Doncaster’s locality Family Hubs recognise the importance of their support services to families, children, young people and adults and its particular responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of those who are vulnerable or at risk.

We believe that the welfare of children is paramount and that all children have the right to protection of abuse, regardless of their age, culture, disability, gender, racial origin, language, religious belief or sexual orientation.

A child for the purpose of this policy, as defined by the Children Act 1989 and 2004, is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th Birthday.

The Children Act 1989 introduced Significant Harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children. Harm is defined as the ill treatment in the Children Act 1989, s.31 (Legislation.gov.uk, 2012) as “ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development “.This definition was clarified in section 120 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (implemented on 31 January 2005) so that it may include, “for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another”.

The categories of Significant Harm are:

  •  Physical Abuse
  •  Sexual Abuse
  •  Emotional Abuse
  •  Neglect

Further definitions and information can be found on the Local and South Yorkshire Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Guidance at:

http://www.dscb.co.uk/

Doncaster Family Hubs adhere to the principles that underpin work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, these are:

  •  Child centred
  •  Rooted in Child development
  •  Focused on Outcomes for children
  •  Holistic in Approach
  •  Ensuring Equality of Opportunity
  •  Involving Children and families
  •  Integrated approach – a continuing process not an event
  •  Informed by Evidence
  •  Safe working practices

In order to achieve this, we are required to:

  •  Listen to, value, encourage and support those we work with
  •  Provide clear internal procedures for identifying and dealing with concerns
    about possible abuse, and ensure their implementation
  •  Provide effective management for staff, students and volunteers through
    supervision, support and training
  •  Include continuous risk assessment within our work with families
  •  Recruit Safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  •  Share information about child protection and good practice with children
    parents, staff, students and volunteers
  •  Develop and maintain effective information sharing with statutory services and other agencies, involve children and parents as appropriate
  •  Work collaboratively with local safeguarding children boards

Doncaster’s locality Family Hubs have a duty to report any suspicions around abuse to Doncaster Children’s Referral and Response whether this stems from allegations against staff, volunteers, carers or the general public.

The Children Act 1989 (Section 47[1]) places a duty on Social Care and Health to investigate such matters. The locality children’s centre will follow the procedures set out in the Local and South Yorkshire Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Guidance and as such will seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently.
The Local and South Yorkshire Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Guidance can be found on the following link:

http://doncasterscb.proceduresonline.com/

Designated Persons:

In the first instance the designated person for child protection in the *insert your area here

Area Family Hubs is:

Locality Manager: *insert DLM name here
Telephone: *insert telephone number here

♦ Please see appendix 1 – List of Policies and Procedures updated at November 2016 in- light of the guidance – ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)

An allegation of child abuse or neglect could lead to a criminal investigation so staff will not do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation, for example, ask a child leading questions or attempt to investigate the allegations of abuse.

  •  This policy applies to all staff, students and volunteers.
  •  Any allegation or concern about abuse must be responded to.
  •  Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everybody’s business although our individual roles in the process may be different.

Confidentiality

  •  All records must be stored in a lockable cabinet and accessible to on request of the Local Authority or Regulatory Body.
  •  Staff will maintain confidentiality at all times and share information only on a need to know basis and where information sharing is to protect the welfare of the child
  •  Should there be a need to share information with another agency; Data Protection Policy must be adhered to and in line with the local authorities Information Sharing Protocol.

Staff Training

All staff must have a basic awareness of safeguarding protocols and child protection procedures. Training must be untaken three yearly, which is outlined in Working together to Safeguard Children 2015.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/592101/Working_Together_to_Safeguard_Children_20170213.pdf

It is in the best interest of the Hub to ensure that members of staff are trained in Multi Agency Safeguarding Level 3.

Allegations involving staff

Children’s Social Care takes the lead role in enquiring about child protection issues related to the child whilst the employer retains the responsibility for disciplinary actions related to their staff member, volunteer or carer. The employer will follow the disciplinary procedure as detailed within the employee’s employment contract.

The local authority has appointed a designated officer (Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO) to oversee the investigation of all allegations and to maintain detailed records of their conduct and the outcomes. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is responsible for this work and can be contacted to answer general enquiries about these procedures and their implementation.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) – Jim Foy 01302 737332

Other useful contacts:

Referral and Response Team within 24 hours: 01302 737777 or the relevant area team should the family already have a social worker.

  • Urgent referral outside office hours: 01302 796000
  • Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board (DCSB): 01302 734279
  • South Yorkshire Police, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm: 01709 832793
  • South Yorkshire Police, out of hours: 01142 202020

All members of staff are required to carefully read this policy and associated links to related policies and procedures and to be aware of their role in these processes.

Name: *insert DLM name here

Date Signed: *insert date signed here

Signature: *DLM to sign here

Date Agreed: October 2017
Review Date: October 2018