IMPERIAL COLLEGE EARLY YEARS EDUCATION CENTRE

SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 

This policy was last updated in April 2019

Key contacts

 

Head of Centre: Tracy Halsey

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Tracy Halsey 020 7594 5127 Mobex 50406

 

Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Liz-Anne des Vignes 020 7594 5120 Mobex 50860

 

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO): Kembra Healy 020 7641 7668/ 07823 532 538

 

Westminster Duty and Assessment Team (DAT): 020 7641 7560

 

Emergency Out of Hours Duty and Assessment team: 020 7641 6000

 

Prevent Duty Referrals: Mark Chalmers 020 7641 6032

 

Westminster Early Years Lead Jess Milne 020 7641 2994

 

Nominated person for Ofsted Louise Lindsay 020 7594 5540

 

Ofsted: 0300 123 3155

 

Introduction

 

The Early Years Education Centre at Imperial College London ('the Centre') educates and cares for 160 children whose parents work or study at the College. The Centre's staff are dedicated to keeping children safe and the welfare of children is paramount in the day-to-day running of the Centre.  This is reflected in our policies and procedures and our planning and delivery of learning experiences for the children.

 

It is unacceptable for a child to experience abuse of any kind and we recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, and no child or group of children will be treated less favourably in being able to access services which meet their particular needs.  We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect, and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support and protection.

Aims and objectives

 

Our aim is to safeguard and promote the welfare, health and safety of children who are cared for at the Centre by creating and maintaining an open, safe, caring and supportive atmosphere, and by supporting staff in achieving best practice.  The Centre achieves these aims by:

 

    • Valuing, listening to and respecting children
    • Teaching children to identify and manage risks in an age-appropriate way
    • Complying with applicable safeguarding rules and guidance by developing and implementing appropriate procedures, including a code of conduct for staff
    • Recruiting staff who are suitable to work with children and who have positive attitudes to safeguarding, and ensuring all necessary checks are made
    • Ensuring that at least one member of every interview panel has undergone safer recruitment training
    • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
    • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
    • Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training.

Who this policy applies to

 

This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and committee members, volunteers, agency staff, students training at the Centre and anyone working at the Centre on behalf of Imperial College.

 

References to 'staff' throughout the rest of this policy shall be read to include references to all of these groups.

 

Parents and children will be informed of this policy and the procedures contained within as appropriate.

External guidance

 

This policy complies with:

 

  • Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (DfE, updated April 2017)

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE, July 2018).

  • Keeping children Safe in Education (DfE September 2018)

 

It also takes into account the following guidance:

 

  • What to do if you are worried a child is being abused – advice for practitioners (DfE, March 2015)

  • The Prevent duty (DfE, June 2015).

 

In child protection matters the Centre will follow also the inter-agency and child protection procedures laid down by the Tri-borough Local Safeguarding Children Board, which can be found here https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/sharedservices/lscb.aspx

Keeping this policy up to date

This policy is reviewed at least annually, and was last updated on the date stated at the start of this policy.  If any changes are needed before the next annual review is due, these will be made as soon as reasonably practicable.

Other relevant policies

 

The following policies provide further information in relation to safeguarding, and can be found in the staff handbook

  • Health and Safety policy

  • Risk assessments

  • Garden Risk assessments

  • Outings risk assessment

  • Lost child policy

  • Uncollected Child policy

  • Code of Conduct.

  • Whistle blowing policy

  • Peer on peer anti-bullying policy

How this policy is structured

 

The remainder of the policy is divided into two sections:

 

  1. Creating a safe environment for children

  2. Responding to child protection concerns.

 

These are followed by three appendices:

 

  1. Safer recruitment

  2. Types and signs of abuse

  3. Preventing radicalisation and extremism ('the Prevent Duty').


 

A.      Creating a safe environment for children

(i)            Designated Safeguarding Lead

 

The practitioner with lead responsibility for safeguarding children at the Centre, or Designated Safeguarding Lead, is Tracy Halsey ('the DSL'). 

 

Liz Anne des Vignes is the Deputy DSL and will support the DSL and act as DSL when the DSL is absent or unavailable.

 

Contact details for the DSL and Deputy DSL are provided at the start of this policy.

