Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy
Our Club believes that all children regardless of age, disability, gender, religious belief, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity have the right to be completely secure from both the fear and reality of abuse, and we are committed to protecting all the children in our care from harm.
Dunholme Kids’ Club has the following policy in place to ensure the highest level of protection of children. This policy applies to all employees, sessional workers, and volunteers. This policy is to be used in conjunction with several other policies, including Dunholme Kids’ Club Health and Safety Policy, Equality & Diversity Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Confidentiality, Data protection and Information Sharing Policy, E-Safety Policy, recruitment procedures, Whistle Blowing Policy, and Complaints Policy.
The Club will appoint a member of staff as the Designated Lead for Safeguarding/Child Protection. They will have suitable experience, training and expertise, and will be responsible for liaising with social services, the local Child Protection services, and Ofsted in any child protection matter. The Designated Lead at present is Indigo Karen Maughn (Manager).
The named person responsible for allegations against staff, including the Manager, is Julie Sullivan (Committee Chair and Registered Person).
Both the Designated Lead and the Registered Person have undertaken Child Protection and Prevent Training.
The Club’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant national and local legislation and regulations, and are informed by the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board.
The Club is committed to reviewing its Child Protection policy and procedures at regular intervals. The policy and its procedures will be shared with parents/carers. The club is also committed to ensuring that all staff have appropriate training regarding child protection/safeguarding issues.
Recognising Child Abuse
Child abuse manifests itself in a variety of different ways, some overt and others much less so. All staff have child protection training and will be vigilant to signs and evidence of physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect.
Physical Abuse: This involves hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, suffocating or any other physical harm. Deliberately causing a child’s ill health also constitutes physical abuse.
Sexual Abuse: This involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. Showing children pornographic materials, sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways also constitutes sexual abuse.
Emotional abuse: Varying degrees of emotional abuse is present in virtually all child protection incidents, but can also constitute abuse in its own right. Emotional abuse involves persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment or torture causing, or likely to cause, severe adverse effects on the emotional stability of a child. Such behaviour may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate, or making them feel unnecessarily frightened or vulnerable.
Neglect: Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical, emotional or psychological needs, such as is likely to have a severe impact on their health, development or emotional stability. Neglect may involve failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing for a child, or failing to adequately protect them from physical harm or ill health Neglect can also manifest itself in a failure to meet the basic emotional needs of child.
Response to suspicions or disclosures of abuse or neglect
Staff should report any suspicions/disclosures to the Child Protection Officer straight away. The Club will not carry out any investigation itself into a suspected child abuse incident. On discovering an allegation of abuse, the Child Protection Officer will immediately refer the case to the local statutory child protection agencies.
Staff are encouraged and supported to trust their professional judgment and if they suspect abuse has, or is taking place, to report this.
Where a child makes a disclosure of abuse to a member of staff, that staff member will:
- Listen fully to all the child has to say.
- Make no observable judgment.
- Ask only open questions that encourage the child to speak in their own words.
- Ensure the child is safe, comfortable and not left alone.
- Make no promises that cannot be kept; such as promising not to tell anybody what they are being told.
Full written records of all reported incidents will be produced and maintained. Information recorded will include full details of the alleged incident; details of all the parties involved; any evidence or explanations offered by interested parties; relevant dates, times and locations and any supporting information or evidence from members of staff. The Club will demonstrate great care in distinguishing between fact, opinion and hearsay when recording suspected incidents of child abuse.
The Manager and the Child Protection Officer will be responsible for ensuring that written records are dated, signed and kept confidentially.
Staff will ensure that all concerns and allegations are treated with sensitivity and confidentiality.
Any allegations made against a member of staff will be fully recorded, including any actions taken. In the event of there being a witness to an incident, they should sign the records to confirm this. If an allegation of abuse is made against the Manager or the Child Protection Officer, the Registered Person will be informed as soon as possible. They will then assume responsibility for the situation or delegate this role to an appropriate senior member of staff.
Children with disabilities and/or additional needs
The club recognizes that deaf and disabled children may have an increased vulnerability to abuse for a variety of reasons, including of negative attitudes about disabled children, unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/ or communication impairments. The club is committed to ensuring that all children are afforded the same high level of care and support in accordance with our ethos of full inclusion, supported by our Equality and Diversity Policy.
The club will be particularly alert to any additional needs in respect of children with a disability or other need.
Where personal care is required, an individual care plan and policy will be drawn up, including input from the child, parents/carers, staff and, if necessary, any additional agencies who may be involved. The wishes and needs of the child and their right to respect and dignity will be foremost in any decision making process.
