Safeguarding Policy Including allegation about a member of staff
This policy has been written in accordance with the child protection procedures from St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP), which are published on the internet only. If you are in any doubt about what to do when you have been told something relevant to the safeguarding of children, you must speak to the nursery manager, chief executive or the MASH team – do not ignore the situation.
Early Years and Childcare
Early years providers have a duty under section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006 to comply with the welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage 29. Early Years providers should ensure that:
- Staff complete safeguarding training that enables them to recognize signs of potential abuse and neglect; and
- They have a practitioner who is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children within each early years setting and who should liaise with local statutory children’s services agencies as appropriate. This lead should also complete child protection training.
Safeguarding is defined as
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Enabling those children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Taken from government guidance; ‘Working together to safeguard children – July 2018
- Our nursery 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.
We aim to:
- Ensure all staff are aware of safeguarding policies and procedures upon induction to the nursery.
- Ensure staff have access to basic safeguarding training and refresher training every 2 years.
- Designated officers attend further in-depth training and cascade information
- Staff have understanding of what to do if they suspect a children is at risk
- Staff will create a positive environment to develop self-image and confidence Create an environment that is age and stage appropriate for children To act appropriately and quickly if we suspect a child to be at risk. Be available and listen to children
Within the YMCA Beacon Nursery we have a commitment to safeguard children and ensure their needs are put first, should any person believe this policy is not being upheld this should be brought to the attention of the Nursery manager.
All staff will work as part of a multi-agency team where needed in the best interests of the child.
All staff will be familiar with their own responsibilities to act swiftly upon any suspicions or concerns they may have about any child or member of staff at the nursery. The nursery will follow the procedures set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in the procedures of the St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership. The nursery has a duty to report any suspicions around abuse to the local authority who have an obligation to investigate such matters.
Staff must not make comment either publicly or in private about a parent’s supposed or actual behaviour. Staff must raise any concerns initially with the designated officer. The manager will then discuss the matter with the registered person and appropriate action will be considered. Staff responsibilities do not include investigating the suspected abuse. However, the staff will keep accurate records of their observations, signed and dated, and of anything said to them by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse: this information will be kept in a locked cabinet.
Contact telephone numbers
- Ofsted: 0300 1231231
- MASH Team Contact Centre: 01744 676767
- Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team: 0345 0500148
It is always important to listen to children. Strict confidentiality will be observed at all times. All our staff will receive training on the protection of children from abuse. It is the responsibility of the nursery to provide a secure and safe environment for all children.
Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded parents are informed as soon as possible, except where the guidance from the MASH Team does not allow this. The exception to this rule is in cases of sexual abuse and fabricated and induced illness where parent / carer will not be informed.
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 St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership.
Support to families
The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families.
We will continue 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 St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership.
With the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount, we will do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family. If a child in our setting has been previously known to social care we will discuss our concerns and gain advice from the MASH Team.
Within YMCA Beacon Nursery the structure for safeguarding is as follows:
Named Safeguarding Officer: Justin Hill, Chief Executive
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Patricia Freckleton, Nursery Manager Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Ashley Cook, Deputy Manager.
If staff suspect a child in their care is at risk they will discuss this with the designated safeguarding lead who will follow guidelines set by St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership.
YMCA Beacon Nursery will ensure this policy is made available to all parents/carers at all times along with a copy of “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused,” this will be found in the main corridor of the nursery, a copy is also available to parents/carers when requested.
We will ensure ratios within the nursery are maintained at all times to meet the needs of all the children in our care.
Applicants for any position within the nursery are informed that they are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974; further information can be found in YMCA recruitment policy.
As defined in the EYFS welfare requirements all staff will be required to have an enhanced disclosure check and suitable references before undertaking a position within the nursery.
All staff will have an opportunity to inform senior management of any change in their circumstances to work with children during 1 to 1 sessions with management which are held every month or during appraisals which are held every 12 months.
Staff are also made aware to inform the manager at the earliest opportunity of a change in circumstance.
All staff will have an enhanced disclosure carried out every 2 years; a record of this is kept on file and remains confidential at all times.
