1.1 Children and young people aged 18 years and under have a right to protection from being hurt, and from violence, abuse and neglect regardless of their gender, race, culture, background or disability. Safeguarding children and young people is everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, it is important that staff, volunteers as well as trustees are clear about their roles and responsibilities concerning safeguarding children and young people. This includes recognising and preventing risks of harm; recognising signs and taking action where abuse and harm are reported.
1.2 We have a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) who is responsible for implementing this policy, including dealing with allegations/concerns and for ensuring relevant training for everyone concerned with our setting.
The name and contact details of the Designated Safeguarding Officer is: Lola Olaore
In his/her absence Thomas Chu will act as the deputy.
The aims of the policy are to provide a safe environment for children and young people using our services and set down the correct procedures to follow for those who encounter any safeguarding issues of concern.
3.1 Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. This means:
● Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
● Preventing harm to children’s health or development
● Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
● Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes
3.2 Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures, which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.
3.3 Children and young people may be particularly vulnerable, if they:*
● Are disabled
● Have special educational needs
● Are young carers
● Are showing signs of engaging in antisocial or criminal behaviours
● Live in difficult family situations that present challenges for them, e.g. parental substance misuse, parental mental health problems, domestic violence or poverty
● Have returned home to their family from care
● Are showing early signs of abuse and neglect
● Are being privately fostered
3.4 Children and young people can suffer harm as a result of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. They can also be subject to harm from other risks and challenges (see Appendix 3 for definitions) including:
● Domestic Violence
● Child Trafficking
● Child Sexual Exploitation
● Harmful Sexual Behaviour
● Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
● Forced Marriage
● Radicalisation (Prevent)
● Bullying & Cyberbullying
● Internet and Social Media Risks
3.5 Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child –that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be a lack of love, care and attention. Neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as any of the types of concerns listed above.
3.6 An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. It can also happen online.
3.7 Getting help early for children, young people and families can prevent problems from escalating and children suffering serious harm. Therefore, it is important for all workers to be observant about possible harm to children. They also have a responsibility to ensure that activities and support for children and young people within the organisation are safe.
1 Working together to safeguard children, DfE, 2018; www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to- safeguard-children
4.1 Staff and volunteers working directly with children and young people are in a unique position to identify any abuse or neglect or changes in behaviour which may indicate a child or young person is being abused or neglected. Therefore, they must always:
● Be alert to any possible signs of abuse, neglect or harm
● Question any behaviour that may appear unusual
● Take seriously anything that is said to them by children and young people, however these may be expressed
● Take careful notes of what is said without leading them (see Appendix 2 for guidance on the procedure to follow in the event of a disclosure)
● Report the matter to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)/Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer (DDSO)
● Contact the police or other emergency services by dialling 999 if a child or young person is in imminent danger
4.2 It is important to remember that it is not the role of staff, volunteers or trustees to investigate or to decide whether something has occurred, where children and young people and young people are concerned. That is a task for the statutory agencies, in particular, Children Services and the Police.
4.3 The role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer/Designated Safeguarding Officer is to report any concerns or allegations to these agencies by contacting the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). Where an allegation of abuse implicates a member of staff, volunteer or trustee, the Designated Safeguarding Officer/Deputy Safeguarding Officer must also report the matter to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). See Appendix 1 for contact details of the MASH, LADO and other key sources of advice and information.
4.4 Aside from conducting investigations into child abuse, the MASH and LADOs will also give advice and guidance on what action, if any, the DSO or DDSO should take immediately following a report.
5.1 Child protection raises issues of confidentiality which must be clearly understood by everyone. All personal information regarding all service users must be kept confidential in compliance with the Data Protection Act. However, staff, volunteers and trustees have a professional as well as a statutory responsibility to share relevant information with other professionals to safeguard children when requested. All such requests must be passed on to the Designated Safeguarding Officer to be dealt with.
5.2 Where possible, consent should be obtained from the child or young person or parents before sharing personal information with others; and an explanation must be provided as to why it is important to share this information.
5.3 In some circumstances obtaining consent may be neither possible nor desirable as the safety and welfare of the child or young person should be the priority. Such an instance might be if a child is being harmed deliberately at home, seeking parental consent might put the child at further risk.
