UCL Day Nursery Safeguarding Children Policy
Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for children, protect them from harm, and to respond to any concern of abuse appropriately.
The Nursery aims to:
- Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff
- Ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times
- Ensure that all staff are alert to the signs of abuse, understand what is meant by safeguarding and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed including by other children i.e. bullying, discriminatory behaviour
- Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection issues and procedures
- Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and kept informed of all updates when they occur
- Keep the child at the centre of all we do
- Regularly review and update this policy.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, for the sake of this policy is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
This definition is taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children’.
The UCL Day Nursery will support the children within our care, protect them from maltreatment and have robust procedures in place to prevent the impairment of children’s health and development. Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single child protection policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the other nursery policies and procedures.
Our nursery will work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Children have the right to be treated with respect and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form.
Our policy is consistent with the government guidance, 'What to do if you think a child is being abused', and with Camden Council's multi-agency safeguarding children board guidelines.
Role of the designated person
It is the responsibility of the designated safeguarding coordinator (Catherine Burtenshaw) to work with staff and parents to actively safeguard children and make referrals to the appropriate agencies should there be a concern that a child is at risk of harm or if a disclosure is received.
In her absence the following people can be contacted within the setting: Anna Simpkins (Site Manager for 2-5s) Zehra Bukowski (Site Manager, baby unit)
We will safeguard children in the following ways:
- Rigorous Recruitment and selection process. This will include at least two satisfactory references, an enhanced CRB disclosure and proof of identity.
- Thorough induction for staff and a student induction whereby they will be informed of their roles and responsibilities with regard to child protection.
- All new staff will be on a six month probation period, where they will receive regular reviews with a member of the senior team.
- The designated person will undertake in-depth child protection training and all other staff will undertake in house training and external training.
- All staff will undertake regular supervision and appraisal.
UCL Day Nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the Nursery Manager at the earliest opportunity.
The legal framework for this policy is based on:
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Children Act 2004
Practitioners have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Due to the many hours of care we are providing, staff will often be the first people to sense that there is a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse. The nursery has a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society.
This statement lays out the procedures that will be followed if we have any reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to welfare issues including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of all children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. All staff will work as part of a multi-agency team where needed in the best interests of the child.
Types of abuse
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution, or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.
The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
This is not a definitive list. We are aware of and would respond to other types of abuse. This definition is taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children’.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
Staff should make an objective record (supported by the Nursery Manager/Designated Safeguarding Coordinator (DSCO)) of any observation or disclosure using the child protection concern record attached within this policy appendix 1. This will include:
- Child's name
- Child's address
- Age of the child and date of birth
- Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
- Exact words spoken by the child
- Exact position and type of injuries or marks seen
- Exact observation of an incident including any other witnesses
- Name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time.
- Any discussion held with parent (where appropriate).
These records should be signed by the person reporting this, dated and kept in a separate confidential file.
If a child starts to talk to an adult about potential abuse it is important not to promise the child complete confidentiality. This promise cannot be kept. It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure in not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. As soon as possible after the disclosure it is vital details are logged down accurately.
It may be thought necessary that through discussion with all concerned the matter needs to be referred to the integrated access team and Ofsted, and/or a CAF needs to be initiated. Staff involved may be asked to supply details of any information they have concerns with regard to a child. The nursery expects all members of staff to co-operate with the integrated access team and Ofsted in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children.
Staff must not make comment either publicly or in private about a parent’s or staff’s supposed or actual behaviour.
Allegations against a member of staff
If an allegation is made against a member of staff in the nursery the following procedures must be followed.
- The Manager must suspend the member of staff immediately pending an investigation.
- Refer the matter to London Borough of Camden’s Safe Guarding Children Team, and Ofsted and follow instructions accordingly.
- Liaise with relevant departments within UCL e.g.; Registry and Human Resources.
- If appropriate, interview other members of staff and record information
A disagreement may arise between practitioners about the interpretation of the known facts, about the nature and severity of risk to a child and/or about the most appropriate means to reduce the risk.
It is important that a professional discussion takes place to identify areas of agreement and disagreement.
Any practitioner can make a referral to children’s social care service if they are in disagreement with the DSP and feel the child is at risk.
Disagreement may arise at the referral stage when the referrer feels that there is clear evidence that a child is at risk, but children’s social care feels that the matter does not meet the criteria for assessment. If the referrer is unhappy about the response of children’s social care they should discuss the matter with the settings DSP who will raise the issue with the Team Manager in children’s social care.
How to make referrals to children’s social care
Where there are safeguarding concerns, we will contact the area Integrated Access Team to seek advice and support or to make a referral through children’s social care that form part of the integrated access team. In those very rare emergencies which require an instant response, we will contact the Police on 999.
