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Safeguarding information for childcare professionals

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This section covers the following areas:

Statutory guidance

The PDFstatutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014 statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014 286kb is mandatory for all Early Years providers. The guidance sets out expectations in terms of learning and development requirements, assessment and the safeguarding and welfare requirements that all settings must comply with.

In March 2015, the Department for Education published a set of new and revised safeguarding documents to help professionals in carrying out their safeguarding duties. This included:

Who is responsible for safeguarding?

Each setting should have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) (previously known as a child protection liaison person or designated safeguarding officer) who will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as Children’s Social Care.

It is advisable to have a deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead in post who would be able to deal with safeguarding issues in the absence of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

For organisations where there are committee members or trustees, there should be a named person for safeguarding.

Every member of staff and volunteers must be made aware during their induction, who the DSL and deputy are.

Ultimately, safeguarding children and protecting them from harm is everyone’s responsibility.

Staff and volunteers training and knowledge

Multi-agency training (face-to-face) is run by the WSCB and coordinated through the Wiltshire Pathways website. There are also a number of online courses available on that website. The training administrators for this site can be contacted by email at WSCBtraining@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Helene Schwartz, Safeguarding Advisor for Education and Early Years, also leads safeguarding forums throughout the course of the year, in a number of locations across Wiltshire. These forums, targeted at DSL and group managers, cover topics such as new guidance, specific safeguarding issues and lessons learned from serious case reviews etc.

The Childcare Officers also provide some training.

This section highlights the minimum recommended training that all professionals working with children should attend:

Target audience Training Duration
Designated safeguarding lead / deputy designated safeguarding lead

Staff new to this role should start with the foundation multi-agency child protection training; then complete the advanced multi-agency child protection training.

Within three years of completing their advanced course, professionals will need to complete one of these specialist courses:

  • Conference and core groups course
  • Early help
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Neglect

Please note that these courses can be attended at any time after completing the advanced course.

Training should be updated every three years thereafter.

Variable (one or two day courses)

Further information and how to book

Designated safeguarding lead / chair of the committee / owner

*All Early Years provisions have a statutory requirement that at least one person on the interview panel will have completed the recognised safer recruitment training course.

**Childminders who employ other staff must complete this course.

Safer recruitment initial day, followed by safer recruitment refresher (for those who have previously completed the initial day)

5 year update

One day course followed by half-day update

Further information and how to book

(NSPCC also offers safer recruitment training online)

Childminders, committee representatives with responsibility for safeguarding, managers, room leaders, children's centre coordinators and outreach workers.

Foundation multi-agency child protection training.

Training should be updated every three years by attending one of the following courses:

  • E-safety online training
  • Hidden harm online training
  • Early help
  • Child sexual exploitation

One day course.

Further information and how to book

New practitioners, refreshers and committee members in group settings. A child protection induction session delivered by the DSL to all new members of staff, volunteers and committee members as part of their induction programme.

Session run by settings independently.

1-2 hours

For more information please email:

Helene.Schwartz@wiltshire.gov.uk

All staff in group settings* and children’s centres, childminders and childminding assistants.

*including volunteers

Safeguarding: awareness of child abuse and neglect.

To complete as part of new staff induction and 3 year update thereafter.

Online course

Group settings.

*including every staff and volunteers working on the premises (catering, cleaning, admin staff).

Whole-setting child protection training to be delivered by the DSL to their own staff teams.

Training for all staff and volunteers should be updated every three years.

*'Train the trainers’ sessions will be taking place twice a year to support designated safeguarding leads delivering this training to their setting; a training package will also be available from September 2015.

3-hour course run by settings independently.

For more information please email:

Helene.Schwartz@wiltshire.gov.uk

Paediatric first aid certificate

At least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings.

Childminders and any assistants who might be in sole charge of the children for any period of time, must hold a current paediatric first aid certificate.

Paediatric first aid training* must be relevant for workers caring for young children and where relevant, babies. Providers should take into account the number of children, staff and layout of premises to make sure that a paediatric first aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly.

*Providers can choose which organisation they wish to provide the training (preferably one with a nationally approved and accredited first aid qualification or one that is a member of a trade body with an approval and monitoring scheme). However the training must cover thet St John Ambulance or Red Cross paediatric first aid training course content, be a minimum of 12 hours and be renewed every three years.

Safer recruitment

Settings should hold a PDFsingle central record for employment of staff.pdf 105kb Early year - single central record for employment of staff

The following practices must be undertaken and documented in the relevant policies and procedures:

  • Every appointment panel has at least one member who has undertaken the safer recruitment training (which in in date).
  • Providers have a duty to make sure that any adult working in the setting (paid or unpaid) is not disqualified from working with children. This should also include disqualification by association.
  • For most appointments, an enhanced DBS (disclosure and barring service) check with barred list information will be sought for all staff, including volunteers.
  • Applications forms will be used (CVs will not be accepted).
  • References will be obtained and scrutinised prior to interview for all shortlisted candidates, including internal ones, and followed up with a telephone call.
  • Checks will be accurately recorded on a single central record. The single central record is kept up-to-date with information about all staff and volunteers, including: identity checks, qualifications, employment references, DBS details and the right to work in the UK.

Ultimately, all providers must make sure that individuals employed (paid or not) that look after children are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their role. Find out more information on the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board website.

Disqualification, including by association

The PDFDisqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 733kb places a duty on childcare providers to ask whether an employee or person applying for a post at the setting lives or works in the same household as someone who is disqualified from working with children.

More information can be found in the following documents:

For further information, please contact your HR provider or Helene.Schwartz@wiltshire.gov.uk, Safeguarding Advisor.

Safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures

*Please note that childminders are not required to have written policies and procedures. However, they must be able to explain their policies and procedures to parents, carers, and others (for example Ofsted inspectors) and make sure any assistants follow them.

