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Child Protection/Safeguarding

Child Protection and Safeguarding

The name of the Designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO) is Jane Jiwa.
The name of the Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer (DDCPO) is Mandy Wells.

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is to provide a secure framework for the workforce in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students under the age of 18 who attend our projects and courses. The policy aims to ensure that:

  • All our students are safe and protected from harm;
  • Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable students to feel safe and adopt safe practices; and
  • Staff, students, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours and the organisations legal responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our students under the age of 18.

Policy Statement

This policy develops procedures and good practice within our organisation, to ensure that each person and third-party organisation can demonstrate that there is an understanding of the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people including those who are vulnerable. It provides evidence of how this will be implemented within our organisation and within third-party working arrangements.

Introduction

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989, the Education Act 2002 and the Children Act 2004 and in line with government publications and local guidance.

Our organisation takes seriously its responsibility under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within our organisation to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering harm.

Safeguarding (as defined in the Joint Inspector’s Safeguarding report) is taken to mean “All third-parties working with children, young people and their families take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to children’s welfare are minimised” and “where there are concerns about children and young people’s welfare, all third-parties take all appropriate actions to address those concerns, working to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with other third-parties”.

Ethos

Improving outcomes for all children and young people underpins the development and work within this organisation.

Safeguarding is considered everyone’s responsibility and as such our organisation aims to create the safest environment within which every student has the opportunity to achieve. Our organisation recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all students who use our organisation feel that they will be listened to and appropriate action will be taken. We will do this by working in partnership with other third-parties and seeking to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues to develop and provide activities and opportunities throughout our projects and courses that will help to equip young people with the skills they need. This will include materials and learning experiences that will encourage young people to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours.

Board of Directors Responsibilities

Our Board of Directors has an important responsibility to make sure we have effective safeguarding policy and procedures in place and monitors that the organisation complies with them. The Board of Directors has appointed a Designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO) who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our organisation. In the absence of the DCPO, the organisation has a Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer. The DCPO (and Deputy DCPO) has undertaken child protection training which is refreshed every two years.

Our Board of Directors recognises that for this policy to be effective, it is essential that staff have an understanding of what safeguarding is, know that ‘safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility’, know how to access safeguarding information, know of any possible contribution that they may be required to make to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults and how to access further advice, support or services.

All members of staff are provided with opportunities to receive appropriate training in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse and of the organisation’s child protection procedures every three years.

All members of staff and volunteers know how to respond to a student who discloses abuse, and the procedure to be followed in appropriately sharing a concern of possible abuse or a disclosure of abuse.

Where a third party organisation is responsible for running the services there will be clear lines of accountability and written agreements setting out responsibility for carrying out the recruitment and vetting checks of staff and volunteers.

All parents/carers are made aware of the organisation’s responsibilities in regard to child protection procedures through publication of the organisation’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.

Our organisation operates safer recruitment procedures including making sure that: statutory duties to check staff who work with children and young people are complied with; statutory guidance relating to volunteers is followed; and recruitment panel members are properly trained. We hold a single central record (SCR) which demonstrates we have carried out the range of checks required by law on our staff.

An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is sought for all positions in Regulated Activity as currently defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (and as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). The Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the CRB) provides clear guidelines relating to posts that meet the definition of Regulated Activity and that are eligible for an Enhanced Disclosure.

Should we dismiss or remove a member of staff or a volunteer because they have harmed a child or young person, or poses a risk of harm to a child or would have done so if they had not left, we will report this to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Our safeguarding policies and procedures will be annually reviewed and updated.

Designated Child Protection Officer’s (DCPO) Responsibilities

We will follow the procedures set out in the South West Child Protection Procedures (www.swcpp.org.uk) and take account of both national guidance issued by the Department of Education and local guidance.

Our Designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO) is responsible for:

  • Advising on LSCB threshold /continuum of need guidance;
  • Contacting by telephone the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) 0300 123 1116 as a matter of urgency, in order to discuss the child protection concerns of possible abuse or neglect that the designated person has in connection with the child, being prepared to provide the child’s details and follow advice and guidance provided by the person handling the call and as in the guidance referred to above;
  • Providing a written record of any formal referral by fax/post/e-mail to the Referral and Assessment Service using the multi-third-party referral form within 48 hours;
  • Ensuring that, where a formal referral has not been agreed other sources of support for the child will be considered including instigating a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process;
  • Ensuring that written records of concerns about a child are kept even if there is no need to make an immediate referral;
  • Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from student records, with a front sheet listing dates and brief entries to provide a chronology;
  • Ensuring that an indication of further ‘child protection related’ record keeping is marked on the student’s records;
  • Acting as a focal point for staff to discuss concerns and liaising with other agencies and professionals;
  • Attending child protection conferences (or delegating this requirement to another appropriately informed member of staff), family support meetings, core groups, or other third-party organisation planning meetings; contributing to the Framework for Assessment process, and providing a report for the conference which has been shared with parents;
  • Ensuring that all organisation staff are aware of this policy and know how to recognise and refer any concerns;
  • Completing an annual safeguarding audit to the Board of Directors which details any changes to the policy and procedures; training undertaken by the DCPO and by all staff and volunteers; relevant curricular issues, number and type of incidents/cases, and the number of children referred to the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) and subject of a Child Protection Plan (anonymised). If this self-assessment highlights any areas for improvement, this will be detailed in the action plan which will be signed off and monitored by the Board of Directprs to ensure these improvements are implemented.
  • Keeping themselves up to date with knowledge to enable them to fulfil their role, including attending relevant training.

