This policy is reviewed annually and approved by governors
|Chair of Governors / Child Protection Governor||signed||date|
|Gill Harrison||November 2019|
|Nicola Cooper||November 2019|
The schools commitment
At Golftyn we aim to create a culture where children are informed, resilient and confident that the adults in school will listen to their voice.
Our pupil voice initiatives are designed to ensure that pupil’s believe that they have a voice which is heard in the school.
Through our sexual and relationship education and health education programmes we aim to give pupils the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe.
We are committed to acting promptly in accordance with this policy when we have concerns about a child and to keep accurate records in a secure place of all information we may hold. We understand the importance of sharing information with other agencies.
We aim to be vigilant in caring for pupils who are on the child protection register also for those who have been in the past.
We are committed to ensuring that all adults in school with access to pupils have the appropriate checks in place and that staff have access to child protection training. Up to date records of DBS checks and training are kept in school.
This policy should be read in conjunction with our safeguarding policy.
(from Flintshire County Council)
All schools, units and youth and community service provision within the County hold a copy of the All Wales Child Protection Procedures. The supplement containing the Flintshire Local Children’s Safeguarding Board, (LCSB) procedures for Education Staff is to be found together in the All Wales Child Protection Procedures folder.
The “ICS INTEGRATED CHILDREN’S SERVICES REFERRAL FORM” can be obtained from Social Services for Children Duty and Assessment Team.
All those working in the field of Education have a special duty of care and an individual as well as a professional responsibility to protect children. This responsibility cannot be devolved and it is essential for all to participate in interagency support.
It is also essential for all Education staff to be fully aware that investigation of any Child Protection issue is the responsibility of the Statutory investigating agencies which are Social Services for Children and the Police.
If after having made a referral, the referrer is unhappy that action has not been taken to protect a child who is suffering significant harm (see definition below) the referrer should bring his/her concerns to Manager of Duty and Assessment Team and if necessary use a different referral route.
DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE
Child abuse is significant harm to a child below the age of 18 years, (19 years if at a Special Needs school).
The definition of significant harm, (drawn from S 39 of the Children Act 1989) and the categories of abuse used for child protection registration are as follows:
harm means ill treatment or the impairment of health or development;
ill treatment includes sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical.
development means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development;
health means physical or mental health;
Where the question, of whether the harm suffered by a child is significant, turns on the child’s health and development, his health or development shall be compared with that which could reasonably be expected of a similar child. (Safeguarding Children; Working Together under the Children Act 2004 (2006)).
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm can also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health in and to a child whom they are looking after. The situation is most recently described using the term fabricated or induced illness by Carer
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, for example by witnessing domestic abuse within the home or being bullied, or, the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
‘Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and / or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. ‘It may involve a Parent or Carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
In addition Neglect may occur during Pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse.
IMMEDIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN IF YOU SUSPECT A CHILD HAS BEEN ABUSED OR IS AT RISK OF SIGNIFICANT HARM
Professionals cannot remain anonymous when making referrals, although members of the public are able to request this.
The following section is particularly applicable to Schools but clearly outlines the referral process for all Education and Recreation staff, (separately referred to in sections below).
If the child has made a disclosure, the child should be listened to but must NOT be asked leading questions (see “Listening to the child” box below).
- If a disclosure has been made or member of staff suspects that a child has been abused or is at risk of suffering abuse, the Headteacher (or deputy in his/her absence) must be immediately informed of the concern
- The Headteacher, or in his/her absence the Assistant Head, or designated person for Child Protection should inform by telephone, without delay, the Manager or Duty Social Worker, of the Duty and Assessment Team at the Social Services for Children County Offices, Church Street, Flint. (01352 701000). (Out of Hours, i.e. after 00pm, contact 0845 0533 116)
- It is important to make it clear that the intention is to make a child protection referral in accordance with the LCSB procedures. Social Services for Children will then assess the situation and they will decide whether to proceed by way of a child protection investigation or to offer services on a “child in need basis”. (In the latter case parents consent will be needed)
- Information provided by the referrer should include;
- the child’s name, address and date of birth,
- the name, address and phone number/s of those with parental responsibility,
- name/s and dates of birth of other siblings ,if known,
- any other names used,
- Name and status of the referrer,
- the nature and reason/s for the concern and
- any information affecting the safety of staff.
