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SAFEGUARDING AND PROMOTING CHILDREN’S WELFARE POLICY.

Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is April Alderton (DSL) ,

Deputies are Emma Colliety & Julie Perôt (DDSL)

 

We believe the welfare, safety and protection of children are paramount. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

 

Safeguarding is the process protecting all children from abuse, both physical and emotional or neglect, preventing impairment of their health, wellbeing or development.

Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare.  Child protection refers to the process of protecting individual children identified as either suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm. Safeguarding ensures that children are provided with safe and effective care, so that they are able to have optimum life chances and enter childhood successfully.

 

Our aim through this policy is to promote prevention through professional knowledge of our children and families, be aware of, identify and report cases, or suspected cases, of abuse, whilst supporting children who have been abused. At Whytebeams our day-to-day contact with children and families provides the opportunity for Nursery Staff to be well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse, or neglect. Our policy and procedure apply to all Staff, volunteers and visitors working in the setting. Any of the adults may be the first point of disclosure for a child. Concerned parents may also contact staff.

 

Managing Safeguarding the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) and DDSL (Deputy)

 

  1. Will be the lead person/s for managing safeguarding and managing any concerns that are noticed or reported. They will follow the procedure below and Local Authorities procedures which may include referral via Croydon’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

  2. Will be trained or awaiting training in Safeguarding Children levels 1 and 2. Either DSL or 1 deputy will be trained to level 3. This will be renewed every 2 years.

  3. Will be always available in person or by telephone whilst the nursery is in operation for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.

  4. Will regularly discuss all children's progress, development, welfare and wellbeing as part of every staff supervision, appraisals, meetings and as necessary.

  5. Will specifically staff ask if they have any safeguarding concerns at regular planned opportunities such as during 1-1 supervision and appraisals and know they can raise concerns outside these times. 

  6. Will follow our procedure and the local authorities safeguarding guidelines when concerns are raised which may include referral via the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or to the LADO.

  7. Will inform OFSTED of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any persons working with or looking after children at our setting, within 14 days. This includes any suspicions we have of maltreatment by persons outside of the setting. 

 

 

All Whytebeams Staff:

 

  1. Will have a digital copy of, read, sign and abide by this policy, being aware of their responsibilities to it. This will form part of their induction and ongoing training. Annual refreshers will be provided along with updates as they happen.

  2. Will have regard for the government’s statutory guidance ‘Working together to Safeguard Children, The Prevent Duty, Keeping Children Safe In Education, Early Years Qualifications and Requirements, Disqualification Under The Childcare Act, Special Educational Needs and Disability Code Of Practice 0-25.’

  3. Will have regard for the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements and advice document ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused.’ A copy is kept in the safeguarding file.

  4. Will be kept up to date with information and resources and uphold confidentiality as appropriate, unless to do so would put a child at risk.

  5. Will be trained or awaiting training for Safeguarding Children Level 1, FGM awareness and Prevent Duty, (not including volunteers or visitors) This will be renewed regularly as required.

  6. Will have suitable references, probationary period, a clear enhanced DBS check and regular supervision to include a declaration of suitability. Evidence of this will be available in staff records. DBS will be reapplied for by Whytebeams every 3 years.

  7. Will promote children's understanding of keeping themselves safe at an age-appropriate level.

  8. Will have the opportunity to discuss concerns and issues about the well-being of individual children (e.g. relating to their health, development, behaviour or protection) at staff meetings, supervision, appraisals or as necessary at any time.

  9. Will have a good awareness of the possible signs of abuse and concerns.

  10. Will follow our procedure and the local authorities safeguarding guidelines where there are safeguarding concerns or disclosures and follow the Local Authorities procedure for ‘what to do if you’re concerned about a child.’

  11. Will report safeguarding and welfare concerns to the DSL or DDSL as soon as possible and

  12. Will record and respond appropriately to disclosures, comments or observations of concern, including injuries outside the setting.

  13. Will report any inappropriate behaviour by a fellow staff member under the Whistle Blowing Policy.

  14. Will seek emergency medical help or police support immediately if necessary.

 

It is everyone’s responsibility to have regard for and respond appropriately to the signs or possible signs of abuse, not limited to:

 

  1. significant or unusual changes in children’s behaviour, welfare, development or attendance.

  2. unexplained bruising, marks, injuries or signs of possible neglect or abuse.

  3. the comments children make which give cause for concern.

  4. deterioration in a child’s general well being.

  5. play that is inappropriate for the child’s age or is mature.

  6. signs of the exposure to extremist ideas, radicalisation or terrorism including FGM (female genital mutilation).

  7. the additional barriers that exist in recognising abuse for children with special needs and or disabilities.

