Published in line with guidance from Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board
This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989; and in line with the following:
- “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015”
- “Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families” 2000
- “What to do if you are worried a Child is being Abused” 2015
- “Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2016
- Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board guidelines
The management committee/proprietor takes seriously its responsibility under section 11 of the Children Act and duties under “working together” to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements exist within our setting to identify, and support those children who are suffering harm or are likely to suffer harm.
We recognise that all staff and management have a full and active part to play in protecting our pupils from harm, and that the child’s welfare is our paramount concern.
Our setting should provide a safe, caring, positive and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child free from discrimination or bullying where children can learn and develop happily.
This policy applies to all staff, management and volunteers working in our setting.
The Aims of This Policy Are:
- To support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and resilience.
- To provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties.
- To raise the awareness with all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
- To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure we contribute to assessments of need and support plans for those children where appropriate.
- To acknowledge the need for effective and appropriate communication between all members of staff in relation to safeguarding children and young people.
- To develop a structured procedure within the settingwhich will be followed by all members of the staff in cases of suspected abuse.
- To develop effective working relationships with all other agencies, involved in safeguarding children.
- To ensure that all adults within our setting who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability. This includes other community users of our facilities, following correct staff recruitment and selection procedures
Our setting procedures for safeguarding children will be in line with Oxfordshire County Council (the LA) and Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures, and “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015” plus other legal requirements which may be required.
We Will Ensure That:
Computers are the property of The Berin Centre and are primarily designed to assist in the performance of academic studies and career development. To ensure appropriate use of the internet, the Charity’s internet software monitors all websites visited by users for business and security purposes. Therefore, users should have no expectation of privacy when it comes to the sites they access from Charity computers and devices.
The Berin Centre may exercise its rights to intercept internet access for the following business reasons:
- The management committee/proprietor and or senior staff understand and fulfil its safeguarding responsibilities.
- We have Designated Members of staff who have undertaken appropriate training for the role, as recommended by the LA, within the past two years. Our Designated staff will update their training with LA/OSCB approved training every two years. Our Designated staff members are; Linda Champion, Lin Williams and Megan Bennett
- The Designated Lead’s safeguarding knowledge and skills are refreshed at least annually.
- There is an appropriately trained Designated Lead member of staff who is available at all times the setting is open for staff to discuss concerns.
- All adults, (including volunteers) new to our setting will be made aware of this policy and the procedures for child protection, the name and contact details of the Designated Person and have these explained, as part of their induction into the setting.
- All members of staff are provided with opportunities at least every three years to receive training in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse, how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse and the procedure to be followed in appropriately sharing a concern of possible abuse or a disclosure of abuse.
- All staff receive information on safeguarding and child protection at least annually.
- Our lettings policy will seek to ensure the suitability of adults working with children on our site at any time.
- Community users organising activities for children are aware of and understand the need for compliance with the settings child protection guidelines and procedures.
- The name of any member of staff considered not suitable to work with children will be notified to the DBS(Disclosure and Barring service), with the advice of ACAS/LAWCALL and LADO.
- Our procedures will be annually reviewed and up-dated.
Staff in The Berin Centre will follow the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures/Local Authority guidance in all cases of abuse, or suspected abuse (these can be found at www.OSCB.org.uk).
We Will Therefore:
- Understand that our responsibility to safeguard children requires that we all appropriately share any concerns that we may have about children.
- Ensure that we refer a child if there are concerns about a child’s welfare, possible abuse or neglect to Social Care. A written referral using the Common Referral Form will be faxed/posted/e-mailed to Social Care as soon as possible within 24 hours.
- Ensure that detailed and accurate written records of concerns about a child are kept even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.
- Ensure that all such records are kept confidentially and securely
- Ensure that the Designated staff member, or another appropriate member of staff, attends case conferences, family support meetings, core groups, or other multi-agency planning meetings, contributes to the Framework for Assessments process, and provides a report which has been shared with the parents.
- Establish and maintain links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with enquiries of a child protection nature.
- Ensure that all setting staff are aware of the Child Protection policy and procedures, and understand their responsibilities in being alert to, and acting appropriately in cases of abuse, or suspected abuse, and know how to recognise and refer any concerns.