5.4 Where consent has been sought but this is refused, an explanation must be offered as to why a disclosure must be reported for legal reasons or to ensure help.
6.2 In part, the duty of care is exercised through the development of respectful and caring relationships. It is also exercised by workers taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of those they are responsible for in the course of their work.
6.2 All workers must understand and acknowledge the responsibilities and trust inherent in their role and must always maintain professional boundaries. They must avoid behaviour which might be misinterpreted or misconstrued. Child abuse involving a worker is never acceptable. If concerns arise in this area, this must be recorded and reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer or Deputy Designated Officer who will deal with it in accordance with the steps outlined above.
7.1 bloss.m will ensure all workers, including paid staff and volunteers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with our safer recruitment policy. This includes ensuring:
● There is a written job description for the post
● Those applying have completed an application form and self-declaration form
● Safeguarding has been discussed before appointment of that role
● Written references have been obtained and followed up where appropriate
● A current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate has been obtained, wherever relevant and appropriate
● The person appointed receives a copy of this safeguarding policy as part of the induction for staff and knows how to report concerns
● A probationary period applies for all new recruits
7.2 bloss.m will also ensure that regular contractors attending our premises are aware of this policy and have up to date DBS certificates. Occasional visitors will be accompanied at all times in compliance with this policy and a signing in and out record will be kept of all visitors.
8.1 bloss.m’s approach to accident prevention is set out in the Health and Safety Policy. This includes making sure that every activity for children and young people is adequately risk assessed to minimise accidents and other risk of harm; and to maximise the benefits that children, young people and families get from our services. The Health and safety Policy also ensures:
● Children and young people are not left unattended
● Any activity using potentially dangerous equipment is supervised by trained staff
● Parental consent is obtained as necessary
● Records about children’s allergies, medical problems or any special needs are recorded
● First aid facilities are readily available and adequate
● Equipment is adequate and checked regularly
● There is access to a telephone at all times for emergency calls
● Insurance cover is adequate and cover all necessary activities,transport and public liability
8.2 All accidents, however minor, must be recorded in an accident book. Workers must have access to a telephone at all times to call for help or to call emergency services if needed.
9.1 bloss.m does not tolerate bullying of any kind, including cyber-bullying. Children can bully each other, be bullied by an adult, and they can bully adults sometimes. We will inform children and young people as well as their parents and carers about bullying and the consequences of bullying and how to report such incidents promptly. There is also an expectation that anyone who knows bullying is happening will report itto the Designated Safeguarding Officer or Deputy who will take local action as necessary.
9.2 Children who are bullied need protection. However, those responsible for the bullying need to address the reasons for their behaviour and will be encouraged to relate to others in positive ways. Persistent offenders will risk being excluded from our services. Staff and volunteers found guilty of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with bloss.m’s disciplinary procedures.
9.3 Some common forms of bullying include:
● Name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours and teasing
● Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting, graffiti, gestures, racial taunts, homophobic and sexist remarks
● Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any other use of violence
● Sexually abuse comments or gestures
● Practical jokes which may cause physical or emotional harm even though these may not be intended
10.1 The Designated Safeguarding Officer is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this Safeguarding Policy. This includes ensuring all staff and volunteers receive adequate safeguarding training, ensuring the policy is reviewed and updated annually or as necessary in the light of national and local guidance changes as advised by METRO GAVS Children and Young People Development Officer (See below for contact details).
A resource that provides the most up to date information on safeguarding policies and best practice: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
For local information aboutSafeguarding relating to the Royal Borough of Greenwich please refer to the Greenwich Safeguarding Children’s Board website: http://www.greenwichsafeguardingchildren.org.uk
For Children and Young People
Child Line 0800 1111
NSPCC 0808 800 5000
CYP Development Officer
020 8309 8231
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Woolwich Centre, First Floor, 35 Wellington Street, London, SE18 6HQ
Consultation line for workers: 020 8921 2267
Telephone number for referrals: 020 8921 3172
Referrals or other communications via secure e-mail: email@example.com or faxed to 020 8921 3180.
