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Safeguarding

Keeping children and vulnerable adults free from harm

KindHaus Safeguarding Policy

KindHaus is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all colleagues and volunteers to share this commitment.

We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the commitment of safeguarding children.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, for the sake of this policy is defined 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; and

  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

(Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children’ March 2015)

We support the children within our care, protect them from maltreatment and have robust procedures in place to prevent the impairment of children’s health and development.

Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single safeguarding policy:

  1. Safeguard children;

  2. Ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children;

  3. Promote good health;

  4. Manage behaviour;

  5. Maintain records, policies and procedures.

KindHaus will work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Children have the right to be treated with respect and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form.

To this end we will:

  • Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image.

  • Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development

  • We are committed to building a 'culture of safety' in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of its service delivery.

  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all children

  • Always listen to children.

  • Our designated officer who oversees this work is: Ann-Marie Kinlock

    • This individual will undertake safeguarding training every two years and their knowledge and skills should be refreshed at regular intervals, at least annually.

  • We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents have access to these too.

  • Provide all staff and carers with a copy of and understand the written procedures for managing allegations of harm to a child or learner.

  • All staff have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues.

  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.

  • Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of the Offenders Act 1974.

  • Candidates are informed of the need to carry out 'enhanced disclosure' DBS checks before posts can be confirmed.

  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Disclosure Barring Service checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.

  • Volunteers are not left unsupervised.

  • We record information about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:

    • the criminal records disclosure reference number;

    • the date the disclosure was obtained; and

    • details of who obtained it.

  • We inform all staff that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders or reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment with us).

  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.

  • We take secure 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 take steps to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child.

  • Provide opportunities for staff to promote young children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe from relevant risks and how this is monitored across the provision

KindHaus is committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused' (HMG 2015).

The legal framework for this policy is based on:

  • Childcare Act (2006)

All individuals have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children.

Due to the many hours of care we are providing, we will often be the first people to sense that there may be a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse. The nursery has a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society.

In addition to this policy KindHaus colleagues must:

  • Have regard to the Government's statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015

The local authority designates an officer to support nurseries when they receive allegations against a colleague. This is the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). 

All colleagues will work as part of a multi-agency team where needed in the best interests of the child.

KindHaus aims to:

  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery colleagues

  • Ensure that confidentiality is always maintained 

  • Ensure that all colleagues are alert to the signs of abuse, understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed including: the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting by other children i.e., bullying, discriminatory behaviour

  • Ensure that all colleagues are familiar and updated regularly with child protection issues and procedures

  • Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur

  • Ensure that any visitors sign in to the log and procedures are adhered to

  • Keep the child at the centre of all we do

  • Regularly review and update this policy with colleagues and parents where appropriate.

 

Training:

The nursery manager is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in the nursery; they are the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer is responsible for liaison with Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB). They provide support, advice and guidance to other colleagues on an on-going basis, and on any specific safeguarding issue as required.

We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.

This training must be renewed every 2 years. 

The Designated Safeguarding Officer/ Lead (DSLs) must attend a child protection training course relevant to the role, which enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect. 

All colleagues are trained to understand this safeguarding policy and the procedures, and KindHaus ensures that all colleagues have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues.

All Colleagues are given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has concerns about a child’s safety or welfare. Colleagues will be expected to complete the online induction safeguarding module by week two of employment. All colleagues receive regular support and supervision.

We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.

Child Protection and types of abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution, or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.

Indicators of child abuse:

  • Significant changes in children’s behaviour;

  • Deterioration in children’s general well-being;

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;

  • Children’s comments which give cause for concern;

  • Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting

  • We take into account factors affecting parental capacity, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, parents’ drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical illness or parents learning disability.

  • We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability such as, abuse of disabled children; fabricated or induced illness; child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession; sexual exploitation of children; such as through internet abuse; and female Genital Mutilation; that may affect, or may have affected, children and young people using our setting.

  • Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other colleagues, or any other person working with the children.

For example: inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.

These may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree including bullying, as bullying will not be tolerated in KindHaus. Informing parents is normally the first cause of action.

If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made. 

Where the parent or family member is the likely abuser, or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure, parents must not be informed and a referral will be made immediately to the ' Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub '. In these cases, the investigating officers will inform parents.

All suspicions, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the local authority.

We keep our children safe from harm by ensuring the following is undertaken:

Planning

  • The layout of the room/s allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others.

Curriculum

  • We introduce key elements of keeping children safe in our daily activities to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.

  • We create within KindHaus a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children's heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.

  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children in our care.

Support for families:

KindHaus takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, colleagues and volunteers within the nursery

  • KindHaus continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interests of the child

  • Staff will listen to the child and offer reassurance and give assurance that she or he will take action; without questioning the child.

  • Children will be supported by their key person and other appropriate colleagues, offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions. Activities will be devised according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence within their peer group.

  • We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child's social care worker in relation to KindHaus designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family following any investigation.

  • Written records form an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes; the date and time of the observation or the disclosure; the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and names of any other person present at the time, and signed and dated.

  • Confidential child protection records kept on a child should be stored securely and separately from the child’s day-to-day records. These records should only be shared under the direction of the Local Safeguarding Children Board. We will do all in our power to support and work with the child's family.

KindHaus acknowledges the importance of protecting children from abuse. All complaints, allegations or suspicions are taken very seriously. Our setting cannot promise confidentiality as the matter may develop in a way that this cannot be honoured, however, has strict guidelines on sharing information which it adheres to, in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

What is MASH? 

MASH co-locates safeguarding agencies and their data, into a secure assessment, research and referral unit for notifications of vulnerable children. By providing a fire walled facility (confidential unit), each MASH partner can disclose information securely and proportionately. This is particularly important as failures by partners to share and act on information has impeded effective operational activity to prevent serious harm and death through abuse and neglect. MASH identifies unknown risk by building a full picture on the child of concern and their family.

If you are a professional, before making the referral you should always inform the parent of your concerns and that you will be making a MASH referral and let parents know, except where a child is considered to be at risk of harm and you believe that seeking parental consent may increase this risk.

This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the social workers will inform parents.

Making referrals:

If you are a professional and have an immediate concern:

  • If you have an immediate need for a safeguarding response please call 020 8356 5500

  • or email MASH@hackney.gov.uk

If you have concerns about a child and want to make a safeguarding referral

  • If you have a safeguarding concern but would like to discuss it further, you can do so by calling the MASH safeguarding consultation line on 020 8356 5500. The telephone line is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday only, excluding bank holidays.

 

How does the consultation line work?

  • it’s for professionals only

  • for cases that are not already open to the Council’s service

  • you must have consulted your designated safeguarding lead first

  • you will need to use the usual MASH number – 020 8356 5500 – and ask for a consultation

  • experienced members of staff from MASH will respond

 

MASH will listen to your concerns and offer advice and guidance about the most appropriate next steps. Their advice may include:

  • a request for you to have further conversations with the child and family about the concerns and, with their consent, other members of the family’s network

  • making a written request for support to MASH

  • Make or suggest a referral to another service

MASH will keep a log of calls to monitor use of the consultation line, but calls will not be recorded on our files. It is important that anyone contacting MASH make their own agency records of discussions.

We work within Hackney Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.

We have the current version of 'what to do if you're worried a child is being abused' available for parents and staff and ensure that staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.

Useful resources and external organisations

  • When to suspect child maltreatment (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2009) Other relevant departmental advice and statutory guidance

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015)

  • Information Sharing – Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers (2015)

  • Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation (2014)

  • Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (2014)

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