Safeguarding children policy

  • Statement

    Children have a right to protection from being hurt, and from violence, abuse and neglect  (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19).

    Most injuries to children are accidental and can be simply explained.  Bruises, scrapes and cuts are part of the normal rough and tumble of a young child’s life. 

    There are, however, some children who suffer injuries that are not accidental.  The nursery staff have a duty to report any serious concerns they may have about a child to Oxfordshire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).  Staff are aware of the sensitivity of this issue and of the confidentiality involved.

    The nursery staff duty must be to support the family but above all, to ensure the protection of the child at all times.

    The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub supplies support for families whose children are in need of safeguarding to promote their welfare and upbringing.

    All staff should be aware of the possible indications of abuse and neglect and the procedure for dealing with suspected cases.  A staff guidance pack has been produced to support this.

    Referrals of Child Abuse

    If a child arrives at nursery with injuries the staff should:

    • Ensure immediate medical attention, if necessary
    • Ask the parent/carer how the injuries occurred (explanations, however puzzling, should be accepted and accusations must not be made)
    • Make a written record by completing a home incident form, including diagrams of observations and explanations given – have a witness wherever possible.  This recording of information is to ensure that reasonably full and clear information is obtained in order to be able to make an appropriate referral if necessary
    • If there is a real concern that the injuries have been caused by assault or a failure to protect the child, the manager or person in charge must be notified immediately.  The person in charge will then contact Oxfordshire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0345 050 7666 .

    Suspicion of Abuse

    If through conversation or other contact with a child, a staff member has reason to suspect physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect, they should do the following:

    • Listen to what the child says.  Be comforting and sympathetic.  Ensure that the child feels as little responsibility as possible.
    • It is particularly important not to make any suggestion to the child regarding how the incident may have happened, therefore do not question the child, except to clarify what he/she is saying.
    • Write down exactly what the child says, what actions concern you and what you have said in response.  Sign and date it.
    • Do not make assumptions about what the allegations might concern.  If a member of staff is involved, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure the safety of the child and other children.
    • Inform the manager, or person in charge, of your suspicions so that, if deemed appropriate, they can contact Oxfordshire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0345 050 7666
    • Once a child is referred an assessment will be made of the child’s needs.

    If a staff member has reported a concern about a child who the senior nursery team decide not to refer at this stage, it is the responsibility of any member of staff unhappy with this decision to make their own referral.

    This policy was reviewed in May 2018.

  • To protect the children, all staff who work in the nursery are required to have completed a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS).  It is our practice for those staff waiting for their check to clear and other nursery visitors/helpers to always be supervised and never left alone with the children.

    If a member of staff suspects a colleague of abusing a child they must report it to the manager or person in charge immediately.  The member of staff concerned would be suspended from duties immediately, pending a full enquiry.

    Any member of staff who has had an allegation made against them should be aware that they can contact Ofsted – tel: 0300 123 1231, who will be able to offer them support and advice.

    Following any referral of abuse, enquiries will be undertaken by Social Services and possibly the Police.  Staff may be required to provide statements and attend an initial Child Protection Conference.

    Ofsted would be informed of any action taken.

    In the unlikely event that a parent starts to act in an aggressive or abusive way at the nursery, the member of staff should direct the parent away from the children and into a private area such as the office.  If the area is out of view, a second member of staff should be in attendance.  The staff should act in a calm and professional way and ask the parent to calm down, whilst making it clear that we can not tolerate aggressive or abusive language or behaviour.  Once the parent calms down, the member of staff should then listen to their concerns and respond appropriately.
    The nursery has a right to share any information regarding child protection with other childcare professionals.  All information will be kept confidential.
    Mobile phones are strictly prohibited from the children’s rooms and garden.  Staff and visitors are required to keep their phones in their bags or lockers in the staff room.  Parents are only permitted to use mobiles in the entrance hall.  Photographs can only be taken by nursery cameras and be used for displays or the children’s profiles.  The two occasions in the year when parents are permitted to take photographs are our Fun Day and the Christmas Party.

    We have a named person for Safeguarding Children in the nursery and this person will attend all training and relevant meetings available to gain information with regard to up-to-date issues.  This information will be used to support the nursery team.  In addition to the named person, all senior staff attend the specialist Safeguarding Children training to ensure someone with the appropriate knowledge of referral procedures is on the premises at all times.

    The current named person for Safeguarding Children is Shane Page.

    The nursery has a staff guidance pack – Safeguarding Children and Promoting their Welfare  which should be used in conjunction with this policy to guide and support staff with safeguarding issues.