The health, safety and welfare of all children is of paramount importance.
Children in our care have the right to protection regardless of age, gender, race, culture, background or disability.
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Aims we aim to: •Provide a safe environment for children to learn in; •Help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults; •Ensure all children, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse; •Encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence; •Enable children to have the self confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches;
•Work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all our children; •Establish what actions the setting can take to ensure that children remain safe both at home and at school; •Raise the awareness of all staff to these issues and to define their roles and responsibilities in reporting possible cases of abuse; •Identify children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm; •Set down the correct procedures for those who encounter any issue of safeguarding.
They have a right to be safe in our setting. This policy represents the agreed principles for safeguarding children at the setting.
Staffing Children at the setting are never left unsupervised. There is a minimum of two members of staff on the premises at any one time and we operate according to the EYFS standards on adult to child ratios. Volunteers are never left to work unsupervised and are asked to sign a volunteer agreement. All staff have a responsibility to report concerns they have about a child. Mrs Beverley Budd is our Safeguarding Children Officer and is responsible for ensuring staff receive up-to-date training on safeguarding children issues, and that all staff have copies of, and are familiar with, the ‘Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure’. The Deputy Safeguarding Lead is Grace Bayliss.
In the event that the Safeguarding Children Officer has an allegation made against her then a named Committee member will assume the role. Applicants for positions within the setting are informed of the need to carry out CRB Disclosures and reference checks 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. This is in line with Ofsted requirements.
Where a member of staff or volunteer is dismissed or internally disciplined because of misconduct relating to a child, the Department of Health administrators will be notified so that the name may be included on the ‘List for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults’. We take steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children. We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting. All visitors are requested to sign in and wear a name badge (see Arrival & Departure Policy and Procedure).
Recognising and responding to suspicions of abuse We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.
When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this may be demonstrated through changes in their behaviour, or in their play. Where such changes in behaviour occur, or where children's play gives cause for concern, the pre-school will investigate in the following way:
•Any investigation will be carried out with sensitivity; •Children will be offered reassurance that they will be listened to and that action will be taken; •Staff will take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to a child or ask questions;
• Staff will make a record of: 1. the child’s name; 2. the child’s address; 3. the age of the child; 4. the date and time of the observation or disclosure; 5. the exact words spoken by the child; 6. the name of the person to whom the concern was reported; 7. the names of any other person present at the time. • All records will be signed, dated and kept in a separate, secure, confidential file.
Where a child shows signs and symptoms of 'failure to thrive' or neglect, the appropriate referrals will be made.
In all cases the guidance set out by the ‘South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Group Referral Flowchart’ will be followed
Allegations of serious harm or abuse At Brambles pre-school we ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteers within the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse. The procedures are displayed on the Information Board in the main entrance. We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) when investigating any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child. In all cases, the setting will not investigate but will refer the case to the local designated safety officer via Social Services.
We follow all the disclosure and recording procedures when investigating an allegation that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child as if it were an allegation of abuse by any other person. It is our duty to inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person working at or looking after children at Brambles pre-school (whether the allegation relates to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere), or any other abuse which is alleged to have taken place on the premises, and of the action taken in respect of these allegations.
Confidentiality Confidentiality is crucial to all our relationships, but the welfare of the child is paramount. The law does not allow anyone to keep concerns relating to child abuse to themselves. All information that has been obtained about a child will be kept in a locked cupboard or IT system to which the Safeguarding Children Officer(s) has sole access.
Other staff will be given access to reports they have personally compiled. In circumstances where the Safeguarding Children Officer is suspected the Deputy Safeguarding Officer will give the report directly to an appropriate agency.
Family Support The setting will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families, staff and volunteers in the group. Where abuse at home is suspected the setting will continue to welcome the child and family whilst the investigation proceeds.
If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where guidance of the LSCB does not allow this. This will normally be in the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
With the provisoion that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the setting will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family. This policy will be reviewed every six months alongside the Safeguarding Children Audit.