Referrals outside office hours are handled by the Out of Hours Social Worker who can be contacted on 020 8854 8888.
2. If you have a concern involving an allegation against staff or volunteers, you must consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on telephone number 0208 921 3930. If appropriate you may be requested to complete a referral form and this should then be sent by email to childrens-LADO@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.
Early Help within Children’s Services provides a range of information, support and advice to families with children and young people aged between 0-19 or to 25 years old for disabled young people. In addition Early Help can provide information and advice to a range of practitioners, including voluntary sector workers about services and Early Help Assessments.
● Consultation line for general advice and guidance: 020 8921 4590(1pm to 4pm)
Early Help Navigators: 020 8921 6921
It is important that children are protected from abuse. All complaints, allegations or suspicions must betaken seriously. This procedure must be followed whenever an allegation is made that a child has been abused or when there is a suspicion that a child has been abused. Promises of confidentiality should not be given as this may conflict with the need to ensure the safety and welfare of the child.
If the complainant is the child, questions should be kept to the minimum necessary to understand what is being alleged and leading questions should be avoided. The use of leading question scan cause problems for the subsequent investigation and any court proceedings.
A full record shall be made as soon as possible of the nature of the allegation and any other relevant information. Use the child or young person’s words or explanations – do not translate into your own words, in case you have misconstrued what the child/= or young person was trying to say.
Record any discussion or actions taken within 24 hours. Details must include as far as practical:
● Name of child or young person
● Home address (if known)
● Date of Birth (if known)
● Name/s and address of parents or carers with parental responsibility
● Telephone numbers if available
● Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of somebody else? If so, record details
● What has prompted the concerns? Include dates and times of any specific incident
● Has the child or young person been spoken to? If so, record details
● Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so, record details
● Who has this been passed on to, in order that appropriate action is taken? E.g. Designated Safeguarding Officer
● Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details
All records, information and confidential notes should be kept in separate files in a locked drawer or filing cabinet. Only the designated safeguarding officers will have access to these files.
Responding appropriately to a child making an allegation of abuse
● Stay calm
● Listen carefully to what is said
● Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others – do not promise to keep secrets
● Tell the child that the matter will only be disclosed to those who need to know about it
● Allow the child to continue at her/his own pace
● Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer
● Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you
● Tell them what you will do next, and with whom the information will be shared
● Record in writing what was said, using the child’s own words as soon as possible, note the date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated
(Working together to safeguard children 2015)
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 others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
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.
The physical punishment of children is still a common parenting practice in the UK. However, there are signs that public attitudes towards physical punishment are changing, with its use becoming more controversial and less widely accepted. This change in perceptions may be due to the recognition of physical punishment as a human rights issue and its consequent prohibition in an increasing number of countries, as well as a growing body of research suggesting that physical punishment is at best an ineffective form of discipline and at worst, harmful for children’s health and development1
Protection from physical punishment in all settings, including in the family home, is a basic human right of every child and is enshrined in international human rights law. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international and regional instruments place an obligation on ratifying states to ensure that their citizens are protected from physical punishment and other cruel and degrading treatment.
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 a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate.
It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction
It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to 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.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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 inadequatecare-givers); or
● Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.
This is a form of sexual abuse where children or young people are sexually exploited for various reasons such as money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation doesn't always involve physical contact and can happen online.
A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point. If concerned that a child or young person is or may be sexually exploited, refer immediately to MASH team and also contact the Safeguarding Lead for CSE on 0208 921 4435 for consultation, complete Part 1 of the CSE MAP referral form and email it to CSEMAP@royalgreenwich.gov.uk at least one week before the meeting. The referrer will need to attend the meeting to present the case to the panel.
Trafficked children are coerced or deceived by the person arranging their relocation. They are forced into exploitation by the trafficker or person under whose control they are delivered or sold. Most but not all children are from overseas. Any child transported for exploitation is considered to be a trafficking victim.
Child Trafficking links with other forms of exploitation such as child sexual exploitation, trafficking of adults, gangs and criminal activity (begging, theft, tending illegal cannabis farms, benefit fraud) and economic exploitation at home or in a work place.
