Just Like Home Childcare is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation. We will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. Our child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). The designated Child Protection Officer (CPO) is Katie Heal. The CPO coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (e.g. Social Care, the LSCB and Ofsted). Child abuse and neglect Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below: –
- Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
- Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
- Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.
Signs of child abuse and neglect Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:-
- Significant changes in a child’s behaviour.
- Deterioration in a child’s general well-being.
- Unexplained bruising or marks.
- Comments made by a child which give cause for concern.
- Inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.
If abuse is suspected or disclosed When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:-
- Reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out.
- Listen to the child but not question them.
- Give reassurance that the staff member will take action.
- Record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below). If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the incident straightaway. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that we are obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.
Extremism and Radicalisation
All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, including:-
- 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.
Logging an Incident
All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:-
- Date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern.
- Date and time at which the record was made.
- Name and date of birth of the child involved.
- A factual report of what happened.
If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words, name, and signature and job title of the person making the record. The record will be given to the CPO who will decide on the appropriate course of action. For concerns about child abuse, the CPO will contact Social Care. The CPO will follow up all referrals to Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Social Care directly. For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the CPO will contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) or Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator. For more serious concerns the CPO will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the CPO will contact the Police using 999.
Allegations Against Staff
If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:
- The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
- The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (e.g. police) should be informed, and the Club will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.
- Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.
- If appropriate Just Like Home Childcare will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Promoting Awareness Among Staff
Just Like Home Childcare promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. The Club ensures that:-
- The designated CPO has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it.
- Safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff.
- All staff have a copy of this Safeguarding Children policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation.
- All staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation.
- All staff receive basic safeguarding training.
- All staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty.
- Staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept in the locked cupboard in the kitchen.
- Our procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)’ and staff are familiar with the guidance in ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)’.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM.
FGM refers to procedures of any alteration involving partial or total removal of the external female genital organs. The procedure may lead to short term and long-lasting harmful consequences such as death, trauma, infections, flashbacks, infertility, kidney problems, sexual dysfunctions, incontinence, post-traumatic stress disorder etc. It is known to be practised in the North African countries, the Middle-East, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Pakistan. However, with migration worldwide it is also practised in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia etc. The United Nations addresses FGM as violation of human rights. In the UK, FGM is a criminal offence and a harmful form of child abuse. It is illegal to practice in the UK and/or anyone involved in taking girl outside of the UK to have FGM carried out will be punished under the FGM Act 2003 and Serious Crime Act 2015.
FGM is not a religious practice.
There are a range of potential indicators that a girl may be at risk of FGM.
FGM often takes place in the summer holidays, as the recovery period after FGM can be 6 to 9 weeks. Professionals should be mindful of high risk times when children go on long holidays and/or are getting a visit by female elder from their country of origin. Additionally, girls are considered at risk where their mother or sisters have undergone FGM, and girls are talking about a ‘special’ event or procedure to ‘become a woman.’
Post FGM symptoms can include, but are not limited to:-
- Difficulty in walking, sitting or standing.
- Spending long periods of time in the bathroom/toilet.
- Displaying unusual behaviour after a lengthy absence.
- Parents/carers reluctant to explain reasons for absence.
- Talking about themselves in the third person or talking about a “friends” problem.
Mandatory Reporting Duty
Section 5C of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 75 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) gave the Government powers to issue statutory guidance on FGM to relevant persons. The guidance provides professionals with the information they need to help them understand the issues around FGM; professionals’ responsibilities on FGM linked to wider safeguarding duties and good practice; the range of legal interventions to deal with FGM; guidelines for key professionals including police, healthcare professionals, children’s social care and schools and colleges, and working with communities to prevent FGM.
Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015)l places a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and healthcare professionals, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining children – it is likely that discovery will be made by disclosure by the student, parent or otherwise. These cases must be referred to police. Immediate reporting is required if FGM has been performed recently, and in historical cases, reporting must take place within one month.
Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should still consider and discuss any such case with the designated safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate. While the duty is limited to the specified professionals described above, non-regulated practitioners also have a responsibility to take appropriate safeguarding action in relation to any identified or suspected case of FGM, in line with the procedures of their Local Safeguarding Children Board (LCSB).
As a setting, we will aim to raise awareness of FGM by: –
- Circulating and display materials about FGM.
- Displaying relevant information (for example, details of the NSPCC’s Helpline and appropriate black and minority ethnic women’s groups).
- Informing colleagues/raising awareness of the issues around FGM – as well as including appropriate training in continuing professional development
Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras
Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Only the setting camera will be used to take photographs of children. Neither staff nor children may use their mobile phones to take photographs at any time.
Contact numbers Social Care: 01273 290400. Social Care out of hours contact: 01273 295555. LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer): Darrel Clews. 01273 295643 / 07795 335898. LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board): 01273 292379. Police: 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency) Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321 NSPCC: 0808 800 500 Ofsted: 0300 123 1231
This policy was adopted by: Just Like Home Childcare. Date: 2nd December 2016
To be reviewed: 2nd December 2017. Signed:
Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014): Safeguarding and Welfare requirements: Child Protection [3.4-3.8] and Suitable People [3.9-3.13].