The purpose of Kat Kat’s kids childminding safeguarding and child protection policy is to provide a secure framework for the workforce in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of those children/young people who attend our setting. The policy aims to ensure that:
All our children are safe and protected from harm.
Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable children to feel safe and adopt safe practices;
Staff, children, proprietors, visitors, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours’ and the settings legal responsibilities in relation to the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our children.
‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Safeguarding in Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding is considered everyone’s responsibility and our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all children registered or who use our setting feel that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. We will do this by working in partnership with other agencies and seeking to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues to develop and provide activities and opportunities that will help to equip our children with the skills they need. This will include materials and learning experiences that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours.
This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989; and in line with the following documents which can be downloaded from the Safeguarding page of our website, http://www.graftonchildcare.co.uk/safeguarding-here-at-grafton-childcare.html:
“Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2016
“The Prevent Duty” 2015
“Information Sharing; Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers” 2015
Responsibilities and Expectations
The proprietor and management takes seriously its responsibility under section 11 of the Children Act and duties under “working together” to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements exist within our setting to identify, and support those children who are suffering harm or are likely to suffer significant harm. We recognise that all staff and management have a full and active part to play in protecting our children from harm, and that the child’s welfare is our paramount concern.
The proprietor of Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding will ensure the following:-
that the safeguarding and child protection policy is made available to parents and carers.
that all staff and volunteers are properly checked to make sure they are safe to work with the children who attend our setting.
that the setting has procedures for handling allegations of abuse made against members of staff (including the Manager/Proprietor) or volunteers.
the safe and appropriate use of cameras, mobile phones, technology and on line equipment within the setting.
the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which places a duty on early years and childcare providers “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (The Prevent Duty) is implemented, taking into account the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board ‘Prevent’ policies, protocols and procedures and ensuring the Fundamental British Values are implemented as stated in the EYFS.
a Safeguarding Designated Officer (SDO) is appointed who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our setting.
-The Safeguarding Designated Officer is Mrs Catherine Neve.
Our procedures will be annually reviewed and up-dated.
The responsibilities for the Safeguarding Designated Officer (SDO) are:-
to ensure that all safeguarding issues raised in setting are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency.
All adults, (including volunteers) new to our setting will be made aware of this policy and the procedures for child protection, the name and contact details of the Safeguarding Designated Person and have these explained, as part of their induction into the setting.
Be responsible for arranging the settings safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers who work with the children and young people. The SDO must ensure that the safeguarding training takes place at least every three years for all; which they can deliver in-house provided they are linked in to the support and quality assurance process offered by the Local Authority and the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
to attend or ensure that a senior member of staff who has the relevant training and access to appropriate supervision, attends where appropriate, all child protection case conferences, reviews, core groups or meetings where it concerns a child in our care and to contribute to multi-agency discussions to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
for ensuring the acceptable, safe use and storage of all camera technology, images, and mobile phones through the implementation, monitoring and reviewing of the appropriate polices and procedures. This includes the on-line Safety Policy which includes Camera & Image Policy, Mobile Phone Policy, Acceptable Use Policy.
Interrupting and implementing the Fundamental British Vales.
All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If you are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you must tell the Safeguarding Designated Officer.
All Adults, including the SDO, have a duty to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to the relevant agency including MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub), Children and Young Peoples Service (CYPS) – Social Care, or the Police. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from a different agency, e.g. Early Years Consultants, Health Visitors, it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the Setting’s Safeguarding Designated Officer in the first instance and to follow their organisations procedures. Any records made should be kept securely in the Child’s Protection file.
Recognising Concerns, Signs and Indicators of Abuse
Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. For our setting it includes such things as child safety, bullying, racist abuse and harassment, visits, intimate care and internet safety etc. However it must be acknowledged that technology itself will not present the greatest risk, but the behaviours of individuals using such equipment will. The witnessing of abuse can have a damaging affect on those who are party to it, as well as the child/adult subjected to the actual abuse, and in itself will have a significant impact on the health and emotional well-being of the child.
The table below outlines the four main categories of abuse as defined by the Department of Health ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document 2010. Staff should be aware that the possible indicators are not definitive and that some children may present these behaviours for reasons other than abuse. However, it is important to know the indicators of abuse and to be alert to the need to consult further.
Type of Abuse/Possible Indicators
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairments of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
provide food, clothing and shelter;
protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
ensure adequate supervision;
ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Obvious signs of lack of care including: Problems with personal hygiene; Constant hunger;
Lateness or non-attendance at the setting; Poor relationship with peers;
Untreated medical problems;
Compulsive stealing and scavenging; Rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking; Running away;
May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child
Physical signs that do not tally with the given account of occurrence conflicting or unrealistic explanations of cause repeated injuries delay in reporting or seeking medical advice.
Forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, penetrative or non-penetrative acts and also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.
Sudden changes in behaviour
Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate
Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance
Tendency to cry easily
Regression to younger behaviour – e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby Unexplained gifts or money
Depression and withdrawal Wetting/soiling day or night
Fear of undressing for PE
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.
Isolation child being blamed for actions of adults child being used as carer for younger siblings affection and basic emotional care giving/ warmth, persistently absent or withheld.
