only be completed with parental consent. The contact for the Early Help Hub is 01302 734110
The Prevent Strategy of 2011 highlighted the importance of recognising when people are being radicalised which could result in them being engaged in terrorism. The 2015 Prevent guidance provides early years providers will information and advice in their role for protecting the welfare of children. If I believe that any children, staff and parents accessing my setting are being radicalised I will follow the Doncaster Channel procedures and contact the Prevent Officer – Inspector Brendan Packenham on 0114 2961374 or 07769 131474
There are times when the vulnerability of children is increased and therefore an ‘easy target’ for abuse. As a child minder I understand that children with SEND and EAL may have an increased vulnerability level. I will be vigilant to any changes in their behaviour that could cause concern and follow guidance as provided in the ‘safeguarding children with disabilities 2009’ document. I will make appropriate referrals if needed to the Referral and Response team on 01302 737777.
- Referral and Response – 01302 737777
- Referral and Response helplines – 01302 737722, 01302 737636, 01302 737033
- Urgent out of office referrals – 01302 796000
- Early Help Hub – 01302 734110
- Ofsted 0300 123 1231
- Police – Non-emergency – 101/112 Emergency – 999
- Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO – 01302 737748
- Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board – 01302 734747
- Child Sexual Exploitation Team – 01302 732200
- Private Fostering – 01302 734771
- DBS – 0870 909 0811 or 0300 0200 190
- PREVENT – Inspector Brendan Packenham – 0114 2961374 or 07769 131474
- Jayne Bloodworth – Early Years’ Service – 01302 734434 or 07790390369