Child Protection Policy
Mothershare – Child Protection Policy
Named Person: Emmajayne Carter
Last Reviewed: March 2017
As our policies change regulary, updated policies are available on request.
Mothershare – Child Protection Policy
In implementing this child protection policy Mothershare will:
- Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;
- Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are detailed in the organisation’s Child Protection Procedures and work at all times towards maintaining high standards of practice;
- Ensure that all workers are aware of Mothershare Policies and Procedures and are confident in how to work within these guidelines.
- Ensure that all workers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person, to the group’s named person for child protection;
- Ensure that the named person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Calderdale Care Services and/or Police);
- Ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;
- Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people;
- Ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the faith group’s Complaints Procedure;
- Ensure that parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the faith group and, when requested, have access to all guidelines and procedures;
- Endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the welfare and protection of children and young people.
Mothershare – Child Protection Policy Statement
- Mothershare believes that children must be protected from harm at all times.
- We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy. We want to make sure children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
- We want children who use or have contact with Mothershare to enjoy what we have to offer in safety.
- We want children and parents who use or attend Mothershare to be supported to care for their children in a way that promotes their child’s health and well- being and keeps them safe.
- Mothershare will achieve this by an effective child protection procedure and following National guidance (What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused) and local procedures (Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board).
- If we discover or suspect a child is suffering harm we will notify Calderdale Care Services or the Police in order that they can be protected if necessary.
- This child protection policy and our child protection procedure apply to all staff, volunteers and users of Mothershare and anyone carrying out any work for us or using our premises.
- We will review our child protection policy and procedures annually to make sure they are still relevant and effective.
- Mothershare is committed to policies and action to ensure that those who are employed in paid or voluntary capacity and the people it serves are not discriminated on the basis of disability, race, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender.
Signed: Emmajayne Carter
Date: 3 January 2017
Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures
(a) Mothershare provides training for young people and volunteers. This includes sorting clothing and equipment, laundry of clothing, fundraising and administrative duties.
(b) Mothershare is committed to the welfare and protection of children and/or young people within all the activities that it undertakes. Mothershare is committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to follow procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
To access training visit the website http://www.calderdalescb.org.uk/
For advice on training requirements contact Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board on 01422 394108 or email Allison.Waddell@calderdale.gov.uk, or alternatively contact Tracey McWhire at email@example.com Tel: 01422 438729
(c) Mothershare staff should recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse. Staff members whether paid or unpaid should undertake training to gain an appropriate awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and of Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board interagency procedures. The following definitions are taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children, (2013). They have been included to assist those providing services to children in assessing whether the child may be suffering actual or potential harm.
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.
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 insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s development 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 causing children 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 children, though it may occur alone.
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 is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (i.e. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, 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 and development.
Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food and clothing, 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.
(d) Mothershare will ensure that all staff members whether paid or unpaid, undertake training to gain a basic awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and of the Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board’s interagency safeguarding procedures.
It is equally important that your procedures provide some detail about how concerns about a child or young person’s safety can come to light. For example:
- A child or young person alleges that abuse has taken place or that they feel unsafe;
- A third party or anonymous allegation is received;
- A child or young person’s appearance, behaviour, play, drawing or statements cause suspicion of abuse and/or neglect;
- A child or young person reports an incident(s) of alleged abuse which occurred some time ago;
- A report is made regarding the serious misconduct of a worker towards a child or young person.
- Disclosures could be made by children who could be working with staff and volunteers when engaged in various activities.
- You should include the purpose of the procedures which are to ensure that all concerns about the care and protection of children/young people are effectively managed. The workers who are required to implement the procedures are to include all workers, both paid and volunteers and not solely those who work with children and young people under the age of 18 years.
It may be useful to involve staff in identifying how concerns about the abuse of a child may come to light in the context of the work undertaken by Mothershare.
Section 3 – A Named Person(s) for Child Protection
Mothershare has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any child protection concerns. In their absence, a deputy will always be available for workers to consult with.
The named persons for Child Protection within Mothershare are:
Named Person for Child Protection: Mrs Emmajayne Carter
Work telephone number: 01422 354539
Mobile number: 07543 263878
Emergency contact no: 07543 263878
Deputy Name of contact person: Miss Kimberley Shedden
Work telephone number 01422 244754
Mobile number 07804 269868
The role and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:
- To ensure that all staff are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they are concerned that a child/young person maybe subject to abuse or neglect.
- Ensure that any concern about a child/young person are acted on, clearly recorded, referred on where necessary and, followed up to ensure the issues are addressed.
- The Named Person(s) will record any reported incidents in relation to a child/young person or breach of Child Protection policies and procedures. This will be kept in a secure place and its contents will be confidential.
Section 4 – Stages to Follow if you are Worried about a Child
Mothershare recognises that it has a duty to act on reports or suspicions of abuse and believes that the safety of the child should override any doubts, hesitations, or other considerations (such as the potential to have a negative impact on professional relationships with a family). When worrying changes are observed in a child’s or young person’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, staff will:
- Initially talk to a child/young person about what you are observing. It is okay to ask questions, for example: “I’ve noticed that you don’t appear yourself today, is everything okay? But never use leading questions.
- Listen carefully to what the young person has to say and take it seriously;
- Never investigate or take sole responsibility for a situation where a child/young person talks about matters that may be indicative of abuse;
- Always explain to children and young people that any information they have given will have to be shared with others, if this indicates they and or other children are at risk of harm;
- Record what was said as soon as possible after any disclosure
- Respect confidentiality and file documents securely;
- Notify the Faith Group’s Named Person for Child Protection.
