Policies and procedures
St.Richard’s Nursery provides a safe nurturing environment for children to grow and develop. This includes safeguarding children’s welfare whilst meeting their individual needs. As stressed in the Children Act ‘the welfare of the children is a paramount consideration’, and a common core of Every Child Matters. All staff in the nursery is trained to be aware of behavioral and physical indicators that suggest the possibility of abuse. Staff is made aware of the procedures to be taken if they believe a child has been, or is at risk of abuse. We acknowledge that abuse of children can take place in different forms- physical, emotional, sexual & neglect.
Should any member of staff have any concerns about a particular child, s/he will immediately take up the matter with the Manager, who may decide that further advice is needed. We will consider discussions with parents/carers, observations and checks and respect for confidentiality will be kept at all times.
If there is any suspicion of abuse this will be recorded and the appointed safeguarding person Zeferina Cooke, 02088643447 In case of absence The Manager Sylwia Piatek 0208 8643447 will contact social services without undue delay. All staff will co-operate with any investigation and any observations & details may be informed to agencies such as:
• Ofsted: 0300 123 1231/ www.ofsted.gov.uk
• Ealing Social Services Child Protection Advisors
• The Ealing Welfare Officer On Duty: 020 8825 5000
• Sally Ann Osmond, Nominated Children’s Advisor, Childcare Manager for Children In Need: 020 8825 9466/ firstname.lastname@example.org
• Rupinder Verdice, LADO (Local Authorities Designated Officer) 020 8825 5268
• Charles Barnard, Perceval House, 2nd Floor SW (Green Zone), 14-16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing W5 2HL: 020 8825 6139/ email@example.com
• Child Protection Police Of Ealing & Hillingdon: 020 8246 1903
• Parent Line:106 Godstone Road, Wyteleafe, Surrey CR3 0GB
• Ealing Hospital: Uxbridge Road, Southall, Middlesex, UB1 3HW
If a member of nursery staff is under suspicion, similar procedures will take place and, if found in them any element of truth, immediate dismissal will take place and the police informed.
Staff & Volunteers:
Necessary checks such as: CRB, References, Qualifications & Health Checks are carried out by the nursery in order to ensure that all staff members and volunteers are suitable to work within a childcare environment. Volunteers do not work unsupervised and security steps controlling visitors are in place to ensure that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to our children.
Responding to Suspicions of Abuse:
Where evidence or concerns of abuse is apparent, dated records of the details of concern are made and discussions take place with the designated person. Information is sorted in the child’s personal file and concerns are referred to the local authority children’s social care department and full cooperation is given in any subsequent investigation which may include police or any other agencies identified by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. Care is taken so that there is no influence to the outcome, either through communication with the child or through asking questions of the child.
Records of Suspicions of Abuse & Disclosures:
Where cause for concern arises either through visual signs or a child verbally mentioning something to a member of staff, that member of staff:
• Listens to the child, offering reassurance and assurance that action will take place
• Does not question the child
• Makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation/disclosure. The record includes: the date & time it is written, the exact words of the child as far as possible, the name of the person to whom the concern was reported (with the date & time) and the names of any other person present at the time.
These records are then signed and dated and kept tin the child’s personal file which is kept secure and confidential.
Making A Referral to the Local Authority Social Care Team:
The Pre-School Learning Alliance’s Publication ‘Child Protection Record’ contains detailed procedures for making a referral, as well as template form for recording concerns. A copy of this document is kept within the setting and the detailed guidelines are followed. All members of staff are familiar with and follow procedures for recording and reporting.
Parents are normally the first point of contact, if a suspicion is recorded; parents are informed at the same time the report is made, excluding where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board doesn’t allow this. This would usually happen in cases in which the parents may be the likely abuser, and investigating officers will take responsibility in informing the parents.
Liaisons with Other Agencies:
The nursery works within, and holds copies of documents of, the Local Safeguarding Children Board for both parents and staff. We have procedures for contacting the local authority, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and contact numbers of social workers to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the nursery and social services to work well together. Ofsted is notified of any incident, accident or change in arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of our children. Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also kept. If a referral is to be made, we act within the local Safeguarding Children & Child Protection guidance in deciding whether parents must be informed at the same time.
We ensure all staff members are aware of the policies and procedures for reporting and recording concerns. We all seek out training opportunities to ensure awareness the local authority guidelines and recognising possible signs and symptoms of physical, emotional, sexual and neglect abuse.
The room layout allows constant supervision and no child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others.
We introduce key elements of keeping children safe in our programme in order to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe. A culture of value and respect for the individual is created within the setting, having positive regards for the heritage, ethnicity, language, culture and social background.
Allegations against Staff:
We ensure that parents are aware of how to make a complaint about the behaviour or actions of a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living on or working in the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse. We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint made. Any disclosure is recorded and any such complaint is referred immediately to the local authority’s social care department for investigation. We also report any such alleged incident, and measures taken, to Ofsted in awareness that it is an offence not to do so. Full cooperation with any investigation is given and where the management committee and children’s social care agree, the chairperson will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well and the child and family throughout the process.
Where a member of staff, or volunteer, is dismissed due to misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Independent Barring Board administrators so that the name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred List.
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 Safeguarding Children Board.
Support to Families:
We believe in building trusting and supporting relationships with families, staff and volunteers. We make our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection clear and continue to welcome the child and family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any allegation. We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting designated role and task in support the child and their family subsequent to any investigation. Confidential records kept on the child are shared with the child’s parents or those with parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.