CHILD PROTECTION AND SAFEGUARDING POLICY

(Including Child Protection Statement)

 

 

 

Date: June 2020

Review Date: July 2021

 

INTRODUCTION

 

It is the policy of Children First Derby to ensure that every young person who is involved with the Charity has a safe environment and is protected from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

This policy defines roles and responsibilities regarding child protection within Children First Derby. It should be used in conjunction with Derby & Derbyshire’s Safeguarding Children Procedures (2015) to be found at https://derbyshirescbs.proceduresonline.com/index.htm

It is important to note that children cannot protect themselves but have a right to be protected – this is everyone’s responsibility. 

 

No one person is ever in the position of knowing the total picture regarding the well being of any child.  So it is everyone’s responsibility to share information and concerns appropriately.

 

The key principles that underline this policy are:

 

  • Anyone under the age of 18 years should be considered as a child for the purpose of this document.

 

  • The young person’s welfare is paramount.

 

  • All young people whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and / or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

 

  • All suspicious incidents and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

 

  • Adults working with young people are also provided protection and are aware of the best practice so they can be protected from wrongful allegations.

 

  • Children First Derby recognises the statutory responsibility of Social Services to ensure the welfare young people and it is committed to working with the appropriate Child Protection agencies and to comply with their procedures.

DEFINITIONS  OF ABUSE

 

The term child abuse is used to describe ways in which children or young people are harmed, usually by adults and often by those they know and trust.

 

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent lack of appropriate care of children, including love, stimulation, safety, nourishment, warmth, education and medical attention. It can have a serious effect on a child's physical, mental and emotional development. For babies and very young children, it can be life-threatening.

 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes hitting, shaking, kicking, punching, scalding, suffocating and other ways of inflicting pain or injury to a child. It also includes giving a child harmful substances, such as drugs, alcohol or poison. If a parent or carer reports non-existent symptoms of illness in a child, or deliberately causes illness in a child, this is also a form of physical abuse.

 

Emotional Abuse

Occasions when adults fail to show young people due care and attention or threaten, use sarcasm, taunt or shout at a YP causing him / her to lose self confidence or self esteem and become nervous or withdrawn. It includes situations where young people are overprotected preventing them from socialising. It may also occur when an adult repeatedly ignores or fails to respond to a YP’s efforts or progress, or places the YP under unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations constantly.

 

Sexual Abuse

Occurs when males and females use children or young people to meet their own sexual needs. Examples include forcing a YP to take part in sexual activity such as sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse, fondling or exposure to pornographic material. This also includes suggestions that sexual favours can help (or refusal can hinder) a career. Sexual abuse might also occur when inappropriate physical contact takes place. (e.g. through inappropriate touching of children or young people).

 

Bullying

This is not easy to define and can take many forms. The three main types are physical (e.g. hitting, kicking and theft), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, threats or name calling) and emotional (e.g. isolating an individual from activities). There is also the abuse of trust, where young people are indoctrinated with attitudes to training, drugs and cheating, or social, political and religious views.

 

 

 

Responding to the child

 

If you have been alerted to the possibility that abuse is occurring it is important that you are aware how to respond in the situation. By listening carefully and taking seriously what you are being told you are already beginning to protect the child. It is important to:

 

Create a safe environment by ensuring that you:

  • stay calm

 

  • understand how difficult it is for the child to confide in you

 

  • provide reassurance and stress to the child that he/she is not to blame

 

  • listen and believe what you are being told

 

  • make an accurate record of what has been said including dates and times

 

Remember to:

  • Be honest and do not make promises you cannot keep. Explain that others will need to be told to stop the abuse happening.

 

  • Record exactly what has been said to you by the child, your observations of the child and the action you have taken. Questions should only be asked to clarify information and not to investigate the situation. Ensure that you keep a signed and dated copy of the report and provide a copy to the appropriate person when you inform them of the alleged abuse.

 

  • Maintain confidentiality - this will ensure that any subsequent investigations are not undermined. However, do not take sole responsibility. Consult your supervisor so that the child can be protected and you can gain support in what could be a difficult situation.

Roles, responsibilities and reporting processes

 

Implementation

All Trustees, staff working full time, part time or in a voluntary capacity must be made aware of the procedure. Staff can obtain guidance on child protection issues from the Chief Executive. Training should be provided so that, as a minimum, staff have knowledge and understanding of the following:

 

  • definition of child abuse

 

  • main forms of abuse

 

  • effects of abuse

 

  • recognising abuse

 

  • responding to allegations of abuse

 

  • selection and recruitment of staff working with children

 

  • code of ethics

 

How to Report Concerns

 

Supervised Contact Service

All Children First Staff have a responsibility to:

 

  • Share and record any information or feelings, which cause them to be concerned about a child. No concern should be seen as too trivial.