- The Named person(s) will take immediate action if there is a suspicion that a child has been abused or likely to be abused. In this situation, the Named Person will contact Calderdale Social Care, Multi-Agency Screening Team (MAST) telephone number 01422 393336 and/or Police. For out of hours referrals contact the Emergency Duty Team contact number: 01422 288000.
- If a referral is made direct to Calderdale Social Care this must be followed up in writing within 48 hrs followed up in writing using care services referral and information record (see appendix 2) http://calderdale-scb.org.uk/whattodo.htm
NB Parents/carers will need to be informed about any referral to Calderdale Social Care unless to do so would place the child at an increased risk of harm.
- The named person can also seek advice and clarity about a situation that is beginning to raise concern through the NSPCC National Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
- Specific advice about issues concerning South Asian children can be sought on the NSPCC National Child Protection Asian Helpline on 0800 096 7719
Section 5 – Managing Allegations Made Against A Member of Staff or Volunteer
Mothershare will ensure that any allegations made against a member or members of staff or volunteers will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with these procedures:
- The worker should listen carefully to what the child says, but not ask detailed questions.
- The worker must ensure that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
- The named person for child protection should be informed immediately. In the case of an allegation involving the Named Person for Child Protection, alternative arrangements should be sought to ensure that the matter is dealt with by an independent person. (Note: this could be a committee member, director or anyone within the Faith Group that is in a senior position within the Faith Group and believed to be independent of the allegations being made).
- The named person should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer, Kieth Watson (LADO – based within Calderdale Safeguarding & Quality Assurance Services: 01422 394086) for advice on how to proceed with the immediate situation. Outside of working hours, the Emergency Duty Team can give advice and/or in the event of an emergency situation arising, the Police.
- The individual who first received/witnessed the concern should make a full written record of what was seen, heard and/or told as soon as possible after observing the incident/receiving the report. It is important that the report is an accurate description. The Named Person for Child Protection within the Faith Group (if appropriate) can support the worker during this process but must not complete the report for the worker. This report must be made available on request from either the Police and/or Calderdale Social Care.
- Regardless of whether police and/or Calderdale Social Care investigation follows, Centre at Threeways will ensure that an internal investigation takes place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal dependant on the nature of the incident. Any actions should be discussed with the LADO to avoid compromising the Police or a child protection investigation.
Section 6 – Management and Supervision of Staff / Volunteers
Mothershare is committed to the appropriate management and supervision of staff and/or volunteers working with children and or young people to ensure that appropriate lines of accountability are in place with respect to work with children and young people.
- Staff will receive regular supervision meetings in line with the supervision policy where appropriate or commensurate with their role and involvement with children. These will be recorded and the notes agreed by both parties.
- When a member of staff is involved in a child protection matter this will be reviewed within supervision i.e. recordings, assessments, monitoring arrangements etc and decisions relating to the level of involvement will be taken by the appropriate officer/member within Calderdale Social Care.
- When a member of staff is a member of a child protection core group, working with a child who is subject to a child protection plan, supervision will occur at a minimum of monthly intervals and discussion of the case will be a standing agenda item.
Supervisors will ensure that information about children is appropriately shared with other faith group and that they will be informed if work ceases with a child when other organisations are involved.
Section 7 – Safe Recruitment
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012) introduced significant changes in how we safeguard children and vulnerable adults from those who are unsuitable to work with them. Mothershare needs to make sure that new and existing employees and volunteers have had a DBS (replaces CRB) check and that any relevant history is followed up. DBS checks can be arranged by contacting:
Tracey McWhire – Tracey.McWhire@cvac.org.uk
If a concern is raised that someone the organisation employs should not be working with children they must refer their concern and talk to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), Keith Watson
DBS checks are intended to improve the vetting of those working with children and vulnerable adults but there is no perfect system and people will continue to seek and gain employment with a view to abusing positions of trust and power. As such, we must all remain vigilant when making decisions that will give people access to children and vulnerable groups.
All potential employees and volunteers are subjected to a thorough recruitment and selection process including take up of employment or character references, identity checks, employment history and qualifications.
This might include checking official documents such as birth certificate, driving license, passport, qualifications and seeking references from previous employers etc. All applicants should be asked to declare any convictions, cautions or bind-overs. A DBS check will need to be renewed. All staff are subject to a probationary period regardless of their need to work with children as part of their role.
Section 8 – Recording and Managing Confidential Information
Mothershare is committed to managing the recording and sharing of information in line with guidelines laid out in the Data Protection Act. How is this managed?
Staff and Volunteers should complete the proforma should they need to record an issue, raise a concern or an allegation under the terms of the child protection policy. A copy of the proforma can be obtained from the Named Person.
Mothershare respects the confidentiality, rights and privacy of children and young people but reserves the right in situations where the child or young person could be at risk of abuse and/or harm to breach this principle where necessary.
Section 9 – Disseminating/Reviewing Policies and Procedures
- Mothershare should have in place a system for disseminating and reviewing their overall policies and procedures. This is in our induction process
- They should be reviewed annually, signed by Management Committee members and/or anyone within the faith groups that has overall responsibility for the service being provided.
- Any changes/amendments need to be clarified and shared with staff and where significant changes appear these must be relayed to parents/carers. (Best practice guidelines advise the involvement of parents/carers and young people in developing policies that affect them). An example would be that copies of the policies and procedures will be clearly accessible on the Threeways website and on display in the reception area.
- It should also be made clear that there is a system in place for an annual review of policies and procedures, who will be involved and, how this will be undertaken.
See Appendix 5 for useful information. The Safeguarding checklist which will assist in ensuring that policies and procedures are in place.