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 preschool staff has a duty to report any serious concerns they may have about a child to Oxfordshire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). All Staff are aware of the sensitivity of this issue and of the confidentiality involved.
The preschool staff’s 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. Staff are to refer to ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ document.
Referrals of child Abuse
If a child arrives at preschool 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 an existing injury 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. To seek advice before contacting MASH the manager can contact the LCSS (locality & Support Service) on 03452412703 about any concerns regarding a child’s welfare or health.
Suspicion of Abuse
f through conversation or other contact with a child, a staff member has reason to suspect any form of child abuse, 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 or asking leading questions. We can ask How, What, Where, Who and When.
Write down exactly what the child says, what actions concern you and what you have said in response. Sign and date it. This must be read and signed by the DSL.
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.
Make the child aware that you may have to share that information with others, don’t promise to keep it confidential
Inform the manager, or person in charge, of your suspicions so that, if deemed appropriate, they can contact Oxfordshire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 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 preschool 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.
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.
Allegations Against a Member of Staff
To protect the children, all members of 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/ students 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.
The LADO: Local Authority Designated Officer for Child Protection should be informed within one working day of an allegation.
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.
Procedure for Dealing with Irate Parents
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 cannot 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. We have the right to call the police in an event where the parent acts inappropriately or in a threatening manner.
Tiddlywinks pre-school focus’ on children’s personal, social and emotional development. The Early Years Foundation Stage framework supports us to do this in an age appropriate way, through ensuring children learn right from wrong, mix and share with other children and value other’s views, know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes.
All staff must complete online radicalisation training. Designated leads must complete face to face W.R.A.P. training.