Child Trafficking is also linked to inter-country adoption, private fostering and unaccompanied children.
Forced marriage is defined as that marriage which is conducted without the valid consent of at least one of the parties and where duress is a factor; it is different from a consensual ‘arranged’ marriage. Duress cannot be justified on religious or cultural grounds, and forced marriage is an abuse of human rights.
Forced marriages of children must be regarded as a child protection issue. You would not contact the parents in this situation and you should make a direct referral to the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team who will liaise with social care. For further advice contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0230 or 020 7008 0151 www.fco.gov.uk
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against girls and women. FGM is typically performed on girls aged between 4 and 13 years of age. In some cases it is performed on newborn infants or on young women before marriage or pregnancy.
There are a significant number of girls who come from communities where Female Genital Mutilation has been traditionally practiced.
FGM is illegal in the UK and carries a custodial sentence. The FGM Act 2003 makes it an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal.
It is now mandatory for any NHS healthcare professionals to record within a patient’s clinical record and report cases of FGM in the under 18 to the police. It is also mandatory for all acute hospitals, mental health services and GP to collate and submit data about the number of patients identified with FGM to the Department of Health.
Everyone working with children and young should be alert to the risk of FGM and must report any suspicion and concern about a child or young person being at risk or being a victim of FGM to MASH and/or the Police.
Private fostering occurs when a child under 16 (or 18 if disabled) is cared for by an adult who is not a relative for more than 28 days, by private arrangements between the parent and the carer. This is different from children in the care of a local authority.
The Children Act 2004 and the Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005, and associated statutory guidance, introduced measures to strengthen and enhance the fostering notification requirements within the 1989 Act whereby Local Authorities are required to take a proactive approach to identify private fostering arrangements in their area. The aim was to improve compliance with the legislative framework and therefore improve the arrangements for safeguarding children in private fostering arrangements.
Arrangements for the regulation of private fostering originate from concern following the death of Victoria Climbié in 2000. Victoria was privately fostered by her great aunt. Arrangements were codified in the Children Act 2004. Following this, the Children (Private Arrangement for Fostering) Regulations 2005 set out the duties of local authorities in their arrangements for private fostering, and national minimum standards for local authorities were published in 2005.
The Prevent Strategy was reinforced by the Prevent and Channel statutory duties set out in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015). This strategy sets out how the UK Government aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Prevent aims to deliver early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risks of radicalisation and being drawn into terrorist-related activity. Channel is a supportive multi-agency process, designed to safeguard those individuals who may be vulnerable.
Channel works by identifying individuals who may be at risk, assessing the nature and extent of the risk, and where necessary, providing an appropriate support package tailored to their needs. A multi-agency panel, chaired by the local authority, decides on the most appropriate action to support an individual after considering their circumstances.
Anyone who becomes aware of a young person who is at risk of radicalisation or who may be about to commit an act of terrorism must contact the Prevent Team and/or Police; or the MASH.
A gang is usually considered to be a group of people who spend time in public places. This group of people see themselves and are seen by others as a noticeable group. Members of the group engage in a range of criminal activity and violence.
They may also have any or all of the following features:
● Identify with or lay a claim over territory
● Are in conflict with other, similar gangs
However, if the majority of offending is ofa lower nonviolent level then they would be considered a peer group not a gang.
A criminal network (which is different to a gang) is a group of individuals involved in persistent criminality for some form of personal gain. This includes profit and/or to gain or demonstrate status) which is causing significant harm to the community, for example:
● A group that keeps breaking the law to make money;
● This law-breaking is causing harm to the community;
● Or, this law-breaking is a problem internationally (e.g. people trafficking);
● Violence is used in order to make money (e.g. to scare people into giving them money);
● They are running an illegal business (e.g. drug trafficking)
Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.
It can happen in any relationship, and even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers.
Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships. In relationships where there is domestic violence and abuse, children witness about three-quarters of the abusive incidents. About half the children in such families have themselves been badly hit or beaten. Sexual and emotional abuse is also more likely to happen in these families.
1 Equally Protected?
A review of the evidence on the physical punishment of children