Child Protection Policy – Keeping Children Safe
Statement of intent
Bambinos Childcare Centres and staff work with children, parents/carers and the community ensuring the safety and welfare of children entrusted to our care.
Bambinos is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and employees and applicants must under-go child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and DBS Update Service and we expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Bambinos is an equal opportunities employer.
We expect all staff to behave in a kind, gentle, positive, non-intimidating, non-threatening and non-abusive manner at all times towards all children, parents, families and all other staff members and other adults. If staff do not adhere to such acceptable behaviour as detailed above or are unkind to any child or cause any child any type of harm including emotional harm, this may result in gross industrial misconduct and may lead to the termination of employment or training placement. We also expect all adults to behave in the same positive, non-intimidating, non-threatening and non-abusive manner towards all other persons whilst on the premises of Bambinos Childcare Centres. We reserve the right to ask any individual to leave our premises at any time due to any behaviour that is intimidating, threatening or abusive in any way towards our children, staff, visitors or parents or carers. The Behaviour Management Policy is inter-linked with this policy.
Safeguarding is about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It is also about broader aspects of care and education including;
- Children’s and learners’ health and safety and well-being, including their mental health
- Meeting the needs of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
- The use of reasonable force
- Meeting the needs of children and learners with medical conditions
- Providing first aid
- Educational visits
- Intimate care and emotional well-being
- Online safety and associated issues
- Appropriate arrangements to ensure children’s and learners’ security, taking into account the local context.
Our aims are to:
- put the needs of the child first;
- ensure the child’s welfare and safety is everyone’s responsibility;
- create an environment in our nursery which encourages children to develop a positive self image, regardless of race, language, ability, religion, culture, ethnicity or home background;
- help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults;
- encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence;
- enable children to have the self confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches; and
- work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all our children.
Due to the many hours of care we are providing, staff will often be the first people to sense that there is a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse. The nursery has a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society. This statement lays out the procedures that will be followed if we have any reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this may be demonstrated through changes in their behaviour, or in their play. Where such changes in behaviour occur, or where children’s play gives cause for concern, the nursery investigates and makes appropriate referrals. Bambinos Childcare Centres will investigate with sensitivity and take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or ask questions of children. Where a child shows signs and symptoms of failing to thrive or neglect, we make appropriate referrals.
Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well being of all children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents/carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention.
What do you do if you are worried about a child?
All and any child protection concerns must be reported to the child protection officer/designated person for the nursery which will be the duty manager immediately. In the event that the duty manager is not available, all and any concerns must be reported to a deputy manager (deputy child protection officer/deputy designated person for setting) or senior member of staff. Any child protection concerns can also be reported to; Director Mrs Jemma Honey – Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding (SDPS) or Director Miss Sara Richards - Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding (DDPS). A record must be made of all and any concerns. All practitioners must follow child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures as detailed in this policy and the Whistle Blowing Policy at all times. If any practitioner feels that a decision made on a child protection or child in need case is not a safe decision, they must escalate their concerns and make their feelings known to the SDPS or DDPS or other outside agencies such as the Gateway, Multi-Agency Hub, MASH, Ofsted, local authority Safeguarding & Welfare Officer – all contacts of which are at the back of this policy.
Plymouth Gateway and the Multi-Agency Hub
For advice and support from Plymouth, the following steps should be taken and chosen as appropriate;
Level 1: Plymouth Online Directory (POD) for information about local services
Early Help and Universal Services (Community Service Offer)
Level 2: Early Help Assessment Tool (Outcomes Based Smart Planning)
Early Help Gateway (for Advice, Information and Guidance)
Level 3: Coordinated Response (Targeted Support)
Level 4: Multi-Agency Hub (Child Protection Concern)
Statutory Intervention (Social Care and Partner Agencies Intervention)
Reference should also be made to the Plymouth Assessment Framework and Threshold Guidance Document at every stage.
For advice and support from Devon, the following steps should be taken and chosen as appropriate;
Devon Online Directory for information about local services
MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) for all advice, information, guidance and any child protection concerns.
Reference should also be made to the Devon Threshold Document at every stage.
