Child Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
- Policy statement
- Basic principles
- Safeguarding Team
- Sources of advice and support
- Common presentations and situations in which child abuse may be suspected
- Immediate actions
- What to do with allegations of abuse
- Attitudes of parents
- Record keeping
- Whistle Blowing
- Annex A. Links to National and Local guidance
- Annex B. Flow chart How to respond if you have child safeguarding concerns
Under the 1989 and the 2004 Children Acts a child or young person is anyone under the age of 18.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents [accessed 05/05/22]
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents [accessed 05/05/22]
Safeguarding children is the action we take to promote the welfare of all children and protect them from harm.
Child Protection refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
Gul recognises that all children have a right to protection from abuse and neglect and the charity accepts its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children with whom staff/volunteers may come into contact.
We intend to:
- Respond quickly and appropriately where information requests relating to child protection are made, abuse is suspected or allegations are made.
- Provide children and parents with the chance to raise concerns over their own care or the care of others.
- Have a system for dealing with, escalating and reviewing concerns.
- Remain aware of child protection procedures and maintain links with other bodies, especially the commissioning body’s appointed contacts. Annex A provides links to Local and National Safeguarding Childrens guidance.
Gul will ensure that all staff/volunteers are trained to a level appropriate to their role, and that this is repeated on an annual refresher basis. New members of staff and volunteers will receive induction training within one month of start date.
Such training will be both national and Location specific in content.
The welfare of the child is paramount. It is the responsibility of all adults to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. This responsibility extends to a duty of care for those adults employed, commissioned or contracted to work with children and young people.
Gul must have safe recruitment practices including appropriate use of The Disclosure and Barring Service and a safe whistle blowing process.
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about [accessed 05/05/22]
Staff/volunteers who work with children are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct, which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions.
Staff/volunteers will work in an open and transparent way. The same professional standards should always be applied regardless of culture, disability, gender, age, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.
The safeguarding team will monitor and review the charity’s safeguarding procedures and ensure they follow the guidance contained in this document and elsewhere. The safeguarding team of the charity will report to the Trustees at the Quarterly meetings. These reports will include the data and events of the preceding quarter.
Gul will ensure children and their families are able to share concerns and complaints and that there are mechanisms in place to ensure these are heard and acted upon.
Gul staff and regular volunteers who attend regularly will wear uniform so that beneficiaries and visitors know to whom they can talk.
In order to look after children, young people and adults who come to Gul as well as our staff team Gul will ask specific questions at assessment to ensure the Gul team is aware of current concerns
Dr Celia Grummitt: is the appointed Clinical Children’s’ Safeguarding Lead. (DSL)
James Dwyer: is the Director of Operations for the CIO. (DDSL)
Trustee Mrs Jennifer Dixon Clegg is the Children’s’ Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding lead for Vulnerable Adults.
The Clinical Children’s’ Safeguarding Lead and the Director of Operations are responsible for all aspects of the implementation and review of the children’s’ safeguarding procedure at Gul.
