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FIREPUNCH UK

Designated Child Protection Officers :

Robert Sadler (North Area)

Robert Webb (South Area)

The Policy and the supporting procedures are to ensure the safeguarding of children as well as offering guidance to staff on actions they need to take with regards to child protection.

This child protection policy recognises that all employees and volunteers have a legal responsibility to ensure this policy is used in every aspect of their work, to safe guard the welfare of all children.


1.0 Key Concepts


      1. Definition of a child/young person:

A child is anyone who has not yet reached their eighteenth birthday or in the case of a disabled young person or one with learning difficulties twenty five.


Children’ therefore means children and young people throughout.


      1. The definition of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:


  • Protecting children from maltreatment

  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development

  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.


Child Protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm.


The statutory basis for protecting children and young people is contained in the Children Act 1989 and Criminal Proceedings against adults who abuse children. (A conviction in such proceedings is known as a Schedule 1 offence).









1.2 Legal Framework


1.2.1 The Children Act 1989 explicitly states that the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration when there is any child protection concern.


1.2.2 Section 47(1) of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on a local authority to investigate where they “have reasonable cause to suspect that a child/young person who lives, or is found in their area is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm”. The authority shall make or cause to be made, such enquiries, as they consider necessary to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.


1.2.3 Section 47(9) and (11) impose obligations upon Health, Education, Housing and other local authorities; to assist the local authority making enquiries.


    1. What is abuse and neglect? [Taken from Every Child Matters, Working Together to Safeguard Children : 2006]

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or more rarely by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.


Types of abuse:


1.3.1 Physical abuse: Physical abuse 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.


      1. Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse is 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 in so far as they meet the needs of another person.

  • Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.

  • The seeing or hearing of the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious terrorising or bullying, causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.



      1. Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in:

  • Sexual activities including prostitution whether or not the child is aware of what it happening. The activities may involve physical contact including penetrative acts (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex)

  • Non-penetrative acts. The may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at or in the production of sexual on-line images, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.


      1. Neglect: 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. 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 adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)

  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger

  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers)

  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.


2.0 Aims of this Policy


2.1 To support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence.

2.2 To provide procedures (See Appendix 1) and raise the awareness of all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.

2.3 To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm.

2.4 To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between members of staff.

2.5 To develop a structured procedure within the setting which will be followed by all members of the setting community in cases of suspected abuse.

    1. To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the Police and Local County Council Children’s Services. To ensure that all adults within our settings who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability.












  1. Procedures


3.1 Our procedures for safeguarding children will be in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Board ( LSCB ) procedures.

3.2 We will ensure that:

3.2.1 We have a designated member of staff who has undertaken regular training.

3.2.2 All members of staff working with children will be given the opportunity of training in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse. This training will be regularly updated as appropriate to role. (Appendix 2)

3.2.3 From training received all members of staff should know how to respond to a child who discloses abuse.(See Appendix 3)

      1. All parents / carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to child protection policies.


    1. Our procedures will be regularly reviewed and up-dated.


    1. All new members of staff will be given access to a copy of our Child Protection Procedures as part of their induction into their setting.




  1. Responsibilities


4.1 The Designated Professionals for Child Protection are responsible for :


      1. Adhering to the LSCB and the setting procedures with regard to referring a child if there are concerns about possible abuse.

      2. Keeping written records of concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.

      3. Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from any other records for the child.

      4. Ensuring that an indication of further record-keeping is marked on the child’s records.


5.0 Supporting Children


5.1 We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses violence may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self worth. We recognise that a child in these circumstances may feel helpless and humiliated. We recognise that a child may feel self blame.

5.2 We recognise that settings may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.

5.3 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.

5.4 Our settings will support all children by :


5.4.1 Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness whilst not condoning aggression or bullying.

5.4.2 Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within settings.

5.4.3 Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.

5.4.4 Notifying Local County Council, Children, Children’s Services as soon as there is a significant concern.


  1. Confidentiality


6.1 We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential however:


The named, Designated Professionals for Child Protection will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis only.



6.2 All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share

information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.

6.3 All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets.







7.0 Supporting Staff


7.1 We recognise that staff working in a 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.

7.2 We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their

anxieties with the Designated Professional for Child Protection and to seek further support as appropriate.


8.0 Allegations against staff


8.1 We understand that a child may make an allegation against a member of

            staff.

8.2 If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will

immediately inform the Designated Professional for Child Protection.

8.3 The Designated Professional for Child Protection will immediately follow

            Firepunch UK Procedures for managing allegations against staff.











9.0 Prevention


9.1 We recognise that settings play a significant part in the prevention of harm to

children by providing children with good lines of communication, with trusted

adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.

