Child Protection Policy

The Child Protection policy in place at Clubland Playscheme Ltd is driven by our concern for the welfare and wellbeing of all children in our care.

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015:5) defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcome

By observing children in a play environment we may discover that a series of falls are a result of a child’s shoes having become too small for them, or that a series of accidents are a result of a hearing infection, or poor co-ordination. If we have a concern about a child we will share these concerns with parents/carers. However, if sharing these concerns puts the child at risk of significant harm, we will seek advice from the duty manager at Surrey County Council’s Children Services Team and work with other agencies to protect the children in our care.

For a referral & Advice:

Consultation & Advice line: 0300 470 9100 Option 1, then 3 or 01483 517771.

For a referral:

Single Point of Access (SPA) 0300 470 9100 Option 1 then 2. Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

Out of Hours: 01483-517898

Email: cspa@surreycc.gov.uk

Surrey Police: 101 (or 999 in an emergency)

All referrals will be reported to Ofsted (24hrs verbally by phone and in addition, no later than 14 days in writing).

When sharing information we take into account confidentiality and only share information that is relevant and only to relevant parties involved.

We base our procedures on ‘What to do if ‘booklet and update our training manual by accessing www.surreycc.gov.uk/safeguarding

Ofsted: www.ofsted.gov.uk

The telephone numbers of NSPCC and Surrey County Council’s Local Authority Child Protection Designated Officer (LADO) & reporting telephone number are programmed into club site mobiles for easy access.

Our Child Protection policy is mentioned in our brochure detailing bullet points of policies and procedure. The full version is available to download on our website. When possible, updates to our Policies & Procedures will be advised to parents via email. The registration form which forms part of the administration process, requests personal information on the child and parents/carers sign as confirmation that they agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions and Policies & Procedures.

All members of staff have a responsibility to protect the welfare of all the children in our care and as such must be aware of the procedures to be followed in cases of suspected child abuse.

Staff that are in regular contact with children are well placed to notice signs of peer-on-peer abuse, physical, sexual, neglect or emotional abuse as a result of a change in behavioural or the failure to develop as expected.

Safeguarding is not just about protecting children, and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects of care including:

  • Children’s health & safety and wellbeing, including their mental health
  • Ensuring ratios of staff to child, ie 1:10 (under 8 years of age) and 1:15 (under 15 years of age).
  • Meeting the needs of children who have special educational and/or disabilities
  • The use of reasonable force
  • Meeting the needs of children with medical conditions
  • Providing first aid
  • Educational visits
  • Intimate care and emotional well being
  • Online safety and associated issues
  • Appropriate arrangements to ensure children’s security, taking into account the local context
Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL for Clubland is Karen Fitzwater and her deputy is Wendy Tyler, and one of us is always available). The role of DSL:

The role of the DSL:

  • Policies & Procedures: ensure safe guarding children procedures are in place and updated in line with Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership manual.

  • Induction & Training: ensure that all staff complete & pass ‘in house’ training on Clubland’ s internal Child Protection procedure before they commence work. In addition, they are required to complete within 7 days from commencement of employment an e-learning training programme which explores extensive child protection issues (Early Help, Prevent-radicalisation and terrorism, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), trafficking, female genital mutilation (FGM), Honour based violence (HBV) and Forced marriage (FM) breast ironing, Domestic abuse, substance abuse, racism, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse, gender based violence/violence against women and girls, the impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour, eg: ‘sexting’ and accessing pornography, fabricated or induced illness and teenage relationship abuse. Training is supported by in house staff meetings, updated every 3 years and monitored and recorded on our internal ‘Continuous Ensure that all staff involved in recruitment attend ‘safer recruitment training’. DSL’s renew their training every 2 years.

  • Advice & Support: Be available to provide advice/support to staff for confidential discussion about concerns and provide support to children. A copy of each member of staff’s supervision meetings are given to the DSL’s and held at head office in their staff file.

