2. Statutory Framework
3. The Designated Senior Person
4. The Recruitment Process
6. When to be Concerned
7. Dealing with a Disclosure
8. Confidentiality & Record Keeping
9. Allegations involving Communicate Well
Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health and/or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and optimising children’s life chances.
This Child Protection Policy forms part of a suite of documents and policies which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of Communicate Well.
In particular this policy should be read in conjunction with the Safer Recruitment Policy, Behaviour Policy, Physical Intervention Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy.
Purpose of a Child Protection Policy
To inform staff, clients and parents, about the school’s responsibilities for safeguarding children.
To enable everyone to have a clear understanding of how these responsibilities should be carried out.
Communicate Well follows the procedures established by the government as to procedure and practice for all agencies working with children.
Communicate Well Staff
Staff are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop because they have daily contact with children.
All staff will receive safeguarding children training, so that they are knowledgeable and aware of their role in the early recognition of the indicators of abuse or neglect and of the appropriate procedures to follow. This training is refreshed every three years. It is good practice for the Designated Senior Person to deliver an annual update.
Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to when they have a worry or concern.
Establish and maintain an environment where staff feel safe, are encouraged to talk and are listened to when they have concerns about the safety and well being of a child.
Ensure children know that there are adults whom they can approach if they are worried.
Ensure that children who have been abused will be supported in line with a child protection plan, where deemed necessary.
Contribute to the five Every Child Matters Outcomes: –
• Be healthy
• Stay safe
• Enjoy and achieving
• Make a positive contribution
• Achieve economic well-being
In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, Communicate Well will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
• The Children Act 1989
• The Children Act 2004
• Education Act 2002 (section 175)
• Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (DfES 2006)
• Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2010)
Communicate Well understands it is expected to ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or are at risk of abuse – these procedures should also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse.
Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (DfES 2006) places the following responsibilities on all schools:
• Staff should be alert to signs of abuse and know to whom they should report any concerns or suspicions
• Schools (incorporating Communicate Well as a teaching agency) should have procedures (of which all staff are aware) for handling suspected cases of abuse of pupils, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse, or suspected of abuse
• A Designated Senior Person should have responsibility for co- coordinating action within Communicate Well and liaising with other agencies
• Staff with designated responsibility for child protection should receive appropriate training
Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (DfES 2006) also states:
“All parents need to understand that schools and FE colleges have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are their pupils or students, that this responsibility necessitates a child protection policy and procedures, and that a school or FE college may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare.”
The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection in this school is: LIZZIE HIDER
Deputy DSPs have been appointed to act in the absence/unavailability of the DSP.
The Deputy Designated Senior Persons for Child Protection in this school are: ELIZABETH SUTHERLAND
It is the role of the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection to:
• Ensure that he/she receives refresher training at two yearly intervals to keep his or her knowledge and skills up to date
• Ensure that all staff who work with children undertake appropriate training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding children effectively and that this is kept up to date by refresher training at three yearly intervals
• Ensure that new staff receive a safeguarding children induction within 7 working days of commencement of their contract
• Ensure that temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of Communicate Well’s arrangements for safeguarding children within 7 working days of their commencement of work.
• Ensure that Communicate Well operates within the legislative framework and recommended guidance
• Ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures
• Ensure that the Director is kept fully informed of any concerns
• Develop effective working relationships with other agencies and services
• Decide upon the appropriate level of response to specific concerns about a child e.g. discuss with parents, offer an assessment under the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) or refer to Children, Schools and Families social care.
• Liaise and work with CSF social care teams over suspected cases of child abuse
• Ensure that accurate safeguarding records relating to individual children are kept separate from the academic file in a secure place, marked ‘Strictly Confidential’ and are passed securely should the child transfer to a new provision
• Ensure that Communicate Well effectively monitors children about whom there are concerns, including notifying CSF social care when there is an unexplained absence of more than two days for a child who is the subject of a child protection plan
• Provide guidance to parents, children and staff about obtaining suitable support
Communicate Well will ensure effective recruitment and selection procedures by following protocols which reflect a fair and open recruitment and selection process.
This applies to all staff working with children in specified establishments (eg Academies) whether they be full-time, part-time, casual or temporary.
In the case of Communicate Well, working with children comprises teaching, training and instruction of children.
In the process of recruitment Communicate Well will indicate that it is committed to promoting the welfare of children and keeping them safe.