 

  • Inform the Contact Service Manager of these concerns.

 

  • Check with the Contact Service Manager what action has been taken.

 

Contact Service Manager

The Contact Service Manager acts as designated member of staff to whom concerns are reported has a responsibility to:

 

  • Report concerns to the child’s social worker within Social Services

 

  • Record the date and time of the report and to whom the matter was reported.

 

  • If the child’s social worker is not available, know the contact points within Social Services. These will be – a named worker, the service manager or out of hours Careline.

 

  • Ensure that observations, concerns, discussions and actions have been recorded clearly and accurately, as this may provide crucial information at a later stage. Where a child has made a very specific statement it maybe necessary to clarify what the child has said and record this information together with the circumstances in which the statement was given.

 

  • In the absence of the Senior Contact Worker, the Chief Executive or a Trustee will fulfil this role.

 

  • Contact with Social Services should be made as early as possible on the day the concern arises to enable them to respond effectively.

 

  • The Contact Service Manager must keep the Chief Executive informed of any child protection issues

 

Contact Workers

  • If the issue is urgent and the Contact Service Manager or Chief Executive is not available the key worker should inform the child’s social worker or the duty social worker of their concerns. The Contact Service Manager / Chief Executive, as appropriate, should be informed as soon as possible 

 

The Family Support & Mentoring Services

 

Volunteers

All volunteers have a responsibility to inform the Family Support or Mentoring Coordinator (as appropriate) or the Chief Executive of any concerns that they may have about the well being of a child.

 

The volunteer must record any disclosures, observations, concerns as soon as possible after the event and provide a copy to the Family Support or Mentoring Coordinator or the Chief Executive.

 

Family Support and Mentoring Coordinators

The Coordinators must pass on any concerns to the appropriate authority/support services. They should also inform the Chief Executive and keep them updated on the progress of any investigation.

 

The Chief Executive

The Chief Executive acts as the designated person to whom all concerns regarding the welfare of children whose parents Children First support should be informed.  If the Chief Executive is not available then any concerns should be passed on to a member of the Board of Trustees who will ensure that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed.  

 

Any member of staff/volunteer recording the incident is responsible for ensuring that all observations, statements, concerns or discussions are recorded and dated. The senior member of staff/Trustee receiving this report should also check that it has been dated and recorded appropriately.

 

Children First staff/Volunteers

 

If the child protection issue relates to the behaviour of a volunteer or member of staff the Chief Executive will inform the Chair of Trustees as soon as possible.  If appropriate the Charity’s disciplinary procedure will be followed.    

 

 

CHILD PROTECTION STATEMENT

 

 

As workers at Children First we have a responsibility to make sure that children are developing in a safe and secure environment.

Statutory Agencies (i.e. Education, Health, Social Services, Probation, Police, NSPCC and Housing) work together using Area Child Protection Procedures.  The Area Child Protection Committee has representatives from all the above agencies and promotes and monitors the procedures.  Whilst Children First is not a statutory agency we aim to work in a way, which provides the same level of protection to children in our care.

If a child is injured in any way whilst attending our Family Centre or out on an activity, we will always discuss with you how this has happened.  If the injury is serious we will obtain the necessary medical care and inform the child’s social worker to obtain consent for treatment and ensure that the appropriate people are informed.  If a child arrives at our Family Centre or activity venue with any injury we will enquire about the injury with the child’s usual carers and/or social worker. It is important that both our workers and you are able to communicate openly about this.

There may be occasions when we have concerns about an injury, or that we see changes in behaviour, or are concerned that a child is being harmed.  As part of our responsibility to keep children safe we will report any concerns of this nature to the child’s key social worker in the Social Services Department.

 

Recruitment

We use a safe and transparent method of recruitment with appropriate DBS checks. We ask for references to state if they are aware of any reasons why the applicant should not work with children. Our induction procedure includes safeguarding training.

Trips and transport

Risk assessments, consent required, ratio of children to adults, transport safety, and emergency procedures planned prior to the trip. Medication and any special considerations are taken into account.

 

Protect whistle blowers

Whistle blowers are able to report their concerns, to the CEO or the chair of governors or the local authority depending on the allegations made.

 

Social media policy

Our social media policy set our expectations, regarding any online contact with children and adults at risk and sets out best practise.

 

Children First Derby promotes the safety and welfare of children and adults at risk at all times.  

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