If a child makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, staff will:

  • Stay calm and listen carefully;
  • Reassure the child that s/he has done the right thing in telling you;
  • Not investigate or ask leading questions;
  • Let the child know that s/he will need to tell the DCPO;
  • Not promise to keep what they have told you a secret;
  • Inform the DCPO as soon as possible; and
  • Make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which will be signed, and dated using the organisation’s safeguarding record procedure
  • Consult with the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) 0300 123 1116.

Confidentiality

We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential;

  • The DCPO will disclose personal information about a student to other members of staff on a need to know basis only;
  • 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.

Managing Allegations against staff

We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working with or may come into contact with children and young people whilst in our organisation. Allegations will usually be that some kind of abuse has taken place. They can be made by children and young people or other concerned adults.

  • If an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the DCPO, or deputy DCPO or the Board of Directors if the DCPO and deputy DCPO are not present;
  • The DCPO, or deputy DCPO on all such occasions will follow the procedures in the South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures, (www.swcpp.org.uk/) and will inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)- 01872 254547;
  • If the allegation made to the member of staff concerns the DCPO, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Board of Directors, without notifying the DCPO first; and
  • The DCPO will need to discuss with the LADO the nature of the allegations in order for appropriate action to be taken. This may constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion depending on the allegation being made.

The DCPO will also need to:

  • 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;
  • Ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed, including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation is deemed necessary;
  • Act on any decision made in any strategy meeting; and
  • Advise the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) where a member of staff has been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the allegations founded, or would have been had they not resigned.

Supporting Staff

  • We understand that staff should have access to advice on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour. The document: ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults Working with Children and Young People’ provides advice on these and the
    circumstances which should be avoided in order to limit complaints against staff of abuse of trust, and/or allegations of physical or sexual abuse.
    http://www.childrenengland.org.uk/upload/Guidance%20.pdf
  • These matters form part of our staff induction and are referred to in the staff handbook. We recognise that staff working in the organisation who have become involved in the case of a child who has suffered harm, or appears likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.
  • We support such staff by providing an opportunity to discuss their anxieties with the DCPO, or another member of staff as appropriate.
  • Our designated staff have access to support and appropriate workshops, courses or meetings as organised or recommended by the CIoSSCB, Safeguarding Children Standards Unit or Local Authority.

Physical Restraint

Our policy on physical restraint is compliant with the LA’s ‘Physical Restraint in Organisations’ Guidance.
We have a procedure in place for recording each significant incident in which a member of staff uses force on a student, and for the reporting of these incidents to the student’s parents as soon as practicable after the incident.
A member of staff who has used appropriate physical restraint will have a reasonable defence to any legal action against them, if:

  • The purpose of the physical intervention was to avert an immediate danger of injury to any person;
  • Or an immediate danger to the property of any person (“person” includes the student);
  • Or to prevent the committing of a criminal offence;
  • Or where a young person’s conduct leads to behaviour that prejudices good order and discipline; and
  • No more force was used than was reasonably necessary in the circumstances

Wherever possible such events are recorded and signed by a witness. Staff that are likely to need to use physical intervention are appropriately trained. We understand that physical intervention of a nature that causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.

Prevention

We recognise that the organisation plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our students by providing them with effective lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection. Our organisation will support all students by:

  • Establishing and maintaining an ethos, understood by all staff, which enables children to feel secure and encourages them to talk, knowing that they will be listened to.
  • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the organisation and ensuring that all children know that there is an adult in the organisation whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
  • Encouraging the development of self-esteem, and where possible, the development of resilience in all aspects of life throughout our projects and courses. Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
  • Ensuring that a named member of staff is designated for Children in Care, (CIC) and that a list of CIC is regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Recognising that children come from a variety of different cultural backgrounds, the organisation has developed policies to ensure that we embrace diversity in religion and faith, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.
  • We will post copies of our policy throughout the organisation. We are also able to arrange for our policy to be made available to parents whose first language is not English, on request.

Training

  • All members of staff and volunteers will have access to whole organisation safeguarding training at least every three years. We will also, as part of our induction, issue information in relation to our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and any other policy and information related to safeguarding and promoting our children/young people’s welfare to all newly appointed staff and volunteers.
  • Our DCPO and Deputy will undertake further safeguarding training in addition to the whole organisation training. This will be undertaken at least every two years and will update their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wide agenda of safeguarding issues. It will support both the DCPO/Deputy to be able to better undertake their role and support the organisation in ensuring our safeguarding arrangements are robust and achieving better outcomes for the students in our organisation. This includes taking part in third-party training.
  • Our Board of Directors will have access to safeguarding training, and will support the DCPO and Deputy in managing allegations against staff and volunteers who work with children and young people and to support the annual review of this policy, in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.
  • At least one senior member of staff on an interview panel will have undertaken training in safer recruitment.

Policy Review

The Board of Directors of our organisation is responsible for ensuring the annual review of this policy and for additional policies that are relevant to safeguarding and child protection.

Policy Date: September 2013
Policy Review: September 2014

Safeguarding Guidance and Contacts
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’,2013
https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationdetail/page1/DCSF-00305-2010

‘What To Do If You Are Worried A Child Is Being Abused’, 2006
https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationdetail/page1/DFES-04319-2006

‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’, DfES Guidance, 2007
http://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Safeguarding%20Children%20Guidance.pdf

The South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
http://www.swcpp.org.uk

Child Protection and Online Protection Third-party
www.ceop.org.uk
www.thinkuknow.co.uk

Legislation and guidance relating to this policy:

  • Organisation Standards and Framework Act 1998
  • Children Act 1989,
  • Children Act 2004
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2013
  • Education Act 1996,
  • Education Act 2002 (Section 157/175)
  • Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education Guidance DfES 2007
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2010

This policy was adopted by staff on 16/02/16.