The nursery has a duty to report any suspicions of abuse to Ofsted and the Local Authority (through the Gateway or the Multi Agency Hub or MASH), who will investigate such matters. The nursery will follow the procedures set out in Local Authority Child Protection Documents and the Local Safeguarding Board, and as such will seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently. This includes a knowledge and regard to the statutory document Working Together to Safeguard Children and Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People. All staff are required to have a knowledge and regard to these documents which are also readily available and/or are included in each member of staff’s starter packs along with a Code of Conduct for intimate care. The policy is also developed in line with guidelines from South West Child Protection Procedures and local children’s safeguarding boards. Threshold documents for each relevant local authority are available at each setting and should be referred to when considering action to take to advice to seek. The document ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners’ is available in every setting.
The legal framework for this work is
- The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Human Rights Act 2000
- All Children Matter 2003
- The Children Bill 2004
- The Protection of Children Act 1999 (POCA)
- Every Child Matters Framework
- Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
- The Children’s Act (1989 s47) 2006
- Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015
- The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2007
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- The Prevent Duty June 2015
- Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
Liaison with other bodies
- We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements, which affect the wellbeing of children and if appropriate the local authority Safeguarding and Welfare Officer.
- We have procedures for contacting the Local Authority (through the Gateway or the Multi Agency Hub or MASH) on child protection issues, in order that the nursery and external services work well together.
- If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the areas child protection guidance, which is currently based around the Local Safeguarding Board and the Common Assessment Framework.
- We would inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children at the setting (whether that allegation related to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere) and of the action taken in respect of these allegations.
- We would inform Ofsted of the details of any court order, determination or conviction or any other grounds for disqualification from registration applying to themselves or any other person living or working in their household. This would include the date of the order, determination, conviction, or the date when the other ground for disqualification arose; the body or court that made the order, determination or conviction, and the sentence (if any) imposed and a certified copy of the relevant order (in relation to an order or conviction). Such details would be provided to Ofsted as soon as practicable or at the latest within 14 days of the date that the provider became aware of the information.
- We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
- Applicants for posts are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applications have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information. Applicants will be able to challenge information on their DBS check when they receive their copy. It is a condition of employment and services that Bambinos Ltd sees the original copy of the disclosure before employment commences and details taken and within 14 days of the original DBS being certified.
- The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged and are now a single organisation called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Under the Protection of Freedoms Act we will adhere to all guidelines and recommendations to keep children safe.
- We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and police checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at Bambinos or has unsupervised access to the children.
- If it were discovered that a person was unfit to work with children, we would inform Ofsted and the local authority Safeguarding and Welfare Officer.
- A DBS form is carried out on every member of staff. A member of staff cannot begin employment with Bambinos unless they have a satisfactory enhanced DBS check. Every member of staff is required to sign up to the DBS Update Service and subscribe to it each year as a condition of employment. This is to enable Bambinos Ltd to make regular checks on an employee’s criminal status and suitability to work with children. Whilst a member of staff remains in employment with Bambinos Ltd and subscribes to the Update Service, another enhanced DBS check will not be required unless their status changes for any reason. If this was the case, the member of staff would be required to have a new enhanced DBS completed and not be left unsupervised with the children until this was completed and returned to a satisfactory level. More detail can be found in the Recruitment Policy which is interlinked with this policy.
- A minimum of two references are required, one of whom has to be the most recent ex-employer or if a school leaver a head teacher, deputy head or head of sixth form, please see Recruitment Policy for further information.
- Each member of staff must sign a DBS Declaration form, a Child Protection Declaration form and a Child Protection guidelines statement to ensure and increase staff awareness of child protection.
- Each member of staff will receive a copy of Bambinos Code of Conduct in a Starter Pack.
- Staff under-go a thorough induction process on the first day of employment and during their first week of employment. This will include training on the child protection policy and whistle blowing policy amongst others.
- Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
- We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements in that any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have lead to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern will be reported to the DBS, Ofsted, and the Local Authority and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), (please see Nursery procedure Resignations concerning child protection).
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery.
- We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into Bambinos Childcare Centres so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
- Our Child Protection Policy is available on our website for all our parents/carers.
Room layouts allow for constant supervision of the children. Care is taken to ensure that visits to other areas such as the garden, bathroom and ball-pool room are also supervised. Procedures are such that no child is left unsupervised in any room.