 

These senior members of staff have the necessary status and authority to take responsibility for safeguarding matters including committing resources and, where appropriate, supporting and directing other staff.

 

The DSL is responsible for:

  • Raising awareness of this policy and ensuring that it is kept up to date and observed

  • Liaising with Tri-borough Children's Social Care and the Tri-borough LADO and with other external agencies, such as other local authorities, the police and the DBS, as necessary

  • Providing support, advice and guidance to other staff on an ongoing basis, and on specific safeguarding issues as required

  • Ensuring that appropriate induction and training is provided to all staff and that a record is kept of all safeguarding training received by staff.

(ii)          Safer Recruitment

 

The Centre is committed to safe recruitment, selection and vetting and ensures the implementation of safe recruitment practices. Such as, ensuring candidates have a commitment and understanding to safeguarding and whistle blowing. Statutory procedures for checking the suitability of staff who work with children are always followed, including obtaining enhanced criminal records checks and barred list checks via the DBS, overseas police background checks where relevant, gaps in employment or education are checked and detailed references taken up.   

 

No one whose suitability has not been checked will be permitted unsupervised contact with children.  Visitors to the Centre will always be supervised.

 

Assurance is obtained that appropriate child protection checks and procedures apply to any staff employed by another organisation who might be working onsite (such as agency workers, building or service contractors) and to any working with children on an external site (such as on day trips). Any visitors, volunteers, contractors or other external workers working at the Centre or off-site with children, for whom DBS checks cannot be obtained, will not be permitted to have unsupervised access to children.   

 

Please refer to the Appendix to this Policy for the Centre's full safe recruitment policy.

(iii)         Training and Induction

 

The DSL and Deputy DSL have attended child protection training in accordance with advice from the Tri-borough Local Children's Safeguarding Board which enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect. This training is updated every 2 years.

The recruitment panel have attended safer recruitment training.

 

All staff are trained to understand the safeguarding policies and procedures and have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues.  Staff are trained in identifying signs of possible abuse at the earliest opportunity and in responding in a timely and appropriate way.

 

On joining the Centre, staff are given a full induction, including safeguarding training, and their conduct (including in relation to safeguarding) is evaluated during their probationary period.

Updates on Safeguarding and child protection are sent out via email to all staff on a regular basis and they attend annual refresher and update training. Whole team 1 day safeguarding training takes place every 2-3 years.

(iv)         Code of Conduct for Staff

 

It is every staff member’s responsibility to ensure that all children are respected and kept safe.  All staff are expected to set and maintain the highest standards for their own performance, to work as part of a team and to be an excellent role model for colleagues, children, parents, visitors and students. 

 

All staff will adhere to these rules and the Centre's code of conduct, which outline the expectations for all staff with regard to children, parents and carers and interactions within the team.

 

General principles

All staff should:

  • Treat the safety and welfare of children as paramount at all times

  • Treat all members of the community at the Centre, including children, parents and colleagues, with consideration and respect

  • Adhere to the principles and procedures contained in safeguarding and child protection policy

  • Treat each child as an individual and make adjustments to meet their individual needs

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of and commitment to non-discriminatory practice

  • Recognise the power balances between children and staff, and different levels of seniority of staff and ensure that power and authority are never misused

  • Understand that staff at the Centre are in a position of trust

  • Be alert to, and report appropriately, any behaviour that may indicate that a child is at risk of harm

  • Encourage all children to reach their full potential

  • Never condone inappropriate behaviour by children or staff

  • Report and challenge abusive adult activities, such as ridicule or bullying

  • Share concerns about inappropriate adult behaviour with the DSL

  • Be confident and understand the Whistleblowing policy and procedure

  • Take responsibility for their own continuing professional development

  • Refrain from any action that would bring the Centre into disrepute

  • Use appropriate language at all times

  • Work in partnership with parents and maintain the relationships with parents on a completely professional level

  • Notify the Head of Centre if work is carried out for families of children at the Centre outside the Centre (e.g. babysitting) and ensure that any safeguarding concerns which arise in the context of such work are reported immediately to the DSL

  • Value themselves and seek appropriate support for any issue that may have an adverse effect on their professional practice.

