Safeguarding Policy

1 Introduction

 

We believe that every child, regardless of age, race or gender has at all times and in all situations a right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that results in him or her being physically or psychologically damaged.  Should we have any concerns about a child’s physical, sexual or emotional wellbeing, we will take action. The Registered Person complies with the local Child Protection procedures approved by the Local Safeguarding Children Board. It is the duty of registered childcare providers to refer concerns to the local Duty and Care Assessment Team if we have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is at risk from abuse or is being abused on our premises or elsewhere. This document defines the procedures that will be followed if we have any reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well being of all children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents/carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention.

 

The nursery will follow the procedures set out in the Child Protection Document, 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused', and the local authority publication, 'Protecting Children: A Guide for Those Who Have the Care of Children and Young People' and will refer to these guides as necessary.

 

We will notify Ofsted of all significant events regarding child protection. All documentation held regarding child protection will be kept confidentially for a period of 21 years.

 

2 Aims of the policy

 

  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of the nursery staff.
  • Ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.
  • Ensure that all staff is familiar with child protection issues and procedures.
  • Regularly review and update this policy.

 

3 Physical abuse

 

Action will be taken under this heading if staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge, or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented.

 

Procedure to be followed:

 

  • Any sign of a mark/injury to a child when they come into nursery will be recorded on an existing injury form.
  • The safeguarding officer will be informed
  • The incident will be discussed with the parent/carer.
  • Such discussions will be recorded and the parent/carer will have access to such records.
  • If there appear to be any queries regarding the injury, the nursery will notify the duty assessment team relevant to where the child lives.

 

4 Sexual abuse

 

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 an excessive pre occupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour.

 

Procedure to be followed:

 

The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager and safeguarding officer. The matter will be referred to the Local Authority.

 

5 Emotional abuse

 

Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have 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.

 

Procedure to be followed:

 

  • The safeguarding officer and nursery manager will be informed
  • The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer.
  • Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/carer will have access to such records.
  • If there appear to be any queries regarding the circumstances, the matter will be referred to the Local Authority.

 

6 Neglect

 

Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team 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 to the child’s health or development, including failure to thrive.

 

Procedure to be followed:

 

  • The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer.
  • Such discussions will be recorded and the parent/carer will have access to such   records.
  • The situation will continue to be monitored and appropriate steps taken to contact the Local Authority where necessary.

 

7 Disclosure of Abuse

 

Action will be taken under this heading if a child discloses abuse to a member of staff directly.

 

Procedure to be followed:
 

  • Staff member will not react in horror and continue to listen
  • Staff member will not promise to keep anything secret
  • Staff member will reassure the child
  • Staff member will report to the safeguarding officer and record exactly what was said in the child’s own words
  • The matter will be dealt with under one of the above headings

 

8 Allegation against staff

 

It is important that staff avoid putting themselves in situations that may lead to allegations being made against them. However if an allegation is made against a member of staff, we will refer to our policy Staff Protection and Allegations.

 

9 Other information

 

  • Our recruitment of staff is in line with procedures that ensure all adults with substantial access to the children have been appropriately vetted.
  • This will include contacting referees and awaiting the outcome of a
  • Criminal Records Bureau check before unsupervised access is authorised. From 10 September 2012, changes will occur namely the denomination of the department (DBS – Dec.'12), but all staff will need an ISA number which will be checked by the Nursery Manager to ensure suitability.
  • Please refer to our Recruitment Policy and Vetting Procedure for New Staff for further information.

 

See CRB/ISA changes

 

We will:

 

  • Hold a register of every child including relevant medical details and have an up to date contact name and number close to hand in case of emergencies.
  • Have an accident book detailing any accidents or injuries a child may sustain while at the nursery, including any action taken.
  • Each entry is to be signed by both a staff member and the parent/carer.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Remember that some issues are confidential, only share concerns and seek support from appropriate sources regarding safeguarding children issues.
  • Provide time for children to talk to us if they wish.
  • Respect a child’s right to privacy.
  • Take action to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
  • Remember to refer, not investigate any suspicions or allegations of abuse.
  • Ensure our staff is aware of current practices in safeguarding children and receive appropriate training.

 

10 Safeguarding Information File

 

The nursery has a safeguarding information file which holds all relevant information regarding the Safeguarding of children which is added to regularly.

 

If you have any concerns or worries, please feel free to discuss it with a member of staff who will do their best to clarify matters for you. We are not here to pass judgement on parenting styles and recognise that children can and often do have accidents in non-abusive situations, however we do have a legal and moral obligation to protect the children in our care. Should any member of staff have concerns for the welfare of any child they will immediately inform the Nursery’s Safeguarding Children Officer. They will keep accurate records about the information that has been shared. Staff will continue to keep accurate records of their observations and of anything said to them by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse. This will then be passed directly to the Safeguarding Children Officer. The Safeguarding Children Officer will be supported by the Nursery Manager who has overall responsibility for Safeguarding Children.