Dawnys Day care is fully committed to ensuring all children are kept safe and well and that they are protected from abuse and harm. We take all necessary steps to ensure staff are well trained and understand their duties, that all staff, students and volunteers are suitable to work with children, and also that any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare are acted upon without delay, liaising with the relevant statutory agencies.
Our policies are designed in line with the guidance and procedures of Surrey safeguarding board. They also have regard to the Government’s statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’.
This policy will be reviewed every 6 Months as well as being adapted when necessary due to new information being issued by Surrey safeguarding children’s board.
- Each individual member of staff has a duty, and is expected to share Dawny’s Day Care’s commitment, to safeguard children and promote their welfare.
- This duty includes a requirement to whistle-blow if they have any safeguarding concerns or witness or learn about anything that puts at child at risk (Whistle Blowing Policy)
- Staff must attend training and supervisions and ensure they read and implement all policies.
- All staff must be alert to possible signs of abuse and neglect and respond to any concerns they identify - usually this means reporting the matter to their Manager without delay. Staff must not rely on someone else to act.
- Staff are also expected to disclose convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment).
- Gemma Beer is the designated ‘Safeguarding Lead’ for the setting.
- Under this role it is her duty to train and support for the staff in understanding and meeting their responsibilities as well as liaising with parents, carers and agencies.
- When the Manger is absent, the Deputy Manager fulfils this role with support from Dawn Mitchell.
Dawn Mitchell is the senior designated officer with ultimate leadership responsibility for safeguarding arrangements across the nursery. Her role is to support Gemma Beer when needed.
We have a Mobile phone policy in place which covers the use of mobile phones within the setting.
Recruitment & Selection
The company implements consistent and thorough procedures for ‘Safer Recruitment’ to help ensure that all those recruited are suitable to work with children, please refer to our Staff recruitment policy
Staff for whom DBS check is pending may be allowed to commence work in a setting but are always supervised. They wear a blue t shirt to designate their ‘un-cleared’ status and as a visual reminder to staff and parents. They continue to wear blue t-shirts until they have passed their probation.
Volunteers and students do not work unsupervised and wear a blue t-shirt.
Regular 1-2-1s (supervisions) are held in addition to annual appraisals as an opportunity to reflect on practice, identify training needs and consider on-going suitability.
All staff complete a Bi-annual ‘staff suitability declaration.’
A current list of enhanced criminals (DBS) checks is maintained and regularly reviewed. Checks are repeated and updated at the end of the third year or sooner when required. (Coronavirus update- Staff who have run over the three year period due to coronavirus will be asked to complete a staff suitability declaration and the DBS started straight away.
Managers are very much ‘floor-based’ and spend large amounts of time each day working within rooms and directly over-seeing activity in the nursery.
Peer-to-peer observations are carried out and staff receive training in relation to the need to supervise and monitor each other and ways in which to raise concerns (Whistle-blowing policy).
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.
We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
CCTV is present to allow monitoring for security.
The accident and incident books will be audited every 3 months and a report formulated to ensure that patterns are identified and can be monitored or acted upon.
Responding to suspicions of abuse
We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
We understand that abuse can take place anywhere and involve a child or individuals from any family, background or culture – irrespective of whether they appear disadvantaged or not.
Although research has indicated that if children are living in a household in which the Toxic Trio is present this can increase their vulnerability to being abused or neglected.
The toxic trio relates to children living in a home where:
Domestic violence is present
One or more adults in the home are suffering with mental health issues
One or more adults in the home are abusing alcohol or drugs.
If we are aware of a child living in such circumstances, we will always contact the C-SPA team.
We consider the following as possible signs of abuse or neglect (although this list is not exhaustive):
- Significant changes in children’s behaviour
- Deterioration in children’s general well-being or appearance
- Unexplained bruising or marks (including scratches, bite-marks or burns)
- Children’s comments or behaviour which give cause for concern (including disclosure, inappropriate role-play or language)
- Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff – for example sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images (See below Allegations against staff)
- Where such evidence is apparent, the child’s Key Person or appropriate staff member completes an Incident Form in permanent ink which is a dated and signed record of the details of the concern. This is shared and discussed promptly, without delay, with their Manager.
