Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Child Protection

Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children.

Children’s rights and entitlements

 

Policy Statement

  • We promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages the children to develop a positive self image, which includes their heritage arising from their ethnicity, their first (home) language, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.

  • We promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.

  • We promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by enabling the children to have the self confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.

  • We help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers and other adults.

  • We work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the principles of safeguarding our children.

 

What it means to promote children’s rights and entitlements to be strong, resilient and listened to.

To be strong means to be:

  • Secure in their foremost attachment relationships, where they are loved and cared for by at least one person who is able to offer consistent, positive and unconditional regard and who can be relied on,

  • Safe and valued as individuals in their families and in relationships beyond their family such as day care or school.

  • Self assured and form a positive sense of themselves – including all aspects of their identity and heritage.

  • Included equally and belong in our setting and community life.

  • Confident in their own abilities and proud of their achievements

  • Progressing optimally in all aspects of their development and learning

  • Part of a peer group in which they learn to negotiate, develop social skills and  identity as global citizens, respecting the rights of others in a diverse world.

  • Able to represent themselves and participate in aspects of service delivery that affects them as well as aspects of key decisions that affect their lives.

 

To be resilient means to:

  • Be sure of their self worth and dignity

  • Be able to be assertive and state their needs actively

  • Be able to overcome difficulties and problems

  • Have a positive outlook on life

  • Be able to cope with challenge and change

  • Have a sense of justice towards themselves and others

  • Develop a sense of responsibility towards themselves and each other

  • Be able to represent themselves and others in key decision making processes.

 

To be listened to means:

  • Adults who are close to children recognise their need and right to express and communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas

  • Adults who are close to children are able to tune into their verbal, sign and body language in order to understand and interpret what is being expressed and communicated.

  • Adults who are close to children are able to respond appropriately and when required act upon their understanding of what children express and communicate.

  • Adults respect children’s rights and facilitate children’s participation and representation in imaginative and child centred ways in all aspects of core services.

 

Looked after children

We are committed to providing quality provision based on equal opportunities for all children and their families. All staff in our provision are committed to doing all they can to enable “looked after” children in our care to achieve and reach their full potential.

 

Children become “looked after” if they have either been to care by the local authority or have been accommodated by the local authority (voluntary care arrangement). Most looked after children are living in foster homes but some will be in children’s home, living with a relative or even placed back into their home with their natural parent(s)

 

We recognise that children who are looked after have often experienced traumatic experiences and situations, physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect. However we also recognise that not all looked after children have experienced abuse and there are a range of reasons for children to be taken into care of the local authority. Whatever the reason a child’s separation from their home and family signifies a disruption in their lives that has an impact on their emotional well being. Most local authorities do not place children under 5 with foster carers who work outside of their home, however there are instances when this does occur or where the child has been placed with a family member who works. It is not appropriate for a child under the age of 2 years to be placed in a day care setting in addition to a foster placement.

 

We place emphasis on promoting children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to. Our policy and practice guidelines for looked after children are based on two concepts, attachment and resilience. The basis of this is to promote secure attachments in children’s lives, as the foundation for resilience. These aspects of well being underpin the child’s responsiveness to learning and enable the development of positive dispositions for learning. For young children to get the most from educational opportunities they need to be settled enough with their carer to be able to cope with further separation, a new environment and new expectations made upon them.

 

Principles

  • The term “looked after chid” denotes a child’s current legal status, this term is never used to categorise a child as standing out from others. We do not refer to such a child using acronyms such as LAC.

  • We do not offer placements for babies or children under two years old.

  • We offer places for funded three and four year olds who are in care to ensure they receive their entitlement to early education. We expect that a child has been with a foster carer for at least 1 month and they have formed a secure attachment with their carer.

  • Where a child normally attends our setting and is taken into care and cared for by a local foster carer we will continue to offer a placement for the child.

 

Procedures

  • The designated person for looked after children is the designated safeguarding officer.

  • Every child is allocated a key person before they start and this is no different for a looked after child. The designated person ensures the key person has the information, support and training necessary to meet the looked after child’s needs.

  • The designated person and the key person liaise with agencies, professionals and practitioners involved with the child  and his or her family and ensures appropriate information is gained and shared.

  • We recognise the local authority children’s social care department as the child’s “corporate parent” and the key agency in determining what takes place with the child. Nothing changes especially with regard to the birth parents or foster carers role in relation to the setting without prior discussion and agreement with the child’s social worker.