We introduce key elements of child protection into our early years foundation stage curriculum, so that children can develop understanding of why and how to keep safe. We also create a culture of value and respect for the individual and we ensure that this is carried in a way that is appropriate for the ages and stages of our children.
We seek out training opportunities externally and in-house for all adults involved to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect, so that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals. We endeavour to ensure all qualified members of staff attend Level 2 training through the local safeguarding board. All managers including designated safeguarding persons and deputy designated safeguarding persons, attend Level 3 training through the local safeguarding board. Training will be updated as recommended by the local safeguarding board and national guidance. All staff will attend in-house child protection training (Level 1) at least once annually delivered by either the SDPS or DDPS and a training log is completed. In line with the EYFS and the Prevent Duty this will include;
- Significant changes in children’s behaviour
- Deterioration in children’s general well-being
- Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect
- Children’s comments which give cause for concern
- Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home
- Inappropriate behaviour by other members of staff, or any other 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.
- An understanding that children and young people are capable of abusing their peers
- An understanding of the additional barriers that exist when recognising the signs of abuse and neglect of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
- An understanding of the risks associated with child sexual exploitation, domestic violence, female genital mutilation (ensuring a secure understanding of the mandatory duty to report known cases of female genital mutilation), forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism, and are aware of the support available to them.
All in-house training will also include reference to the Prevent Duty 2015 document with adequate training and information on how each practitioner must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
In Plymouth each nursery manager also receives external training from Plymouth Safeguarding Board for operation Encompass now known as CARA (the Child at Risk Alert) of which we are a part of. This service is in place to protect children that have been witness to or involved in domestic abuse incidents or other incidents where police have attended an address where children have been present. Both Plymouth managers have been trained in this service and act as points of contact should police need to contact the setting to inform them a child in the setting has witnessed or been involved in an incident that could affect their well-being. Their training will be updated as recommended by the Plymouth Safeguarding Board.
The SDPS and DDPS will attend a wide range of safeguarding training and will update their training as recommended by the local safeguarding board. A record of all training is maintained and updated as required. We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns and foster an environment where all staff feel confident to voice any concerns.
The Prevent Duty 2015
Bambinos follows guidance from the Prevent Duty 2015 document and all associated advice from the local authority and local safeguarding children’s boards to ensure all practitioners have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Bambinos uses the Early Years Foundation Stage to set standards for learning, development and care for the children in our care thereby promoting their personal, social and emotional development and understanding of the world.
As with all safeguarding risks, practitioners are well placed to recognise any changes in behaviour which could indicate they may be in need of help or protection. Bambinos recognise that children at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or wish to hide their views and practitioners would in the first instance discuss all concerns with the child protection officer in the setting (duty manager) and subsequently the SDPS or DDPS at the earliest opportunity. Practitioners would use their professional judgement in identifying children who may be at risk of radicalisation and would act proportionately following guidance from the SDPS or DDPS. Advice may then be sought from the local authority (the Gateway, Multi- Agency Hub or MASH).
If appropriate Bambinos would make a referral to the Channel programme which is a programme that focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
Working in Partnership
Bambinos works in close collaboration with the local authority and local safeguarding children boards. Should advice or support be requested all existing procedures in place to safeguard children would be followed.
We work in close collaboration with all families, parents and carers and maintain effective engagement through any safeguarding processes.
Senior management including the SDPS and the DDPS will undergo appropriate training associated with the Prevent Duty as required. All staff will receive in-house training and awareness of the Prevent Duty 2015 document annually, will complete the online Chanel training and are required to acknowledge all information within this policy.
Bambinos follows many thorough IT related policies and procedures all of which are easily accessible to staff, parents/carers and visitors. These polices are shared with all employees/apprentices/volunteers/students and are part of the induction process. These include; Acceptable Use Policy, Camera & Image Policy, Internet Policy, ICT Misuse Policy and Mobile Phone Policy.
Building children’s resilience to radicalisation
The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded within the 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage of which Bambinos follows and implements daily. Bambinos implements these values successfully.
Democracy: making decisions together
Practitioners encourage children to voice their views, value their peers and other people’s views, talk about their feelings, express when they do or do not need help and where appropriate vote on action e.g. with a show of hands. Such democratic values are implemented in daily practice across the setting through various means including a children’s council and daily circle times. In addition each Bambinos setting is a child led environment where children choose what they wish to play with and do and where their voice is heard and valued.