5) The referral must be confirmed and sent in writing within 2 working days using the
“ICS INTEGRATED CHILDREN’S SERVICES REFERRAL FORM, (see second paragraph of this advice leaflet). A copy of the ICS Form to be sent to the Manager of the Inclusion Welfare Service.
6) The local Community Health Department to be informed (Responsibility Social Services for Children).
7) If there are obvious injuries these should be recorded and if it is then deemed appropriate by Social Services for Children a referral for a medical examination will be made by them after the child has been interviewed unless the injuries are very serious and warrant an immediate response. In an emergency or when injury is severe, a 999 Ambulance and Police call should be made.
8) All discussions and the outcomes must be recorded as soon as possible.
9) If in doubt share your concerns without delay with Social Services for Children Duty Officer. If an Inclusion Welfare Officer or School Nursing Sister is available, they may be able to assist with any immediate action required but it remains the Headteacher’s responsibility to ensure that the action outlined above is taken.
10) The Social Services for Children Department should advise what action will be initiated and the position the referrer should take regarding communication with parents i.e. at what point parents should be contacted and by whom.
11) If after discussion there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm there should be a strategy discussion involving the Social Services for Children department and the Police, and other agencies as appropriate, in particular any referring agency.
12) A representative from the school and/or the Education and Youth Directorate will normally be required to attend and participate in any resulting Child Protection Conference.
13) If the school is unable to attend a child protection conference a written report should be submitted, keeping to factual information and not opinion or rumour. Schools have all been issued with relevant School Report Forum.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY CENTRAL SUPPORT STAFF
e.g. Inclusion Welfare Officers, Behaviour Support Teachers, Youth Access Staff, Education Psychologists, Peripatetic Teachers and any other staff not attached to schools.
If in a school situation a disclosure has been made, or member of staff suspects that a child has been abused or is at risk of suffering abuse, the Headteacher should be immediately informed of the concern and the school-based procedures should be followed.
- If the disclosure or concern is “out of the school situation” the same procedures should be followed without delay as described for Headteachers in the Immediate Action Section
- The referral must be confirmed and sent in writing within 2 working days using the ICS INTEGRATED CHILDREN’S SERVICES REFERRAL FORM. Important to ensure good record keeping in accordance with WAG Circ 18/2006.
- The referrer should, at the earliest opportunity, inform the Headteacher of this action.
ALLEGED ABUSE BY A MEMBER OF STAFF
In the course of their duties staff may encounter suspicions or allegations of child abuse where the alleged abuser is a colleague from their own or another agency.
When it is alleged or suspected that a pupil has suffered significant harm, (see above) caused by a member of staff employed by The Education and Youth Directorate, the following procedure should be followed immediately.
1) The Headteacher/Manager or deputy in his/her absence should be informed unless 1a on following page applies.
2) All suspected abuse must be reported to, the Manager or Duty Social Worker, of the Duty and Assessment Team of Social Services for Children (Tel 01352 701000 or out of hours, after 5.00pm, 0845 0533 116) or the Police.
3) Agencies must not undertake their own internal enquiries but must refer on as described above,
4) “Agencies must not make their own decisions about whether a concern that involves a particular member of their own staff is a disciplinary issue or a child protection matter.
Such complex considerations should only take place with the involvement of Social Services for Children and the Police”.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY ANY MEMBER OF STAFF EMPLOYED BY THE DIRECTORATE WHEN CONCERNED ABOUT SITUATIONS NOT COVERED BY THE ABOVE.
1) Occasions may arise when staff are concerned that the normal procedures may not apply or be followed, e.g. if it is alleged that the abuse involves a Headteacher, Manager or senior member of staff. In such situations:
- Inform, without delay, the appropriate Chief Officer of Education and Youth based at County Hall.
- Alternatively, request a “confidential” interview with the appropriate Chief Officer Education and Youth.
2) In cases of professional abuse, the action to be taken may be guided by the agency’s own procedures on whistle blowing, and these should be referred to.