The referral should be made to the Integrated Access Team in the area where the child lives. If uncertain, contact any of the Integrated Access Teams who will be able to assist and advise.
Contact family services and social work (MASH)
Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (Camden Council)
The multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) is the front door service for children in need services provided by social workers and other professionals, including child protection. It also provides an out of hours service and a social work service at the Royal Free Hospital and University College London hospitals. Visits are by appointment only.
020 7974 3317, 020 7974 6600 or 020 7974 4094 (9am to 5pm).
Out of hours: 020 7974 4444
Concerns regarding domestic abuse
We have a duty of care to safeguard all of the children in the setting and if a parent/carer or member of staff discloses that they are being subject to domestic abuse or we have reason to believe a child may be at risk in the home we will report our concerns to children’s social care services.
Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the CSCB (Camden Safe Guarding Children’s Board) does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser, or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
All suspicions, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the CSCB.
Support to families
The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers within the nursery
The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interests of the child
Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate under the guidance of the CSCB with the condition that the care and safety of the child is paramount; we will do all in our power to support and work with the child's family.
Supporting children on a child protection plan
We will work in a multi-agency capacity to support children who are subject to a child protection plan including attendance at meetings and if any presenting concerns reporting them to the allocated Social worker and if they are not available on that day we will contact their team manager
Staffing and volunteering
It is the policy of the nursery to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. The nursery will therefore not allow an adult to be left alone with a child who has not received their enhanced DBS disclosure clearance.
All staff working in the setting will attend safeguarding training, and receive initial basic training during their induction period. This will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery.
We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children
We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Criminal records checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the nursery or has access to the children
All college students will have enhanced DBS disclosures conducted on them before their placement starts
Volunteers, including students, do not work unsupervised
We abide by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the nursery, so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children
All visitors/contractors will be accompanied whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use
All staff have access to a whistle blowing policy which will enable them to share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner
All staff will receive regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss child protection training and any needs for further support
The deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision and support.
Mobile phone and camera use
No mobile phones are allowed to be used within the main nursery by staff, parent/carers or visitors. Further details in relation to Mobile phones and cameras can be found in the mobile phone and camera use policy.
(This will also relate to trainees, students and volunteers.)
Under 18s are afforded the protection of this policy
It will be wholly inappropriate for relationships between staff and anyone under the age of 18 who is within our setting. Should this relationship become of a sexual nature it could be constructed as abuse of power over the young person.
No babysitting policy
To ensure children are treated equally and no favouritism is shown, UCL Day Nursery operates a no babysitting policy. By operating a no babysitting policy we are actively safeguarding our staff and all the children in our care.
Persons in a position of trust
As part of regular supervisions, staff will be asked to declare if they have committed, been investigated for, convicted of or have pending any offence or act. This includes any Convictions / Cautions for Assault, Violent Offences, Sexual Offences and Drug Related Offences. Employees are also made aware during supervision that if they commit a crime or are accused of committing a crime they must inform the Manager or Deputy Manager immediately who will then follow the appropriate procedures in line with Ofsted and working together to safeguard children guidance as outlined within company policy and procedure.
If an allegation is made against a member of staff, we will follow the HM Government guidance in ‘Working together to safeguard children – section 22’
The allegation should be reported to the senior manager on duty. If this person is the subject of the allegation then this should be reported to the manager or Deputy Manager instead.
If a concern arises against a person in a position of trust, that raises a query as to their suitability to work with children we will take the person to one side and inform them an allegation has been made against them.
We will not at this point tell the person the nature of the allegation.
The individual will be suspended without prejudice, pending an investigation.
We will ensure someone in the organisation is designated to offer support to the member of staff.
If the parent of the child is not already aware of the concern we will immediately inform them (ensuring where possible that confidentiality of all parties is maintained)
We will contact M.A.S.H using the above numbers
We will then inform Ofsted of the concern and our action to date
We will co-operate fully at all times with any external investigation which may include multi agency “position of trust coordination meeting” and will take on board any advice given in relation to the allegation.
If the allegation is founded we will also refer their name to the secretary of state for possible inclusion in the list of people banned from working with children.
If the case is unfounded we will follow advice given by the principle officer for Children’s Social Care and the Child Protection Officer for Early Years.
Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation in line with LADO support and advice
All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file
All records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 10 years if that is longer. This will ensure accurate information is available for references and future CRB questions and avoid any unnecessary re-investigation
The nursery retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry
Counselling will be available for any member of the nursery who is affected by an allegation, their colleagues in the nursery and the parents.
The above process is only to be followed when concerns arise around “Persons in a position of trust
Referral to ISA
As a professional childcare setting we are under a legal duty to notify the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to vulnerable groups can be identified and barred from working with these groups.
Last updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2018