 

Concern should be shown about a child’s welfare if:

 

  1. standards of health, cleanliness or physical care are not maintained

  1. they are exceptionally thin and regularly tired and/or lethargic.

  2. they are regularly hungry and desperate for food especially after a weekend.

  3. a child’s lunch is regularly insufficient or unhealthy.

  4. they are repeatedly dressed inappropriately e.g. in thin clothes during the winter or their clothes are regularly dirty and/or smelly.

  5. the person delivering and collecting the child is never the same.

  6. the child has an untreated medical condition, which would improve with basic care.

  7. the child has significant developmental delay and the parent continually declines additional support services such as speech and language or a paediatric referral.

  8. the child has regular unexplained absences or long periods of absence.

 

 

PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS

 

Staff are trained to spot the possible signs of abuse. Their day to day work with children generally allows them to see these signs or changes. Regular staff supervision enables staff to discuss children welfare or any concerns with the Manager and DSL. If we notice any of the above or have safeguarding concerns they will be recorded on a safeguarding log, welfare log or incident log as appropriate and the DSL or DDSL will be informed as soon as possible, the same working day. They will follow the local authority’s procedure to make a decision about any necessary course of action, which may include: starting a chronology (timeline) to monitor and review, speaking with parent’s and offering support through an Early Help referral, seeking advice from Children’s Social Care (CSC) or a child protection referral via MASH. The Police will be contacted where there is immediate risk of harm or the law has been broken. We will usually liaise with parents unless we believe doing so would endanger the child.  The DSL or DDSL will check records termly and where there are patterns, repeat logs or concerns for an individual child, a chronology will be started to monitor the safeguarding of an individual child. An action plan may be made with a date for reviewing the information and any further action to be taken, when and by who.

                                                                                          

IMPORTANT CONTACT DETAILS

 

CROYDON MULTI AGENCY SAFEGUARDING HUB (MASH) for referrals to Children’s Social Care (CSC), Early Help or Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH).

 

When considering a referral, the Croydon threshold guidance should be checked first. Situations meeting the threshold should be referred by completing a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) via

 https://www.croydon.gov.uk/children-young-people-and-families/child-protection-and-safeguarding/report-concern-about-child

 

 

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm - for urgent child protection matters needing immediate response –

Tel: 0208 255 2888

Professional’s consultation line for advice Tel: 0208 726 6464 - Mon-Fri 13.00-16.30

Out Of Hours Emergency Duty Team (for urgent child protection matters needing an immediate response) - Tel: 0208 726 6400

For children known to have an allocated social worker or keyworker Tel: 0208 726 6000 Option 1.

 

Call the Police on 999 if a child is at immediate risk of harm

 

 

WHEN INJURIES & INCIDENTS OCCUR OUTSIDE THE SETTING

 

As part of this policy, we require parents and carers to make us aware of any significant changes in behaviour, incidents, accidents, hospitalisation, a child attending A&E and why, marks, cuts or bruises sustained by a child outside of nursery. We expect to be informed at the beginning of the child’s session following the incident/accident/behaviour for the child’s safety. We have a responsibility to ask the parents/carers how the injury or incident happened. This must be recorded on a notification of injury form, signed by the parent / carer, the member of staff who has been told and countersigned by the manager or the deputy manager. The manager or deputy should consider whether the child is well enough to remain at nursery with any significant injury or one that could be aggravated during the nursery day.

 

If a member of staff discovers an injury which we have not been informed of, we will ask the child how it happened if appropriate and with support. We may call the parent for information on how the injury occurred or to discuss the matter. A notification of injury form must be completed upon discovery by the member of staff and reported to the manager or deputy. We will discuss the matter with the parent/carer upon collection or immediately if appropriate. Parents will be required to sign the notification of injury form. Any sensitive or confidential incidents/notifications must be written on a confidential incident form, or safeguarding log if appropriate, completed by all relevant parties then locked in the filing cabinet. This policy protects children within our care whilst safeguarding Whytebeams from accusations that the injury/ies were obtained whilst the child was at the group. It is the responsibility of the manager or deputy manager or DSL to act upon the information passed on to them appropriately and in accordance with local authority guidelines.