The above role entitles Communicate Well to request an Enhanced DBS check.
Communicate Well requires all staff working with children to receive regular training in safeguarding such as the The FA’s accredited ‘Safeguarding Children Workshop’ every 3 years.
General enquiries relating to staff recruitment should be directed to the Director, Lizzie Hider.
If any member of staff is concerned about a child he or she must inform the Designated Senior Person.
The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations.
The Designated Senior Person will decide whether the concerns should be referred to CSF social care. If it is decided to make a referral to CSF social care this will be done with prior discussion with the parents, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm.
Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child about whom Communicate Well has concerns, or who has been identified as being the subject of a child protection plan and a written record will be kept.
If a pupil who is/or has been the subject of a child protection plan changes school, the Designated Senior Person will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the Designated Senior Person at the receiving school, in a secure manner, and separate from the child’s academic file.
All staff and volunteers should be aware that the main categories of abuse are:
a. Physical abuse
b. Emotional abuse
c. Sexual abuse
All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if he/she presents with indicators of possible significant harm.
Generally, in an abusive relationship the child may:
e. Appear frightened of the parent/s or other household members e.g. siblings or others outside of the home
f. Act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development
(full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups)
g. Display insufficient sense of ‘boundaries’, lack stranger awareness
h. Appear wary of adults and display ‘frozen watchfulness’
If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff / volunteer should:
a. Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief
b. Accept what is being said
c. Allow the child to talk freely
d. Reassure the child, but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep
e. Not promise confidentiality – it might be necessary to refer to Children Schools and Families
f. Reassure him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault
g. Stress that it was the right thing to tell
h. Listen, only asking questions when necessary to clarify
i. Not criticise the alleged perpetrator
j. Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told
k. Make a written record (see Record Keeping)
l. Pass the information to the Designated Senior Person without delay
Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and safeguarding issues can be stressful. The member of staff/volunteer should, therefore, consider seeking support for him/herself and discuss this with the Designated Senior Person.
Safeguarding children raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in schools.
• All staff in schools, both teaching and support staff, have a responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies (CSF social care and the Police).
• If a child confides in a member of staff/volunteer and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff/volunteer tell the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s age/stage of development that they cannot promise complete confidentiality – instead they must explain that they may need to pass information to other professionals to help keep the child or other children safe.
• Staff/volunteers who receive information about children and their families in the course of their work should share that information only within appropriate professional contexts.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS
Communicate Well will:
Undertake appropriate discussion with parents prior to involvement of another agency unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm.
Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the organisation and staff for safeguarding children.
When a child has made a disclosure, the member of staff/volunteer should:
• Make brief notes as soon as possible after the conversation.
• Not destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court
• Record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child
• Draw a diagram to indicate the position of any injuries
• Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions
All records need to be given to the Designated Senior Person promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer.
All allegations involving CW staff should be reported immediately to the Director If the allegation involves the Director then the allegation should be reported directly to the Designated Senior Person and/or the Safeguarding Officer at the client’s premises.
An allegation is any information which indicates that a member of staff/volunteer may have:
• Behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed a child
• Possibly committed a criminal offence against/related to a child
• Behaved toward a child in a way which indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children
This applies to any child the member of staff/volunteer has contact with in the personal, professional or community life.
The person to whom an allegation is first reported should take the matter seriously and keep an open mind. S/he should not investigate or ask leading questions if seeking clarification, it is important not to make assumptions. Confidentiality should not be promised and the person should be advised that the concern will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis only.
Actions to be taken include making a written record of the allegation using the informant’s words – including time, date and place where the alleged incident took place, what was said and anyone else present (as stated in Section 10) This record should be signed and dated and immediately passed on to the Director.
The recipient of an allegation must not unilaterally determine its validity, and failure to report it in accordance with procedures is a potential disciplinary matter.
The Director will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but will assess whether it is necessary to refer the concern to CSF social care in consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer.
If it is decided that the allegation meets the threshold for further action, the Director must immediately make a referral to CSF social care.
If it is decided that the allegation does not meet the threshold for referral to CSF social care, the Director and the Safeguarding Officer from the Client organisation will consider the appropriate course of action, e.g. joint evaluation meeting, internal investigation.
The Director should, as soon as possible, following briefing from the Local Authority Designated Officer inform the subject of the allegation.
For any further information please contact Lizzie Hider directly on 07831 554210.