  • Liaise with the Children’s Services social care team in accordance with Surrey procedures

  • Collect and maintain confidential records of any concerns/suspected case of abuse/referrals

  • Co-ordinate arrangements for monitoring children on roll who have been identified as being in need of protection. Pass on information of child protection concerns/cases to child’s new setting, when permission is given by parents/carers.

  • Monitor accident/incident forms to identify possible safeguarding issues.

  • Update Children’s records: To oversee that the children’s registration details are updated each academic year.

When the DSL has been informed of a case of suspected abuse of a young person, the matter is discussed with the relevant members of staff. If following discussion it is felt that no action needs to be taken then the situation will be monitored. However, if it is felt that the child is at risk then the DSL will telephone the ‘Single Point of Access (SPA)’ and follow it up within 48 hours with a written referral, she will inform the parents of this action, unless it is felt that the child is placed at further risk by doing so.

If a referral is made to SPA then Ofsted will be informed by way of a phone call within 24 hours follows up in writing within 14 days.

Multi Agency approaches enhance the effectiveness of identifying and dealing with child abuse issues that may arise.

Procedure on reporting

If a member of staff has any concerns about a child’s welfare, however slight, they must report it to the DSL in strict confidence. The member of staff will complete a recording form to provide an accurate account of any discussions or observations regarding the child concerned together with a ‘skin map’ of appropriate. These records are passed to the DSL as they are confidential documents, she will make a judgement based on the information and make a referral in accordance with Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership , talk to the parents and continue to make observations. All information is stored confidentially in a locked cabinet.

If a child discloses abuse to a member of staff they are guided by the following:

  • Listen to the child rather than directly questioning him/her
  • Never stop the child who is freely recalling significant events
  • Make a note of the disclosure
  • Reassure the child
Handling Disclosure

If a child wants to confide about having suffered some kind of abuse, the following guidelines are followed:

DO

  • Find somewhere quiet, but not alone if the child is making allegations about staff or if you have concerns about the child’s state of mind
  • Be accessible and receptive
  • Stay calm and re-assure the child that they are right to tell you and that they are not to blame
  • Without making the child feel uncomfortable, try to find out the facts of the allegation/disclosure

DON'T

  • Jump to conclusions
  • Try to get the child to disclose if they are uncomfortable
  • Ask leading questions
  • Speculate or accuse anyone
  • Make promises that you cannot keep
Confidentiality

If a child requests confidentiality, they are told that this cannot be promised and it is explained that the staff have a responsibility to share information with those adults who will be able to protect them from harm. The child is reassured that only staff that need to know about it, will be told. This can result in the child not continuing with the conversation, in which case the matter is not pursued but concerns are reported to the DSL.

Recording

When recording concerns or disclosures on form C.P.1 any comments from the child are recorded as soon as possible after they have been made, preferably quoting the exact words used. Signs of physical injury are recorded using a copy of the skin map (no clothes are removed to observe marks etc).

Any records/reports are kept by the DSL and passed to SPA when a referral is made by completion of a ‘Multi-Agency Referral form (MARF). In cases of alleged child abuse which go to court, the court may require the club to provide child protection records. Karen Fitzwater keeps all safe guarding records in a locked cabinet, which only she has access.

Induction

New staff receive information regarding Safeguarding Children immediately during their induction. They are informed of the signs and symptoms of Child Abuse and the procedure for reporting cases of abuse, the importance of maintaining adult/child ratios security. They are informed of the named Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and their role and how they should protect themselves against allegations. Other members of staff are also given guidance in how to keep new member of staff safe from allegations of abuse:

  • Ensuring that they are never left on their own with the children
  • Act as role models for appropriate behaviour.
  • Enhanced Disclosure and barring checks (DBS) checks are carried out on all members of staff and two suitable references taken. In the event that a member of staff is an immigrant, then they have to obtain a ‘certificate of good conduct’ from their Embassy.
  • In addition, in accordance with the ‘Disqualification rule’ under the Childcare Act 2006 all staff are required to declare each year that they are fit to work with children under the age of 8 years.