 

 

WORKING TO CREATE A PROTECTIVE ETHOS

 

Staff should create an ethos of maximum respect by:

 

  1. Actively building children's self esteem and their ability to be assertive.

  2. Offer choices and accept the child's right to say no.

  3. Actively listen to the child on a daily basis.

  4. Communicate with parents and build a 2-way, positive working relationship with them.

  5. Not be afraid to address any concerns with parents in an appropriate way.

  6. Be knowledgeable about child protection issues, procedures and who to refer to.

  7. Teach children about personal safety and help them to assess risk.

 

  1. Be aware of changes in children’s physical appearance, behaviour or emotional state.

  2. Log observations and concerns routinely and discuss with the appropriate person.

  3. Avoid having a special relationship with any one child.

  4. Model and teach appropriate space.

  5. Ensuring that you are clear on our policies for : Safeguarding and Child Protection & Whistle-blowing.

  6. If in doubt about how your actions towards a child may appear - DON'T DO IT.

 

DISCLOSURE BY A CHILD

 

Any disclosure or comments made by the child should be logged immediately on a safeguarding log or within 24 hours and reported immediately to the safeguarding lead or deputy. They will take the appropriate action and follow the LA guidelines. Dated observations and detailed records should be kept in the safeguarding log and kept in a locked filing cabinet. The safeguarding file contains the local authority guidelines, procedures and contact details.

 

STAFF POLICY ON DISCLOSURE

HOW TO RESPOND TO A CHILD TELLING YOU ABOUT ABUSE

 

  1. Stay calm and reassuring.

  2. Find a quiet place to talk and allow the child to speak in their own time.

  3. Listen to the child, confirm details but do not ask leading questions.

  4. Reassure the child; explain you are glad they told you.

  5. Believe in what you are told

  6. Let the child know that they are not to blame.

  7. Do not make promises you can’t keep or make assumptions.

  8. Make brief and factual notes at the time or immediately after.

  9. Report the matter to the safeguarding lead or deputy lead

 

 

PROCESS FOLLOWING DISCLOSURE

 

  1. The staff member who has heard the disclosure must inform the safeguarding lead or deputy immediately.

  2. The staff member must make an official record as soon as possible and within 24 hours on a safeguarding form. This will be signed by the staff member and countersigned by the safeguarding lead or deputy. Records should be clearly written and factual.

  3. The safeguarding lead or deputy will assess the risk and contact SPOC putting local authority procedures into place. A referral or urgent referral will be made dependent on the situation and in line with the correct timescales.

  4. If a child is believed to be in immediate physical danger the Police should be contacted on 999. If a child needs medical assistance this should be sought and the parents should be informed.

  5. Parents will be informed unless to do so would put the child and any evidence at risk.

  6. Ensure that the child’s safety is are paramount and that they are away from the alleged abuser.

 

 

DISAGREEMENTS ABOUT THE NEED FOR REFERRAL

 

If staff and managers disagree about the need for referral they should seek advice. If the matter cannot be resolved, staff can make a referral on their own by following the guidelines in the Safeguarding file or online via

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/children-young-people-and-families/child-protection-and-safeguarding/report-concern-about-child

 

 

PREVENT DUTY – The duty to be aware of and challenge Terrorism and Extremism

 

Prevent Duty was introduced in July 2015 and aims to safeguard people from becoming terrorist or supporting terrorism. The duty widens our safeguarding values and duties. Whytebeams staff will have an awareness for families who may be drawn into terrorism and extremism and undertake Government training regularly as advised by the Local Authority. We will promote ‘British Values’ within the EYFS curriculum within the areas of PSE and UW. This includes helping children ‘learn right from wrong, mix and share with other children, value each other’s views, know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes. We will not intrude unnecessarily on family life but will take action if we observe behaviour of concern.

 

Safeguarding (Including Prevent Duty) is everyone’s responsibility including parents, careers, visitors and the wider public and concerns should be reported via the UK Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0200 739 321. If you suspect immediate danger, you should call 999.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance/revised-prevent-duty-guidance-for-england-and-wales

 

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community-and-safety/safety/prevent-strategy

 

MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF

WHISTLE  BLOWING POLICY

A ‘Whistle blower’ is an employee that reports a fellow employee or employer’s misconduct. It is our intention that staff working at Whytebeams Nursery feel confident about coming forward and reporting any issues/concerns that they may have regarding the conduct of a fellow member of staff, whilst remaining protected from any subsequent discrimination. Whistle blowing will always be taken seriously and dealt with fairly, promptly and sensitively.  If an allegation is received about a member of staff, or a child makes a disclosure, the DSL will follow the local authority’s procedure for managing allegations against staff which is located in the safeguarding file or via this link:

 

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/children-young-people-and-families/professionals-working-children-and-young-people/report-concern-about-member-staff

 

Our Aim Is To:

 

  1. Ensure staff understand their responsibilities and feel confident in raising and reporting a serious concern at the earliest opportunity.

  1. Provide regular opportunities i.e. supervision, appraisals and meetings for staff to raise and discuss concerns.

  2. Ensure that staff receive a response to their concerns and that they are aware of how to pursue them if they are not satisfied.

  3. Reassure staff that they will be protected from possible reprisals, harassment or victimisation if they have made any disclosures in good faith.