Prevent The Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015
The Act places a Prevent duty on settings to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
Settings subject to the Prevent Duty will be expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas
Assessing the risk of children being drawn into terrorism
Demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies.
Ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism
Expected to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in the setting
What to do if You are Concerned
If a child makes a disclosure or allegation of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, it is important that you:
Stay calm and listen carefully.
Reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you. Do not investigate or ask leading questions.
Let them know that you will need to tell someone else.
Do not promise to keep what they have told you a secret.
Inform your Safeguarding Designated Officer as soon as possible.
Make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which you must sign, date and record your position using the setting safeguarding record log forms.
If you are concerned that a member of staff or adult in a position of trust poses a danger to a child or young person or that they might be abusing a child or young person you should report your concerns to the Safeguarding Designated Officer. Where those concerns relate to the Safeguarding Designated Officer however, this should be reported to the LADO using the settings ‘Whistle blowing’ policy.
We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues and appropriate advice will be sought from the LADO or Safeguarding Team where necessary.
We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working or may come into contact with children and young people whilst in our setting. Allegations will usually be that some kind of abuse has taken place. This could include inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff or other persons working with the children such as inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one to one attention beyond the requirements their role and responsibilities, inappropriate sharing or images. They can be made by children and young people or other concerned adults. Allegations are made for a variety of reasons:
Abuse has actually taken place.
Something has happened to the child that reminds them of a past event – the child is unable to recognize that the situation and people are different; Children can misinterpret your language or your actions.
Some children recognise that allegations can be powerful and if they are angry with you about something they can make an allegation as a way of hitting out.
An allegation can be a way of seeking attention.
If an allegation is made against an adult in a position of trust whether they be members of staff or volunteers this should be brought to the immediate attention of the SDO who will advise the Proprietor. In the case of the allegation being made against the SDO and or the Proprietor this will be brought to the immediate attention of the the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) the nature of the allegations made against the adult, in order for the appropriate action to be taken. This may constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion depending on the allegation being made. The Proprietor will need to:
Refer to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) immediately and follow up in writing within 48 hours. Consider safeguarding arrangements of the child or young person to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser.
Contact the parents or carers of the child/young person if advised to do so by the LADO.
Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation.
Advise Ofsted of allegation within 14 days of the allegation
Ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation if this is deemed necessary.
Act on any decision made in any strategy meeting.
Advise the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff has been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the allegations being founded.
A copy of “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused, Advice for Practitioners” booklet is kept with this policy. This sets out the guidelines on dealing with incidents, disclosures and the procedures that must be followed.
We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.
The SDO will disclose personal information about a child or young person to other members of staff on a need to know basis only.
However, 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 well-being or that of another.
We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Social Care with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with the Safeguarding Team or Social Care on this point.
We will take no names consultations with our MASH team to discuss concerns we may have, but we understand that if they then ask for a name we will disclose those details and it will become an enquiry.
All members of staff and volunteers will have access to safeguarding training at least every two-three years in line with Swindon Safeguarding Children’s Board. We will also, as part of our induction, issue information in relation to our Safeguarding policy and any policy related to safeguarding and promoting our children/young people’s welfare to all newly appointed staff and volunteers.
Our Safeguarding Designated Officer will undertake further safeguarding training, level 2+ Safeguarding course or Refresher Course. This will be undertaken at least every three years which updates their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wide agenda of safeguarding issues. This will support both the SDO to be able to better undertake their role and support the setting in ensuring our safeguarding arrangements are robust and achieving better outcomes for the children in our setting. This includes taking part in multi-agency training in addition to safeguarding training.
Our Proprietor will have access to safeguarding training and will also undertake additional awareness training at least every three years. She will also be advised to undertake additional training to support their employers’ role in Handling Allegations against adults who work with children and young people, including our staff and volunteers.
Our safeguarding arrangements and our Safeguarding policy is reviewed annually, in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.
We will include our Safeguarding Policy on our settings website and will provide copies of our policy to each member of staff. We are also able to arrange for our policy to be made available to parents whose first language is not English, on request.
Mobile Phones and Cameras
Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding has policies and procedures in place with regard to the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting and on visits etc. See our Communication Policy for full details.
Current Safeguarding Issues
The following Safeguarding issues are all considered to be child Protection issues and should be referred immediately to the most relevant agency. The issues featured below are linked to guidance and local procedures which can be found on the South West Child Protection Procedures at http://www.proceduresonline.com/swcpp/ (Direct links to the policies listed below are included where available).
E-Safety Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimize the risks to our children and young people Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an acceptable use policy linked to our Communications Policy. We will ensure that staff are aware of how not to compromise their position of trust in or outside of the setting and are aware of the dangers associated with social networking sites.