Rule of law
Practitioners encourage children to learn what is right and wrong and learn that actions can have consequences. Such learning starts from a very young age and each child is supported and nurtured to learn about such events appropriately. Managing feelings and behaviour is covered through a range of opportunities such as circle times, small group activities, golden rules and/or feelings activities.
Building and nurturing self-confidence and self-awareness and knowledge of people and communities is strong in the settings and is such areas are covered daily within the Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World areas of learning within the EYFS. In addition children develop a positive sense of themselves through work on self-portraits, displaying family trees, role play with different themes and costumes/equipment, small world play and many incidental everyday experiences. Children are encouraged to talk about their experiences, take appropriate risks and try new experiences and have the confidence to do so within a safe environment. The children’s council supports individual liberty and is an effective tool in allowing children to explore feelings, different opinions and responsibility.
Mutual respect and tolerance
There is a strong ethos of inclusivity and tolerance present in all Bambinos settings. All views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and we endeavour to regularly engage with our local community and visitors from various faiths and cultures to widen and enrich the children’s understanding of the world. Such visits are complemented by resources within the setting such as story books and role play items. Key multicultural events from all over the world are learnt about and celebrated as standard and children welcome these experiences.
Stereo types are routinely challenged as we ensure resources and experiences within the settings are based upon real life and are led by the children and their experiences. We ensure we are not led by preconceived ideas of gender, culture or racial stereo typing.
What to do if you have a concern
All and any child protection concerns must be reported to the child protection officer/designated person for the nursery which will be the duty manager immediately. In the event that the duty manager is not available, all and any concerns must be reported to a deputy manager or senior member of staff. Any child protection concerns can also be reported to; Director Mrs Jemma Honey – Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding (SDPS) or Director Miss Sara Richards - Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding (DDPS). A record must be made of all and any concerns. All practitioners must follow child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures as detailed in this policy and the Whistle Blowing Policy at all times. If any practitioner feels that a decision made on a child protection or child in need case is not a safe decision, they must make their feelings known to the SDPS or DDPS or other outside agencies such as The Gateway or Multi-Agency Hub (Plymouth) or MASH (Devon), Ofsted, or the local authority Safeguarding & Welfare Officer.
In the case of concerns relating directly to extremism, concerns can be raised by email to or a DfE helpline on 020 7340 7264.
1. Physical Abuse
Action will be taken under this heading if staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child. This may include deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge, or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented or where there is reasonable suspicion or confirmation of female genital mutilation. Physical abuse is actual or likely physical injury to a child or failure to prevent physical injury. This category may also be used when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
• Any sign of a mark/injury to a child when they come into nursery will be recorded as an Existing Injury on a confidential Existing Injury form that will be stored in the manager’s lockable filing cabinet (see Existing Injuries Policy).
• The incident will be discussed with the parent/carer if appropriate.
• Such discussion will be recorded and the parent/carer will have access to such records if appropriate. If appropriate the child protection officer for the setting may contact the local authority advice (through the Gateway or the Multi Agency Hub or MASH depending on severity or level of concern) and discuss this with the parent/carer if appropriate. The SDPS or DDPS to be informed in the first instance.
• If there appeared to be any queries regarding the injury/injuries even on the first occasion or subsequent injuries including any potential patterns, the local authority (through the Gateway or the Multi Agency Hub or MASH) may be notified in the first instance and advice sought. Accurate records must be made and stored appropriately of all contact made. It is a mandatory requirement that any known cases of female genital mutilation be reported to the relevant local authority department (Multi Agency Hub for Plymouth and MASH for Devon).
• Any information made by the child to a member of staff/person or another child in regard to possible abuse must be recorded clearly and accurately on a Record of Disclosure form.
2. 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. Sexual abuse includes the forcing or enticing of a child to take part in sexual activity whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may involve non-contact activities such as children looking at pornographic material or watching sexual activity or encouraging the child to act in a sexually inappropriate way.
• The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager/designated safeguarding person for setting and a Record of Disclosure form completed if applicable. The SDPS or DDPS to be informed.
• The matter may be referred to the local authority (through the Gateway or the Multi Agency Hub or MASH) in the first instance and advice sought. Accurate records must be made and stored appropriately of all contact made.
