Child Protection Policy

Statement of intent

Little Owls want to work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.

Aims

Our aims are to protect children, families and staff from neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, bullying including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying, racist disability and homophobic abuse, gender based violence/violence against women and girls, radicalisation and/or extremist behavior, child sexual exploitation and trafficking, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, fabricated or induced illness.

Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes by:

  • Creating an environment in our Nursery which encourages children to develop a positive self. image, regardless of race, language, religion, culture or home background;
  • Help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers and with other adults;
  • Encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence;
  • Enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches; and
  • Work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all our children.

The legal framework for this work is:

  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • The Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 1984
  • The Protection of Children Act 1999
  • The Children (NI) Order
  • Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage DfE
  • Working together to Safeguard children DfE

Liaison with other bodies:

  • We work within the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) guidelines.
  • We have a copy (on disc) of Local Safeguarding Children's board (LSCB) available for staff and parents to see.
  • We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which affect the wellbeing of children.
  • We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including; maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in an emergency, for the Nursery and social services to work well together.
  • We notify the Local Authority if a child stops attending Nursery or who do attend regularly. The deputy manager will contact the parent/carer of a child who is absent on the first day if no one has notified the setting with a reason for the absence.
  • For children who are subject of a child in need plan or child protection or who are looked after, a plan identifies the help that the child should receive and the action to be taken if a professional working with the child has further concerns or information to report.

Methods

Staffing and volunteering

  • Our named and designated lead person who coordinates child protection issues is Kaye Clapson, with Sharon Holtby and Emma Holtby (North), Kaye Clapson and Louise Longmate (South) and Kaye Clapson and Rebecca Oxley (West).
  • The designated lead person receives safeguarding training every two years and their knowledge & skills are refreshed annually. All staff receive regular updates on safeguarding at least annually.
  • All written records are made in an appropriate and timely way and are held securely where adults working with children are concerned about their welfare. These records are shared appropriately and, where necessary, with consent. If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the Local Safeguarding guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child's parent at the same time.
  • Any child protection and/or safeguarding concerns are shared immediately with the relevant local authority for the area of where the child lives. Where the concern is an allegation about a member of staff in a setting, or another type of safeguarding issue affecting children and young people in the setting, the matter should be referred to the local authority in which the setting is located.
  • A record of that referral is retained and there is evidence that any agreed action following a referral has been taken promptly to protect the child from further harm.
  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the Nursery are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks (DBS & references) 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. Checks are also completed on individuals who have lived or worked outside the UK.
  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and DBS checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the Nursery or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
  • Managers oversee the safe use of electronic and social media by staff and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or risky behaviours.
  • We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the Nursery.
  • We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the Nursery so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
  • This links to our safer recruitment policy.

Training

We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the Nursery to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of:

  • Physical abuse: which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scolding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
  • Emotional abuse: is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meets the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or "making fun" of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber-bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
  • Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take parts in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of abuse as can other children.
  • Neglect: is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
    • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
    • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
    • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers);
    • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment;
    • Be responsiveness to a child's basic emotional needs.

Planning

The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision in line with the EYFS ratio requirements.

Curriculum

  • We introduce key elements of child protection into our early years curriculum, so that children can develop understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the Nursery a culture of value and respect for the individual.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is appropriate for the ages and stage of our children.
  • Positive behaviour is promoted consistently. Staff use effective de-escalation techniques and create alternative strategies that are specific to the individual needs of the child. All incidents are recorded and monitored.
  • All staff are aware of safeguarding issues that can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.

Concerns about a child in the setting

  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect, 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 Nursery follows the LSCB guidelines in recording those concerns.
  • If abuse is suspected or where a child shows signs and symptoms of 'failure to thrive' or neglect, we make referrals to children and family services who will then assess the case and advise on appropriate action as they deem necessary.
  • Parents are normally the first point of contact If a concern is recorded, parents are informed, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser, or where a child is put at increased risk of harm by doing so.

Disclosures

Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff:

  • Offers reassurance to the child
  • Listens to the child
  • Gives reassurance that she or he will take action
  • The member of staff does not question the child
  • Promise confidentiality
  • Postpone the discussion until a different time
  • Interpret what they have been told
  • Probe or ask leading questions

All staff should refer concerns or suspicions of abuse to the designated person (Kaye Clapson) as soon as possible. If the designated person is not available the second named persons should be informed North: Emma Holtby, South: Louise Longmate, West: Rebecca Oxley or report to the Manager or Deputy manager on duty.

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

Staff make a record of:

  • The child's name
  • The child's address
  • The age of the child and date of birth
  • The date and time of the observation or the disclosure
  • An objective record of the observation or disclosure
  • The exact words spoken by the child
  • The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time
  • The name of any other person present at the time

These records are signed and dated and kept in a separate confidential file, once reported to the children and family service duty officer.

