Safeguarding Exemplar Policy

The Little Shepherds Preschool

INTRODUCTION

The Little Shepherd’s Safeguarding Children policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and related guidance. This includes;

  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (2014)
  • DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2014)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013)
  • Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000)
  • Kent and Medway Online Safeguarding Children Procedures (2014)

WHAT IS SAFEGUARDING?

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) defines safeguarding children as; ‘the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm’, including;

  • 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; and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

It also reminds us that safeguarding “is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.”

(WTSC 2013 p7)

ETHOS

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ (EYFS 2014 p5)

The Manager of the Little Shepherd’s Preschool consider all those directly involved with our setting have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. Our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and we take seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care.

As part of the ethos of the setting we are committed to:

  • Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern;
  • Providing an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected, confident to talk openly and sure of being listened to;
  • Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties;
  • Using learning at the setting to provide opportunities for increasing self awareness, self esteem assertiveness and decision making. This is so that young children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others;
  • Working with parents to build an understanding of the setting’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations;
  • Ensuring all staff have regular training and are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the setting’s procedures and lines of communication;
  • Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘in need’ including the need for protection, keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.
  • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies.

The Little Shepherd Preschool adheres to the KSCB Safeguarding Children Procedures (2014). The full KSCB procedures document and additional guidance relating to specific safeguarding issues can be found on the KSCB website

RESPONSIBILITIES

All staff

The EYFS 2014 requires providers ‘to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well’’ and accordingly, everyone involved in the care of young children has a role to play in their protection. Any member of staff in the [name of setting] is part of the wider safeguarding system for children and is in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance.

All staff have a responsibility to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. All staff then have a duty of care to take appropriate action, working with other services as needed.

The Early Years Designated Person (EYDP)

The EYFS 2014 states; ‘a practitioner must be designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting’; The Manager whose responsibility it is to ensure all legal requirements are met, has/have appointed an appropriately qualified and experienced Early Years Designated Person (EYDP) to fulfil this role in our setting. Additionally, they are committed to ensuring the EYDP is properly supported in being able to carry out this role fully, including providing them with appropriate time and resources away from other job commitments.

The EYDP has overall responsibility for the day to day oversight of safeguarding and child protection systems in the setting. These responsibilities include;

  • Liaising with other professionals in all agencies, including social services, police and health colleagues;
  • Keeping appraised of any updates in policy and practice as agreed by Kent Safeguarding Children Board (via the Education Safeguarding Team);
  • Being a source of support, advice and guidance to any other setting staff, both paid and voluntary. This is on an ongoing basis and on any specific safeguarding issue as required;
  • Co-ordinating child protection action within the setting, including making referrals as necessary and maintaining a confidential recording system;
  • Ensuring all staff, visitors and volunteers are aware of the setting policies and procedures and their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding children;
  • Ensuring all staff, both paid and voluntary, have received appropriate and up to date child protection training at least every 3 years (as stipulated by the KSCB)
  • Ensuring their training is kept up to date by attending appropriate designated person training every 2 years (as stipulated by the KSCB)
  • Representing or ensuring the setting is represented, by an appropriate senior member of staff, at inter-agency meetings in particular Strategy Discussions, Child Protection Conferences and core groups;
  • Managing and monitoring the setting’s part in child in need and child protection plans

The welfare and safety of children, however, are the responsibility of all staff in the setting and ANY concern for a child’s welfare MUST be reported to the EYDP.

In Little Shepherd’s Preschool the EYDP is Laura Ramage

In their absence Sarah Smith will deputise.

SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

The Little Shepherd’s Preschool adheres to the KSCB Safeguarding Children Procedures (2014). The full KSCB procedures document and additional guidance relating to specific safeguarding issues can be found on the KSCB website www.kscb.org.uk

A copy of the Kent and Medway Interagency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need, which provides guidance for professionals including when to make a referral to Specialist Children’s Services can be found in the filing cabinet

It is the responsibility of the EYDP to receive and collate information regarding individual children, to make immediate and on-going assessments of potential risk and to decide actions necessary, with parents / carers in most cases. This includes the need to make referrals to partner agencies and services. To help with this decision they may choose to consult with the Area Education Safeguarding Adviser .on 03000 411995.Advice may also be sought from Specialist Children’s Services Duty Social Workers (03000 411111) who offer opportunities for consultation as part of the Child in Need / Child Protection process.

Issues discussed during consultations may include the urgency and gravity of the concerns for a child or young person and the extent to which parents/carers are made aware of these. Some concerns may need to be monitored over a period of time before a decision is made to refer to Specialist Children’s Services or other services.