“Concerns” as opposed to “known facts” can and should be shared with the investigating agencies (Police and Social Services for Children). Such concerns will not necessarily trigger an investigation but are more likely to cause the investigating agencies to make further enquiries. Concerns from a number of sources/agencies which, individually, may not be of great significance, can build up a picture, which suggests that the child may be suffering harm.
DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE
|LISTENING TO CHILDREN|
|Show that you have heard what they are saying and that you take their allegations seriously. Encourage them to talk and listen without questioning or prompting them.|
|Encourage the child/young person to allow another person to be present.|
|Remain calm. Reassure them that they are not to blame and are right to tell.|
|Be clear about your own position and what action you must take, (you work for a department that has a shared responsibility to protect children and young people).|
|Inform the child/young person that you will have to pass the information on.|
|Write down what you have been told, using the exact words if possible.|
|Make a written note of the date, time and place and people who were present at the discussion|
|Keep drawings, paintings etc. that the child/young person may do to show what happened to him or her|
|Report your concerns immediately to the person with designated responsibility for child protection. Ensure your concerns are immediately reported to Social Services for Children duty and assessment team.|
|If the alleged abuser is a person with professional responsibility for children or young people discuss your concerns with that persons line manager. If you feel that this is inappropriate, or you are not satisfied with the response that you get, contact the relevant person in Social Services for Children.
It is important that you do not ignore or dismiss suspicions about another professional. Seek support for yourself from your line manager
|LISTENING TO CHILDREN|
|Don’t prompt or ask them leading questions. This can contaminate evidence. The task of questioning them must be left to specially trained professionals.|
|Don’t interrupt or stop a child who is freely recalling significant events.|
|Don’t make a child repeat their account|
|Don’t expose the child/young person to mass examination by staff to verify any injuries|
|Don’t promise to keep what you have been told secret. Reporting concerns is not a betrayal of trust.|
|In your reporting do not make assumptions or put words into a child/young person’s mouth.|
|Don’t show shock or disquiet|
|Don’t confront the alleged abuser|
|Don’t dismiss your concerns or worry that you may be mistaken. It is better to have shared your misgivings with someone with experience and responsibility to make an assessment.|
|Don’t discuss individual cases with personal friends or acquaintances, who may be able to identify the family concerned. It is not appropriate to do so because of the high standard of confidentiality that must be maintained in child protection cases.|
Social Services for Children, Duty and Assessment Team Manager (Changes to be confirmed), County Offices, Church Street, Flint, (Tel 01352 701000 / Direct line to Duty team 01352 701167/69 or, after 5.00pm, 0845 0533 116)
Police. 01352 711669 or 999
Education and Youth, County Hall, Mold, CH7 6ND. (01352 704011)
Flintshire Children’s Health Centre, Catherine Gladstone House, Hawarden Way, Mancot CH75 2EP. 01244 538 883.
FLINTSHIRE Education and Youth– SAFEGUARDING
POLICY and PRACTICE
The Directorate’s principles concerning Safeguarding are:
- develop a shared culture where Safeguarding is understood by all;
- to be an active partner within the LSCB.
- to develop awareness, insight, understanding, knowledge and vigilance with all staff.
To sustain high standards in safeguarding the Directorate aims to ensure the following as a minimum:
|Clear Child Protection procedures|
|Code of Conduct for employees whose work brings them into contact with Children and Young People|
|Commission child protection training for all schools and Local Authority staff, roll on programmes through out the year with in house training in schools for all staff and Governors. The Inclusion welfare Service Manager is notified of all new staff via Payroll – Human Resources.|
|Maintenance of a register of attendances in child protection and safeguarding training|
|Training for school Governors|
|Correct level of CRB checks on staff working with children and young people updated every three years.
Human Resources – Education Staffing .
|Regular communication and checking with schools re:
· Child protection training policy and procedures in place
· Senior staff member trained in Safeguarding and Child Protection
· Ensure safe recruitment of staff
· Training of Governors in child protection and safeguarding
|In conjunction with LSCB to:
· Pool learning from Serious Case Reviews
· Challenge poor compliance