As a childminder, I am the lead safeguarding practitioner for my setting. My first responsibility and priority is towards the children in my care. If I have any cause for concern I will report it to the relevant bodies, following the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures. The name of our LSCB is the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board and the LSCB procedures can be found at staffsscb.org.uk
I understand that child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, domestic, or a mixture of these, and am aware of the signs and symptoms of these.
I am aware that I must have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. This is referred to in the Prevent Duty. I am also aware of the signs and indicators of extremism or radicalisation. If I had any concerns I would contact the Prevent Officer in my local area and my LSCB as above.
I must notify Ofsted of any allegations of abuse that are alleged to have taken place while the child is in my care, including any allegations against me, my assistant or any members of my family, or other adults or children who have had contact with minded children.
I must also ensure that no individual who is unsuitable to work with children has unsupervised access to a child in my care. I have read and understand the safeguarding and welfare requirements of EYFS. I have also read the national statutory guidance document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and What to do if you are Worried a Child is being Abused - Advice for Practitioners 2015. I have also read and understand the Ofsted safeguarding guidance – Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills settings.
I keep up to date with child protection issues and relevant legislation by taking regular training courses. The date of my last training was September 2016 and by reading relevant publications such as Childcare Professional and the Pacey and Chilcare.co.uk websites.
You may be required to provide proof of your child’s ID and your address when you enrol your child into my care. I follow the procedures outlined in my confidentiality policy. I aim to share all information with parents but in some instances (where I am worried about a child’s wellbeing) I may have to refer concerns without discussing this with you.
I work together with parents to make sure the care of their child is consistent – please refer to my Working in partnership policy.
Children will only be released from my care to the parent/carer or to someone named and authorised by them. A password agreed between us will be used to confirm identity if the person collecting the child is not previously known to me. Children will not be released into the care of anyone who I have reason to believe is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Parents must notify me of any concerns they have about their child, and any accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which I will record and ask parents to sign.
Unless I believe that it would put the child at risk of further harm, I will discuss concerns with a child’s parent if I notice:
significant changes in children's behaviour;
deterioration in children’s general well-being;
unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;
children’s or parents’ comments which give cause for concern, including expressing extremist views;
any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home; and/or
inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any person working with children. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images.
I recognise the additional barriers that exist when recognising the signs of abuse and neglect of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
If a child tells me that they or another child is being abused, I will first explain in the following way:
‘I will keep our conversation confidential and agree with you what information I can share unless you tell me something that will affect your personal safety or something that is illegal, but I will tell you if I am going to pass information on and who to.’
I will listen calmly, patiently and without interruption or criticism or asking for repetition and will not appear shocked. I will believe the child and take the disclosure seriously. I will reassure the child and let them know that they have done the right thing in talking to me. I will record what I have been told, using the child’s own language as much as possible. And will also note the time, date, place and people present during the conversation. Only professionals who need to know will be told. I will always act on the information and follow my safeguarding procedure.
I will call the local social services’ duty desk for advice and an assessment of the situation and I will follow this phone call up with a letter to the Duty team within 48 hours. I will record the concern and all contact with Children’s Services thereafter.
If an allegation is made against me, any member of my family, or any other adult or child in my setting I will report it to Ofsted and the Local Authority designated officer or team of officers, following the Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures. I will also contact PACEY’s Helpline on 0300 003 0005 for advice and support.
In all instances I will record:
the child’s full name and address
the date and time of the record
factual details of the concern, for example bruising, what the child said, who was present
details of any previous concerns
details of any explanations from the parents
any action taken such as speaking to parents.
It is not my responsibility to attempt to investigate the situation myself.
Record Keeping. It is a requirement that I keep accurate records of any accidents or incidents that happen whilst your child is in my care. These must be signed by the parent. All records are confidential. Marks, injuries or incidents suffered elsewhere will be recorded on arrival or as soon as they are noticed. I will then contact you to inform you of the injury and you will be asked to sign the record when you collect your child. Children often get minor bumps and scrapes, it is part of being a child and please do not be offended if I point them out to you. I am required to do so and I am only showing my concern for your child.
Referrals. Major concerns would lead me to contact First Response for help and advice on 0800 1313 126 (Mon-Thurs 8.30am-5.00pm, Friday 8.30am-4.30pm) or 0845 6042886 (emergency hours). The Emergency Duty Service can be contacted on 01785 354030. Their email is email@example.com and their fax is 01785 854223. Referrals can also be made to the Central Referral Unit of the police on 0300 123 4455 or 999, or via the NSPCC. A multi-agency referral form will be completed and sent to First Response at Wedgewood Building, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH within 48 hours of the referral.
Further Information. If an allegation is made against anyone in my employ, then I will contact a Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) via First Response on 0800 1313126 and they will cease work immediately whilst an investigation is made. If an allegation of abuse is made against me, I will cease work and return children to their parents asap and contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231 (The National Business Unit, Ofsted, Piccadily gate, Store Street, Manchester. M1 2WD) and the First Response Team immediately (and within 48hrs).
If you require, I can provide you with the leaflet ‘Notes of Guidance for Early Years Providers and Other Organisations issued by Staffordshire County Council. I have a Safeguarding Awareness Level 1 Unit A Certificate and a Safeguarding Awareness Level 1 Unit B Certificate.