- The Manager decides what response is appropriate without delay - see Staff Responsibilities above (They may escalate and receive support from the Safeguarding Officer Dawn Mitchell if deemed necessary.)
- A clear record must be kept of any decision making.
- Records of incidents are stored in the child’s personal file and a ‘risk register’ may be started.
- If we have concerns about a child’s safety, we notify the local authority children’s social services department, without delay. (See contact information below)
- In an emergency, when a child is deemed to be in imminent danger, we notify the police by calling 999
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosure
When a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), that member of staff must;
- Stay calm
- Listen carefully to the child
- Do not promise to keep secrets – Find an appropriate, early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others
- Allow the child to continue at his or her own pace
- Ask questions for clarification ONLY and always DO NOT ask questions that suggest an answer
- Offer reassurance and give assurance that she or he will take action
- Record in writing (Typically an incident form or file note) as soon as possible, using the child’s own words, note the date, time and names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that all records are signed and dated.
- Note the names of any other person present (witnesses) at the time.
- Inform the safeguarding rep (usually the Manager) as soon as possible.
- Ensure that a decision is made about what should happen next and whether a referral should be made
- These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s personal file which is kept securely and confidentially.
Informing & supporting parents
- When appropriate, concerns are discussed with a parent or carer who is normally the first point of contact.
- Managers assess whether it is ‘appropriate’ to speak to the parent about concerns (e.g. whether doing so is necessary to safeguard the child from any potential harm.)
- Parents are usually asked to sign an incident form which records any concerns or incidents.
- If a concern or suspicion of abuse is recorded and a referral made, parents are informed, usually via a face-to-face meeting, at the same time as the referral is made.
- Dawny’s may decide NOT to inform the parents, in accordance with the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, if it is considered that informing the parent may potentially put the child at further risk.
- In these cases, it is the decision of the social services team as to whether or when parents are informed.
- If there are significant concerns that a child may be at risk from radicalisation by their parents, we will make a referral under our Prevent Duty and parents will not be told unless the C-SPA team agree that they should be.
- We provide on-going support to parents involved in any investigation, as appropriate.
Confidentiality and information sharing
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board. Parents and staff involved in any investigation MUST ensure confidentiality
As stated in the Counter Terrorism and security Act, providers have to have ‘due regard to need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ Early years providers now have a duty to have control measures in place reacting to this Act. Therefore, Dawn, Gemma or Kirsty will call 101 should we have any concerns about families leaving the country or long term/frequent absences (please see also our non-attendance policy.)
Liaising with outside agencies
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and under Ofsted requirements you must be familiar with the following referral routes and how to make a referral to Surrey safeguarding board.
The following information has been issued by Surrey county council education safeguarding team and should be used in conjunction with the guidance notes attached to this policy.
Family resilience and safeguarding
Surrey children’s SPA (The Single Point of Access) is the umbrella term for the front door to support, information and advice for residents, families and those who work with surrey children.
The children’s SPA is the path for access to services at levels 3 and 4 of effective family resilience They can provide support and guidance for people who work with children in surrey about where and how to find the appropriate support for families.
Who to contact?
If a staff member is concerned about a child, they should report immediately to the named DSL the DSL will then help them to move forward in the process of reporting.
If you are concerned about the safety of a child or young person you can contact the Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (C-SPA).
The C-SPA is based at Guildford Pavilion and acts as the front door to children's services in Surrey.
The C-SPA provides residents and people who work with children in Surrey with direct information, advice and guidance about where and how to find the appropriate support for children and families.
Availability: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
- Phone: 0300 470 9100
- Out of hours phone: 01483 517898 to speak to our emergency duty team.
