Staff working at Lemongrove Nursery have a duty of care towards the children attending and this duty brings with it the responsibility to ensure that all efforts are made to safeguard children from suspected and actual harm. Children attending the nursery have a right to feel safe and staff, in partnership with parents/carers, have a responsibility to act on any concerns they may have regarding a child’s welfare and well‐being.
The named Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer is: Megan Groves
The Legal framework for this policy
• Children act (2004/1989)
• Working together to Safeguard Children (2006)
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
Practitioners have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Due to the many hours of care we provide, staff will often be the first people who 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 children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents/carers 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 interest of the child.
All staff will be familiar with their own responsibilities to act swiftly upon any suspicions or concerns they may have about any child or member of staff at the nursery. The nursery will follow the procedures set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework and Bromley Safeguarding children’s board Guidance, and as such will seek advice on all steps taken subsequently. The nursery has a duty to report any suspicions around abuse to the Children’s Services access centre who, under the Children Act 1989 have an obligation to investigate such matters.
Staff must not make comment either publicly or in private about a parent’s supposed or actual behaviour, strict confidentiality will always be observed. Staff must raise any concerns initially with the’ Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will discuss these concerns with the manager/registered person on a need to know basis and appropriate action will be considered. Staff responsibilities do not include investigating the suspected abuse and all related information must be kept in a locked filing cabinet in the office. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non‐ judgemental manner whilst investigations by the appropriate authorities are being carried out in the best interests of the child.
It is the policy of the nursery to provide a secure and safe environment for all children from abuse. The nursery will therefore not allow an adult to be left alone who has not received their enhanced DBS check clearance and all our staff will receive safeguarding training. We know how important staff ratios are and ensure that we follow the legal requirements for the minimum numbers of staff present with the children at any time as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework.
Lemongrove Nursery aims to:
• Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of the nursery staff.
• Ensure that confidentiality is always maintained.
• Ensure that all staff are alert to the signs and 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.
• Ensure that all staff are familiar with safeguarding issues and procedures when they register with the nursery and kept informed of all updates when they occur.
• Regularly review and update this policy.
What is child abuse?
A person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Staff in the nursery recognise that child abuse can and does happen in all types of families. The different social and cultural backgrounds of the children do not constitute barriers to child abuse and in most cases children are abused by individuals known to them, rather than strangers. Child abuse can take many formats, but all instances can be broadly categorised under one of four headings; neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. The following identifies some possible manifestations of child abuse; however, these lists are not exhaustive.
Neglect – is the persistent failure to meet basic physical and psychological needs, which may result in the serious impairment of the child’s health and development. For example; poor hygiene, untreated medical problems, emaciation or under nourishment. Staff may notice behavioural signs such as a child who always seems to be hungry, is constantly tired or talks of being left alone.
• The concern should be discussed with the Manager.
• Following this conversation, it may be advised to speak to parent/carer.
• Such discussions will be recorded, and the parent/carer will have access to such records.
• If there appears to be any queries regarding the circumstances the children’s services will be notified.
Physical abuse – physical signs may involve unexplained bruising in unlikely areas, facial bruising, hand/finger marks, bite marks, burns, lacerations or abrasions. Staff may notice certain behavioural signs that also indicate physical abuse such as a child that shy’s away from physical contact, is withdrawn or aggressive towards others or their behaviour changes suddenly.
• All signs of marks/injuries to a child when they come into nursery will be recorded as soon as noticed by a staff member using a ‘Incident from Home’ form.
• The incident will be discussed with the parent/carer at the earliest opportunity.
• Such discussions will be recorded, and a signature obtained from the parent/carer who will have access to such records.
• If there appears to be any queries regarding the injury, staff must inform the DSL and Manager.
• Dependent on the injury, the children’s services should be informed immediately.
Sexual Abuse – Physical signs may include bruising consistent with being held firmly, discomfort in walking/sitting, pain or itching in the genital area, discharge or blood on under clothes, or loss of appetite. Behavioural signs may include drawings or play showing indicators of sexual activity, sexual explicit language, knowledge of adult sexual behaviour, seductive behaviour towards others, poor self-esteem and a child who is withdrawn.
• The observed instances will be detailed in a confidential report.
• The observed instances will be reported to the DSL/Nursery manager.
• Regarding the severity of the nature, the observations will be brought to the attention of the parents.
• Regarding the circumstances, the children’s services will be notified.
Emotional Abuse – Physical signs of emotional abuse may include a general failure to thrive, not meeting expected developmental milestones and behaviourally a child may be attention seeking tells lies, have an inability to have fun, low self-esteem, speech disorders, and be inappropriately affectionate towards others.
• The concerns should be discussed with the parent/carer by the DSL/Manger.
• Such discussions will be recorded, and the parent/carer will have access to such records.
• If there appears to be any queries regarding the circumstances, the children’s services will be notified.
However, when identifying any potential instances of abuse, staff must always be aware that children may demonstrate individual or combinations of the indicators detailed but may not be the subject of abuse. Individual or isolated incidents do not necessarily indicate abuse. However, staff should always remain vigilant and must not ignore warnings signs and contact Children’s services at any stage for support.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosers
Staff will make an objective record of any observation or disclosure and include:
• Child’s name.
• Child’s age and date of birth
• Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
• EXACT words spoken by the child/injuries or marks seen
• Name of 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 the parent/carer.
These records are signed and dated and kept in a separate confidential file within the office. All members of staff must know the procedures for recording information. It may be thought necessary that through discussion with all concerned the matter needs to be raised with the Children’s services and OFSTED. Staff involved may be asked to supply details of any information they have of concerns with regard to a child. The nursery expects all members of staff to co‐operate with the Children’s Services and OFSTED in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children.
All staff will attend Safeguarding Training or complete the E Learning training and receive basic training as part of their induction from NDNA.
Staff and Volunteering
A senior member of staff is identified within the nursery as the ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), in their absence the Deputy of this Role/Manager of the nursery assumes this responsibility. The designated person will undertake specific training and accesses regular updates to developments within this field.
• We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of the children
• Applicants for the post within the nursery are clearly informed that their positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applicants are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
• All applicants must have an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure check.
• We abide by OFSTED requirements in respect of references and police checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the nursery or has access to the children.
• Volunteers, including students do not work unsupervised
• The deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision.
Parents are normally the first point of contact. If suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the Safeguarding Officer will inform the parents.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and only shared with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Support to Families
• Lemongrove 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 a child and their family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse within the home.
• Confidential records kept on a child are shared with parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
Employees of the Nursery/ Allegations of abuse by member of staff
If an allegation is made against a member of staff they will immediately inform the children’s access centre. It is important to take the name of the person spoken to and they will advise on the next steps to be taken. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will also be on hand to convene a strategy meeting and offer advice and support. OFSTED and the Independent Safeguarding Authority will also need to be informed and this will be investigated.
• Staff will cooperate with the investigating authority.
• The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff on full pay during an investigation
• All investigation/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file. Records on the alleged perpetrator will be kept until they reach normal retirement age or for 10 years if that period of time is longer. This includes records of people no longer associated with the provision.
• Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being re‐instated.
• All allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisation (Children’s service) and will result in the termination of employment. OFSTED may be notified immediately of the allegation. The nursery will also be required to notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to ensure their records are updated.
• Support will be available for any member of the nursery who is affected by the allegation, their colleagues in the nursery and the parents.
• If an allegation of abuse is made about the nursery manager /registered person, the person making the complaint is likely to contact OFSTED, Children’s services or the police directly.
|This policy was adopted on||Signed on behalf of the nursery||Date for review|
|28th November 2019||28/11/20|