Safeguarding Children &Child Protection Policy
Registered Charity No.: 1021287
Ofsted URN No.: EY340143
WHAT IS SAFEGUARDING?
Working Together to Safeguard Children (updated Feb 2018) defines safeguarding children as; ‘the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm’, including;
• protecting children from maltreatment;
• preventing impairment of children's health or development;
• ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
It also reminds us that safeguarding “is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.”
‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ (EYFS 2014 p5)
The Trustees of the Preschool Committee at Harrietsham Preschool consider all those directly involved with our setting have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. Our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and we take seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care.
As part of the ethos of the setting we are committed to:
• Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern;
• Providing an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected, confident to talk openly and sure of being listened to;
• Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties;
• Using learning at the setting to provide opportunities for increasing self-awareness, self-esteem assertiveness and decision making. This is so that young children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others;
• Working with parents to build an understanding of the setting’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations;
• Ensuring all staff have regular training and are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the setting’s procedures and lines of communication;
• Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘in need’ including the need for protection, keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.
• Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies.
The EYFS requires providers ‘to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well’’ and accordingly, everyone involved in the care of young children has a role to play in their protection. Any member of staff in the Harrietsham Preschool is part of the wider safeguarding system for children and is in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance.
All staff have a responsibility to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. All staff then have a duty of care to take appropriate action, working with other services as needed.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The EYFS states; ‘a practitioner must be designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting’. Trustees of the Preschool Committee at Harrietsham Preschool, whose responsibility it is to ensure all legal requirements are met, has/have appointed an appropriately qualified and experienced Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to fulfil this role in our setting. Additionally, they are committed to ensuring the DSL is properly supported in being able to carry out this role fully, including providing them with appropriate time and resources away from other job commitments.
The DSL has overall responsibility for the day to day oversight of safeguarding and child protection systems in the setting. These responsibilities include;
• Liaising with other professionals in all agencies, including social services, police and health colleagues;
• Keeping appraised of any updates in policy and practice as agreed by Kent Safeguarding Children Board (via the Education Safeguarding Team);
• Being a source of support, advice and guidance to staff and committee, both paid and voluntary. This is on an ongoing basis and on any specific safeguarding issue as required;
• Coordinating child protection action within the setting, including making referrals as necessary and maintaining a confidential recording system;
• Ensuring all staff, visitors and volunteers are aware of the setting policies and procedures and their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding children;
• Ensuring all staff, both paid and voluntary, have received appropriate and up to date child protection training
• Ensuring their training is kept up to date by attending appropriate designated person training every 2 years (as stipulated by the KSCB)
• Representing or ensuring the setting is represented, by an appropriate senior member of staff, at inter-agency meetings in particular Strategy Discussions, Child Protection Conferences and core groups;
• Managing and monitoring the setting’s part in child in need and child protection plans
The welfare and safety of children, however, are the responsibility of all staff in the setting and ANY concern for a child’s welfare MUST be reported to the DSL.
In Harrietsham Preschool the DSL is Susan Snoad, Preschool Manager
In her absence Shelley Davis will deputise.
In all but the most exceptional circumstances, parents /carers will be made aware of the concerns felt for a child or young person at the earliest possible stage. In the event of a referral to Specialist Children’s Services being necessary, parents/carers will be informed and consent to this will be sought unless there is a valid reason not to do so.
The role of the school in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMATION SHARING
We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The DSL will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis.
All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or well being. Further advice is available in the document Information Sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners (2015). “Child Protection - Dealing with Disclosures in Early Years Settings” provides advice on dealing with disclosures.