- Keep ourselves up to date with knowledge to enable us to fulfil our role, including attending relevant training, at least every two years, provided by the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board. Frequent training should include training on child sexual exploitation and radicalisation, as well as generalist and specialist safeguarding training. (www.oscb.org.uk/training)
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand that there is a procedure to be followed in dealing with child protection allegations made against staff. This procedure must be followed on all occasions. All staff must be made aware of this process and how it differs from other concerns about children.
- Ensure that we have staff on all interview panels who are Safer Recruitment trained.
- Ensure that all staff/volunteers are selected and recruited only after having gone through appropriate checks.
- Ensure all staff receive appropriate training on safeguarding at induction and that our induction training relating to Safeguarding is updated regularly.
- All staff and volunteers working in early years or foundation stage (including before and after school provision for under 8’s) will be expected to disclose to the manager any circumstances which may indicate that the member of staff or volunteer could be barred from working with children under the terms of the Childcare Regulations 2006.
- Our setting will have regard to our obligations to prevent our students from being drawn into extremism or terrorism. We recognise that this is out statutory duty under the counter terrorism and security act 2015. Please see the links below for further guidance and information around this.
- We recognise that a child who is abused, who witnesses violence or who lives in a violent environment may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame him/herself, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth.
- We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.
Our setting will support all children and young people by:
- Encouraging the development of self-esteem and resilience in every aspect of life.
- Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment.
- Helping them to understand, respond to and calculate risk effectively, for example in relation to the specific types of abuse as stated in the “Categories of Abuse” section.
- Being aware of the additional barriers that exist when recognising the signs of abuse and neglect of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
- meeting the needs of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
- Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
- Notifying Social Care as soon as there is a significant concern.
- Notifying Social Care when a child/young person attending the centre is privatelyfostered.
- Providing continuing support to a pupil (about whom there have been concerns) who leaves the setting by ensuring that such concerns and medical records are forwarded under confidential cover to the Designated Person at the pupil’s new setting immediately.
- We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.
- The Designated Person will disclose personal information about a child or young person to other members of staff on a need to know basis only.
- However, 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 or that of another.
- We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Social Care with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with the Safeguarding Team or Social Care on this point.
- We will take no names consultations with our local Assessment Teams / MASH team to discuss concerns we may have, but we understand that if they then ask for a name we will disclose those details and it will become a referral.
- We recognise that staff working in the setting who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting.
- We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Designated Person and to seek further support. This could be provided by another trusted colleague or a representative of a professional body, as appropriate.
- In consultation with all staff, we have adopted a code of conduct for staff at our setting. This forms part of staff induction and is in the staff handbook. We understand that staff should have access to advice on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour.
- We recognise that our Designated Person(s) should have access to support and appropriate workshops, courses or meetings as organised by the LA.
Allegations Against Staff
- All staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
- We understand that a child or young person may make an allegation against a member of staff. If such an allegation is made, the member ofstaff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the centre manager or the most senior member of staff available.
- The manager on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Designated Officer for the Local Authority (LADO), before taking any action. In our county contact should be made with Alison Beasley, Local Authority Designated Officer (01865 815956) or Donna Crozier, Safeguarding Coordinator (01865 816382, LADO.SafeguardingChildren@Oxfordshire.gov.uk).
- If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the manager themselves, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Chair of the committee/proprietorwho will consult with LADO, without notifying the manger first.
- The setting will follow the procedures for managing allegations against staff, as outlined in keeping children safe in education 2015.
- Suspension of the member of staff against whom an allegation has been made needs careful consideration, and we will consult with LADO and HR.
- Our lettings agreement for other users requires that the organiser will follow LA procedures for managing allegations against staff and, where necessary, the suspension of adults from premises.
We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.
All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues and appropriate advice will be sought from the LADO or Safeguarding Team where necessary.
Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras
Staff and children will not carry or use personal mobile phones and cameras within the settings working hours. Visitors will not use mobile phones or their own cameras when on the premises. For further guidance see the separate mobile phone and camera policy.
