Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children

 

Date first written: May 2007

Date of Last Review :  April 2017

 

 

Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children

 

Date first written: May 2007

Date of Last Review :  April 2017

 

 

To be read in conjunction with Policy for procedure when issues of child protection are raised.            And

 

THE ALL WALES CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES  2008

 

WAG Guidance: Keeping Learners Safe 158/2015

 

Designated Lead Staff member:  Mrs Kay Jones    0771 2649949

Deputy Designated Staff:  Kate Broome

Designated Director:  Meg Jones     01686 623551/ 07969525257

Lead Panel member: Mrs Rachel Roberts 01686 650593

 

Useful Contact Numbers:

North Powys Safeguarding Team:

Share your concerns. One phone call can save a child from harm  -  it could be that important!

Powys Children’s Services   01597 827 666

OUT OF HOURS(0845) 054 4847

 

Shropshire Stay Safe Team:

 

The SHROPSHIRE SAFEGUARDING CHILDRENS BOARD has an excellent site with guidance.

You can report your concerns online via the ‘Report child abuse online – NSPCC website‘ or phone the Initial Contact Team on 0345 678 9021.

If you need to report concerns out of office hours then please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0345 6789040.

You can also speak to:

Protecting Vulnerable People (West Mercia Police): 0300 333 3000
NSPCC: 0800 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111

If a child is in immediate danger

If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the emergency services on 999.

Relevant Links:

  • Report Child Abuse Online – NSPCC website

     

    Stay Safe Team 0345 678 9021

    Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours) 0345 678 9040

    In an emergency, call the police on 0300 333 3000 and ask to speak to a child protection police officer.

    Or the NSPCC Tel: 0808 800 5000 – this is the freephone Child Protection Helpline, available 24 hours a day.

    Bettws Lifehouse is a member of Children in Wales:  a national umbrella body for organisations and individuals who work with children, young people and their families in Wales

    www.childreninwales.org.uk

     

     

Key Principles

 

The key principles that underpin this policy are contained in the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Children Act 2004.  They are explained in the documents ‘Safeguarding Children: Working Together under the Children Act 2004’. The ‘UN convention on the rights of the child’ to which the United Kingdome is a signatory.

 

 

Aims and Objectives

 

Everyone in the education service shares an objective to help keep children and

young people safe by contributing to creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for children and young people identifying where there are child welfare concerns and taking action to address them. Where appropriate this is done in partnership with other agencies the development of children’s understanding, awareness and resilience through the curriculum.

 

Achieving this objective requires systems designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and young people promote safe practice and challenge poor and unsafe practice identify instances in which there are grounds for concern about a child’s welfare, and initiate or take appropriate action to keep them safe contribute to effective partnership working between all those involved with providing services for children and young people.

 

In order to implement this policy The Lifehouse

  • Ensures that all staff are appointed following rigorous safe recruitment procedures
  • Training is regular, relevant and applied to all staff
  • Follows LSCB agreed procedures
  • Is confident that staff will take positive action to respond to allegations, suspicions or incidents of abuse
  • Works with other agencies to respond to local and national initiatives and to develop strategies that are designed to prevent and/or reduce the risk from abuse occurring

 

The Lifehouse has a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society. This statement lays out the procedures that will be taken if we have reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to either emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect.

Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well being of all children in our care. As such we have a duty to the children, parents/main carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention.

The Lifehouse has a duty to report any suspicions around abuse to the Local Authority. The Children Act 1989 (Section 47(1)) places a duty on the Local Authority to investigate such matters. The Lifehouse will follow the procedures set out in the Local Authority Child Protection Documents and The All Wales Child Protection Policy and as such will seek their advice on all steps taken.  We are also guided and have links with Local Safeguarding Boards

 

The Lifehouse has a designated member of staff with overall responsibility for child protection.  This is Mrs Kay Jones. Her deputy in the case of her absence is Mrs Kate Broome. Kay Jones will be responsible for ensuring all staff are trained and knowledgeable in safeguarding and have annual refresher.

