Registered Charity 1169242
Child Protection Policy
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY FOR LITTLE EDI FOUNDATION
APPROVED BY TRUSTEES 1ST MARCH 2017
POLICY TO BE REVIEWED 1ST MARCH 2019
DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD:
|James Bell (Trustee)|
DEPUTY DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD:
|Tess Griggs (President)|
The welfare and safety of children within our charity are of paramount concern. We will promote the health, well-being and safety of the children in all we do. Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our care. The charity understands the responsibilities set out under section 175 of the 2002 Education Act to work together in partnership with other agencies to help children to grow up in a healthy and safe environment.
The aims and objectives of this policy are to ensure that all volunteers promote an environment where children can learn in a safe, caring, stimulating and positive school and where their social physical and moral development is our highest priority. All children will know they are valued and their concerns will be taken seriously and addressed by the volunteers who care for them. We want all children to feel safe and know what to do if they ever have concerns about any aspect of their physical or emotional safety.
In promoting the health and well being of pupils we aim to help children to become confident, responsible, trustworthy and resilient. In our charity, we respect our children. The atmosphere within our charity is one that encourages all children to do their best. We provide opportunities that enable our children to take and make decisions for themselves. We will promote the emotional intelligence of the children so that they are aware of their own emotions and the effect their actions has on others. This policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of all volunteers who work or support our charity and in so doing provides guidance on how we will make sure charity a safe and caring place for all children. We will ensure that this charity works effectively with a wide range of agencies involved in the promotion of the health, wellbeing and safety of children.
This policy will outline the procedures we expect to happen if an incident of concern is identified with any child within the charity. It will also set out how volunteers record and communicate concerns and how we will monitor incidents if and when they occur.
Contacts for Safeguarding in Essex:
[Monday – Thursday: 8.30am – 5.00pm / Friday: 8.30am – 4.15pm]
To make a referral, contact the Initial Response Team (IRT)
Telephone: 0845 603 7627 – ask for IRT but specify whether you want
- 1. The IRT Priority Referral line (for urgent referrals – if a child needs ‘immediate protection’)
- 2. The IRT Referral Line (for non-urgent referrals)
- If you have concerns about a child but would like to discuss these with a Social Worker and seek advice about whether a referral is appropriate, you can contact the Initial Response Team Consultation Line on the same phone number, but specify that you want the IRT Consultation Line.
Post: Initial Response Team, Essex House, 200 The Crescent, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YQ
Fax: 01206 851844 or 01206 844981
For referrals outside the hours of Monday – Thursday: 8.30am – 5.00pm / Friday: 8.30am – 4.15pm:
Out of Hours Telephone: 0300 123 0779
Out of Hours Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children and young people with needs at Levels 2 – 3 of the windscreen
(Additional & Intensive)
To discuss possible resources and support for a child and their family, you can contact the Early Help & Advice Hub – they will provide information, advice and guidance
Telephone: 0845 603 7627 – ask for the Early Help & Advice Hub (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm)
Allegations regarding a worker / volunteer in the Children’s Workforce:
If you have concerns or receive a complaint or allegation that a worker/volunteer has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children. You must immediately telephone the Children’s Safeguarding Service on 01245 436744. The Local Authority Designated Officer will advise you on action to take next
- mail: email@example.com (please note this is not a secure address so any information sent must be password protected)
- Local Authority Designated Officers:
- Carole Fuller (Mid)
- Jacquie Wilkes (North)
- Mechelle de Kock (South)
- Rebecca Scott (West)
- If a concern is raised outside of office hours, and you think a referral to Social Care is required you should contact Essex Social care on 0845 6061212 and inform the Local Authority Designated Officer at the first available opportunity.
- (Working Together 2013)
Safeguarding Adviser :
Jo Barclay – 033301 31078 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Keating – 033301 31160 email@example.com
- Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. Our charity adopts the same high level approach as School and college staff, they are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. Schools should work with Social Care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.(Keeping Children Safe in Education – DfE, April 2014)The document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – DFE, April 2014) MUST be read in conjunction with this policy and should be kept as an appendix to the school’s child protection policy.
