Safeguarding children and child protection & Prevent Duty
Purpose and Aims
Purpose and Aims
The purpose of Dragonflies 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, trustees’ 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 Dragonflies 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. Dragonflies 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:
• “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018”
• “What to do if you are worried a Child is being Abused” 2015
• “Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2019
• “The Prevent Duty” 2015
• “Information Sharing; Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers” 2018
Responsibilities and expectations
The staff and trustees 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 Staff and trustees should also 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 Early Years Room Manager/Early Years Deputy) 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.
o The Safeguarding Designated Officer is Donna Anderson.
If they are not available then contact
o The Deputy Safeguarding Designated Officer Jess White
(This/these person/s can also be contacted with any safeguarding concerns).
• Identify the Named Member of the Trustees for Safeguarding
o Safeguarding Committee Named Person is Gemma Moore
• 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.
• 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, Camera & Image Policy, and mobile phones
• 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 DSL, 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 on 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 effect 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’. 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
Neglect 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;
Lateness or non-attendance at the setting;
Poor relationship with peers;
Untreated medical problems;
Compulsive stealing and scavenging;
Rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking;
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 when changing
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 insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Rejection
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.
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 Trustees 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 Trustees. In the case of the allegation being made against the SDO this will be brought to the immediate attention of the Trustees. The SDO/Trustees will need to discuss with 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. Trustees 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 keep at preschool. 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 three years in line with Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board (DCFP). 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, Group 3 Refresher Courses. 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 Trustees will have access to safeguarding training and our Named Trustee for Safeguarding will also undertake additional awareness training at least every three years, if they are on the panel this long. They 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 policy is reviewed annually, in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.
We will include our Safeguarding Policy in our settings welcome booklet and website and a hard copy is always available in the setting.
Dragonflies has policies and procedures in place with regard to the use of mobile phones and tablets in the setting and on visits etc .
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 protocol:
Online Safety Policy
Camera & Image Policy
Use of Mobile Phone Policy
Health and Safety Policy
Whistle Blowing Policy
Information Sharing Policy
Maintaining children’s safety and security on premises Policy
British Values Policy
The above list is not exhaustive and as new policy guidance and legislation develops within the remit of Safeguarding, we will review and update our policies and procedures as appropriate and in line with the Devon Children Families Partnership and Local Authority.
Devon Children Families Partnership www.dcfp.org.uk/
South West Child Protection Procedures http://www.proceduresonline.com/swcpp/
Devon Early Years and Childcare Service www.devon.gov.uk/eycs
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency www.ceop.org.uk
Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0345 155 1071
email: [email protected]
MASH Consultation Line 0345 155 1071 (ask for Consultation Line)
Early Help co-ordination centre 0345 155 1071 (ask for Early Help)
Out of hours for CYPS (Social Care):
5pm -9am and at weekends and public holidays, please contact:
Emergency Duty Service 0845 6000 388 (low-rate call)
Police Central Referral Unit: 0845 605 116
EYCS Consultation Service:
If you have concerns about a child but are unsure whether to make a MASH enquiry. The numbers are:
Nikki Phillips – Locality Manager for Exeter and East Devon 01392 383000
Melissa Filby – Locality Manager for Northern and Mid Devon 01392 383000
Susan Bolt – Locality Manager for South West Devon 01392 383000
DCFP Office: 01392 383000
Child Protection Chairs and Local Authority Designated Officers for managing allegations against staff:
Allegations against staff Referral Co-ordinator 01392 384964
Devon’s Domestic Abuse Helpline 0345 155 1074
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’.
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).
Online 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 Dragonflies will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an acceptable use policy linked to our Online safety 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 Online safety 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. (DCSF 2009) Link to guidance
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)
Link to the guidance:
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 Every Child Matters outcome as non-disabled child. 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 (Safeguarding Children, DCSF, July 2009) Dragonflies 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 Dragonflies 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 Dragonflies 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 Dragonflies 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 Dragonflies 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 parent.
• 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 Dragonflies 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.