Child Protection: Sources of Advice and Support
|Safeguarding Advice-If you are concerned about a child and need advice please contact the following|
|Safeguarding Children Advice|
|Jane Murray||Designated Nurse Safeguarding Children NHS Wilts CCG||01380 728899
|Dr Fiona Finlay||Designated Doctor Safeguarding Children NHS Wilts CCG||01225 731556
|Dr Helen Osborn||Named GP Safeguarding Children NHS Wilts CCG||01380 733908
|Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub- For Referrals to Children’s Social Care (MASH)|
|0300 456 0108||Emergency Duty Service for a referral Out of Hours||0300 456 0100|
|Hampshire Children’s Services||0300 555 1384
0300 555 1373 (OOH)
|Hampshire Professional line||01329 225379
|If the child is in immediate risk, dial 999 and ask for police assistance|
|Police Child abuse Investigation Team|
|Wiltshire||101||Hampshire||0845 045 4545|
|NSPCC Child Line||0800 1111|
Common Presentations and Situations in which child abuse may be suspected include:
- Disclosure by a child or young person
- Physical signs and symptoms giving rise to suspicion of any category of abuse
- A delay in seeking medical help
- Extreme or worrying behaviour of a child, taking account of the developmental age of the child
- Accumulation of incidents giving rise to a level of concern
- Situations where parental factors such as mental health problems, alcohol, drug or substance misuse, learning difficulties, domestic abuse may impact on children and family life
- Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, bites or burns, particularly if situated unusually on the body
- The child says that she or he is being abused, or another person reports this
- The child has an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent, delayed presentation, or which has not been adequately treated or followed up
- The child’s behaviour changes, either over time or quite suddenly, and he or she becomes quiet and withdrawn, or aggressive
- Refusal to remove clothing for normal activities or keeping covered up in warm weather
- The child appears not to trust particular adults, perhaps a parent or relative or other adult in regular contact
- An inability to make close friends
- Inappropriate sexual awareness or behaviour for the child’s age
- Fear of going home or parents being contacted
- Disclosure by an adult of abusive activities, including activities related to internet and social media use
- Reluctance to accept medical help
- Fear of changing clothes for activities
More guidance on how to recognise child abuse can be found in the NICE clinical Guidelines. Child Maltreatment: When to suspect maltreatment in under 18’s [CG89] published July 2009
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg89/chapter/1-Guidance [accessed 05/05/22]
- Concerns should immediately be reported to the line manager or more senior manager in their absence.
- Concerns should be discussed internally and an action plan decided.
- The action plan will depend if the child or young person is already known to Child Protection Services
- The manager will make a decision whether to report the matter directly to a known Social Worker, the MASH, or Police for immediate place of safety. The School may also be contacted to discuss the incident or concern. The Lead Trustee may also be contacted to further discuss the best course of action.
- If the suspicions relate to a member of staff or volunteer, there should be internal discussion with the safeguarding leads and a plan of action decided, the local Safeguarding Children team and / or social services should be contacted directly. Consideration should be made to involving the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO)
- Suspicions should not be raised or discussed with third parties other than those named above
- If the incident is that there appears to be a physical injury for which medical attention may be required parents will be asked to undertake this, however, if there is also concern for the child or young persons safety the MASH or school will be informed.
- Any individual staff member/volunteer must know how to make direct referrals to the child protection agencies and should be encouraged to do so if they have directly witnessed an abuse action; however, staff/volunteers are encouraged to use the route described here where possible. In the event that the reporting staff member or volunteer feels that the action taken is inadequate, untimely or inappropriate they should report the matter directly. Staff/volunteers taking this action in good faith will not be penalised
- If urgent medical treatment is required either because of an incident at the site or because the child or young person arrived injured and parents are not contactable to accompany the child an ambulance will be called and the child accompanied by a member of Gul staff until the situation is clearler.
- If parents do not consent to medical care or to a social care referral and they fail to do so in situations of real concern the safeguarding lead will contact social services directly for advice
- Where sexual abuse is suspected the safeguarding Leads will contact the MASH Team directly. The Leads will not speak to the parents if to do so might place the child at increased risk
- Neither the safeguarding leads nor any other staff member or volunteer should carry out any investigation into the allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse in any circumstances. The safeguarding leads will collect exact details of the allegations or suspicion and provide this information to statutory child protection agencies: Social Care, the police or NSPCC, who have powers to investigate the matter under the Children Act 1989 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents [accessed 14/08/19]
What to do with allegations of abuse from a child
- Keep calm
- Reassure the child that they were right to tell you, and that they are not to blame and take what the child says seriously
- Be careful not to lead the child or put words into the child’s mouth – ask questions sensitively
- Do not promise confidentiality
- Fully document the conversation on a word by word basis immediately following the conversation while the memory is fresh
- Fully record dates and times of the events and when the record was made, and ensure that all notes are kept securely
- Inform the child/ young person what you will do next
- Refer to the safeguarding leads, or if neither are available, your line manager
- Decide if it is safe for a child to return home to a potentially abusive situation. It might be necessary to immediately refer the matter to social services and/or the police to ensure the child’s safety
- Remember the welfare of the child is your primary concern
Some staff are required to have access to confidential information about children and young people in order to do their jobs, and this may be highly sensitive information. These details must be kept confidential at all times and only shared when it is in the interests of the child to do so. Care must be taken to ensure that the child is not humiliated or embarrassed in any way.