 

 

Staff should not:

  • Play inappropriate physical contact games with children

  • Engage in inappropriate verbal banter

  • Make suggestive remarks or gestures or tell jokes of a sexual nature

  • Believe that an allegation could not be made against you – it could

  • Give their personal contact details – such as home or mobile phone number, email or home address – to any child, parent or carer that they work with, without prior permission from the Head of Centre.

  • Make contact with, or allow contact from children, parents or carers, within social networking sites.

     

Confidentiality

Safeguarding matters are highly sensitive and must be kept confidential.  They must not be discussed with those outside the Centre, only in the context of a necessary external referral (which will usually be made by the DSL) or where it is appropriate to have a discussion with parents (in which case guidance should be sought from the DSL in advance, and no information disclosed to parents which may place their child or another at risk of harm).

It is not permitted to discuss with parents the health or development of any other child except their own. Staff are not permitted to discuss with parents any other member of staff, including the management team. Please refer to the confidentiality policy.       

Staff should never guarantee confidentiality to children or adults wishing to tell them about something serious. You can say that you will pass on information in confidence only to the people who must be told in order to ensure that the appropriate action is taken. You can also reassure those involved that the Centre will take all available steps to protect the informant from any retaliation or unnecessary stress that may occur after a disclosure has been made.                      

Health & Safety                                                                                                   

All staff are obliged to ensure the health and safety of every child at the Centre by following the written policy and procedures. Every member of staff will have received a copy of the staff handbook which contains all relevant policies and procedures.                                                                                                

Staff are expected to carry out risk assessments daily.

Staff taking medication or other substances

Staff must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children.

If staff are taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, those staff should seek medical advice, and will only be permitted to work directly with children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair that staff member’s ability to look after children properly.

Staff are required to sign the EYEC safeguarding declaration form annually and inform management as to any changes that may affect their ongoing suitability.

Staff medication on the premises must be securely stored, and out of reach of children, at all times.

Use of mobile phones, cameras and devices

The use of personal mobile phones is not allowed during work times except lunch breaks. The use of personal cameras and cameras on mobile phones is strictly prohibited, and under no circumstances should staff take pictures of children on their own devices.  Any pictures which are taken must be taken using the Centre's camera, or tablet device with prior permission from the Centre's management team.

Staff are expected to act responsibly when using the internet and the viewing of inappropriate sites is not allowed. Internet use must be in accordance with the College’s ICT code of conduct. If using the internet with children, research must be carried out before allowing children to view the content to prevent the viewing of inappropriate material. Children must be monitored at all times while viewing internet material.

Ongoing requirement to disclose conviction or disqualification

Before and during your employment (or period of volunteering, etc) you must disclose any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that you have received, whether these are historical (i.e. pre-dating your time at the Centre) or new, including both child-related offences and offences which do not relate to children.

You must also disclose if you become disqualified from working in childcare.  The criteria for disqualification are summarised below:

  • inclusion on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Children’s Barred List

  • being found to have committed certain violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults, in the UK or overseas

  • certain orders made in relation to the care of children (for example, if your own child is taken into care)

  • refusal or cancellation of registration relating to childcare, or children’s homes, or being prohibited from private fostering

  • being found to have committed an offence overseas which would constitute an offence regarding disqualification under the 2009 Regulations if it had been done in any part of the United Kingdom

Staff must be aware that if they meet any of these criteria, disqualification from childcare is automatic.  Ofsted does not generally inform individuals that they are disqualified, and nor does any other body: it is for staff to consider and report to the Head of Centre any possibility that they may be disqualified from working in childcare.

If you are disqualified from childcare you may not work at the Centre unless and until you obtain a waiver of disqualification from Ofsted.  The Centre is required to make a report to Ofsted if any of its staff are disqualified from childcare.

Staff are required to sign the EYEC Safeguarding Declaration form annually and inform management as to any changes that may affect their ongoing suitability.

Gathering of information and sharing of concerns

Steps will be taken to ensure that information is gathered on children and families where there may be vulnerabilities or concerns.

  • Parents will be asked to provide evidence of their parental status when registering for a place at the early years

  • Parents will be asked to share any concerns they may have for their child’s health and well being

  • Parents will be asked to share information regarding any other agencies involved in their child’s care e.g. social workers or health care professionals

  • Any concerns regarding the safeguarding of children will be recorded on a ‘Safeguarding Concerns’ form and kept securely and shared with other professionals on a need to know basis only

  • Where children have attended or are attending another childcare setting or child minder, we will request information regarding any safeguarding concern.