Staff working with all children are aware of and work within safe practice guidelines in order to safeguard both children from the potential of abuse and themselves from any potential for allegations of abuse.
FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
The World Health Organisation definition of FGM is that it- ‘comprises all procedures (not operations) that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons’. (WHO – 2008)
We recognise that whilst there may not necessarily be an intent to harm a girl / young woman through FGM, the practice has serious short and long term medical and psychological implications and we have a responsibility to promote understanding and safeguard children who may be at risk of this practice. We also recognise the practice of FGM in the UK is a criminal offence. Female Genital Mutilation is a form of child abuse and should be addressed as such. Any suspicions or disclosures regarding FGM will be managed according to the club’s safeguarding/child protection procedures.
All staff will be aware of their responsibility to be aware of this issue and our duty of care if we believe a child is at risk of or has had, any form of FGM performed on them. The club will strive to work sensitively with community groups where this maybe a cultural belief and practice to educate and inform; however the welfare of the child is always paramount . All staff will be aware that they should not make any assumptions regarding potential risk to a child based on their age, ethnicity or other cultural and/or religious factors. Any suspicions or disclosures regarding FGM will be managed according to the club’s safeguarding/child protection procedures.
We will share information with appropriate children’s social care agencies when we have reasonable cause to suspect that a child may be suffering or may be at risk of significant harm. While, in general, we should seek to discuss any concerns with the family and seek their agreement to make a referral to children’s social care, there will be some circumstances where we should not seek consent. These are circumstances where to do so would place a child at increased risk of significant harm, prejudice the prevention or detection of serious crime, and/or lead to unjustified delay in making enquires about allegations of significant harm. Additionally, where the Manager/Child Protection Officer has reason to believe that the child may be at risk if they leave with the parent, then the police may be called in order to prevent this happening.
The safety and welfare of the child is always the primary and paramount consideration in any response.
The club may also share information considered relevant in respect of a child’s welfare with appropriate staff members of Dunholme St Chad’s School (class teachers, the head teacher and/or the school’s Child Protection Officer). In any event of information being passed to the school (or information received from the school), a written record will be made detailing the information shared, with whom, when and why. Parental consent for sharing any such information will be explicitly sought where-ever possible (and in accordance with the guidance for sharing information above). Two copies of this policy are passed to every parent/carer at the point of registration: one for them to retain and one to be signed and returned to us, to confirm that they have read and understood the policy and consent to this sharing of information.
At present, all children attending the club also attend Dunholme St Chad’s Primary School and the club and school work together in respect of establishing safeguarding/child protection policies and procedures. The members of school staff responsible for safeguarding/child protection are:
Designated Safeguarding Lead – Patricia Ruff (Headteacher)
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead - Sara Bristow (Reception Class Teacher and SENDCo)
It is expected that the Designated Lead should be available on site at any time the setting is open. In the event of any exceptional circumstances which mean this is not possible, all staff will be made aware and advised of an alternative named individual with appropriate training/responsibility available to them.
Referring Allegations to Child Protection Agencies
If the Manager or the Child Protection Officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a child has been – or is in danger of being – subject to abuse, the following procedure will be activated:
Contact will be made, at the earliest possible opportunity, with the local social services department.
The Manager or the Child Protection Officer will communicate as much information about the allegation and related incidents as is consistent with advice given by social services and the police.
At all times, the safety, protection and interests of children concerned will take precedence. The Manager and staff will work with and support parents/carers as far as they are legally able.
The Club will assist the social services and the police, as far as it is able, during any investigation of abuse or neglect. This will include disclosing written and verbal information and evidence.
OFSTED will be informed of any allegations of abuse against a member of staff, student or volunteer, or any abuse that is alleged to have taken place on the premises or during a visit or
From 1 July 2015 all registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers have been subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
In order to fulfil the Prevent Duty, staff should be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to, or subject to, radicalisation by and into extremist groups and ideologies.
There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, e.g.:
- feeling alienated or alone
- seeking a sense of identity or individuality
- suffering from mental health issues such as depression
- desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause
- associating with others who hold extremist beliefs
Signs of radicalisation
Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:
- changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified
- viewing violent extremist material online
- possessing or sharing violent extremist material
If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form, and refer the matter to the CPO.
Full details of the Prevent Duty and how it applies to our setting can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/439598/prevent-duty-departmental-advice-v6.pdf . Alternatively, a copy of this document is available at the club on request.
All club staff have undertaken training in respect of the Prevent Duty and this training will be regularly updated.
Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.
Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:
- Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
- One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (e.g. much older)
- One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (e.g. in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength)
- There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.
If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed
We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.