Providers need to have and implement a policy and procedures to safeguard children. These should be in-line with the guidance and procedures of the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board website. The safeguarding policy and procedures must include an explanation of the action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff, and cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.

The name of the designated safeguarding lead must appear in the policy.

The safeguarding policy must have regards to the government’s statutory guidance PDFWorking together to safeguard children Working together to safeguard children 1mb, 2015 and include reference to the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (WSBC) procedures:

You can provide the following document to parents/carers to inform them of the safeguarding duties you are legally bound to follow:

Safeguarding policies and procedures should be cross-referenced and aligned with other relevant policies such as e-safety, anti-bullying, equalities and behaviour and where possible and shared with:

  • staff
  • regular visitors (including volunteers)
  • parents
  • committee/trustees/owners
  • children

Safeguarding and child protection policies should have a section or reference to children/young people with additional needs including vulnerable children, as these individuals are more likely to experience safeguarding and child protection issues.

All policies and procedures must be reviewed annually.

You can use the PDFCP policy CP policy 471kb and PDFCP policy staff code of conduct CP policy staff code of conduct 232kb documents as models.

Reporting concerns to children's social care and early help

Where any adult in the setting has concerns about a child they should discuss these in the first instance with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or in their absence, the deputy. In exceptional circumstances, staff members can speak directly to Children’s Social Care.

For more information read the PDFWSCB What to do if you are worried a child is being abused or neglected flowchart (2015) WSCB What to do if you are worried a child is being abused or neglected flowchart (2015) 340kb.

Children's social care referrals:

Multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH): 0300 456 0108

Out-of-hours: 0300 456 0100

If you believe the child is at immediate risk of significant harm or injury, then you must call the police on 999. Please use the PDFMASH referral form MASH referral form 175kb to help you when making a referral.

The revised PDFMulti-agency Thresholds for Safeguarding Children (December 2014) Multi-agency Thresholds for Safeguarding Children (December 2014) 2mb document aims to inform childcare providers, schools and other agencies about the suitable action to take when a child has been identified as making inadequate progress or having an unmet need. Early intervention must be actioned by making a referral to early help as soon as the criteria are met, to prevent situations escalating into larger problems:

Early help single point of entry: 01225 718230

Procedures for managing allegations of abuse against staff and volunteers

Allegations may be made by parents, children or other staff members.

Please refer to the PDFWSCB Allegation Management Policy (2015) WSCB Allegation Management Policy (2015) 103kb. It is good practice to display the PDFWSCB Allegations against adults Early Years flowchart (2015) WSCB Allegations against adults Early Years flowchart (2015) 395kb.

All allegations against a member of staff or volunteer that meet the criteria below must be reported to the designated officer for the local authority (former LADO) immediately for investigation. OFSTED need to be informed within 14 days of an allegation being made.

  • Designated officer (direct line): 01225 718079 or 01225 713945
  • Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0300 456 0108
  • Out of hours emergency duty Service: 0300 456 0100

The three criteria for an allegation are:

  • A member of staff (including volunteers) has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children.

Any allegations against staff, peripatetic staff or volunteers, must be taken directly and immediately to the owner (or manager). Any allegations against the owner (or manager) must be taken to the management board if there is one, or a named person, without informing the owner. This should be made very clear to all staff and volunteers, and included in your child protection and whistleblowing policy.

When deciding whether to make a referral, following an allegation or suspicion of abuse, the owner / manager should not make their own decision over what appear to be borderline cases, but rather the allegations should be discussed with the designated officer (former LADO). Thus the setting should not do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation, such as asking a child leading questions or attempting to investigate the allegations of abuse.

In some circumstances the member of staff will, without prejudice, be asked to take a period of paid leave pending the results of the investigation.

Registered providers must inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). Registered providers must also notify Ofsted of the action taken in respect of the allegations.

These notifications must be made as soon as reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made. It is an offence to fail to comply with this requirement.

The voice of the child

'Children want to be respected, their views to be heard, to have stable relationships with professionals built on trust and to have consistent support provided for their individual needs. This should guide the behaviour of professionals.

The child’s needs are paramount, and the needs and wishes of each child, be they a baby or infant, or an older child, should be put first, so that every child receives the support they need before a problem escalates.

Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs.

No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.'

This information has been taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

Early Years annual safeguarding audit

All OFSTED registered childcare providers are required by the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) to complete an annual safeguarding audit; this is also a requirement for providers who offer free entitlement.

The range of questions asked in this audit cover the following aspects of childcare provision:

  • Staff training and knowledge
  • Safer recruitment
  • Safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures
  • The voice of the child
  • Managing allegations of abuse against staff members

Concern sheet

Providers must ensure the children’s CP files are kept in a secure location, accessible to the DSL and deputy. Safeguarding records ought to be kept separate from the main child’s record.

We recommend that professionals use the following documents to record safeguarding concerns:

Advice and support in developing good safeguarding practice

Please make sure that you regularly check the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board website for developments in safeguarding protocols.

It is recommended for the setting’s manager or designated safeguarding lead to participate to at least one safeguarding forum per year. These are led by the Safeguarding Advisor for Education and Early Years, Helene Schwartz.

If you have any further queries or would like advice about implementing good safeguarding procedures and practice in your provision please contact your childcare officer or the Safeguarding Advisor for Education and Early Years, Helene.Schwartz@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: earlyyears@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01225 757950
Out of hours:
Fax:
Postal Address:

Early Years and Childcare
Commissioning and Performance
Children’s Services
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
BA14 8JN


In Person:
DX:

Related documents

Last updated: 16 June 2015

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Early Years and Childcare
Commissioning and Performance
Children’s Services
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
BA14 8JN