Staff whose suitability has not been checked will not be allowed to have unsupervised contact with children – EYFS Statutory Framework December 2019.
Providers to meet their responsibilities under the safeguarding vulnerable groups 2006 – EYFS Statutory Framework December 2019.
Suspicions of abuse
If we believe that a child in our care is subject to physical, emotional, sexual abuse and/or neglect either direct or indirect, we have a duty to report any suspicions of abuse to the St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership, via the MASH Team without delay and seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently. All information will be kept confidential at all times.
All definitions are taken from ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ 2015.
Defined as ‘involves forcing or enticing a child or young person 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 (for example rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.’
Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have witnessed occasions where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing or had excessive preoccupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour. Staff are aware of physical, behavioural and emotional signs that are linked to sexual abuses including:
- Taking physical/emotional advantage of other children (often vulnerable)
- Sexualised behaviours
- Inappropriate touching
If a member of staff raises a concern the following procedure will be taken.
- The observed instances will be reported to the designated officer.
- Staff will ensure that the child’s welfare is paramount and will take care not to influence the outcome in way that child is spoken to or asking questions.
- The matter will be referred to the MASH Team and all advice taken from therein.
This is the only type of abuse that will not be discussed with parents/carers before action is taken.
Defined as ‘Actual or likely physical injury to a child, failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child they are looking after (factitious illness by proxy or Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy).’
Action will be taken under this heading if the staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including;
- deliberate poisoning,
- biting & burns
- cutting – hair
- cutting – body
Where there is definite knowledge, or a reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented.
Defined as ‘is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve 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 ill treatment of a child though it may occur alone.’
Action will be taken under this heading if the staff has reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection including;
- Name calling/twisting things round to their advantage
- House bound
- Inappropriate sexual behaviour
- Complete lack of structure
- No or poor attachment
- Parental problems
- Young carers (no support given to the young carer) Persistent absenteeism
Neglect and failure to thrive
Defined as ‘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. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to the appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.’
Action will be taken under this heading if the staff have reason to believe that there has been persistent or severe neglect of a child ( for example by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation) which results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, non-organic failure to thrive. It also includes;
- Not meeting child’s basic needs
- No supervision (home alone/outside alone)
- No hygiene (ill-fitting clothing/dirty/unwanted)
- Not accessing education
- Health needs (no access to doctors, dentist)
- Nutrition (lack of food/’junk food’)
- Lack of affection
- No time
If staff become aware of signs and features of physical, emotional abuse, neglect and failure to thrive they will ensure that the welfare of the child is paramount and will aim to do this by following the following procedure
- Take care not to influence the outcome in any particular way, how the child is spoken to or asking questions.
- Staff will make accurate record of what has been seen, said and/or heard including name of child, age, parents/carers names, home address and telephone number, special circumstances, any behaviour signs, what child has said/incident. Advice from MASH Team to be sought immediately.
Promoting keeping safe throughout the provision
We follow national guidance using 4 key steps to identify and respond appropriately to possible abuse and/or neglect:
- Be alert
- Question behaviour
- Ask for help
At YMCA Beacon Nursery we provide an environment that values and respect each individual child and their family regards of colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home and social background.
We will introduce key elements of keeping safe into activities that promote personal, social and emotional development of all children, helping each child to develop why and how to keep safe.
At no time will a child be left alone with a member of staff without being visible to others.
Allegation about a member of staff
If an allegation is made against a member of staff, Ofsted and the MASH Team will be informed and this will be investigated. This may result in the St Helens YMCA disciplinary procedure being followed.
Who may raise an allegation?
Allegations may come from a child or adult within the nursery, a parent or carer, member of the public and/or a professional person.
What is an allegation?
The procedures are based on guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015 and should be applied when there is an allegation that a person who works with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
The incident will be dealt with by the manager/registered person:
- A full investigation will be carried out to determine how this will be handled and a professional strategy meeting may be held with outside agencies.
- The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff on full pay during an investigation
- All investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file and stored within Human Resources department
- Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being re-instated
- Founded allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisation (police) and will result in the appropriate sanction of the St Helens YMCA disciplinary procedure being followed and applied. OFSTED will be notified of this decision, also DBS/list 99 as appropriate.