Such referrals might include referral to Specialist Children’s Services as either Child Protection or Child in Need, to Police where there are potential criminal issues, referral to the Kent Early Help and Preventative Services or referral to services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), counselling, MARAC, etc.

Referrals to Specialist Children’s Services will be made using Kent’s inter-agency referral form (IARF) and with reference to the Kent and Medway Interagency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need. In situations where there are felt to be urgent or grave concerns, a telephone referral will be made prior to the form being completed and sent to the County Duty Team. All referrals are now made via the County Duty Team unless it’s already an open case.

In all but the most exceptional circumstances, parents /carers will be made aware of the concerns felt for a child or young person at the earliest possible stage. In the event of a referral to Specialist Children’s Services being necessary, parents/carers will be informed and consent to this will be sought unless there is a valid reason not to do so.

In the absence of the availability of the EYDP to discuss an immediate and urgent concern, staff can seek advice from the Education Safeguards Team 03000 411995.Specialist Children’s Services (Tel : 03000 411111)

The role of the setting in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.

On occasion, staff may pass information about a child to the EYDP, but remain anxious about action subsequently taken. Staff should feel able to clarify with the EYDP further progress, so that they can reassure themselves the child is safe and their welfare is being considered. If following this process, the staff member remains concerned that appropriate action is not being taken, it is the responsibility of that staff member to seek further direct consultation from either a member of the Education Safeguards Team or the local Specialist Children’s Services Team who will be able to discuss the concern and advise on appropriate action to be taken.

Parents and carers can obtain a copy of the setting Safeguarding Policy and other related policies on request or can view them via the setting website (Insert web address here).

RECOGNITION AND CATEGORIES OF ABUSE:

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 defines ‘abuse’ as ‘a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.”

Staff need to remember that child abuse can occur within all social groups regardless of religion, culture, social class or financial position. Children who have a disability are statistically subject to greater risk of abuse and are particularly vulnerable. It is also important to remember that those who abuse children can be of any age, gender, ethnic group or background and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions to prevent recognition or action taking place.

All staff in the setting should be aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

The most up to date definitions are found in Appendix 1 of this document.

Indicators and signs of abuse are listed in the leaflet “Safeguarding Children and Child Protection – Induction Leaflet Guidelines for Early Years” distributed to all staff. A copy of this leaflet can be found in filing cabinet

INDUCTION AND TRAINING

All setting staff, both paid and voluntary, will be expected to undertake an appropriate level of safeguarding training. Advice on appropriate training courses will be sought from the KSCB, but any training should ensure staff have an up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues. This will enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity and to respond in a timely and appropriate way. It should also include an understanding of the setting’s own safeguarding policy and procedures including the action to be taken in the event of inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children.

The proprietor/trustees/committee will ensure the EYDP(s) attend the required EYDP safeguarding training when they first take up the role and that they continue to update their knowledge on an on-going basis and at least every 2 years as required by KSCB guidance.

The EYDP will ensure that all new staff and volunteers are appropriately inducted in the setting’s internal safeguarding procedures and communication lines. A summary information sheet is available to be given to staff and volunteers to support this process.

RECORD KEEPING

Staff must record any welfare concern that they have about a child on the Setting’s safeguarding incident/concern form (with a body map where injuries have been observed) and pass this without delay to the EYDP. Records must be completed as soon as possible after the incident/event and must be signed and dated.

Incident/concern forms are kept in filing cabinet.

Safeguarding records are kept separate from all other record relating to the child in the setting. They are retained centrally and securely by the EYDP and are shared on a ‘need to know’ basis only.

Detailed guidance on Record Keeping is found in a separate document “Early Years Record Keeping Guidelines” – Staff MUST familiarise themselves with the responsibilities outlined in this document.

All safeguarding records will be forwarded to a child’s subsequent setting or when they move to school at transition. The records should be sent under confidential and separate cover to the new EYDP or person with responsibility for child protection in the receiving school.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMATION SHARING

We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The EYDP will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis.

All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing. Further advice on dealing with disclosures can be found in the document “Child Protection – Dealing with Disclosures in Early Years Settings”

E-SAFETY

e-Safety (online safety) relates to the specific challenges and risks presented by new technologies, including the internet, mobile phones and other devices, for children and young people as well as adults, both within and outside of the setting.