3. Emotional Abuse
Action will be taken under this heading if the staff team have reason to believe that there is severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It may include conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve making a child feel afraid or in danger, including severe or persistent bullying, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment.
• The concern must be recorded on a Record of Disclosure form if applicable. The SDPS or DDPS to be informed.
• The concern may be discussed with the parent/carer and they will have access to such records if appropriate. If appropriate the child protection officer for the setting may contact the local authority (through the Gateway or Multi Agency Hub or MASH) and discuss this with the parent/carer if appropriate.
• If there appear to be any queries regarding the circumstances, or continued occurrences or concern, advice is sought from the local authority. Accurate records must be made and stored appropriately of all contact made.
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 failure to thrive or faltering growth. Neglect is the persistent failure to meet the child’s basic physical or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It will include the failure by a parent or carer to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
• The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager and a Record of Disclosure form completed if applicable. The SDPS or DDPS to be informed.
• The concern may be discussed with the parent/carer and they will have access to such records if appropriate. If appropriate the child protection officer for the setting may contact the local authority (through the Gateway or the Multi Agency Hub or MASH) and discuss this with the parent/carer if appropriate.
• If there appear to be any queries regarding the circumstances or continued occurrences or concern, advice is sought from the local authority. Accurate records must be made and stored appropriately of all contact made.
5. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Action will be taken under this heading if staff have reason to believe that a female’s genitals have been deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there is no medical reason for this to be done. FGM is also known as “female circumcision” or “cutting” and is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15 years, most commonly before puberty starts. It is illegal in the UK and it is child abuse.
• Any form of FGM suspected or seen must be recorded as an Existing Injury on a confidential Existing Injury form (such forms are stored securely in the manager’s lockable filing cabinet - see Existing Injuries Policy). If a disclosure is made by a child this must be recorded on a Record of Disclosure Form.
• The FGM and/or disclosure must be reported to the designated officer for the setting (the duty manager) and this information will be shared promptly with the Multi Agency Hub (Plymouth) or MASH (Devon). The SDPS or DDPS will be informed at the earliest opportunity. Parents of the child will be informed of the injury/disclosure only after discussion with the Multi-Agency Hub or MASH and/or after discussion with the SDPS or DDPS as appropriate.
• All discussion will be recorded accurately and in chronological order and the parent/carer will have access to such records if appropriate.
• It is a mandatory requirement that any known cases of female genital mutilation be reported to the relevant local authority department (Multi Agency Hub for Plymouth and MASH for Devon) without delay.
Should any member of staff have concerns for the welfare of any child they will immediately inform their child protection designated officer (duty manager). A nursery nurse’s responsibilities do not include investigating the suspected abuse. However, the staff will keep accurate records of their observations and of anything said to them by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse by completing a Record of Disclosure form. It is always important to listen to children. Strict confidentially will be observed at all times. All our staff will receive training on the protection of children from abuse. It is the policy of the nursery to provide a secure and safe environment for all children.
It aims to:
• Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of the nursery staff.
• Ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times whilst also following our policy on Information Sharing and Record Keeping.
• Ensure that all staff are familiar with Child Protection issues and procedures.
• Regularly review and update this policy at least once annually.
If there is significant suspicion of parental abuse of any type, a referral may be made without a parents’ consent if doing so could put the child or young person at further risk of harm and therefore parents would be unable to access any records during an investigation. However advice would be sought from the local authority Gateway, Multi-Agency Hub or MASH. Where it is unclear whether parents or carers should be informed or not, advice is sought from the local authority in the first instance.
All and any child protection records and information must be;
- Legible and recorded in a clear format
- Factual, detailed and accurate
- Maintained in chronological order
- Identify what action is to be taken and why
- Are countersigned by the SDPS
- Are stored securely
- Are subject to restricted access
- Are maintained in individual, confidential files separate to other records on the child.
A child’s general file must carry a symbol alerting practitioners to the existence of child protection files that need to be transferred when a child leaves the organisation. This symbol will be the capital initials CPI clearly marked after the child’s name.
A clear chronology of all events/observations must be completed for each child for which there are safeguarding concerns.
