Safeguarding Children Policy

Rationale


Our first responsibility and priority is towards the children in our care and their welfare and well-being is paramount to us. Child abuse happens to children and young people of both sexes, at all ages and in all cultures, religions and social classes and both to children and young people with and without disabilities. If we have any cause for concern we will report it, following the Tameside Safeguarding Children Board (TSCB) procedures.

This childminding setting employs other adults who work with minded children. These adults may be registered assistants or co-childminders.

Thomas Carroll has lead responsibility for Safeguarding Children and ensuring that policies and procedures are fit for purpose and that all members of staff receive appropriate advice, support, guidance and training.


Procedure

The relevant local procedures that we are familiar with are held by us and are available on request or by viewing the online TSCB website at http://www.tamesidesafeguardingchildren.org.uk/ we are aware of the indicators of physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect, or a mixture of these types of abuse. We are also aware of inappropriate adult behaviour which may constitute to the grooming or conditioning of children for the purpose of an abusive interaction.

We keep up-to-date with child protection issues and relevant legislation by taking regular training courses and regularly check that we have the latest version of the relevant procedures by going online. This helps us be aware of the signs of abuse or neglect and what to do if we have a concern. We are registered with the http://www.safenetwork.org.uk/ to receive e-mails alerts informing me of any changes.


We also have regard to the government’s statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’. As we are the registered childminders we take the lead responsibility for safeguarding children within our setting.


With the increase in usage of technology within today’s society it is vital to safeguard children against potentially harmful exploitation. Consent for taking photographs and the use of these images if applicable will be given by the parent/carer in our consent agreements. We use photographic equipment including mobile phones to take images of children’s development. These images will only be stored and used in line with parental written consent and images will be shared with parents/carers, giving the opportunity for parents/carers to decide if any images are deleted. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller which means we abide by strict guidelines for the storage and use of photographic images. We ensure that all of our minded children are protected against exploitation from others by never leaving a child alone with another individual who is in possession of a camera or photographic device which may be used inappropriately (Children will not have access to photographic devices whilst in our care without our permission). Our mobile phones will only be used for essential calls enabling us to meet the needs of the children at all times and is password protected to prevent others using it. We aim to ensure that any photographic equipment is not accessible by anyone else without permission.

Staff can seek permission to use their phone for personal reasons during working hours if necessary, but this will be monitored to ensure children’s safety. When working in the home, personal mobile phones or photographic equipment will not be carried around by individuals. They will be placed together in full view at all times and only removed to be used to make or receive calls or text messages or to take photographs that are relevant to the childminding work before being returned immediately. On outings, mobile phones will be taken for emergency purposes, but will be left with another member of staff when taking a child for nappy changing or toileting.

Parents/carers must notify us of any concerns they have about their child and any pre-existing accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded and signed by you on the day of entry.


If we are concerned about a child’s welfare and wish to discuss our concerns, we may contact our Development Worker (Child Protection Advisor), Tameside Council- Children and Young People’s Service Contact Centre, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, National Childminding Association’s Safeguarding Children Service or other relevant support services for advice, confidentially will be assured only when it is clear that there is no risk of harm to a child. In the case of an emergency we will contact the police directly.


If we notice:

  • significant changes in a child’s behaviour

  • unexpected bruising or marks or signs of possible abuse

  • any comments made which give me cause for concern

  • deterioration in general well-being which causes concern

  • signs of neglect or abuse outside the setting

  • inappropriate behaviour displayed by any other adult coming in contact with the child


We will keep a factual record of the concern and will ask the parents for an explanation, and signature on the same day providing it would not put the child at risk. We will implement the TSCB procedures without delay to minimise any risk to the child. Unless I believe it may place the child at risk, we will advise the parent/carers that we intend to make a referral. When making a referral we will contact the Initial Assessment Team at Tameside Safeguarding Children Board (TSCB) . I will follow my contact up by completing a Multi-Agency Referral form within 24 hours.


We must notify Ofsted of any allegations and any action taken in respect of the accusation of abuse that is alleged to have taken place while the child is on my premises or elsewhere. Notifications to Ofsted will be made as soon a reasonably practicable, but at least within 14 days of the allegations being made.

If a child tells one of us that they or another child is being abused, we will:

  • show that we have heard what they are saying, and that we take their allegations seriously

  • encourage the child to talk, but we will not prompt them or ask them leading questions. We will not interrupt when a child is recalling significant events and will not make a child repeat their account

  • explain what actions we must take, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child

  • write down what we have been told using exact words where possible

  • make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion

  • then we would report the concerns immediately to the Initial Assessment Team who have the experience and responsibility to make an assessment of the situation.

If an allegation is made against us both or our family, we will report it to Tameside Safeguarding Children Board (TSCB) who will inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (Tania Brown) is based at the Union Street building in Hyde and can be contacted on: Tel: 0161 342 4398 or by email tania.brown@tameside.gov.uk and we will report it to Ofsted; this follows the TSCB’s procedures. We will also contact our insurance company; we may contact our Development Worker, legal advisers or the National Childminding Association’s Safeguarding Children Service for advice and support. Inappropriate behaviour by anyone working in the setting is to be reported immediately to the person with lead responsibility who will report the incident to Ofsted. If the lead person is observed displaying inappropriate behaviour then the observer must report the incident directly to Ofsted.

In all instances we will record:

  • the child’s full name and address

  • the date and time of the record

  • factual details of the concern, e.g. bruising, what the child said, who was present

  • details of any previous concerns

  • details of any explanations from the parents/carers

  • any action taken such as speaking to parents/carers


It is not our responsibility to attempt to investigate the situation ourselves.

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