  4. Support those involved including parents, carers, children, the person making the allegation and the person who is the subject of the allegation.

  5. Ensure that all members of staff understand the procedures to be followed in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff.

 

You should be concerned if a staff member, visitor, volunteer has;

  1. Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child.

  2. Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates they are unsuitable to work with children or demonstrated inappropriate treatment/care of a child.

  3. Shown discrimination or abuse of any kind, including physical, emotional, verbal or sexual.

  4. Given you cause for concern regarding the health and safety or wellbeing of a child/ren or behaved in a way which makes you feel uncomfortable.

  5. Had an incident in their personal life which may suggest they are unsuitable to work with children.

 

What to do or who to reported it to;

Report concerns to the safeguarding lead or deputy in their absence, who will follow the local authority’s procedure. If there are concerns about the safeguarding lead’s behaviour, please report these to the deputy safeguarding lead.

 

If you don’t feel able to report concerns in the workplace?

In the event that an employee feels the matter cannot be discussed with the anyone in the workplace they should contact The LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) Their full contact details can be found in the safeguarding file, at the back of the register, inside the kitchen cupboard or online.

 

LADO Service Manager Steve Hall : steve.hall@croydon.gov.uk Telephone: 020 8726 6000 Ext 24334 Mobile: 07825 830328

LADO - Jane Parr : jane.parr@croydon.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 8726 6000 Ext 24817 Mobile: 07716 092630

Email: LADO@croydon.gov.uk  

 

Karen Anns  (Business Support Coordinator)  0208 726 6000 Ext 23981

 

Switchboard 0208 760 6400. Ofsted can also be contacted on 0300 123 1231 for advice.

 

 

If you are the person making the allegation – this could be a staff member, parent or member of the public.

 

The safeguarding lead will listen, support you and record your concerns on a safeguarding log, ensuring you have made the allegations in good faith. Every attempt will be made to keep confidentiality. The safeguarding lead will then follow the local authority’s procedure for managing allegations against staff.

 

If you are the subject of the allegation.

 

The safeguarding lead or deputy will clarify the allegation with the person making it and will report initial facts to the LADO for advice and follow that advice. You may not be notified immediately as to do so would risk any investigation, or evidence being compromised which could lead to a child being silenced. You will be supported at the appropriate level and kept informed of progress when advised and given timeframes if possible. Disciplinary action including suspension or dismissal could be the outcome if there are legitimate grounds for concern.

 

If a member of staff has obviously assaulted a child advice will be sought from the LADO. The staff member may be suspended with immediate effect and the police should be informed. Disciplinary action will follow.

 

Once concerns are brought to the safeguarding lead or deputy lead, they will:

 

  1. Ensure the child is safe.

  2. Make a written record of the concerns with the person raising them on a safeguarding form. Both should sign and date the form and the deputy safeguarding lead should countersign. Names, times and initial facts should be clearly recorded

  3. Immediately follow the local authority’s process for managing allegations against staff.

  4. Contact the LADO within 24 hours for advice on how to proceed.

  5. Take action, as advised by the LADO in accordance with our policy.

  6. Inform the Police if a staff member has obviously assaulted a child.

  7. The safeguarding lead or deputy must NOT speak to the child or member of staff in relation to the allegation.

 

 

THE ROLE OF THE LADO

The LADO will decide where the threshold for investigation under child protection procedure is met and coordinate activity. Once it is clear the individual should be referred, this should occur without delay so that an agreement can be made about immediate action and what information can and cannot be shared. If deemed necessary, the matter could be referred and put through the local authorities established Safeguarding Children procedures and may form the subject of an independent inquiry.

It may also be necessary for Whytebeams Disciplinary Procedure to be followed.

THE LADO WILL ALWAYS ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE COURSE OF ACTION.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER REFERRAL

 

The safeguarding lead will follow and put into place the LADO’s advice. They will support the staff member and keep them informed of the process and outcomes in line with the LADO’s guidance, unless legal reasons determine otherwise. Disciplinary action may follow.

Every attempt will be made to maintain confidentiality for all parties.

 

If a member of staff makes an allegation maliciously or for personal gain, appropriate action, including disciplinary action, may be taken.

 

OUTCOMES

 

Staff members who are proven to have mistreated or abused children in any way will immediately be dismissed in line with our Disciplinary Procedure. If necessary, the offence/member of staff will be reported to OFSTED – 0300 123 1231 and Croydon Children’s Services – 020 8726 6400.  Where staff are proven not to have acted inappropriately, support will be given and they will be supported.

 

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 seeks to protect employees from discrimination as a result of ‘blowing the whistle’ on their organisation, or individuals within it, through amendments to employment law.

 

Safeguarding Policy Updated March 2024

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