B.      Responding to safeguarding concerns

 

(i)            What to do if you are concerned about a child's welfare

 

All staff should exercise vigilance and be watchful for and aware of signs of abuse and neglect or other issues for concern in a child's life, at home or elsewhere.  A list of types of abuse and potential signs that a child is being abused are set out in Appendix [2] to this policy.

 

If you have any concerns about a child (including if a child is missing from the Centre), you should raise these with the DSL and complete a Safeguarding concerns form.

(ii)          Procedure for making external referrals

 

Once the DSL is alerted to a concern, the DSL will discuss the matter with the member of staff and will decide on an appropriate course of action.

 

If it appears that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm, the DSL will immediately make a report to the Westminster Duty and Assessment Team, who will contact Children’s Social Care in the local authority where the child lives (or, in an emergency, to the police).  Ordinarily referrals will be made by the DSL, although any member of staff can make a referral (and contact details are provided at the start of this policy).

 

If a child has not suffered and is not at risk of suffering serious harm, but is in need of additional support, the DSL will take steps to initiate an inter-agency assessment using local processes.

 

If concerns are raised about the conduct or suitability of a member of staff, the DSL will immediately refer the matter to the Tri-borough LADO.

 

A record of all referrals made and any resulting action will be kept by the DSL.

(iii)         How to respond if a child raises a concern

 

Staff should always listen to a child who wants to talk about a concern. If a child tells you something which suggests that they know about or have been a victim of child abuse or neglect:

 

    • Listen to what the child says
    • Be comforting and sympathetic
    • Ensure that the child feels as little responsibility as possible
    • It is particularly important not to make any suggestions to the child regarding how the incident may have happened, therefore do not question the child except to clarify what he/she is saying
  • Promises to keep the matter secret should not be given (see Confidentiality section above)

  • Tell the child what will happen next if it is possible to do so in way that he/she will understand, and reassure him/her

  • Write down exactly what the child says or what actions concern you, and what you have said in response as soon as possible (within the hour, if possible), using the child’s own words as far as you can.  All notes should be timed, dated and signed, with your name printed alongside the signature

  • Report the matter to the DSL immediately, and the DSL will decide whether it is appropriate to make an external referral (alternatively you may make external referrals yourself, and the relevant contact details are provided at the start of this policy)

  • Do not make assumptions about who the allegation might concern.  However, if a member of staff is or may be involved, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure the safety of the child and other children, so please alert the DSL so that they can co-ordinate necessary actions.

  • Seek support if you feel distressed. The DSL will contact your early years adviser who will offer advice and support (and will not be responsible for investigating the incident).

 

  1. What to do if a child arrives at the Centre with injuries:

Staff should:

    • Ensure immediate medical attention is given, if necessary
    • If possible ask the parent/carer how the injuries occurred, and try to ensure that a reasonably full and clear account is obtained. Ask the parent to complete an accident form and sign it.
  • Record your concerns on a ‘Safeguarding Concerns Form’. Write down exactly what the parent/carer says or what concerns you, and what you have said in response as soon as possible (within the hour, if possible), using the parent/carer's own words as far as you can.  All notes should be timed, dated and signed, with your name printed alongside the signature

    • Report the matter to the DSL immediately, and the DSL will decide whether it is appropriate to make an external referral (alternatively you may make external referrals yourself, and the relevant contact details are provided at the start of this policy)
    • Seek support if you feel distressed. The DSL will contact your early years advisor who will offer advice and support (and will not be responsible for investigating the incident).

 

  1. Consideration for ‘Looked after’ children

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. The team should ensure they have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the child’s circumstances and background as far as possible and necessary to keep looked after children safe.  In particular information in relation to children’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.

 

  1. Children with Special educational needs and disabilities

Children with SEN and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. Staff should be vigilant and ensure they know the child well and recognise the barriers that children may have and liaise with the SENCO team as well as the DSL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Whistleblowing procedure and duty to report concerns and suspicions

All staff have a responsibility to report any concerns about improper, poor or unsafe practice, including in relation to the care and protection of children.  This is especially important as children may not be able to raise concerns verbally.