In an update to the statutory guidance ‘the Childcare (Disqualification) 2009 Regulations’ childcare settings are now required to ensure that staff are not disqualified from working with children who have not yet reached the age of 8. All staff responsible for the provision of childcare or for the management of that provision (including new appointees) must complete a declaration.

If a member of staff is disqualified, there may be an impact on their ability to remain working with the relevant age group. A disqualified person is not permitted to continue to work in a setting providing care for children under age 8, unless they apply for, and are granted, a waiver from Ofsted.

A person may be disqualified through:

  • Inclusion on the Children’s Barred List;
  • Being cautioned for, or convicted of, certain violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults;
  • Grounds relating to the care of children (including where an order is made in respect of a child under the person’s care);
  • Having registration refused or cancelled in relation to childcare or children’s homes or being disqualified from private fostering;

Details of what constitutes disqualification can be found in the following schedules to the Regulations:

The Staff register indicates who holds a DBS by means of a * next to their name. The supervisor has a list of all staff’s enhanced DBS reference numbers and dates approved and this is updated annually at Head Office and this is shared with the school each term.

Previous incidents

In accordance with our Child Protection policy we shall record details of signs of any injuries previously sustained by the child, whilst not in our care. If the injury has occurred whilst at school it is the duty of the teacher to sign, or the parent/guardian, if it occurred out of school. We use a body map to identify physical signs of abuse. If we have cause for concern, we will make a referral.

Bruising on non-mobile children

If a member of staff identifies a bruise on a non-mobile child they must report it without delay to their DSL no matter what the parent/guardian may offer as explanation. The incident will be reported to the ‘SPA’ team in accordance with our Child Protection procedures.

Intimate Care & Toileting

If a child has an accident and needs assistance in changing, a member of staff who has an enhanced DBS will assist the child. A record will be kept noting the date, name of the persons involved, type of incident and how long the member of staff was on their own with the child. In all cases we will endeavour to ensure that the staff member is gender specific.

Recording and Monitoring

A log of any accidents/incidents/child protection concerns are recorded
on the front sheet of each child’s individual registration forms. At the
beginning of each term, the supervisor reviews the incidents each term to
see if a pattern is emerging and acts accordingly. This review is recorded
on the last entry by placing their initial and date of review. In addition,
we maintain a weekly log of accidents to review and help minimise further
risk to the children.

Prevent

Under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we have due regard of the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Karen Fitzwater is the lead PREVENT officer for Clubland Playscheme Ltd and if any staff have any concerns that a child /family falls under this act, they must report it to the lead PREVENT officer immediately who will report it to the necessary authorities.

In order to build children’s resilience to radicalisation we promote British values by ensuring that the children are allowed to express their opinions. Children are engaged in the planning of activities, purchase of equipment, type of food available, visit etc which is accomplished via a children’s club counsel or discussion and voting. We also ensure that diversity and different religions and customs are celebrated.

To report a concern call:

Confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline: 0800 789 321

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

If a member of staff is made aware that a child has been subject to this abuse, or have any knowledge that this may happen, they must refer it immediately to the DSL who will follow their Child protection policy.

Missing Child

We have a separate policy regarding a missing child, but to inform staff of a potential situation, the following phrase is used to communicate this without alarming parents and children.

‘We have a message from Adam at Clubland’.

ICT

Children have use of tablets in the setting but not access to the internet. When the children use the schools ICT suite the children are monitored whilst on the computers and specific content inappropriate to children is blocked in accordance with schools on-line policy.

Social Networking

All staff are not permitted to have parents/carers of children who are affiliated with Clubland as friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Individual’s ‘social network’ accounts must be set as ‘Private’ and no communication regarding work related incidents must be discussed.