2.1 The Little Edi Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people in its care. “The welfare of the child is paramount” (the Children Act 1989).
2.2 The Little Edi Foundation places a statutory responsibility on our governing body to have policies and procedures in place that safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in our care.
2.3 There are three main elements to our Child Protection policy:
- Prevention through the creation of a positive atmosphere and the teaching, and pastoral support offered.
- Protection by following agreed procedures and ensuring all volunteers are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns.
- Support to children who may have been abused.
2.4 This policy applies to all children, trustees, parents, volunteers and visitors.
2.5 This charity recognises it is an agent of referral and not of investigation.
3 CHARITY POLICY
We recognise that for our children, high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and clear lines of communication with a trusted adult helps to prevent abuse.
Our charity therefore aims to:
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel safe and secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
- Ensure that children know that there are adults within the charity who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
- Include in the agenda opportunities for discussion which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to develop healthy and safe relationships.
- Include in the agenda, material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills.
- Make parents/carers aware of the charity policies and practice for safeguarding and ensure that, wherever possible, every effort will be made to establish open and honest effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from partner agencies.
4.1 Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB)
4.2 In Essex, all professionals must work in accordance with the SET Procedures (ESCB, 2011)
4.3 Our charity also works in accordance with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE, 2014), ‘Working Together’ (DfE, 2013)and ‘Effective Support for Children and Families in Essex (ESCB, 2013)
- ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
5.1 All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect them. There are, however, key people within schools and the Local Authority who have specific responsibilities under child protection procedures. The names of those in our charity carrying out these responsibilities for the current year are listed on the cover sheet of this document.
5.2 It is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that all child protection procedures are followed within the charity, and to make appropriate, timely referrals to Essex Children’s Social Care in accordance with SET procedures. If for any reason the Designated Safeguarding Lead is unavailable, a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will act in their absence. Additionally, it is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure all volunteers and contractors within the charity are aware of the child protection procedures, to advise volunteers and to offer support to those requiring this.
5.3 The Trustees are responsible for ensuring that the charity follows recruitment procedures that help to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children (see ‘Safer Recruitment policy for further information)
5.4 The Designated Governor for Safeguarding ensures there is an effective child protection policy in place and that this is updated annually. Trustees must not be given details relating to individual child protection cases or situations to ensure confidentiality is not breached.
5.5 The charity will publish its Child Protection policy on its website
6.1 All action is taken in accordance with the following guidance;
- Essex Safeguarding Children Board Guidelines, the SET (Southend, Essex and Thurrock) Child Protection Procedures (2011)
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2014)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE, 2013)
- ‘Effective Support for Children and Families in Essex’ (ESCB, 2013).
6.2 When new volunteers or regular visitors join our charity they are informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They are given a copy of our Child Protection policy, told who our Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) is and is informed how to share concerns with the designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy.
6.3 volunteers are kept informed about child protection responsibilities and procedures through induction, briefings and awareness training. There may be other adults within the charity who rarely work unsupervised, more usually working other members. However we will ensure they are aware of the charity’s policy and the identity of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy. .
6.4 Any volunteer or visitor to the charity who receives a disclosure of abuse, an allegation or suspects that abuse may have occurred must report it immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or in their absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. In the absence of either of the above, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior Trustee.
6.5 The Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Deputy will immediately refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to Essex Social Care Direct by telephone and in accordance with the procedures outlined in the SET procedures and in ‘Effective Support for Children and Families in Essex’ (ESCB, 2013).
6.6 The charity will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Social Care with the parents or carers, unless to do so could place the child at greater risk of harm or impede a criminal investigation. On these occasions advice will be taken from the Initial Response Team (IRT) and / or Essex Police.
6.7 If a volunteer continues to have concerns about a child and feels the situation is not being addressed or does not appear to be improving, the volunteer concerned should press for re-consideration.
- TRAINING AND SUPPORT
7.1 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) will undergo updated child protection training every two years. All trustees and volunteers will undergo child protection training which is updated regularly. A record of all Child Protection training will be kept as an appendix to this policy.