Our Communications policy will clearly state that mobile phone, camera or electronic communications with a child or family at our setting is not acceptable other than for approved setting business. Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse or cyber bullying we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people, (or a third person or persons) receive something, (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affections, gifts, money) as a result of them performing and/or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidations are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice, resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
Good practice – Individuals Recognise the symptoms and distinguish them from other forms of abuse
Treat the child/young person as a victim of abuse
Understand the perspective / behaviour of the child/young person and be patient with them
Help the child/young person to recognise that they are being exploited
Collate as much information as possible
Share information with other agencies and seek advice / refer to Social Care
Good practice – Organisations
Ensure robust safeguarding policies and procedures are in place which cover CSE Promote and engage in effective multi-agency working to prevent abuse Work to help victims move out of exploitation Cooperate to enable successful investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators Forced marriages (FM) FM is now a specific offence under s121 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 that came into force on 16 June 2014.
A FM is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties, and where duress is a factor Forced marriage is when someone faces physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). This is very different to an arranged marriage where both parties give consent.
FM is illegal in England and Wales. This includes:
taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)
Under-age Marriage In England, a young person cannot legally marry until they are 16 years old (without the consent of their parents or carers) nor have sexual relationships.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls, and therefore should be dealt with as part of existing child safeguarding/ protection structures, policies and procedures.
FGM is illegal in the UK. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
Other than in the excepted circumstances, it is an offence for any person (regardless of their nationality or residence status) to:
perform FGM in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (section 1 of the Act);
assist a girl to carry out FGM on herself in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (section 2 of the Act); and
Assist (from England, Wales or Northern Ireland) a non-UK person to carry out FGM outside the UK on a UK national or permanent UK resident (section 3 of the Act).
Ritualistic Abuse Some faiths believe that spirits and demons can possess people (including children). What should never be considered is the use of any physical or psychological violence to get rid of the possessing spirit. This is abusive and will result in the criminal conviction of those using this form of abuse even if the intention is to help the child.
Sexually Active under Eighteen years old It is acknowledged by those working with young people that most young people under the age of 18 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. The Protocol for Sexually Active Young People under 18 years old has been designed to assist those working with children and young people to identify where these relationships may be abusive, and the children and young people may need the provision of protection or additional services.
Safeguarding Disabled Children Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes as non-disabled children. Disabled children do however require additional action. This is because they experience greater risks and ‘created vulnerability’ as a result of negative attitudes about disabled children and unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/ or communication impairment Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding will ensure that our disabled children are listen too and responded to appropriately where they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding abuse of a child.
Safer Recruitment and Selection It is a requirement for all agencies to ensure that all staff recruited to work with children and young people are properly selected and checked. At Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding we will ensure that we have a member on every recruitment panel who has received the appropriate recruitment and selection training. That all of our staff are appropriately qualified and have the relevant employment history and checks to ensure they are safe to work with children in compliance with the Key Safeguarding Employment Standards.
Honour Based Violence Honour based violence’ is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community’. It is important to be alert to signs of distress and indications such as self-harm, absence from setting, infections resulting from female genital mutilation, isolation from peers, being monitored by family, not participating in setting activities, unreasonable restrictions at home. Where it is suspected that a child/young person is at risk form Honour based violence Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Trafficked Children Child trafficking involves moving children across or within national or international borders for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation includes children being used for sex work, domestic work, restaurant/ sweatshop, drug dealing, shoplifting and benefit fraud. Where Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding is made aware of a child is suspected of or actually being trafficked/exploited we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
Domestic Abuse The Government defines domestic abuse as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”.
Staff need to understand what is required of them if children are members of the household where domestic abuse is known or suspected to be taking place. Our policy includes action to be taken regarding referrals to the Police and Children and Young People’s Services and any action to be taken where a member of staff is the alleged perpetrator or victim of domestic abuse. At Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding we will follow our safeguarding policy and report any suspected concerns regarding Domestic Abuse to the relevant agency.
Private Fostering Private fostering is an arrangement made between the parent and the private foster carer, who then becomes responsible for caring for the child in such a way as to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.
A privately fostered child means a child under the age of 16 (18 if a disabled child) who is cared for and provided with accommodation by someone other than:
A person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility. A close relative.
A Local Authority.
for more than 28 days and where the care is intended to continue. It is a statutory duty for us at Kat Kat’s Kids Childminding to inform the Local Authority via MASH where we are made aware of a child or young person who may be subject to private fostering arrangements.
Related Setting Policies
Safeguarding covers more than the contribution made to child protection in relation to individual children. It also encompasses issues such as child health and safety, bullying and a range of other issues, for example, arrangements for meeting the medical needs of children, providing first aid, setting security, drugs and substance misuse, etc.
This policy will cross reference to related setting policies and other protocols.
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub – MASH
Manages contacts and enquiries received from any source (usually CYPS and Police 121A reports)
Develops a document recording the concern information and all other available information in the Hubs within agreed timescales and an Early Years and Families manager makes an informed decision using all of the available information.
Develops concern information into an Early Years and Families referral if services are required under section 17 or section 47 of The Children Act 1989 Liaises with the Early Response Service for children and young people who need services but do not meet The Children Act 1989 threshold Provides consultation to agency enquirers about thresholds, appropriate action to be undertaken and services.
The Hub contributes to improved outcomes for safeguarding children because it has the ability to swiftly collate and share information held by the various agencies and to provide a multi-agency risk assessment of each case for ‘actual or likely harm’.