 

Safeguarding is prioritised in twice daily staff meetings where welfare and wellbeing of all the pupils are discussed and considered. It is also a priority training area and regular updates and extension topics as well as annual training are carried out.

 

Everyone who works at The Lifehouse should be aware of the principles contained in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and the Keeping Learners Safe  GUIDANCE DOC NO 158/2015 

 

The member of staff with responsibility for child protection, Mrs Kay Jones will:

  • Treat the child’s welfare as paramount
  • Be alert to potential indicators of abuse and neglect
  • Be alert to the risks which individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children
  • Recognise when a parent or carer has problems that may affect their capacity as a parent or carer or which may mean they pose a risk of harm to a child
  • Be aware of the effects of abuse and neglect on a child
  • Contribute as required to whatever actions are needed to safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare
  • Contribute as necessary at all stages of the child protection procedure

     

    Children’s Rights

     

    All children have needs and rights

  • The need for physical care and attention

  • The need for intellectual stimulation

  • The need for emotional love and security

  • The need for social contact and relationships

  • The right to have their rights met and safeguarded

  • The right to be protected from neglect, abuse and exploitation

  • The right to be protected from discrimination

  • The right to be treated as an individual

    Our policy will ensure that the welfare of the child is paramount.  All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.  All staff have a responsibility to report concerns to the named lead child protection staff member.  A written record will be kept of all incidents, events or conversations that may have implications for child protection. These records are kept secure.

    Pupils have preventative teaching as part of their PSHE lessons and mentoring support in their timetable.  Those children who have experienced trauma and/or abuse also have access to therapeutic input from a trained psychodynamic therapist

    CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

     

    The Lifehouse will ensure that we have a lead and deputy member of staff who is trained and supported in their role.  Every member of staff will know who this person is and what their role involves.

    All staff will be aware of their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and referring these to the lead member of staff.  However, ALL staff should be aware that it is not their decision to make judgments.

    The Lifehouse will provide induction training and will ensure that all staff have read and understood this policy. Staff will sign to say that they have undergone annual training or received induction training and read the policy pertaining to child protection.

    Foundation training will be provided for staff periodically during staff meetings throughout the year, and ANNUALLY in September at the start of the new academic year. Any new staff will be asked to complete the NSPCC on line programme, which is certified, or attend training provided by the LSCB.

    Parents should be made aware from the outset of our Safeguarding policy and what our responsibilities are.

    The Lifehouse will promote links with relevant agencies and co-operate with enquiries regarding child protection including participation at core groups or case conferences.

    We will keep written records of any concerns about children even where there has been no need to refer the matter further in the first instance.  Paragraph 2.1.2 raises the need to identify and act on concerns or suspicions’ whether or not further action is then deemed necessary. All records will be kept secure.  These are kept in line with paragraph  2.1.5. of The All Wales Child Protection Policy 2008

    Where an allegation has been made against a member of staff or a volunteer, we will notify the Local Authority immediately and follow our internal staff discipline procedure.  Attention will be given to paragraph 4.5 and subsequently 4.5.1 and 4.5.2. of The All Wales Child Protection Policy .  Directors may decide that immediate suspension of that staff member is required until the matter has been concluded.

    Where an allegation is in relation to a Director, the member of staff notified should contact the number of the local safeguarding board  and the lead member of the Complaints panel,

    Mrs Rachel Roberts on 01686 650593

     

     

    Guidance on Referrals’

Referrals should be made to social services as soon as a problem, suspicion or concern about a child becomes apparent, and certainly within 24 hours.

Outside office hours, referrals should be made to the social services emergency duty service or the police. Social services and the police must ensure that an appropriate level and deployment of trained staff are available to undertake child protection section 47 enquiries, including out of hours.