Staff Support and Training
The Club is committed to ensuring that it meets and, where-ever possible, exceeds its responsibilities in respect of child protection through the provision of support and training to staff. Therefore, the Club will ensure that:
All staff, students and volunteers are carefully recruited, have verified references and have full and up to date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks.
All staff and volunteers are given a copy of the Child Protection policy during their induction, and have its implications explained to them. In addition, the Staff Handbook contains a section on safeguarding/child protection.
All staff and volunteers receive regular training and supervision in child protection issues and are provided with any relevant information and guidance. Staff are regularly updated on child protection issues through staff meetings and in house training in addition to attending external training courses overseen by the LSCB. In house training will take place at least annually. In addition to this, the designated member of staff responsible for safeguarding/child protection will update formal training at least once every two years and all other staff members will update their formal training within the certified period.
All staff are provided with supervision and management support commensurate with their responsibilities in relation to child protection, and their requirement to maintain caring and safe relationships with children.
All staff are aware of the main indicators of child abuse.
All staff are aware of their statutory requirements in respect of the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, including reporting suspicions and known instances of FGM (female genital mutilation) and the procedure for doing so. All students and volunteers are instructed to report the disclosure or discovery of abuse to the Child Protection Officer.
The Club will take appropriate action in relation to the findings of any investigation into allegations of abuse, consistent with its duties to protect the safety of children and up hold fair processes for staff, students and volunteers.
Any member of staff, a student or volunteer under investigation for the alleged abuse of a child, will be subject to the provisions of the Staff Disciplinary Policy.
Allegations against staff
Any member of staff, a student or volunteer under investigation for the alleged abuse of a child will be subject to the provisions of the Staff Disciplinary Policy, as summarised below.
Any member of staff under investigation for any alleged abuse of a child may be suspended from their duties at the club, on their usual full play, whilst the allegations are investigated.
Investigations will be non-discriminatory and apply equally to all members of staff irrespective of gender, age, marital status, sexual preference, religion, ethnicity or disability.
At every stage, the member of staff concerned will be advised of the nature of the complaint and given an explanation for any penalty imposed.
Staff will be given the opportunity to state their case, and may be accompanied by a friend, colleague or Trade Union representative of their choice, during any part of the disciplinary procedure.
Staff have a right to appeal against any disciplinary action taken against them.
Investigations into allegations of misconduct are usually conducted by the Manger and/or the Registered Person. However, in the event of any allegation of abuse, the allegations will be reported to the police, Child Protective Services and Ofsted, and the Manager and/or Registered Person will support these agencies in any investigation.
In the event of any allegations of abuse being made against the Manager, the same procedure will be followed, with the Registered Person initiating the investigation and referrals.
Where an accusation of abuse is found to be proven this constitutes Gross Misconduct and will result in immediate dismissal.
All staff understand the Club’s child protection procedures and have had appropriate training and guidance in the principles of safe practice. To this end:
Though volunteers are vetted in the same way as paid staff, no volunteer will ever be left alone with any child/children. Additionally, students and visitors will never be alone with children but will remain under the supervision of a qualified staff member.
If a child makes inappropriate physical contact with a member of staff, students or volunteer, this will be recorded fully in the Incident Record Book.
Every effort will be made to avoid or minimise time when members of staff are alone with a child. If staff are alone with a child, other staff members should be aware of where they are, and why. Where possible they should not be in closed rooms though consideration must always be given to the child's need for privacy. Where any situation occurs where a staff member is alone with a child in such a situation, a written record should be made and parent/carers informed.
Staff will never carry out a personal task for children that they can do for themselves. Where regular personal care is required, staff, parents and the child will consult to draw up an appropriate care plan. Unless a child has a particular need, staff should not accompany children into the toilet. Where any incident of personal care takes place, a written record will be made, and parents informed.
Staff will be mindful of their interactions with children, given their age and emotional understanding. Unnecessary or potentially inappropriate physical contact will be avoided at all times.
Working Together To Safeguard Children/What To Do If You’re Worried a Child is being Abused In addition to other relevant training and guidance, the club utilises these documents to support its safeguarding policies and procedures.
A copy of the documents can be viewed and/or downloaded at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190604/DFES-04320-2006-ChildAbuse.pdf (‘What To Do If…’ Full document)
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190605/DFES-04319-2006-ChildAbuse_Summary.pdf (‘What To Do If…’ Summarised version of above document)
Alternatively, copies are available at Kids’ Club – either in printed format or stored in digital form on the club laptop, and these can be made available to any staff member, parent or carer at any time.