Responding to allegation
When an allegation has been made the member of staff investigating must remain calm, treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind. The staff member must record what has happened accurately this includes, time and date of the alleged incident, who was present and what had happened. Staff must avoid asking leading questions, where allegation has been made by a child of the nursery child’s own language must be used.
All paperwork must be signed and dated by the person receiving the allegation. This information must be reported immediately to the designated officer and in his/her absence report to the chief executive, who will inform the MASH Team and OFSTED, following their guidance at all times.
If the allegation is regarding the manager or registered person the whistle blowing policy must be adhered to.
Further information on safeguarding can be found at the following sources:
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – March 2015
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020
- Working Together to safeguard children – March 2015
- The Prevent Duty – June 2015
- Safeguarding vulnerable groups act 2006
Staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do when they have been identified. Protecting the children in our care is part of our safeguarding duties.
Within the nursery we promote British values that enable children to build resilience to radicalisation and to challenge extremist views.
The four general themes:
- Risk Assessment – we will assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism. Staff able to demonstrate both a general understanding of the risks affecting the children in the area and a specific understanding of how to identify individuals. What to do if you have a concern – follow the normal safeguarding procedures.
- IT Policies – ensure that suitable filtering is in place and children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in the setting.
- Staff Training – All staff have completed prevent Duty Awareness Training.
- Children who may be at risk of radicalisation and how to support them.
- Working in partnership with the local authority and SCP. Effective engagement with parents is important as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation.
Safeguarding: Record and Report
Is the Nursery Manager available immediately?
Report concerns to the
Report Concerns to the Chief
Executive Justin Hill
(07515 285352). If there is no response, leave a message stating only that you need to discuss a
safeguarding concern; if your call is
not returned within one hour, the MASH Team on: 01744 676767
Signed on behalf of YMCA St Helens
Board of Directors: ………………………………………… (Chairman)
Date: 30th July 2019
By the Board of Directors on 18.10.2011
By the Board of Directors on 30.04.2013
By the Board of Directors on 26.07.2016
By the Board of Directors on 01.07.2017
By the Board of Directors on 17.07.2018
By the Board of Directors on 30.07.2019
30.04.2013 Amendments made to bring in line with Early Years Regulations
30.07.2015 Amendments made to bring in line with Early Years Regulations
26.07.2016 Minor amendment
01.07.2017 Amendments made 17.07.2018 Amendments made
30.07.2019 Amendments made
30.04.2013 – Brought in line with Early Years Regulations.
30.07.2015 – Brought in line with Early Years Regulations.
26.07.2016 – New Brand. Change 6 months to 12 months under DBS
01.07.2017 – Rename Front Door to Front Door (Page 3), inclusion of reference to Prevent Duty and what this means.
17.07.2018 – Name change of Deputy Manager (page 4), Telephone number changed
(page 4), 7th Paragraph wording staffs changed to staff (page 5)
30.7.2019 – 2nd paragraph wording fabricated and induced illness added (page 4), 4th paragraph wording if a child in our setting has been previously known to social care we will discuss concerns with front door for advice added.(page 4), 4th paragraph wording LADO Timba Kanengoni added. (page 9), page 12 record and report flowchart names of manager deputy and chief executive added.
02/09/2020 – P.2– Changed Front Door to M.A.S.H. & Working Together to Safeguard Children dated July 2018, P.4– Changed Front Door to M.A.S.H Team 2nd and 3rd lines and 2nd paragraph 2nd sentence. Changed Designated Safeguarding Officer from Lynne Roberts to Patricia Freckleton and Emma Ireland to Ashley Cook. P.5 End of page EYFS document December 2019, P.6– Changed Front Door to M.A.S.H first paragraph and in the last bullet point of “Procedures”. P.9– Changed Front Door to M.A.S.H Third bullet point and in the paragraph about “Allegation about a member of staff”. P.12– Changed Lynne Roberts to Patricia Freckleton and Emma Ireland to Ashley Cook, Changed First Response to M.A.S.H Team. All sections on p.2, 4 and 6 where LSCB was written, have been amended to St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership SCP