Any referral to the Single Duty Team usually needs to be followed up in writing within 48 hours.

All members of staff know the procedures for recording and reporting and follow guidelines from "what to do if you're worried a child is being abused"

Confidentiality

All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB).

Ofsted will be informed of any disclosures and allegations.

Support to families

  • The Nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers in the group.
  • The Nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB).

Allegations of Abuse Against a Staff Member

Ofsted requires all registered providers to have a policy regarding allegations being made against an adult working in the setting, whether they are a member of staff, volunteer or a student.

Little Owls follow the LSCB policies and procedures, as well as following the principles of good practice, protect both children and adults. However an allegation may be made and in such circumstances the setting's procedures should be followed.

Procedure to follow when an allegation is made against a member of staff

The member of staff against whom an allegation has been made should always be:

  • Treated fairly and honestly and helped to understand the concerns and the processes involved.
  • Kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for themselves, e.g. disciplinary or related processes
  • Kept informed about events in the workplace if they have been suspended Suspension does not need to be automatic.

It should be considered in cases where:

  • Is suspected that a children is at risk of significant harm
  • The police are investigating the allegation
  • There are grounds for dismissal due to the nature of the allegation.

If the individual returns to work following suspension, the employer should consider what help and support might be appropriate and how best to manage the staff member's contact with the child concerned if they are still attending the setting.

An allegation should be treated seriously and objectively, with those concerned keeping an open mind.

They should not:

  • Investigate or ask misleading questions if seeking clarification
  • Make assumptions or offer alternative explanations
  • Promise confidentiality (reassure that the information will only be shared on a "need to know" basis).

They should:

  • Make a written record of the information given, including the time, date and place of incident(s), persons present and what was said, sign and date the written record
  • Ensure that the setting's procedures are followed

What to do if an allegation is made against myself or another member of staff

If an allegation of harm to a child or a young person is made against a child carer the case will need to be referred to the nominated safeguarding person (Kaye Clapson), who will consider the allegation and decide whether the case needs to be referred to and investigated by the Single Duty Team 01724 296500, LSCB 01724 297240, LADO 01724 298293. They will then liaise with other agencies and advise on next steps, including possible suspension of staff. Parents should be made aware of this procedure on induction and know what the procedure is should they have any concerns about the adults working with the children/young people.

If staff feel they cannot discuss any information with management they are required to inform LADO 01724 298293 or the Early Years Best Start Team 01724 297953. Staff know how to make a compliant and understand the policies on whistle blowing and how to manage other concerns about the practice of adults in respect of the safety and protection of children.

If the allegation is made to the childcare and workforce team or any other agency, they have a duty to refer it to the LSCB. Registered providers must inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by a person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether that 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. Registered providers must inform Ofsted of these allegations as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14days of the allegations being made. Ofsted can be contacted on 0300 123 4234. The DBS service must also contacted to ensure the staff member can no longer be put into a place of trust should the allegations be confirmed.

Procedures to help staff from allegations of abuse.

Staff will ensure the following

  • The safety and welfare of the child is paramount
  • Staff must fulfil their responsibilities and duties towards children by working in partnership with parents.
  • Staff relationships with children and families are conducted in a professional manner at all times.
  • All provision policies and procedures are followed, those listed below are particularly relevant:
  • Parents as partners
  • Behaviour management
  • Equality of Opportunities
  • Staff must be vigilant in health and safety matters, e.g. recording any bruises/marks a child has on arrival in their incident books (separate pages for each child to ensure confidentiality).
  • Comprehensive reporting of all children’s accidents should be made to parents, for their signature. Where possible any written account should be witnessed by a second staff member.
  • Any training needs identified in team members should be passed on to their supervisor.
  • Advice, help and/or support is sought if they find a child’s behaviour is persistently challenging or difficult to manage.

In line with the revised EYFS the following policies and procedures are part of our safeguarding policy.

  • Mobile phone and social networking policy
  • Camera and recording device use policy
  • Whistle blowing policy
  • Prevent duty
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual exploitation

This policy was reviewed and updated in October 2017.

Domestic Abuse

Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 years or over, who are or have been intimate partners or are family members regardless of gender.

Domestic abuse can have an impact on children in the family home and on their development; domestic abuse can link with other areas of abuse.

Domestic Abuse Concerns

Should we become concerned that a parent/carer or person in a position of trust at the nursery is subject to domestic abuse, we will pass our concerns onto the Social services single duty team 01724 296500 for them to investigate.

This action is to protect any children who may be subject to domestic abuse in the home environment. If we suspect that a person in a position of trust is a victim of domestic abuse we will in the first instance sign post them to an outside agency for support.

If any children are present in the home we will past our concerns onto Health and Social Care Services. The above procedures for reporting concerns will be followed.

Sexual Exploitation

The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive 'something' (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities.