The Use of Physical Interventions and Corporal Punishment
No form of corporal punishment will ever be used at the club and if any member of staff uses corporal punishment, or commits any act of physical or verbal aggression or violence against any child then serious disciplinary action will be implemented, according to the provisions of the Staff Disciplinary Procedures Policy.
Staff will use physical interventions only as a last resort and only then if they have reasonable grounds for believing that immediate action is necessary to prevent a child from significantly injuring themselves or others or to prevent serious damage to property. Before reaching this stage, staff will have used all possible non-physical actions, such as dialogue and diversion, to deal with the behaviour.
A dialogue will be maintained with the child or children at all times, so that the member of staff can explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. Staff will make every effort to avoid the use of physical interventions if they are alone with the child or children.
E-Safety Computers used by the club are owned by and managed by Dunholme St Chad’s Primary School and are set up and must be used in accordance with the school’s E-Safety Policy.
Filtering systems are in place which block children’s access to social media sites, to sites which permit video or photo sharing, to e-commerce sites, and sites with chat rooms. Some sites which allow access to games are accessible but are and sites deemed to have inappropriate content are blocked. Dunholme Kids’ Club will, in conjunction with Dunholme St Chad’s Primary School, take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a computer.
If any member of staff comes across any accessible site or any image which is inappropriate then they should inform the school’s System Administrator as soon as possible and this should be logged in the Incident Record Book. If any child comes across any inappropriate site or image then they should report this to a member of staff immediately and the member of staff will contact the school’s System Administrator. Any material that the setting or organisation believes is illegal must be referred to the Internet Watch Foundation (http://www.iwf.org.uk) if appropriate and to the ISP the organisation uses.
Kids’ Club staff who also work in the school will have their own log-in to access the online system. Although still subject to filters and blocking, staff passwords allow access to a limited number of sites/type of site (for example YouTube) which they may use for educational purposes, which are blocked on children’s log-ins. No staff member with a system log-in will permit a child to access the system on their log-in or leave any computer logged in when they are not using it.
Additional information in respect of the club’s e-safety procedures can be found in the ICT and E-Safety Policy.
Use of Mobile Phones, Cameras and other recording devices
The club uses cameras throughout all sessions for record keeping and display purposes. Photos and videos should only be taken with the club’s own cameras and recording equipment and images taken will only ever be used in accordance with the Photos/Video recording permissions in place for all children, summarised thusly: photos will only be taken where parental permission is in place and photos/other recordings taken will be used in scrapbooks, observation records, and on displays within the setting. In the event of photos/recordings being required for any other purpose, then individual permissions will be sought and obtained. Photographs will not be stored in digital form anywhere off the premises.
Both mobile phones and cameras are used within the setting and the club has safeguards in place to ensure that their use is always appropriate, does not infringe on the rights of the children or their parents/carers and to restrict any potential for mis-use or abuse.
The Club’s primary phone contact number is a mobile one meaning that the club mobile phone should be on the premises, easily accessible and available for use at all times. The phone currently used does have camera/video capability and may be used to take photographs of children. However photographs will only be taken on the club’s mobile in the event of the camera being unavailable and any images will be uploaded and printed on site and immediately deleted from the phone.
Staff mobile phones may be required for use in the case of an emergency (for example, to speed the process of contacting parents in the event of evacuation) and therefore staff are permitted to bring their phones into the setting. However, staff phones and any other devices with photo or video capability (such as iPods/tablets) will be kept in closed bags and/or in the Club’s kitchen area out of reach of children. Staff are not permitted to use their personal phones (or other recording devices) to photograph or video children at any time. Any use of personal phones during club hours should be for necessary/emergency reasons only (not personal calls) and must be in an area away from children.
The Club, in conjunction with Dunholme St Chad’s Primary School, do not permit children to bring mobile phones or other recording devices into the setting. Additionally, parents and carers should not use their mobile phones whilst in the setting and are asked to finish calls before entering, and to avoid answering calls whilst on, club premises. Parents are also reminded that they are not permitted to use phones or other recording devices to photograph or video children in the setting.
Club's Child Protection Officer: Indigo Karen Maughn: 07958 305144
Committee Chair/Registered Person: Julie Sullivan: 07906375817
Social Care: 01522 782111
Social Care out of hours (inc weekends/Bank Holidays): 01522 782333
LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer): Anne Falkner 01522 554668 or Ursula Morton 01522 554674
LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board): 01522 782111
Police: 101 - non-emergency
999 - emergency
01522 532222 - Main switchboard
Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator: PC Riz Chothia 01522 885350 Mob: 07796 265621
Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321
NSPCC: 0808 800 500
Childline 24 hr Helpline: 0800 1111
Ofsted: 0300 123 1231