 

 

 

All telephone referrals or referrals made in person should be confirmed in writing

within two working days, preferably using a local standard form where provided.

The duty social worker taking the referral should be given as much of the following information as possible by the referrer:

 

• The nature of the concerns;

• How and why those concerns have arisen;

• The full name, address and date of birth (or age) of the child;

• The names, addresses and dates of birth/ages of family members, along with any other names which they use or are known by;

• The names and relationship of all those with parental responsibility, where known, should be recorded;

• The name, address & date of birth of parent’s partner;

• The name, address and date of birth of any other adults living in the household;

• The names of other professionals involved with the family, including the name of the child’s school and GP;

• Any information you have on the child’s developmental needs and his/her parents or caregivers ability to respond to these needs within the context of the wider family and environment;

• Any information affecting the safety of staff.

 

Individual employees, professionals and independent contractors, should be aware that they cannot remain anonymous when making a referral. However, members of the public may remain anonymous, if they wish to.

The individual employee or professional making the referral may be asked to do some or all of the following tasks, and should be prepared and willing to do them:

• Contribute to a strategy discussion or strategy meeting;

• Assist in the child protection section 47 enquiries;

• Attend the child protection conference;

• Provide a written report for the child protection conference;

• Contribute to the initial and core assessments.

 

 

 Record Keeping

Accurate, concise and clear record keeping in straightforward language is an essential part of an individual employee and professional’s accountability towards people using their services, and underpins good child protection practice. All records should be kept secure.

 

 

The purpose of written records is:

• To focus work on the purpose, conduct and outcome of enquiries, assessment, analysis and plans;

• To provide a clear documented account of involvement with a child and/or family including the time of contact;

• To assist continuity when a worker is unavailable or changes;

• To provide the basis for professional judgements and decision-making;

• To enable managers to monitor work, supervise and provide support to practitioners;

To provide essential sources of evidence for investigations, enquiries and for court proceedings.

 

Records should:

• Use clear, straightforward language;

• Be signed, dated and timed; (All Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008 46)

• Be concise, legible and comply with professional, national and local agency standards and requirements;

• Be accurate in fact and distinguish between fact, opinion, judgement and hypothesis;

• Be organised and comprise detailed recording and chronologies and summaries including all contacts;

• Be comprehensive;

• Clearly record judgements that are made and action and decisions taken;

• Clarify where decisions have been taken jointly across agencies, or endorsed by a manager;

• Record both formal and informal supervision discussion, including telephone advice;

• Record directions given and agreements or disagreements made in consultation with Supervisors or Managers.

 

The reader should be able to track:

• The relevant history of the child and family which led to the intervention;

• The nature of need and the interventions, including intended outcomes;

• The means by which change is to be achieved;

• The progress which is being made;

• The author, date and time of specific recording.

When an individual employee or professional who works with children in need is absent from the office for any reason the manager should ensure that arrangements are made for all paper and electronic correspondence to be checked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABUSE

There are a number of ways in which abuse becomes apparent.

  • A child discloses abuse
  • Someone else discloses that a child has told him/her or the he/she strongly believes a child is being abused
  • A child may show signs of physical injury for which there seems to be no satisfactory explanation
  • A child’s behaviour may indicate that it is likely that he she is being abused
  • A member of staff’s behaviour or in the way he/she relates to a child causes concern

     

     

     

     

    Definitions of child abuse and neglect

     

     

    The specific terms to which we reference can be found in paragraphs 1.2 through to 1.2.4 in The All Wales Child Protection Procedures policy.  A short definition for abbreviated reference within this document is as listed below.

     

    Procedure is also aware of paragraph 3.3.2 which comments on the need to notify parents prior to discussing with social services or any other outside agency.  The welfare of the child must always be duly considered and so that is why our policy states that we will take the advice of the local authority on the timing of notification to parents.

     

  1. Physical Abuse

    This is where someone physically hurts or injures children by hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, biting, scalding, suffocating, drowning or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent feigns the symptoms of or deliberately causes ill health to a child for whom they are caring.

