Taking Action to Ensure that Children are Safe at Setting and at Home

All staff should follow the DfE guidance and the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements in the EYFs;

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It is not the responsibility of the setting staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff, however, have a duty to recognise concerns and maintain an open mind. Accordingly all concerns regarding the welfare of child will be recorded and discussed with the designated senior person/manager with responsibility for safeguarding (or another senior member of staff in the absence of the designated person) prior to any discussion with parents. Within our setting staff should first and foremost speak to the Nursery Manager Shyamalie Ranasinghe or in her absence the Deputy Manager Vojsava Gurra. Should neither of them be available for the next 24 hrs concerns should immediately be passed on to Kamer Turgay. Under no circumstances should any information be disclose to or discussed with other members of staff.

 

Staff must immediately report:

  • Any suspicion that a child is injured, marked, or bruised in a way which is not readily attributable to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play
  • Any explanation given which appears inconsistent or suspicious
  • Any behaviours which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm
  • Any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment, or emotional maltreatment
  • Any concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect
  • Any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendance
  • Any suspicion, allegation disclosure of abuse about or by a child
  • Any concerns regarding person(s) who may pose a risk to children (e.g. living in a household with children present)
  • Information which indicates that the child is living with someone who does not have parental responsibility for them (private fostering)

 

Responding to Disclosure and Allegations

Allegations or information may be received from child, parents or other members of the public. The setting recognises that those who disclose such information may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak.  Accordingly all staff will handle allegations with sensitivity. Such information cannot remain confidential and staff will immediately communicate what they have been told to the designated person and make a contemporaneous record.

 

Principles

Staff will not investigate but will, wherever possible, listen, record and pass on information to the designated person in order that she can make an informed decision of what to do next.

Staff will:

  • Listen to and take seriously any information shared that a child may be at risk of harm
  • Clarify the information
  • Make a written record of what the child has said using the Record Form (Appendix 4)
  • Try to keep questions to a minimum and of an ‘open’ nature e.g. ‘Can you tell me what happened?’ rather than ‘Did x hit you?’
  • Try not to show signs of shock, horror or surprise
  • Not express feelings or judgements regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child
  • Explain sensitively to the person that they have a responsibility to refer the information to the senior designated person
  • Reassure and support the person as far as possible
  • Explain that only those who ‘need to know’ will be told
  • Explain what will happen next and that the person will be involved as appropriate

 

Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Manager (or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead in their absence)

Following any information raising concern, the senior designated person will:

  • Consider the child‘s wishes and feelings, but not promise confidentiality
  • Consider any urgent medical needs of the child
  • Make an immediate referral to Waltham Forest MASH Team/Children’s Referral and Advice Team) if there has been a disclosure an/or allegation of abuse or there are clear grounds for concerns about the child’s safety and well-being
  • Consult with a member of Waltham Forest MASH Team/Children’s Referral and Advice Team) at Juniper House if they are uncertain whether or not a referral is required or review Early help and threshold criteria for intervention

In consultation with the Waltham Forest MASH Team/Children’s Referral and Advice Team at Juniper House, decide:

  • Wherever possible, to talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk
  • Whether to make a child protection referral to social care because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately
  • Contact the designated officer for safeguarding in another agency if that agency is working with the family

 

OR

 

  • Not to make a referral at this stage, but retain the information in written notes on the child’s  file
  • If further monitoring is necessary and agree who and how this will be undertaken
  • If it would be appropriate to undertake an assessment (e.g. CAF) and/or make a referral for other services

 

All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented. All referrals to social care for children living in Waltham Forest needs to be completed using the Multi-agency Referral of a Child in Need form (Appendix 5).

 

Action following a child protection referral

 

The designated senior person or other appropriate member of staff will:

 

  • Maintain contact with the allocated Social Worker
  • Contribute to the Strategy Discussion and Strategy meeting
  • Provide a report for, attend and contribute to any Initial and Review Child Protection Conference
  • Share the content of this report with the parent, prior to the Child Protection Conference.
  • Attend Core Group Meetings for any child subject to a Child Protection Plan or Child in Need meeting for any child subject to a Child in Need Plan
  • Where a child on a child protection plan moves from the setting/childminder or goes missing, immediately inform the key worker in Social Care

 

Dealing with Disagreement and Escalation of Concerns

 

The designated safeguarding lead or other appropriate member of staff will:

 

  • Contact the line manager in children’s social care if they consider that the social care response to a referral has not led to the child being adequately safeguarded and follow this up in writing
  • Contact the line manager in children’s social care if they consider that the child is not being adequately safeguarded by the child protection plan and follow this up in writing
  • Use the Escalation Policy (Appendix 6) if this does not resolve the concern

 

 

Supporting the Child and working in Partnership with Parents

 

  • We will provide a secure, caring, supportive and protective relationship for the child
  • The setting recognises that the child’s welfare is paramount. Good child protection practice and a good outcome for the child relies on a positive, open and honest working partnership with parents
  • Whilst we may, on occasion, need to make referrals without consultation with parents, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with them whilst fulfilling our duties to protect any child
  • Children will be given a proper explanation (appropriate to age & understanding) of what action is being taken on their behalf and why
  • We will endeavour always to preserve the privacy, dignity and right to confidentiality of the child and parents. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will determine which members of staff “need to know” personal information and what they “need to know” for the purpose of supporting and protecting the child