7.2 The charity will ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) also undertakes training in inter-agency working and other matters as appropriate
7.3 The charity will provide support and supervision to volunteers involved in child protection issues.
7.4 All volunteers should have access to advice and guidance on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and conduct. These matters form part of volunteer induction..
- PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY
8.1 Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child. A volunteer must never guarantee confidentiality to a child nor should they agree with a child to keep a secret as, where there is a child protection concern, this must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and may require further investigation by appropriate authorities.
8.2 Volunteers will be informed of relevant information in respect of individual cases regarding child protection on a ‘need to know basis’ only. Any information shared with a volunteer in this way must be held treated confidentially.
- RECORDS AND MONITORING
9.1 Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our charity is clear about the need to record any concern held about a child or children. The status of such records and when these records should be passed over to other agencies.
9.2 Any volunteer receiving a disclosure of abuse or noticing signs or indicators of abuse, must make an accurate record as soon as possible noting what was said or seen (if appropriate using a body map to record), putting the event in context, and giving the date, time and location. All records will be dated and signed and will include the action taken. This should be presented to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy) who will then decide on appropriate action.
9.3 Any file notes are kept in a confidential file in chronological order and stored in a secure place . All child protection records are stored securely and confidentially and will be retained for 35 years after the last entry (in line with ECC policy).
- ATTENDANCE AT CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES & CORE GROUPS
10.1 It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that the charity is represented at and that a report is submitted to any child protection conference called for children on the school roll or previously known to them. Whoever attends should be fully briefed on any issues or concerns the charity has and be prepared to contribute to the discussions at the conference.
10.2 If a child is made subject to a Child Protection Plan, it is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure the child is monitored regarding their welfare and presentation. If the charity are part of the core group then the Designated Safeguarding Lead should ensure that it is represented and contributes to the plan at these meetings; that there is a record of attendance and issues discussed. All concerns about the child protection plan and / or the child’s welfare should be discussed and recorded at the core group meeting unless the child is at further risk of significant harm. In this case the Designated Safeguarding Lead must inform the child’s key worker immediately and then record that they have done so and the actions agreed.
- SUPPORTING CHILDREN AT RISK
11.1 Our charity recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth or view the world as a positive place.
11.2 Our charity may be the only stable, secure and safe element in the lives of children at risk. Nevertheless, whilst their behaviour may still be challenging and defiant they may be withdrawn.
11.3 Our charity will endeavour to support children through:
- The agenda to encourage them to stay safe, develop healthy relationships, self-esteem and self-motivation.
- The charity ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all children and adults a sense of being respected and valued.
- The implementation of the charities behaviour management policies.
- A consistent approach agreed by all volunteers which will endeavour to ensure the child knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but s/he is valued.
- Regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the children and their families.
- A commitment to develop open and honest and supportive relationships with parents, with the child’s best interest as paramount
- The development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group, trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations.
- Recognition that children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse so volunteers who work in any capacity with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and / or emotional and behavioural problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.
- Recognition that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children may also be vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
12. ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING A MEMBER VOLUNTEER
12.1 It is essential that the high standards of concern and professional responsibility adopted with regard to alleged child abuse by parents are similarly displayed when volunteers are accused of abuse.
12.2 Only authorised agencies may investigate child abuse allegations (Social Care Services, the Police or in some areas, the NSPCC). Whilst it is permissible to ask the child(ren) simple, non-leading questions to ascertain the facts of the allegation, formal interviews and the taking of statements is not.
12.3 The procedure to be followed in the event of an allegation being made against a volunteer is set out in the SET procedures.
12.4 Where an allegation against a volunteer has been made, the President or another senior Trustee will immediately telephone the Children’s Safeguarding Service on 01245 436744. A Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will advise on how to proceed and whether the matter requires Police involvement. This will include advice on speaking to children and parents.
13.1 All volunteers must be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues.
13.2 Any volunteer can press for re-consideration of a case if they feel a child’s situation does not appear to be improving. They must refer their concerns to Social Care directly if they have concerns for the safety of a child.