Child sexual exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child's immediate recognition, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Both girls and boys can be exploited.

Any member of staff who suspects or receives information that a child or young person may be involved in sexual exploitation (including suspicion that they are being groomed online), should refer their concerns to their Designated Safeguarding officer or Deputy, who will refer the matter to Children's Social Care 01724 296500.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It's also known as female circumcision, cutting or sunna. There are four types which are all are illegal and have serious health risks. It is nearly always carried out on minors (between infancy and age 15). 18 Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It's dangerous and a criminal offence. There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn't enhance fertility and it doesn't make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health. FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985. In 2003 it also became a criminal offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to take their child abroad to have female genital mutilation.

Alerts to imminent FGM may include:

  • A visiting female elder being in the UK from the country of origin.
  • A professional hearing reference to FGM e.g. having a special procedure.
  • A disclosure or request for help if the girl is aware or suspects she is at risk.
  • Parents taking the child out of the country for a prolonged period.
  • The girl talking about a long holiday to one of the countries where FGM is practised.

FGM may already have taken place but it is important that this is recognised so that help can be offered to the girl, other family members at risk can be safeguarded and so that a criminal investigation can be carried out. Indications that FGM has already been carried out may be suspected if:

  • A girl seems to have difficulty walking, sitting or standing.
  • A girl spends longer than normal in the bathroom/toilet due to difficulties urinating.
  • A girl spends long periods away from the classroom with bladder or menstrual problems.

Breast Ironing

Breast ironing also known as 'Breast Flattening' is the process whereby young pubescent girls breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage and therefore be kept in education.

Much like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Breast Ironing is a harmful cultural practice and is child abuse. Professionals working with children and young people must be able to identify the signs and symptoms of girls who are at risk of or have undergone breast ironing. Similarly to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), breast ironing is classified as physical abuse.

The United Nations (UN) states that Breast Ironing affects 3.8 million women around the world and has been identified as one of the five under-reported crimes relating to gender-based violence. The custom uses large stones, a hammer or spatula that have been heated over scorching coals to compress the breast tissue of girls as young as 9 years old. Those who derive from richer families may opt to use an elastic belt to press the breasts so as to prevent them from growing.

The mutilation is a traditional practice from Cameroon designed to make teenage girls look less 'womanly' and to deter unwanted male attention, pregnancy and rape. The practice is commonly performed by family members, 58% of the time by the mother. In many cases the abuser thinks they are doing something good for their daughter, by delaying the effects of puberty so that she can continue her education, rather than getting married.

If we have any concerns at Little Owls that any families or children are involved with any of the above we will contact social services Single Duty Team on 01724 296500, Local Safeguarding Board on 01724 296940 or contact the Police on 101.

Prevent Duty Guidance

At Little Owls we provide a safe environment in which children can understand and discuss sensitive topics, including terrorism and the extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology and understand to challenge these. This is identified in our British values policy along with our robust safeguarding policy in place to identify children at risk and intervene as appropriate referring families to children social care, local child safeguarding board (LSCB) and will endeavour to work with other agencies as required.

Little Owls Policy for British Values

Promoting British Values at Little Owls Nursery

The DfE have reinforced the need "to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools and early years to: promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs."

The government set out its definition of British values in the Prevent Strategy, and these values have continued to been reiterated. At Little Owls these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

  • Democracy: We listen to children's and parent's voice. Our settings behaviour policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others. Having mutual respect & tolerance for different faiths and beliefs and talk about our local community. We create an environment that limits social isolation and promotes a sense of 'self' in children. Children can begin to understand democracy through making their own rules when playing games.
  • The Rule of Law: We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules & boundaries), that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. Support children by enabling them to make choices such as at the craft/snack table, at circle time- choosing a book at story time.
  • Individual Liberty: Within the setting children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. At Little Owls we educate and provide boundaries for young children; enabling them to make choices such as at the craft/snack table, at circle time- choosing a book at story time through our provision of a safe environment and empowering teaching. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms.
  • Mutual Respect: Part of our Nursery ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as 'Respect', and children are modelled this by caring, sharing and listening to others. Staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how actions/words can affect others. Good manners are encouraged such as please and thank you. Group times enable children to listen, take turns and value each other's contribution and value the questions children ask. Staff actively challenge any behaviour deemed to be isolating for an individual.
  • Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: We aim to enhance children's understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations throughout the year. Children have the opportunity to dress-up in clothes and try different foods from other cultures and we encourage parents/ carers to participate in and support our multi-cultural events.

Contact Numbers

Referrals re a Child in the Setting

Referral Management Team
Church Square House
Church Square
Scunthorpe
DN15 6NL

Allegations Against Staff in the Setting

General Enquiriies

LSCB
Hewson House
Station Road
Brigg
DN20 8XB
LSCB@northlincs.gov.uk

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