Mobile Phones

All staff except the Supervisor are requested to place their phones in a closed box for the duration of the session which is stored in a secure place or to store their phones with their possessions in a safe secure place away from children. All staff should be made aware by the supervisor that this procedure is to ensure the welfare of the children as photos and videos can be shared via picture messaging and on the internet therefore putting the children at risk. This policy also applies to parents/guardians/carers and use of mobile phones is NOT permitted on a Clubland site.

The Supervisor may keep their phone as a back up to the site mobile, but it must be password protected. The use of phones at the setting are only to be used as a means of ensuring the welfare of the children and staff should always endeavour to use the site phone to call parents/carers.

If a member of staff wishes to make a phone call in an emergency, the Supervisor is to use their discretion and find a suitable place for this conversation to take place.

If staff have any concerns regarding the misuse of a mobile phone, they should report it directly to the supervisor or Karen Fitzwater.

The site phone must be clearly labelled to show that it is a Clubland work phone and should not be used in the toilets or changing areas where children can be compromised. All site phones are a basic model which does not have a camera or has the camera covered up.

Logging a phone call

We would log a phone call regarding;

  • Accidents/incidents
  • Safeguarding
  • Non-collection of a child
  • Missing child
  • Emergency services

These phone calls will be recorded on the relevant forms.

Parents/carers/ children using mobile phones to take photos & videos.

Our policy also includes the misuse of mobile phones and video recorders by children, parents or carers of children whilst in our care. We do not allow any parent or carer to take photos or videos of children whilst in our care. When the parents receive their welcome letters they are informed that the site is a phone-free zone.

Any child who attends our setting is asked to place their phone in a secure box for the duration of the session so that they comply with our policy. A discussion is held with the children so that they understand the implications of using a mobile phone/camera within a setting and how we safeguard the children in our care.

Photographs taken by Clubland

Consent is sort from parents/carers on our ‘Permission form’ which is updated each academic year. The supervisor has a list of children whom are not allowed to have their photos taken. If a photo shoot is being carried out, these children will be identified and given a label to wear so that they can be excluded from the photos.

No photos are taken in areas such as changing areas and toilets.

If using an outside agency a DBS will be sort and they will sign to say that all the images remain the possession of Clubland and will be handed over.

If using a site camera, the SD card is handed over to head office where they will be uploaded to the computer and printed.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, all information regarding the children is stored on a server which is password protected or stored in a locked storage cabinet.

Early Help Hub (previously known as CAF)

If we have concerns about a child’s welfare or their ability to reach their full potential due to certain restrictions, we will work in partnership with parents and multi- agencies to ensure that the child and parents receive the support they require. The early help assessment is a single holistic assessment which can support the identification of:

  • Family’s needs
  • Risk factors and strengths
  • What support is needed to support better outcomes
  • Supports the sharing of information
  • Improve joint working and communication

If we have any concerns we will contact our local ‘SPA’ team for clarification and guidance.

Whistle Blowing Policy & Procedures

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects workers who ‘blow the whistle’ about wrongdoing. It applies where a worker has a reasonable belief that their disclosure tends to show one or more of the following offences or breaches:

  • A criminal offence
  • The breach of a legal obligation
  • A miscarriage of justice
  • A danger to the health & safety of any individual
  • Damage to the environment: or
  • Deliberate covering up of information tending to show any of the above.

Clubland Playscheme Ltd strongly supports measures which protect Whistleblowers from any form of victimisation. Clubland Playscheme Ltd has a procedure to ensure that concerns are dealt with effectively and efficiently and will do all that they can to preserve the confidentiality of workers who raise such concerns.

Staff who genuinely believe that people they work with are behaving in a way that seems wrong or have serious concerns about an aspect of service will be doing their duty and acting in the public interest by speaking out.

How to raise a concern if you are concerned about a member of staff

The procedure seeks to encourage and enable individuals to disclose information through appropriate channels first, rather than going directly to an outside person or body. As a first step, concerns should be normally raised with (manager). This depends, however, on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of any wrongdoing.