  • At the start of the placement there is a professionals meeting to determine the objectives of the placement and draw up a care plan which incorporates the child’s learning needs. This plan is to be reviewed after two weeks, six weeks and three months. Then at three or six monthly intervals.

  • The care plan needs to consider issues for the child such as:

  • Their emotional needs and how they will be met

  • How any emotional issues and problems that affect behaviour will be managed.

  • Their sense of self, culture, languages and identity and how these will be supported

  • .Any special needs they may have and how this will be supported

  • Their need to socialise and friendships

  • Their interests and abilities and possible learning journey pathway.

  • In addition, the care plan will consider

  • How information will be shared with the foster carer and local authority as well as what information is shared with whom and how it will be recorded and stored.

  • What contact the child has with their birth parents and what arrangements will be in place for supervised contact.

  • What written reporting is required

  • Wherever possible and where the plan is for the child to return home the birth parents should be involved with planning and the social workers agreement and part of the plan should include how the parents will be involved with activities within our setting alongside the foster carer.

  • The settling in process is agreed, it should be the same as all other children but complete separation from the child’s foster carer should only go ahead if the child has formed a sufficient relationship with their key person to act as a secure base in the absence of their foster carer.

  • In the first two weeks the child’s wellbeing is the focus of observation as well as their ability to socialise and manage their feelings with or without support.

  • Further observations about communication, interests and abilities will be noted to form a picture of the whole child in relation to the EYFS prime and specific areas of learning and development.

  • Concerns about the child will be noted in the child’s file and discussed with the foster carer.

  • If the concerns are about the foster carers treatment towards the child or if abuse is suspected, these are recorded in the child’s file and reported to the child’s social worker according to our safeguarding procedure.

  • Regular contact should be maintained with the social worker through planned meetings that will include the foster carer.    

  • The transition to school will be handled sensitively. The designated person and / or the child’s key person will liaise with the school passing on relevant information and documentation with the agreement of the looked after child’s birth parents.

 

 

Further Guidance

  • Guidance on Education of Children and Young People in Public Care (DfEE 2000)

  • Who Does What: How Social Workers and Carers can Support the Education of Looked After Children (DfES 2005)

  • Supporting Looked After Learners – A Practical Guide for School Governors (DfES 2006)

 

Uncollected Child

 

Policy Statement

In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult within their expected collection time we put into practice agreed procedures. The child will receive a high standard of care in order to cause as less distress as possible.

 

We inform parents of the procedure so that if they are unavoidably delayed they are reassured their child is well cared for.

 

Procedures

  • Parents are asked to provide the following specific information when their child starts attending our setting which is recorded on the child’s registration form.

  • Home address and telephone number – if parents do not have a telephone an alternative number must be given.

  • Place of work, address and telephone number (if applicable)

  • Mobile telephone number

  • Names and contact details of adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child from our setting

  • Who has parental responsibility for the child

  • Information regarding anyone who does not have legal access to the child.

  • On occasions when parents are aware they will not be at home or in their usual place of work they inform us in writing how they can be contacted.

  • On occasions when parents or the persons normally authorised to collect the child are not able to do so they provide us with written details of the name, address and contact details of the person who will be collecting their child. We agree with parents how to identify the person collecting their child and advise the person must know the authorised password in order to collect the child.

  • Parents are informed that if they are not able to collect their child as planned they must inform us so we can take up back up measures. Our contact telephone number is 07948 570545.

  • If a child is not collected at their expected time we follow the procedure below:

    • The child’s file is checked for any information about changes to normal collection routines

    • If no information is available, parents are contacted at home, work and on their mobile numbers, if this is unsuccessful, the adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child are contacted.

    • All reasonable attempts are made to contact parents and nominated carers

    • The child does not leave the premises with anyone other than those named on the registration form or in their file.

    • If no one collects the child within 30 minutes if their expected collection and no named nominated contacted person can be reached we apply the procedures for uncollected children.

    • If we have any cause to believe the child has been abandoned we will contact the local authority children’s social care team.

    • If the social care team are unavailable we will contact the local police.

    • After an additional 15 minutes if the child has not been collected we will contact the agencies above again.

    • The child stays in the setting with 2 staff members, one of whom will be our manager until the child is safely collected by either parents or social care worker or another person specified by social care.

    • Social care will aim to find the parent or relative. If they are unable to do so the child will become looked after by the local authority.

    • Under no circumstances will we go to look for the parent not leave the premises with the child.