The Little Shepherd’s Preschool will seek to create an appropriate balance between controlling access to the internet and technology, setting rules and boundaries and educating children, parents/carers and staff about safe and responsible use. This will include a range of practices including undertaking appropriate risk assessments of technology, ensuring there is appropriate supervision of children, providing safe and suitable equipment/tools for staff and children and ensuring that there is up-to-date training/education in place for all members of the community regarding online risks and responsibilities.

The Little Shepherd’s Preschool is aware that children and staff cannot always be prevented from being exposed to online risks and will therefore seek to empower and educate all members of the community so that they are equipped with the skills to make safe and responsible decisions as well as to feel able to report any concerns.

All members of staff will be made aware of the importance of good e-Safety practice in order to educate and protect the children in their care. Members of staff will be made aware of the professional risks associated with the use of electronic communication (e-mail; mobile phones; texting; social network sites) and will be informed about how to manage their own professional reputation online and demonstrate appropriate online behaviours compatible with their role. Staff should familiarise themselves with advice and professional expectations outlined in Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People, the setting’s e-Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy and the KSCB document : Safer Practice with Technology – Guidance for Adults who Work with Children and Young People.

More detailed information can be found in the setting’s e-Safety policy which can be found [……].

SUPERVISION AND SUPPORT:

The Manager of the Little Shepherd’s recognise regular, planned and accountable supervision, which is a two-way process, offers support and develops the knowledge, skills and values of an individual, group or team. We see its purpose is to monitor the progress of professional practice and to help staff to improve the quality of the work they do, thus improving outcomes for children as well as achieving agreed objectives. Supervision also provides an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues including the safeguarding of children and any concerns raised about an individual or colleague’s practice.

All of our staff and volunteers are expected to have regular and planned supervision sessions. Uninterrupted time will be set aside to ensure any supervision sessions effective for both practitioner and management. Further guidance on supervision can be found in the Early Years Supervision booklet.

SUITABLE PEOPLE

The Little Shepherd is committed to ensuring all steps are taken to recruit staff and volunteers who are safe to work with our children and have their welfare and protection as the highest priority. It is the responsibility of the Manager to ensure that effective systems are in place so that all staff and volunteers are properly checked to make sure they are safe to work with the children who attend our setting. We do not allow people, whose suitability has not been checked, including through a Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check, to have unsupervised contact with children being cared for.

We advise all staff that they are expected to disclose any reason that may affect their suitability to work with children including convictions, cautions and warnings. Additionally, we make all staff aware that they may also be disqualified because they live in the same household as another person who is disqualified.

Further information regarding disqualification of staff can be found in the filing cabinet

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MEMBERS OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

The Little Shepherd’s Preschool recognises that it is possible for staff and volunteers to behave in a way that might cause harm to children and takes seriously any allegation received. Such allegations should be referred immediately to the EYDP who will first contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to agree further action to be taken in respect of the child and staff member.

In the event the allegation concerns the EYDP, Sarah Smith should be contacted on 01732 669704

The Manager also ensure we meet our responsibilities under Section 35 of Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. This includes the duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm.

All staff need to be aware of the setting’s Whistle-blowing procedure and that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk. When in doubt – consult.

For specific guidance on how to respond to allegations against staff, please refer to the “Early Years Allegations Against Staff Policy” which can be found [….].

MONITORING AND REVIEW

All setting staff and volunteers will have access to a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss the contents prior to approval of the proprietor/trustees/committee being formally sought. The policy will also be available to parents.

This policy has been written in (date) to reflect the new guidance and legislation issued in relation to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

The policy forms part of our Setting development plan and will be reviewed annually.

All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its contents.

Setting Policies on Related Safeguarding Issues

(to be read and followed alongside this document)

  • e-Safety Policy
  • Mobile Phone and Photographic Images Policy
  • Behaviour Management Policy
  • Early Years Allegations Against Staff Policy
  • Guidelines for Safeguarding Record Keeping in Settings
  • Safeguarding Children and Child Protection – Induction Leaflet Guidelines for Early Years Staff
  • Legal Contact guidance
  • Best Practice guidance; Young People Visiting Settings
  • Advice notes: Dealing with Disclosures in Early Years Settings
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People / Code of Conduct for Staff
  • KSCB document: Safer Practice with Technology – Guidance for Adults who Work with Children and Young People
  • Guidance on the Use of Photographic Images
  • Safer Recruitment Guidelines
  • Whistle-Blowing Policy
  • Intimate care and toiletting policy
  • First Aid and Accident Policies
  • DOH (2009) “Safeguarding Disabled Children – Practice Guidance”

Amend details according to individual setting documents and add any other relevant documents to the list.

We would suggest that all associated documents are kept together in one accessible file – several copies of which may be available in setting as appropriate.