If you have concerns about the behaviour of a colleague or if you believe that best practice is not being adhered to or that a practice may put a child or children at risk, you should follow this procedure.

In the first instance you should raise the matter immediately with the DSL, or with the Deputy DSL if the DSL is unavailable or the concern is about the DSL.

If you do not feel that it is appropriate to raise the matter with the DSL or the Deputy DSL, you should approach another member of the Management team, or contact Ofsted or the LADO (see contact details at the start of this Policy)

Any matters raised will be taken seriously and dealt with fairly and promptly.  No member of staff will suffer a detriment or be disciplined for raising a genuine concern about unsafe practice, provided that they do so in good faith.

Please refer to the next section of this policy for further detail on how allegations against staff will be dealt with.

  1. Procedure if an allegation is made against a member of staff

Allegations of abuse may arise against any person who comes into contact with children.

If you think, for whatever reason (including where a child has disclosed abuse) that another member of staff has harmed or may have harmed a child, may be unsuitable to work with children and/or may pose a risk of harm to children, you should inform the Head of Centre immediately. Should the allegation concern the Head of Centre, you should inform the DSL who will act in the place of the Head of Centre and will liaise with the Local Authority LADO as set out below.

In the event that an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff:

  • The Head of Centre will contact the LADO for advice or to make a referral as soon as possible and in any event within 24 hours of the Centre becoming aware of any concern or allegation which indicates that a member of staff may be unsuitable to work with or may pose a risk of harm to children. All such concerns will be referred without delay. Borderline cases may be discussed without identifying individuals in the first instance.  

 

  • The LADO and the Head of Centre will decide which further steps (if any) should be taken; this could involve informing parents or the person who is the subject of the allegations. In serious cases the police will be informed. Where a referral to the police has been made directly by the Head of Centre due to the seriousness or urgency of the matter, the Head of Centre will inform the LADO of the referral as soon as possible and in any event within 24 hours of the Centre becoming aware of the concern. All discussions with external agencies should be recorded in writing.

 

  • If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child, or if a child is suffering serious harm, a referral will be made immediately to the Westminster Duty and Assessment Team, who will contact Children’s Social Care in the local authority where the child lives.

     

  • Where allegations of serious harm or abuse are made against anyone working or looking after children at the Centre, a report will also be made to Ofsted as soon as possible, and not later than 14 days after the allegation comes to the attention of the Centre.

 

  • The initial sharing of information and investigation may lead to a decision that no further action is to be taken, in which case this decision should be recorded by the Head of Centre and an agreement should be reached with the LADO on what information should be put in writing to the individual concerned. The Head of Centre should then consider with the LADO what action should follow, both in respect of the individual and those who made the initial allegation. Where appropriate the matter will be dealt with under the College's Disciplinary Policy. Allegations that are found to have been malicious will be removed from personnel records and those that are unsubstantiated, false or malicious will not be referred to in employment references.

 

  • The staff member against whom the allegation is made should normally be informed as soon as possible after the result of the initial investigation is known. However where a strategy discussion is needed or police or children's services need to be involved the person against whom the allegation has been made should not be informed until these agencies have been consulted.

     

  • The parents or carers of the child or children involved will also be informed as soon as possible after the result of the initial investigation is known (or after consultation with external agencies if a strategy meeting is required), save that if a child is injured or distressed then the parents or carers will always be informed as soon as possible that day unless to do so would place the child or other children at risk of harm.

 

  • During the course of the investigation the Centre, in consultation with the LADO, will decide what information should be given to parents and staff generally and other children and how any press enquiries are to be dealt with.

 

  • When the individual against whom the allegations have been made is spoken to, he/she will be warned that anything said will be recorded in writing. The Centre will appoint a representative to keep the person informed of the likely course of action and the progress of the case, and will also make arrangements for the individual to receive appropriate support.

 

  • If there is cause to suspect that a child or children at the Centre are at risk of harm from the accused person, or if the case is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal, then the person concerned may be suspended. Due weight should be given to the views of the LADO and to the police when making a decision about suspension and all alternative options should be considered prior to taking that step. The reasons and justification for suspension will be recorded and the individual informed of them. In the case of staff the matter will normally be dealt with in accordance with the College's Disciplinary Procedure and with support from the College's HR team.

