The Children Act 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 define safeguarding and promoting children and young people’s welfare as:
* Protecting children from maltreatment
* Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
* Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and
* Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is the activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Safeguarding action may be needed to protect children (and parents) from:
* Physical abuse
* Sexual abuse
* Emotional abuse
* Bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying
* Racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse
* Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls
* Radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour
* Child sexual exploitation and trafficking
* The impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour, for example, sexting
* Teenage relationship abuse
* Substance misuse
* Issues that may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence
* Domestic violence
* Female genital mutilation (FGM)
* Forced marriage
* Fabricated or induced illness
* Poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children
* Other issues not listed here but that pose a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
My first responsibility and priority is towards the children in my care. If I have any cause for concern I will report it to First Contact, following the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures. The relevant local procedures that are held by me are available on request. I understand that child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, neglect or a mixture of these. I must notify Ofsted of any allegations of abuse, which are alleged to have taken place while the child is in my care. I will follow the steps contained in the ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ guidance and the ‘Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures 2015’.
I keep up to date with child protection issues and relevant legislation by taking regular training courses and by reading relevant publications such as ‘The Childcare Professional’. This helps me be aware of the signs of abuse or neglect and what to do if I have a concern. Safeguarding training will be updated every 3 years.
I have copies of, and am familiar with, the LSCB procedures. I have a copy of the relevant booklets and guidance. I have read them and understand them.
If I am concerned about a child’s welfare, I will contact the local authority First Contact Team, the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), or other relevant support services for advice. Confidentiality will be assured only when it is clear that there is no risk of harm to a child. I follow the procedures outlined in my confidentiality policy. I aim to share all information with parents but in some instances (where I am worried about a child’s wellbeing) I may have to refer concerns without discussing this with you.
Child protection concerns that could identify a particular child are kept confidential and only shared with people who need to know this information.
Parents must notify me of any concerns they have about their child and any accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded.
I work together with parents to make sure the care of their child is consistent. Please see my Working in Partnership with Parents policy.
If I notice:
* significant changes in children’s behaviour
* unexpected bruising or marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect
* any comments made which give me cause for concern
* deterioration in general wellbeing which causes concern
* signs of neglect, abuse or inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any person working with children. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images
* any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home
I will implement the LSCB procedures, without delay to minimise any risk to the child. I will keep a factual record of the concern and will ask the parents for an explanation, providing it would not put the child at risk and will call First Contact.
The EYFS welfare requirements for registered childminders in England require me to let Ofsted know of any concerns that I have reported without delay.
If a child tells me that they or another child is being abused, I will:
* show that I have heard what they are saying, and that I take their allegations seriously
* encourage the child to talk, but I will not prompt them or ask them leading questions. I will not interrupt when a child is recalling significant events and will not make a child repeat their account
* explain what actions I must take, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child
* write down what I have been told using exact words where possible
* make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion
* report my concerns immediately to the duty social worker who has the experience and responsibility to make an assessment of the situation.
The use of mobile phones, cameras and any other electronic device used for recording images
I understand that mobile phones are an everyday part of life for parents and childminders and with that in mind, I have laid out my procedure for their use:
* I will ensure my mobile phone is fully charged and with me at all times in case of emergencies
* I have the facility to take photographs on both my mobile phone and camera and will seek your permission to take any photographs of your child to record activities and share their progress with you.
* Any photographs taken will be deleted after either emailing to you or printed for use in your child’s learning journey
* The photographs will be uploaded to the online system, used for daily diaries and observations, the photographs will then be removed from the devices.
* I will not publish any photographs of your child on any social networking sites or share with any other person without your permission
* If your child has an electrical device that they wish to bring into the setting please let me know, so that we can work together to ensure the safety of all children in attendance
* Visitors to my setting are not permitted to use their electronic devices whilst on my premises, except in exceptional circumstances, when the devices must be used away from the children
* I have registered with the Information Commissioners Office as a data controller in line with the Data Protection Act
* I will always be able to justify to Ofsted the reason for taking the photographs.
* I will always ensure children are appropriately dressed.
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Local Authority Designated Officer for safeguarding (LADO) – Allison Francis 01702 534539
Local Social Services duty desk (First Contact team) 01702 534495 or 01702 534496
Emergency duty team (out of hours) 0845 606 1212
Local police station 0300 333 4444
Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit. Rayleigh Police Station 01268 771919
Ofsted – Helpline 0300 123 1231
Ofsted - Complaints 0300 123 4666
PACEY Information line – for help and support with all areas of childminding, including allegations of child abuse. 0800 169 4486
PACEY Legal advice line – offers free, professional advice to PACEY members on any legal problem related to their childminding business. 02921 156458
PACEY Southend-on-Sea office:
Southend West – Fiona Comish 01702 212948
Southend Central – Maureen Johnson 01702 534222
Southend East – Samantha Collison 01702 534068
NSPCC child protection helpline – 24-hour helpline for people worried about a child 0808 800 5000
Childline 0800 1111
Local Early Years and childhood team 01702 215007