Any concern about a child being at risk of harm or significant harm is reported immediately to the Local Authority Gateway, Multi Agency Hub or MASH (Plymouth, Devon or Cornwall dependent on where the child/children live). A Record of Disclosure Form will be completed in full if relevant. The duty manager (child protection officer/designated safeguarding person for setting) must be informed or the deputy manager/deputy designated safeguarding person for the setting and the SDPS or DDPS.
A child in need may be; disabled, unlikely to have, or to have the opportunity to have, a reasonable standard of health or development without services from a local authority; or unlikely to progress in terms of health or development; or unlikely to progress in terms of health or development, without services from a local authority. In this instance a referral may be made to the Local Authority Gateway, Multi-Agency Hub or MASH (Plymouth, Devon or Cornwall dependent on where the child/children live). This will be done by the duty manager (child protection officer/designated safeguarding person for the setting or the deputy of this position) or the SDPS or DDPS.
A Common Assessment Framework (CAF) or Devon Assessment Framework (DAF) will now be known as an Early Help Assessment Tool. This may be required and should be used when there are concerns about a child’s progress or vulnerability, their needs are unclear and the support of more than one agency is required. The Early Help Assessment Tool can be used to assess the needs of unborn babies, infants, children or young people aged between 0 – 18 years. This should not be used for those children whose needs are understood and are being met or those for there are Child Protection concerns – procedures set out in this policy should be followed in that instance. Further information and guidance can be found in the Special Education Needs/Inclusion Policy.
A looked after child is generally used to mean those looked after by the state and includes those who are subject to a Care Order or temporarily classed as looked after on a planned basis for short breaks or respite care.
In most cases where a child who is the subject of a child protection plan becomes looked after, it will no longer be necessary to maintain the child protection plan. There are a few cases where safeguarding issue remain and a looked after child will have a child protection plan. For further information and guidance please see the document Working Together to Safeguard Children.
If an allegation is made against a member of staff, Ofsted and the Local Authority via the Safeguarding and Welfare Officer and the LADO will be informed and the nursery disciplinary procedure followed. The LADO will be informed within 24 hours of the allegation being made. In the event of an allegation against a member of staff involving accessing child abuse or other inappropriate images, advice would be sought from the LADO immediately.
In the event of an allegation of abuse against a member of staff, the following steps will be taken according to Bambinos Childcare Centres’ policy and procedure, guidance from the local safeguarding board; Plymouth Safeguarding Board or Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH – Devon) the website www.swcpp.org.uk, and guidance from the LADO.
It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against any member of staff is dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently so that effective protection is provided for the child and support is given to the member of staff concerned. This procedure should be used when;
- a member of staff has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- a member of staff has committed or possibly committed a criminal offence against a child or related to a child;
- a member of staff has behaved in an inappropriate way towards a child which may indicate he/she is unsuitable to work with children.
- There are concerns about an individual’s behaviour towards their own children;
- The allegation is about abuse that took place some time/years ago and the individual may still be working with or has contact with children.
An allegation may include up to 3 different areas and/or agencies that may be considered to investigate. These are;
- the police in light of a possible criminal offence
- a local authority social care enquiry into whether the child needs protection or is in need of services
- consideration by Bambinos management of disciplinary action in respect of the member of staff concerned in collaboration with the LADO although any employment decisions would remain with Bambinos.
In the event of a possible allegation of abuse towards a child by a member of staff, Bambinos would first contact the LADO within 24 hours of the allegation being made and Ofsted and if appropriate the Local Authority Safeguarding and Welfare Officer and the Police. The member of staff subject to the allegation will not be notified of such until advice has been sought from the LADO.
A member of staff may be suspended from employment whilst investigations are carried out to protect everyone including the child/children, other staff members and the member of staff to whom the allegation has been made against. This decision would remain with Bambinos senior management.
Staff should see the Whistle Blowing Policy section 4; Raising a concern, and section 7; Alternative methods of taking forward a complaint, for further information on reporting concerns relating to any allegation against a member of staff, including what to do if the allegation concerned the SDPS and all escalation procedures.
Supporting those involved
Bambinos Childcare Centres takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers in the group. In the case of a concern made in the home situation, we would continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made. Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Authority and in accordance with our Information Sharing and Record Keeping policy. However if parents are suspected of child protection issues, a referral may be made without parents’ consent and therefore parents would be unable to access any records during any investigation. Furthermore, with the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount, we do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.