 

  • A prompt referral to the DBS will be made in circumstances where a person is dismissed from working in regulated activity due to safeguarding concerns, or would have been had they not resigned. Failure to make a report constitutes an offence.  

 

  • If there has been a substantiated allegation against a member of staff, the Centre will work with the LADO to identify any changes which could be made to help prevent similar events in the future.

 

 

 

SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Safer recruitment

 

The Centre practices robust safer recruitment procedures and checks the suitability of all who work or come into contact with children. This includes requiring enhanced criminal records checks via the DBS (and overseas checks if applicants have lived or worked abroad for more than three months), health checks and always taking up detailed references.

 

All advertisements for roles at the Centre state the Centre's commitment to safeguarding.

 

In order to help promote a safe environment for children, candidates for roles at the Centre are:

 

  • provided with a job description and person specification for the role, which states the Centre's commitment to safeguarding

  • required to complete an application form and provide a full employment history, and any gaps in employment are scrutinised and addressed

  • required to provide two referees, including from his/her current or most recent employer, and at least one must refer to the applicant's suitability to work with children

  • required to provide evidence of their identity, right to work in the UK and qualifications and a declaration of any family or close relationships to existing employees

  • required to provide a chronological order of secondary education, training and qualifications

  • required to apply for an Enhanced Criminal Records Check from the DBS, to include a Children's Barred List check, and to show the Centre the original DBS certificate prior to starting work

  • required to confirm that they are not disqualified from working in childcare. (please refer to the relevant section of the Code of Conduct above for further details)

  • asked to interview to assess the candidate's knowledge and experience against the job description and person specification, to discuss safeguarding issues and, where appropriate, to undertake some supervised activities with children at the Centre so that their suitability can be assessed

  • interviewed by at least one individual with safer recruitment training

  • appointed subject to a probationary period involving regular reviews and supervision

  • required under the terms of their employment contract to understand and follow this Safeguarding and Child Protection policy, including the section on whistleblowing.

  • required to undergo an induction to help them understand their roles and responsibilities and which includes training on emergency evacuation procedures, safeguarding, child protection, the Centre's Equal Opportunities policy  and Code of Conduct, and health and safety issues.

  • Required to sign the EYEC annual safeguarding declaration form confirming their suitability to work with children in the context of safeguarding and child protection and update this annually or as needed prior to annually.

     

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2: Types and signs of abuse

 

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. A non-exhaustive list of types of abuse is set out below:

 

Neglect:The persistent or severe neglect of a child which results in significant impairment of the child’s health or development.

    • Failure to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter
    • Failure to protect from physical or emotional harm.
    • Failure to meet child’s basic emotional needs.
    • Failure to ensure adequate supervision.
    • Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care.

 

Physical Abuse:Deliberate or intended injury to a child

    • Hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating, or poisoning.
    • Deliberate inducement of an illness.

 

Sexual Abuse:Actual or likely sexual exploitation.

  • Use of force or enticement to take part in sexual activity penetrative, or non – penetrative.

    • Involvement in non-contact activities such as looking at or making abusive images.
    • Encouraging children to watch sexual activities.
    • Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
    • Involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images
    • Grooming a child in preparation for abuse
    • Any sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 (with or without their consent)

 

Emotional Abuse:Persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection which adversely affects the child’s emotional and behavioural development conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate.

    • Overprotection, limiting exploration and learning, preventing normal social interaction or imposing inappropriate expectations.
    • Causing a child to feel frightened or in danger by the witnessing of violence towards another person whether domestic or not.

 

Female Genital Mutilation: all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

 

One of the best ways to help children is by being aware of the signs of possible abuse. All staff should be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify children who may in need of help or protection. These signs can take many forms including physical injuries and behavioural indicators.

 

All staff should familiarise themselves with the list below which, although not exhaustive, includes common signs of abuse which may indicate a problem. It is important to recognise that some children who are being abused do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse. Sometimes children don't even realise that what's happening is abuse. It is also sometimes difficult to tell the difference between injuries suffered as part of normal childhood activities and those caused by abuse. If you are unsure you should discuss the case with the DSL.