Use of the Internet
Our Acceptable Use of the Internet policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to keeping children safe when they are using the internet.
Appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to protect Children from harmful online material.
Physical Intervention/Positive Handling
Our policy on physical intervention/positive handling by staff is set out separately, as part of our Behaviour Policy. Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness.
We recommend that staff who are likely to need to use physical intervention should be appropriately trained.
We understand that physical intervention of a nature which is both unreasonable and disproportionate to the circumstances and or causes injury or distress to a child, may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.
Our policy on the prevention and management of bullying is set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. Bullying is a safeguarding matter that if left unresolved can become a child protection matter. Our setting will take seriously any bullying concerns and both investigate and take action to protect pupils where appropriate.
Peer on Peer Abuse
Children can be vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Such abuse should be taken as seriously as abuse by adults and should be subject to the same child protection procedure.
Health & Safety
Our Health & Safety policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our children both physically within the setting environment and, for example, in relation to internet use, and when away from the setting when undertaking trips and visits.
Role of the Committee/Proprietor
The Committee/Proprietor of The Berin Centre undertake the regular review of safeguarding related policies and procedures that operate in our setting. The Committee/Propriertor have a crucial role in monitoring and challenging staff on the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements.
All staff have a responsibility for action in cases of suspected child abuse. This document outlines the procedures which should be followed if any member of staff suspects a child is being abused, or if a disclosure is made.
All staff are asked to be alert to possible physical or emotional problems being experienced by children and young people.
Categories of Abuse (and Possible Indicators)
The table below outlines the four main categories of abuse as defined by the Department of Health ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document 2010. (Full definitions can be found in this document) Staff should be aware that the possible indicators are not definitive and that some children may present these behaviours for reasons other than abuse.
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairments 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 food, clothing and shelter;
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- ensure adequate supervision;
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Possible indicators are obvious signs of lack of care including:
- Problems with personal hygiene;
- Constant hunger;
- Inadequate clothing;
- Lateness or non-attendance at the setting;
- Poor relationship with peers;
- Untreated medical problems;
- Compulsive stealing and scavenging;
- Rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking;
- Running away;
- Low self-esteem.
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
- Physical signs that do not tally with the given account of occurrence
- conflicting or unrealistic explanations of cause repeated injuries delay in reporting or seeking medical advice.
Forcing or enticing a child 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, penetrative or non-penetrative acts and also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.
- Sudden changes in behaviour
- Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate
- Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance
- Tendency to cry easily
- Regression to younger behaviour – e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby
- Unexplained gifts or money
- Depression and withdrawal
- Wetting/soiling day or night
- Fear of undressing for PE
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.
- child being blamed for actions of adults
- child being used as carer for younger siblings
- affection and basic emotional care giving/warmth, persistently absent or withheld.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people, (or a third person or persons) receive something, (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affections, gifts, money) as a result of them performing and/or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidations are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice, resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability. (DCSF 2009)
Key facts about CSE:
- Sexual exploitation often starts around the age of 10 years old. Girls are usually targeted from age 10 and boys from age 8.
- It affects both girls and boys and can happen in all communities.
- Any person can be targeted but there are some particularly vulnerable groups: Looked After Children, Children Leaving Care and Children with Disabilities.
- Victims of CSE may also be trafficked (locally, nationally and internationally).
- Over 70% of adults involved in prostitution were sexually exploited as children or teenagers.
- Sexual violence or abuse against children represents a major public health and social welfare problem within UK society, affecting 16% of children under 16. That is approximately 2 million children.
Good practice – Individuals:
- Recognise the symptoms and distinguish them from other forms of abuse
- Treat the child/young person as a victim of abuse
- Understand the perspective / behaviour of the child/young person and be patient with them
- Help the child/young person to recognise that they are being exploited
- Collate as much information as possible
- Share information with other agencies and seek advice / refer to Social Care
Good practice – Organisations:
- Ensure robust safeguarding policies and procedures are in place which cover CSE
- Promote and engage in effective multi-agency working to prevent abuse
- Work to help victims move out of exploitation
- Cooperate to enable successful investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators
Forced marriages (FM)
FMis now a specific offence under s121 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 that came into force on 16 June 2014.