Parents or carers of a child or children involved in an allegation of abuse against a member of staff would be told about the allegation as soon as possible if they did not already know of it. They would also be kept informed about the progress of the case and told the outcome where there is not a criminal prosecution, including the outcome of any disciplinary process if appropriate.
Bambinos would also keep the member of staff concerned informed of the progress of the case and consider what support is appropriate for them.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Authority, the LADO and our Information Sharing and Record Keeping Policy.
Every effort would be made to guard against unwanted publicity while an investigation is being carried out or considered.
We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteer action within the nursery, which may include an allegation of abuse following our Complaints Policy. We then follow Nursery procedure (please see in this policy) in such an instance.
In the event of the member of staff under investigation resigning, this would not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with these procedures. Every effort will be made to reach a conclusion to ensure the safety and welfare of any child or children, even if the member of staff concerned refuses to cooperate with the process. For instance, a disciplinary hearing could still take place even if the member of staff concerned did not attend. A member of staff under allegation would always be given full opportunity to respond to any allegation.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures and Record Keeping
Bambinos staff make a record of:
- The child’s name
- The date and time of the observation/disclosure
- An objective record of the observation/disclosure
- Feelings of the child before, during and after the disclosure
- Exact details of the allegation or suspicion
- The name of the person to whom the concern was reported
- The names of any other person present at the time
- Signs and symptoms.
These records are signed and dated and kept in an individual confidential file separate to that of the child’s personal information file. Any recordings of Existing Injuries will be in line with Existing Injury Policy.
A clear summary of any allegation made including how the allegation was followed up and resolved and any information on actions taken will be kept on the member of staff’s personal file for any future reference or re – investigation if necessary.
Consideration will be given as to who needs to be interviewed by Bambinos management in the event of an allegation made towards a member of staff in collaboration with the LADO. These may include the member of staff under allegation, any witnesses to the allegation and the victim if applicable. Support will be given to all concerned.
All records will be kept confidential and only Bambinos management and any other agencies involved will have access to them as appropriate.
Suspension and Disciplinary Action
Any possible risk to any child or children will be effectively evaluated and managed and this may result in a member of staff under allegation being suspended until the case is resolved. Suspension will be considered if a child or children could be at risk of harm and/or may be suspended if the allegation warrants an external investigation by police. It may also result in the member of staff being dismissed following an investigation dependent on the outcome. Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from Bambinos Childcare Centres, we notify Ofsted and the Local Authority, the Safeguarding & Welfare Officer and the LADO. It is then the responsibility of Bambinos Ltd to pass on information relating to events and persons concerned to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), so they can give consideration to their being barred form working with children. Ofsted, the Safeguarding & Welfare Officer, Local Authority and the LADO are kept informed of all such events and investigations.
Following an investigation
If an allegation of abuse against a child or children is founded following an investigation, this along with all proceedings and conclusions will be reported during and after the investigation to Ofsted, the Safeguarding & Welfare Officer, the Local Authority and the LADO. It will then be the responsibility of Bambinos Ltd to inform the DBS of all events/information surrounding the person or persons for them to determine whether or not they should be barred from working with children.
If an allegation were substantiated, Bambinos management would seek to determine any improvements that could be made to procedures and practice to help prevent any further events in the future.
Each Bambinos Ltd site has a designated safeguarding person/child protection officer responsible for initially dealing with a child protection issue. They are as follows:
Bambinos Houndiscombe rd site Nicola James (Senior Manager)
Bambinos Woolwell site Vicky Finn (Manager)
Bambinos Tavistock site Laura Warne & Lindsay Sweeney (Managers)
Bambinos Plymstock site Lynsey Carroll (Manager) & Abby Hawkins (Assistant Manager)
In the event of a Manager being absent, the duty manager or acting manager will be the designated person responsible for dealing with a child protection issue
Bambinos Named Person for Safeguarding (NPS) is: Director Mrs Jemma Honey
Bambinos Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding (SDPS) is:
Director Mrs Jemma Honey
Bambinos Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding (DDPS) is:
Director Miss Sara Richards
This policy was adopted at a meeting of Bambinos Childcare Centres held on 1st September 2017 present Jemma Honey and Sara Richards
Signed on behalf of Bambinos Ltd
Policy to be reviewed within 12 months