Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
I. GENERAL STATEMENT
1. We, as a Sobotnia Szkoła Języka Polskiego w Hounslow “Pro Polonia”, have a primary responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the pupils in our charge.
2. Our aim is to provide a caring, supportive and safe environment, valuing individuals for their unique talents and abilities, in which all of children can learn and develop to their full potential.
3. The overriding concern of all caring adults must be the care, welfare and safety of the children and the welfare of each child is our paramount consideration.
4. The problem of child abuse will not be ignored by anyone who works in our School, and we are aware that some forms of child abuse are also a criminal offence. All child protection concerns will be acted upon immediately.
5. All members of School have Enhanced DRB Disclosures as part of our recruitment policy.
II. GOOD PRACTICE FOR KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE AND WELL AT THE SCHOOL
1. The children remain supervised at all times while at school.
2. It is a parent/guardian responsibility to bring and collect the child to and from the school.
3. No child can leave the school premises without supervision during and at the end of the school time, without prior arrangement by the parent/ guardian with the group leader/ teacher.
4. Under no circumstances should visitors be allowed to wander around the premises unaccompanied when children are present.
5. Staff should be alert to strangers frequently waiting outside a venue with no apparent purpose.
6. If a child is not collected after a session a member of designated staff will wait approximately half an hour for a parent or carer to arrive. If the parent or carer cannot be contacted, staff should contact the relevant Children & Families Duty Team or the police and request assistance.
III. DEALING WITH CONCERNS
1. In the event that a child makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or another child, the following steps will be taken as follows:
– Listening and/or closely observe his presentation and behavior;
– Letting him know that what they are saying we are taking seriously;
– We will not attempt to question or interview;
– Letting him know that we will need to tell someone else in order to help him;
– Informing the Directors as soon as possible about an allegation;
– Writing a record of the incident or events.
2. The Directors will inform local Children’s Services, if they will remain unsure after internal consultation as to whether child protection concerns exist, or when there is disagreement as to whether child protection concerns exist.
IV. MAKING A REFERRAL
1. A referral involves giving Children’s Services, Social Care Department or the Police information about concerns relating to an individual or family in order that enquirers can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary action.
2. In certain cases the level of concern will lead straight to a referral without external consultation being necessary.
3. Consult with parents and encourage them to make a telephone referral or with their consent refer on their behalf.
4. However, inability to inform parents for any reason should not prevent a referral being made. It would then become a joint decision with Children’s Services, Social Care Department about how and when the parents should be approached and by whom.
5. When making referral, we will give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available). Unavailability of some information will not stop us from making a referral.
– Name, telephone number, position of the person making a referral and the same of the person who is taking a referral.
– Full name and address, telephone number of family, date of birth of child and siblings.
– Gender, ethnicity, first language, any special needs
– Names, dates of birth and relationship of household members and any significant others.
– The names of professionals’ known to be involved with the child/family eg: GP, Health Visitor, School.
– The nature of the concern; and foundation for them.
– An opinion on whether the child may need urgent action to make them safe.
– Your view of what appears to be the needs of the child and family.
– Whether the consent of a parent with parental responsibility has been given to the referral being made.
V. ACTION TO BE TAKEN FOLLOWING THE REFERRAL
1. Ensuring that accurate record of concern(s) made at the time is kept safe.
2. Putting concerns in writing to Children’s Services, Social Care Department following the referral (within 48 hours).
3. Accurately recording the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision.
RECOGNISING SIGNS OF ABUSE
It can often be difficult to recognize abuse. Children may behave strangely or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their families experience changes. It is nevertheless important to know what could indicate that abuse is taking place and to be alert to the need to consult further.
If you are worried about a child it is important that you keep a written record of any physical or behavioral signs and symptoms. In this way you can monitor whether or not a pattern emerges and provide evidence to any investigation if required.
Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, and suffocating. It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention; this is called fabricated illness. Symptoms that indicate physical abuse include:
• Bruising in or around the mouth, on the back, buttocks or rectal area
• Finger mark bruising or grasp marks on the limbs or chest of a small child
• Burn and scald marks; small round burns that could be caused by a cigarette
• Fractures to arms, legs or ribs in a small child
• Large numbers of scars of different sizes or ages
Emotional abuse happens when a child’s need for love, security, praise and recognition is not met. It usually co-exists with other forms of abuse. Emotionally abusive behavior occurs if a parent, carer or authority figure is consistently hostile, rejecting, threatening or undermining. It can also result when children are prevented from social contact with others, or if developmentally inappropriate expectations are imposed upon them. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of someone else. Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include:
• Excessively clingy or attention-seeking behavior
• Very low self esteem or excessive self-criticism
• Excessively withdrawn behaviour or fearfulness; a ‘frozen watchfulness’
• Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please
• Eating disorders
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, causing damage to their health and development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failing to protect a child from harm or danger, or failing to access appropriate medical care and treatment when necessary. It can exist in isolation or in combination with other forms of abuse. Symptoms of physical and emotional neglect can include:
• Inadequate supervision; being left alone for long periods of time
• Lack of stimulation, social contact or education
• Inadequate nutrition, leading to ill-health
• Constant hunger; stealing or gorging food
• Failure to seek or to follow medical advice such that a child’s life or development is endangered
• Inappropriate clothing for conditions
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. This may include physical contact, both penetrative and non-penetrative, or involve no contact, such as watching sexual activities or looking at pornographic material. Encouraging children to act in sexually inappropriate ways is also abusive. Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, any sexual activity – contact or non-contact – with a child under the age of 13, is a crime. Symptoms of sexual abuse include:
• Allegations or disclosure
• Genital soreness, injuries or discomfort
• Sexually transmitted diseases; urinary infections
• Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters; inappropriately sexualized play, words or drawing
• A child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
• Repeated sleep disturbances through nightmares and/or wetting