Action will be taken under this heading if any member of staff has reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge, or a reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented.

 

Procedure

     a.    Any sign of a mark/injury to a child when they come to The Lifehouse will be recorded.

  1. The incident will be discussed with the Director with Child Protection Responsibility who will then make a written record and notify the duty officer at the local authority.
  2. They may then advise that she discuss the report with the parent/main carer and we will be guided on the appropriateness.

         d.   Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/main carer will have access to such records.

  1. If there is already involvement of the Local Authority, they will be informed of further concerns.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  1. Sexual Abuse

     

This is where girls and boys are abused by adults or other children (both male and female) who use children to meet their own sexual needs.  This could involve full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and fondling.  Showing children pornographic material (books, videos, pictures) is also a form of sexual abuse.  Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have witnessed occasions where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing or had an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour.

 

 

Procedure

     a.    The observed instances will be discussed with the Director with Child Protection Responsibility.

  1. The matter will be referred to the Local Authority/ police
  2. If there is already involvement of the Local Authority, they will be informed of further concerns.

     

     

     

     

    3.  Emotional Abuse

This is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to the child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectation being imposed on children.  It may involve causing children to feel frightened or in danger by constantly being shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the child very nervous and withdrawn.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child.  Action will be taken under this heading if a member of staff has reason to believe that there is an adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.

 

Procedure

  1. The concern will be discussed with the child protection director who will inform the duty officer of the Local authority.
  2. They may then advise that she discuss the issue with the parent/main carer and we will be guided on the appropriateness of this action.
  3. Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/main carer will have access to such records.

     

  4. If there appear to be any queries regarding the circumstances, the Local Authority will be told.
  5. If there is already involvement of the Local Authority, they will be informed of further concerns.

     

     

     

 

 

 

4.  Neglect

This is where adults fail to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs and is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development (e.g. failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to adequate medical care or treatment).  It may also include refusal to give children love, affection and attention.  Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have reason to believe that there has been persistent or severe neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation) which results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.

 

Procedure

  1. The concern will be discussed with the child protection director who will inform the duty officer of the Local authority
  2. They may then advise that she discuss the issue with the parent/main carer and we will be guided on the appropriateness of this action.
  3. The concern will then be discussed the parent/main carer if appropriate.

     b.   Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/main carer will have access to such records.

  1. If there appear to be any further queries regarding the circumstances the Local Authority will be notified.
  2. If there is already involvement of the Local Authority, they will be informed of further concerns.

     

    Significant Harm

     

    Section 31 (10) of the Children Act 1989 states ‘where the question of whether harm suffered by a child is significant turns on the child’s health or development, his health or development shall be compared with that which could reasonably be expected of a similar child.

     

    REFERALS WILL BE MADE IN COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 2.1.3 OF THE ALL WALES CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

     

    Ensuring The Continued Compliance With Child Protection

     

    It is the responsibility of the lead member of staff to continually monitor legislation in respect of child protection and to update this policy with the relevant information.  They also have responsibility to cascade this information to ALL other members of The Lifehouse staff through various means.  Child Protection training will always be prioritized.

     

    New members of staff will all be subject to DBS checks and then be trained in issues regarding child protection during their initiation.  Further training will be sought if the employee is particularly inexperienced in such areas.  However, staff are always chosen for their innate suitability to work at The Lifehouse and in its community.

     

    Risk Assessments

     

    Each teaching situation and activity will have a risk assessment for child protection completed by two members of staff.  This will be filed and kept in the administration office.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Guidelines for Good Staff Practice

     

If a child discloses to you – do not further question the child but ensure that the child is safe.

Remain open to the disclosure: do not appear shocked or disbelieving (even if you feel it). Allow the child to feel secure and give them time.