If an adult who works with children is in any doubt about whether to share information or keep it confidential, he or she should seek guidance from the clinical safeguarding children lead. Any actions should be in line with locally agreed information sharing protocols, and whilst the General Data Protection Act applies, it does not prevent sharing of safeguarding information. Whilst adults need to be aware of the need to listen and support children and young people, they must also understand the importance of not promising to keep secrets. Neither should they request this of a child or young person under any circumstances.
For Section 47 enquiries the information must be passed to the Social Worker with or without parental consent but for Section 17 enquiries parental consent must be obtained before information is shared.
Additionally, concerns and allegations about adults should be treated as confidential and passed to the safeguarding leads without delay.
Attitude of Parents or Carers
Parental attitude may indicate cause for concern:
- Unexpected delay in seeking treatment
- Denial of injury, pain or ill-health
- Incompatible explanations, different explanations or the child is said to have acted in a way that is inappropriate to his/her age and development
- Reluctance to give information or failure to mention other known relevant injuries
- Alcohol misuse or drug/substance misuse
- Domestic Abuse or Violence between adults in the household
- Appearance or symptoms displayed by siblings or other household members
Training – In house
Safeguarding Children Updates are given regularly by clinical child Safeguarding lead at SMT meetings. The Director of Operations is responsible for ensuring training records are kept and maintained and will ensure training is aligned with identified staff development needs. Significant events relating to safeguarding will be discussed at the weekly SMT meeting and learning points shared with all staff/volunteers.
Safeguarding data and events are reported to the Trustees at Board Meetings which take place quarterly while specific and serious matters are raised to the Trustees attention when they arise.
All staff members/volunteers should receive basic training relevant to their role within the charity and undertake regular updates to maintain that competency. They should have knowledge on how to identify abuse and use this policy to seek the appropriate help and advice. The level of Safeguarding training for staff members is:
Safeguarding Children – Level 1: All staff/volunteers
Safeguarding Children – Level 2: SMT , clinical child safeguarding lead, Trustee lead and administrative assistant
All information received regarding children from the Safeguarding Children Team and any other associated Services should be regarded as strictly confidential. This information should be filed away safely by the designated member of staff.
Designated member of staff for record keeping: James Dwyer
Gul recognises the importance of building a culture that allows all staff/volunteers to feel comfortable about sharing information, in confidence and with a lead person, regarding concerns they may have about a colleague’s behaviour. Open honest working cultures, where people feel they can challenge unacceptable behaviour by their colleagues and be supported in doing so, help keep everybody safe. Where allegations have been made against staff/volunteers, the standard disciplinary procedure and the early involvement of the LADO may be necessary.
Professional Visitors to Gul Sites
Visitors to Gul are not allowed to enter the site without prior booking. They will be accompanied throughout their visit. The information in the office about safeguarding will be clearly displayed and will include who to report any concerns to in the event that any are raised during the visit.
National Legislation and Guidance
HM Government. Working together to safeguard children. A guide to inter agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. March 2015
Children Act 1989. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents
Children Act 2004. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents
Section 11 children Act 2004 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/section/11
NICE clinical Guidance- Child Maltreatment:When to suspect maltreatment in under 18’s [CG89] Updated October 2017
Local Child Safeguarding Procedures
Hampshire Safeguarding children Board https://www.hampshirescp.org.uk/
South West Child Protection Procedures (Links to all SW SG hubs)
Reporting process for safeguarding concerns for a child or young person