    • We will ensure the child is not anxious and we do not discuss our concerns in front of them.

    • A full written report of the incident is recorded in the child’s file.

 

 

Publications

Safeguarding Children (2013)

 

Missing Child

 

Policy statement

Children’s safety is our highest priority, both on and off premises. Every attempt is made, through the implementation of our outings procedure and our entrance / exit procedure to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times. In the unlikely event of a child going missing, our missing child procedure is followed.

 

Procedures

Child goes missing on the premises:

  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, the supervisor alerts our manager.

  • The register is checked to make sure all other children are present

  • Our manager will carry out a full search of the garden and building

  • Doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security and a child could have wandered out.

  • If the child is not found our manager calls the police immediately and reports the child as missing. If abduction is suspected the police are informed.

  • The parents are then called and informed.

  • A recent photo and a note of what the child is wearing is given to the police

  • Our manger talks to staff to find out where the child was last seen and records this

  • Our manager contacts the chair and reports the incident. The chair then comes to the premises immediately and carries out an investigation with the manager if appropriate.

 

Child goes missing on an outing:

This describes what to do when our staff have taken a group on an outing, leaving our manager and other staff in our premises. If our manager has accompanied the children , the procedures adjust themselves accordingly. What to do when a child goes missing from a whole group outing maybe a little different as parents usually attend and are responsible for their child.

  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, the staff members on the outing ask children to stand with their designated carer and carry out a headcount to ensure no other children have gone astray.

  • One staff member searches immediately in the vicinity but not beyond that.

  • The senior member of staff on the outing contacts the police and reports that a child is missing.

  • Our manager is contacted immediately and the incident is recorded.

  • Our manager contacts the parents

  • Our staff take all other children back to the setting straight away

  • According to the advice from the police, a senior member of staff and the manager should stay at the site where the child went missing and wait for the police to arrive.

  • A recent photo and description of what the child was wearing is given to the police.

  • Our manager contacts our chair and reports the incident. Our chair comes to our premises immediately to carry out an investigation.

  • Our staff remain calm and do not let the other children be anxious or worried

 

The investigation

  • Ofsted are informed as soon as possible and are kept up to date with the investigation

  • Our chair carries out a full investigation, taking written statements from all our staff and volunteers present

  • Our manager speaks with the parents and explains the process of the investigation

  • The parents may also raise a complaint with Ofsted.

  • Each staff member writes an incident report detailing:

  • The date and time of the incident

  • Where the child went missing from

  • Which staff and children were present in the setting or on the outing and the name of the staff member who was designated as responsible for the missing child

  • When the child was last seen

  • What has taken place since the child went missing

  • The report is countersigned by a senior member of staff and date and time added.

  • A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security happened

  • If the incident warrants a police investigation, all staff cooperate fully. In this case, the police will handle all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing staff and parents. Children’s social care maybe involved if it seems likely there are child protection issues to address.

  • In the event of disciplinary action needing to be taken, Ofsted are advised.

  • The insurance provider is informed.

 

Managing people

  • Missing incidents are worrying for all concerned. Part of managing the incident is to try to keep everyone as calm as possible

  • Our staff will feel worried about the child, especially the key person or designated carer responsible for the safety of that child on the outing. They may blame themselves and their feelings of anxiety and distress will rise as the length of time the child is missing increases.

  • They maybe the target of parental anger and they maybe afraid. Our manager ensures that any staff under investigation are not only fairly treated but receive support while feeling vulnerable.

  • The parents will feel angry and fraught. They may want to blame our staff and may single out one staff member, they may direct their anger at our manager. When dealing with distraught and angry parents, there should be 2 staff members present, one of whom is our manager and the other is the chair. No matter how understandable the parents anger maybe, aggression or threats against our staff will not be tolerated and the police will be called.

  • The other children are also sensitive  what is going on around them. They too maybe worried. Our remaining staff caring for them need to be focussed on their needs and must not discuss the matter in front of them. They should answer children’s questions honestly but also reassure them.

  • In accordance to the severity of the final outcome, our staff may need counselling and support. If a child is not found or is injured or worse this will be a very difficult time. Our chair will use discretion to decide what action to take.

  • Our staff must not discuss any missing children with the press without taking advice from the chair or manager.

© 2020 by St. Peters Thundersley Preschool

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Call Us: 07961 435979 OR 07948 570545 / stpeterspreschool1965@hotmail.com / Church Rd, Church Ln, Benfleet SS7 3HG, UK