Never promise them that you will keep what they say secret. (you cannot do this professionally), but do reassure them that will act on their behalf to ensure only those who need to know are told. REMEMBER – the procedures after disclosure can seem more frightening to the child than the alleged abuse, They may have been threatened that something bad will happen to them if they tell.

Only speak of the allegation to those to whom you must refer. Only discuss this with those who need to know to safeguard the child. Confidentiality is still essential except for the line of referral.

Record accurately everything that you have been told, observed and/or have actioned by whom, where, when time-using the child’s own words (do not interpret what they have said).

Remember overall that the child’s welfare is paramount

 

 

Staff should always act in a professional manner that maintains trust in the teaching profession. They should have knowledge of, and maintain the key principles, contained in The Professional Standards, Codes and Guidance, issued by the teaching council.

 

Staff should recognise staff: pupil boundaries, and the negative impact that breaches of these boundaries have upon pupils and the confidence of the public.

 

With regard to inappropriate relationships, staff should:

  • Appreciate fully that the onus is upon staff and not the pupil to distance oneself from any potential inappropriate situation;
  • Avoid sexual contact with, or remarks towards, a pupil, regardless of the age of the pupil or apparent consent;
  • Not attempt to establish an inappropriate relationship with a pupil by means of: communication of a personal nature, inappropriate dialogue through the internet, emails or text messages to pupils of a personal nature.

     

    As a member of staff, one must:

  • Not discuss your own private and personal relationships with pupils;
  • Avoid becoming personally involved in student’s personal affairs;
  • Be aware of the potential dangers of being alone with a child in a private or isolated situation;
  • Exercise extreme caution in connection with social networking sites.

     

    Staff should avoid working one to one with pupils wherever possible.  If this is necessary make sure the environment is ‘open’ perhaps by leaving a door open.  If it is felt necessary to conduct a confidential meeting then it should be clear why that is taking place and there should be another adult nearby with whom vocal contact could easily be made.  Visual access is beneficial even if audio confidentially is maintained.  Staff should never make gratuitous physical contact with a child.  We are aware at The Lifehouse that there are times when students may be distressed and turn to staff for appropriate physical comforting.  It would be wrong to refuse this but staff must always be conscious of the purpose of the contact.  We are also aware that because of the nature of our community, children may not be as aware of boundaries and we must use discretion and our trained skills to keep contact within propriety.

     

    Children should all be treated with respect and dignity.  Staff should protect children form any discrimination and challenge any behavior that does not support this.  Activities should be designed to include all children and to promote positive attitudes towards differences.

     

    Staff should be clear about the objectives of each activity and always put the welfare of the child first before winning or achieving goals.  We should build balanced relationships built on mutual trust.  This relationship should empower children to become part of the decision making process.

     

    We must be aware of abuse between students and be watchful of inappropriate proximity or body language, verbal inappropriateness particularly when in the guise of humour.

     

    Staff should always be an excellent role model and always show by example, even if not in direct contact with students.  When you are at The Lifehouse you are within its expectations of behaviour.

     

    Never use physical force with a student unless it constitutes reasonable restraint to protect him/her from themselves, another person or to protect property.  If it is necessary to restrain a student because they are in immediate danger to themselves or others or to property then the minimum force should be used for the minimum amount of time. Remain calm and gain the support of another staff member as soon as possible.  The incident should be recorded in writing with a witness statement wherever possible.

     

    Never use physical punishment.

     

    Written records should be kept of any accident and treatment provided and parent/carer informed.  Parental consent should have been obtained in the initial contract.

     

    Always refer any suspicions or concerns to the child protection lead member of staff.

     

    Question any unknown person on the property and verify their purpose and identity.  Make sure they are signed in to the visitor’s book

     

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    A COPY OF THE ALL WALES CHILD PROTECTION DOCUMENT IS HELD IN THE OFFICE AND IS AVAILABLE FOR REFERAL TO AT ALL TIMES.

     

    All staff are requested to familiarise themselves with this document.

 

 

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