9.2 The whole setting community will therefore :

9.2.1 Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are

encouraged to talk and are always listened to.

9.2.2 Ensure that all children know there is an adult in any setting whom they can

approach if they are worried or in difficulty.


































Appendix 1:


FLOWCHART


available to all helpers, volunteers and employees




Appendix 2


Responding to Suspicions or Allegations


2.1 It is the responsibility of all staff working with children and young people to act swiftly if they suspect abuse or an allegation has been made that a child is suffering or likely to suffer abuse.


2.2 You must immediately share your concerns with a Designated Professional for Child Protection who will discuss the concerns and seek advice as necessary.


2.3 Under no circumstances should any member of staff attempt to deal with a problem relating to child abuse on their own. These attempts could be extremely damaging to the child and you are not authorised or qualified to attempt this.


2.4 If you are not sure

  • Contact a Designated Professional for Child Protection.

  • If they are not available, and you have concerns of significant risk contact the relevant County Council Children’s Services.


Note: If in doubt check it out.


Procedure


2.5 Inform a Designated Professional for Child Protection. If they are not available, contact Children, Schools and Families.


2.6 Record information as soon as possible.


2.7 The Designated Professional for Child Protection will make the decision of informing social services. (do not advise the person against whom the allegation is made).


2.8 Children’s Services will advise on notification of parents/carers and any further action.


2.9 Investigation (led by Children’s Services)

  • Child protection investigation.

  • Criminal investigation (Police).

  • Disciplinary or misconduct investigation (If allegation against instructor/helper).


Do not share information with anyone about the child protection investigation unless they are known to you and need to know information.


Action on outcome of investigation.

  • Child Protection conference.

  • Court proceedings.



Appendix 3


Responding to the child/young person


3.1 Physical Injury


  • Stay calm, so as not to frighten the child/young person.

  • Create a safe environment.

  • If possible, try and get a colleague to witness the situation.

  • Reassure the child.

  • Keep questions to what is necessary to understand the circumstances.

  • Ask open-ended questions. E.g. How, when, what, where.

  • Do not ask probing questions or put words into the child/young person’s mouth. e.g. did mummy do it?

  • Assess whether the child/young person requires first aid or medical attention.

  • Make no judgements and believe the child.

  • Maintain confidentiality.

  • Explain actions and process to the child/young person.

  • Report information to your Senior Instructor.

  • Make a full record of what has been observed and said as soon as possible.


3.2 Disclosure of abuse


  • Stay calm and be reassuring.

  • Find a quiet place to talk if possible.

  • Believe what you are being told.

  • Reassure the child/young person but do not make promises to keep secrets.

  • Listen but do not press for information.

  • Do not put words into the child/young person’s mouth.

  • If child/young person has speech difficulties use other forms of communication.

  • If English is not the child/young person’s first language, you might need to get another member of staff to interpret. Under no circumstances use another child/young person or a relative.

  • Only ask open-ended questions….What happened, Who etc.

  • Ensure the child/young person is safe and comfortable.

  • Reassure the child/young person that they are not to blame and they were right to tell.

  • Do not leave child/young person alone if possible.

  • Inform child/young person what will happen next and the process of events.

  • Make no judgements.

  • Make a full record of what has been said, heard or seen as soon as possible.

  • Maintain confidentiality.

  • Inform your Designated Child Protection Officer.






3.3 Allegations against Employees


  • It is important that employees and volunteers should feel able to report any concerns which involve a colleague where the welfare and safety of children is at risk. Staff should report their concerns to a Senior Instructor or in his or her absence to the Designated Professional for Child Protection, who will take steps as necessary to ensure the safety of the children in question and any other children who may be at risk.

  • Children who report that a member of staff has abused them must be listened to and heard.

  • Do not promise total confidentiality.

  • There may be circumstances where allegations are about poor practices rather than abuse but senior instructors need to consult with personnel services and social services if in doubt. This is because, it may be just one of a series of other instances which together causes concern.

  • It is acknowledged that feelings by staff and helpers that a colleague maybe or is abusing a child/young person may raise concerns amongst other staff and may present the instructor/helper reporting the incident with a dilemma, loyalty to colleague versus the child/young person. The child/young person’s welfare is paramount and must be your main consideration.

  • If the allegation or suspicion is against a Senior Instructor, the instructor/helper must contact social services direct for advice.

  • The parent/carers of the child/young person will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from social services.

  • Every effort should be made to ensure total confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.

  • Senior Instructors will ensure that staff reporting incidents are not victimised by their colleagues and that no disciplinary action will be taken against them as a direct or indirect result of any report, made in good faith alleging that a colleague is or maybe abusing a child.



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