A FM is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties, and where duress is a factor Forced marriage is when someone faces physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). This is very different to an arranged marriage where both parties give consent.
FM is illegal in England and Wales. This includes:
- taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
- marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls, and therefore should be dealt with as part of existing child safeguarding/protection structures, policies and procedures.
FGM is illegal in the UK. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
Other than in the excepted circumstances, it is an offence for any person (regardless of their nationality or residence status) to:
- perform FGM in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (section 1 of the Act);
- assist a girl to carry out FGM on herself in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (section 2 of the Act); and
- assist (from England, Wales or Northern Ireland) a non-UK person to carry out FGM outside the UK on a UK national or permanent UK resident (section 3 of the Act).
Practitioners understand the mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18.
Prevent: The Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015
The Act places a Prevent duty on settings to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. Settings subject to the Prevent Duty will be expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas;
- Assessing the risk of children being drawn into terrorism
- Demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies.
- Ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- Make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism
- Expected to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in the setting
Dealing With Disclosures
Receive – Always stop and listen straight away to someone who wants to tell you about incidents or suspicions of abuse. Listen quietly and actively, giving your undivided attention. Allow silences when needed. Do not show shock or disbelieve but take what is said seriously.
Reassure – Stay calm, no judgements, empathise. Never make a promise that you can keep what a child has said a secret. Give reassurance that only those who need to know will be told. Reassure the young person that they were right to tell you.
- React to the child only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but don’t interrogate for full details.
- Don’t ask leading questions – keep the open questions e.g. ’is there anything else you want to say?’
- Do not criticise the perpetrator; the child may have affection for him/her.
- Explain what you will do next – make a referral.
- If possible make brief notes about what they are actually telling you at the time. Keep these notes, however rough they are. If you are unable to make notes at the time write down what was said as soon as you can.
- Try to record what was actually said by the child rather than your interpretation of what they are telling you.
- Record the date, time, place and any noticeable nonverbal behaviour.
Reporting for Immediate Safeguarding Concerns
The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) will remain the front door to Children’s Social Care for all child protection and immediate safeguarding concerns. If there is an immediate safeguarding concern, for example:
- A child or young person disclosed physical abuse
- If there are signs of physical abuse eg injury
- A child or young person discloses sexual abuse
- A child presents a very different/scared to go home anxious and you are aware home could be risky
Partners should call the MASH immediately:
- Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 050 7666
- Emergency Duty Team (outside office hours): 0800 833 408
- Find out more about the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
Reporting for Non-Immediate Concerns, for partners and professionals only
Contact Locality and Community Support Service
If you would like to make a no names consultation OSCB advise you contact the Locality and Community Support Service (LCSS) on:
- North Tel: 0345 2412703
- Central Tel: 0345 2412705
- South Tel: 0345 2412608
The Designated person and staff can play a vital role in helping children in need or at risk by effective monitoring and record keeping. Any incident or behavioural change in a child or young person that gives cause for concern should be recorded on an incident sheet, copies of which are securely kept on the Safeguarding Children’s File. It is important that records are kept factual and reflect the words used by the child or young person. Records must be signed and dated with timings if appropriate.
Information to be recorded:
- Child’s name and date of birth
- Child in normal context
- The incident with dates and times
- A verbatim record of what the child or young person has said
- If recording bruising/injuries indicate position, colour, size, shape and time on body map.
- Action taken.
Please also refer to your recording guidelines policy.
What support is available to you?
There will be regular staff training on Safeguarding.
All staff should receive an induction which includes an explanation of the procedures to be followed when concerned about a child but also guidance on appropriate staff behaviour around children and whistleblowing.
Any staff affected by issues arising from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from their Designated person for Child protection.
The Designated person for child protection can put staff and parents in touch with outside agencies for professional support if they wish so. They will also share the Local Authority Safeguarding leaflet which has guidelines to follow.
Monitoring and Review
All visitors in a professional capacity will have access to a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss the contents. The policy will also be available to parents.
The policy will be reviewed annually.
All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its contents.