If is a safeguarding issue it must be reported directly to the DSL and the DSL will report it to our LADO team and Ofsted in line with our safeguarding procedures.

Staff can raise concerns with an independent body for advice such as Public Concern at Work (PCaW) 0207404 6609 or via the Ofsted whistleblowing hotline: 0300 123 3155

Concerns may be raised verbally or in writing. Staff who wish to make a written report are advised to set out the background and history of the concern, giving names, dates and places where possible and the reasons for making the disclosure. This will make the investigation easier to complete. Although a member of staff is not expected to prove beyond reasonable doubt the truth of the allegation, they will need to demonstrate that they have an honest and reasonable suspicion that malpractice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur.

The Company will respond to any concerns raised. In order to protect a member of staff who raises a concern and those accused of wrong-doing, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take.

Concerns or allegations which fall within the scope of specific procedures (for example, conduct or discrimination issues) will normally be referred for consideration under those procedures. Some concerns may be
resolved by agreed action without the need for investigation. If a safeguarding issue urgent action is required, this will be taken before any investigation is conducted. Staff will be told how the Company proposes to deal with a concern within ten working days of the concern being brought to the Company’s attention.

Confidentiality

All concerns will be treated with confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal a staff member’s identity, if they wish. However, while making all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the matter as a whole, at a certain stage in the investigation it will be necessary to make the origin of the complaint known to the persons or person the allegations concern. All concerns raised within the remit of this process will be assessed to determine if the confidentiality extends to withholding the name of the complainant. There shall be a substantial reason for doing so, such as a real risk or personal harm.

Complainants should be aware however, that their identity may be revealed by inference.

Untrue allegations

The Company accepts that deciding to report a concern can be very difficult and uncomfortable. If a member of staff makes an allegation in good faith, but it is not confirmed by investigation, no action will be taken against him/her. If, however, a member of staff makes an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, disciplinary action may be taken against them.

Allegations made against an adult who works with children

Any member of staff hearing an allegation of abuse against another member of staff, volunteer or any adult involved in the work of Clubland must report it to the DSL. The DSL will inform Ofsted and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

LADO duty team 0300 200 1006 option 3

Or 0300 123 1605 option 3

Until it is resolved the member of staff may be suspended on full pay to protect all involved unless we can relocate them. During the investigation other members of staff must not contact the member of staff whom the allegation has been made against. Any wishes, cards etc that people may wish to be sent must be passed via Karen Fitzwater.

Disqualification by Association

A person may be disqualified from working with children through:

  • Inclusion on the Children’s Barred List;
  • Being cautioned for, or convicted of, certain violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults;
  • Grounds relating to the care of children (including where an order is made in respect of a child under the person’s care);
  • Having registration refused or cancelled in relation to childcare or children’s homes or being disqualified from private fostering;
  • Living in the same household where another person who is disqualified lives or works (disqualification ‘by association’).

During the interview process all applicants are asked to declare the above, and this is revisited every term during their supervision meetings. Should a member of staff answer yes to any of the above, the DSL will then refer to LADO/Ofsted.

In line with Surrey County Council recruitment/letting policy, information regarding allegations of a child protection nature against staff must be kept until the staff reaches the age of 65 or for 10 years (whichever is the later) and must be disclosed on references when requested, regardless of the outcome and even if any disciplinary warning issued is ‘time expired’.

Disqualification

If the member of staff is dismissed from working with children because they have harmed or may have harmed a child or resigned during the investigation or before they are dismissed, Clubland Playscheme Ltd has a legal duty to inform the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 0870 90 80 81. The information will also be shared with our LADO team and Ofsted.

Support

Surrey County Council’s local authority child protection designated Officer (LADO) will offer the setting support to the DSL and other members of staff who may be involved in a safe guarding child investigation.