- Email: emails are dealt with during normal office hours
- For concerns for a child or young person: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For concerns for an adult: email@example.com
- Fax number: 01483 519862
If you have already been in touch with children's social care services and would like to contact your allocated social worker or family support worker directly
Due to the current Coronavirus situation, the Emergency Duty Team are working remotely. Your call will not be immediately picked up and you will be asked to leave a message with your name and contact number and a social worker will call you back as soon as possible.
The Emergency Duty Team service is not intended as an alternative means of accessing the usual daily activities of Surrey County Council.
The team operates outside of normal office hours:
- Monday to Friday 5pm to 9am
- Weekends 24 hours a day
- The EDT also operates throughout all bank holiday periods
Contact the team:
- Tel: 01483 517898
- Fax: 01483 517895
Police: A child being abused or at significant risk of being abused - Police (non-emergency) 101
Police (emergency) 999
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
The LADO Service manages allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Surrey. If you have a concern regarding someone who works with children, please contact the LADO on 0300 123 1650* or LADO@surreycc.gov.uk.
We share information and co-operate fully with any investigation and attend any multi-agency meetings arranged by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board e.g. CP Conference or Case Reviews.
Allegations against staff
We ensure that all parents and staff know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff, students or volunteers within the setting or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff, or volunteer within the setting or working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident –see below.
If an allegation or concern arises about a member of staff outside of their work with children which may present a risk of harm to child/ren for whom the member of staff is responsible, or affect their suitability to work with children or be around children, this must also be reported to LADO/ C-SPA team in the first instance and then to Ofsted
Any staff member(s) who is subject to a serious allegation is immediately suspended from their duties working at the nursery. This is a neutral act to minimise any possible risk of abuse or harm. It is not a judgement or an indication of admission that any alleged incident has taken place but is to ensure any subsequent investigation is not compromised. We do not investigate allegations against staff ourselves, but we will;
Obtain written details of the concern/allegation, signed and dated by the person receiving it.
Approve and date the written details.
Record any information about times, dates and location of incident/s and names of any potential witnesses.
Record discussions about the child, any decisions made and the reasons for those decisions.
If appropriate (advice from LADO/C- SPA team may be required) ask any staff involved to provide a written account about what happened, this must be in the staff’s own words and must be signed and dated by them, this should not be an investigation however, it may be necessary to conduct some initial enquiries in order to clarify information to determine the action required in relation to suspending staff.
Whilst this may include asking staff to provide a written account they must not be questioned in any way and they must not be allowed to collaborate before writing their individual accounts. Staff must not be led in any way to give a specific response.
We notify the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) / C-SPA Team within one working day or 4 hours if the matter is urgent and we notify Ofsted as soon as possible of any serious allegations in relation to staff.
If the allegation involves radicalisation, we will also notify the C-SPA team. We co-operate entirely with any investigation - this is typically coordinated by the LADO/C-SPA Team and includes representatives from the police, social services and the nursery.
Whilst suspended, staff are allocated a ‘support contact’ who keeps in touch with them, typically on a weekly basis, to provide a listening ear during the process. Staff also have access to a confidential helpline that can provide counselling.
- Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the DBS so that the name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred List.
- We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to identify and understand the signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they know how to respond appropriately, confidentially and without delay.
- We have a whistleblowing policy and staff are trained on how to whistle-blow, they are strongly encouraged to voice concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues.
- We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and that they develop an understanding of their rights, why and how to keep safe e.g. safe touch.
- We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for the individual, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
- We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.
Support to families
- We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families
- We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising always with the local children’s social care team.
- We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
If you feel you need any further support or clarification on safeguarding, please speak to your manager who will help you with this and can advise some training for you.
If you are worried a child is being abused or neglected in any way, please report directly to your designated safeguarding lead.
The contact point for the Surrey safeguarding board is the Children’s Single Point of Access C-SPA. THIS IS THE FRONT DOOR TO CHILDRENS SERVICES AND SHOULD BE THE FIRST POINT OF CONTACT FOR GUIDANCE AND ADVICE.
Surrey Childrens – SPA: 0300 470 9100
Email: Csmash@surreycc.gov.uk for children at risk – this is a secure email address.
Emergency duty team: 01483 517898