 

 

 

 

Physical signs of abuse and neglect

 

Signs of abuse and neglect can include:

 

  • injuries to parts of the body where accidents are unlikely, such as thighs, back, abdomen

  • respiratory problems from drowning, suffocation or poisoning

  • untreated or inadequately treated injuries

  • bruising which looks like hand or finger marks

  • cigarette burns, human bites

  • abdominal pain

  • headaches

  • scarring, scalds and burns

  • sexually transmitted infection

  • pain/itching/bleeding/bruising/discharge to the genital area/anus

  • urinary infections/sexually transmitted diseases

  • difficulty walking or sitting

  • persistent sore throats

  • the child seems underweight or is very small for their age

  • recurrent/untreated infections of skin or head lice

  • untreated health/dental issues

  • poor hygiene

  • they are poorly clothed, with inadequate protection from the weather

  • they are often absent from education for no apparent reason

  • They are regularly left alone, or in the charge of brothers or sisters who are not old enough to look after them properly.

Behavioural signs of abuse and neglect

 

If a child is being abused, their behaviour may change in a number of ways. For example they may:

 

  • behave aggressively or be disruptive, act out, demand attention and require more behavioural support than other children

  • become angry or disinterested and/or show little creativity

  • seem frightened of certain adults

  • become sad, withdrawn or depressed

  • have trouble sleeping

  • exhibit inappropriate sexual knowledge for their age or sexualised drawings or behaviour in their play with other children

  • refuse to change their clothes for activities or participate in physical activities

  • develop eating disorders

  • self-harm

  • lack confidence or have low self-esteem

  • display a sudden change in behaviour – aggression, extroversion, depression, withdrawn

  • exhibit attention seeking behaviour, hyperactivity or a low attention span

  • appear frightened of parents or family members

  • display abnormal attachment between parent and child

  • display indiscriminate attachment

  • exhibit hyper alertness

  • provide reduced response

  • show frozen watchfulness

  • suffer from nightmares

  • suffer from anxiety/irritability

  • have poor peer relationships

  • display excessive or inappropriate masturbation

  • have frequent visits to the toilet (possible urinary infection).

  • fail to thrive

  • not meet normal developmental milestones.

 

Signs that a parent or other responsible adult may be abusing or neglecting a child

 

The parent/adult may:

 

  • offer conflicting or unconvincing explanation of any injuries to the child

  • appear indifferent to or overtly rejects the child

  • deny existence of or blames the child for the child's problems at home or at the Centre

  • display unrealistic expectations of the child i.e. demands a level of academic or physical performance of which they are not capable

  • see and describe the child as worthless, burdensome or in another negative light

  • refuse offers of help for the child's problems

  • be isolated physically/emotionally.

 

Signs of grooming manifested by sex offenders

 

It is important to remember that not all sex offenders will exhibit these signs and if an individual exhibits some or all of these signs it does not mean that they are a sex offender.

 

  • Overly affectionate behaviour with a child

  • Affording special attention or preferential treatment to a child

  • Excessive time spent with a child outside of the organisation

  • Frequently spending time with a child in private or isolated areas

  • Transporting a child to or from the organisation

  • Making friends with a child's parents and visiting their home

  • Acting as a particular child's confidante

  • Giving small gifts, money, toys, cards, letters to a child

  • Flirtatious behaviour or making suggestive remarks or comments of a sexual nature around a child.

     

    Staff should also be alert to any comments or jokes made by other children at the Centre.

     


 

Appendix 3: Preventing radicalisation and extremism ('the Prevent Duty')

 

The Centre recognises its duty to have due regard to the need to prevent children from being drawn into terrorism. The referral procedures set out above also apply where there are concerns about children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation.

 

In accordance with the Prevent Duty, staff will be trained to understand:

 

  • The risk of children (even young children) being drawn into extremism

  • How to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them.

     

    Most of the children at the Centre do not have access to the Centre's IT systems due to their age.  However, some older children may occasionally use the Centre's IT systems, on a supervised basis.  Supervision ensures that extremist (or other inappropriate) material is not viewed by children.

     

    The DSL is the designated Prevent Duty person responsible for co-ordinating action within the Centre, liaising with other agencies and organising training for all staff on the Prevent Duty.

     

    Updated by Tracy Halsey April 2019