Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
Safe Treads, Safe Staff
Roles & Responsibilities
Child Protection Procedures
Children who are particularly vulnerable
Radicalisation & Extremism
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Honour based Abuse
Once Chance Rule
Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment
Youth produced sexual imagery (Sexting)
Allegations against staff
Confidentiality, sharing information and GDPR
Appendix 1 Recognising signs of child abuse
Appendix 2 Sexual Abuse & Sexual Harassment
Appendix 3 Exploitation (including child sex exploitation, child criminal exploitation and county lines
Appendix 4 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Appendix 5 Domestic Abuse
Appendix 6 Indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation
Appendix 7 Record Keeping: Best practice for DSL
Appendix 8 Level of training
Appendix 9 Concern Form, Contact Monitoring Form, Safeguarding Overview
This is the Child Protection Policy for Treads Young People’s Advice & Information Centre.
How we create a culture in which all young people are safeguarded
At Treads we are committed to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people. Our Safeguarding Policy has been created to ensure that all of our children are safe and free from harm. To achieve our commitment, we constantly ensure continuous development and improvement of robust safeguarding processes and procedures that promote a culture of safeguarding amongst our staff and volunteers. We are committed to providing advice, information, guidance, support and safeguarding young people who attend Treads:
•Enabling them to become confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; •Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution, both socially and economically, to society.
We are committed to ensuring that support is offered to any child/young person who has been abused or harmed. We also make every effort to make sure that this support reflects the individual child’s/young person’s language, religious beliefs and any disability / difficulty they may have.
How we work with parents to ensure that all children are safe
At Treads we adopt a positive, proactive attitude towards the advice, information, guidance and support provided. Treads works closely with the children, young people, parents, carers and community, (including relevant community groups), for a fuller, working understanding of any issues.
How we work with staff to ensure that this policy is followed
Training is given every two years for Treads youth workers for child protection. As part of their induction to Treads, all staff and volunteers are given training in child protection matters.
- They are made aware of procedures relating to child protection in terms of their own actions and the need to pass information on to appropriate staff
- If a member of staff or volunteer suspects that a child is a victim of abuse or a child discloses that he/she is being abused, information must be passed without delay to the Designated Safeguarding Lead who has a legal procedure to follow in all cases of disclosed or suspected abuse.
- We take our responsibility for the care and welfare of our beneficiaries as a matter of the highest importance.
- We pride ourselves on being a cohesive charity, respectful and supportive of each other. There is an emphasis on the importance of care: for ourselves, each other, our community and our environment.
- Treads youth worker’s and volunteer staff at are committed to ensuring that our beneficiaries are provided with a consistently safe and supportive environment when they attend Treads workshops, events or premises.
- Reading this policy annually
- Staff induction and refresher training
- Regular safeguarding briefings in professional development meetings
• This policy is based on the legal and statutory definitions of a child (defined as being up to 18 years old).
• The organisation will safeguard the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk, within the work we do by protecting them from neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
• All young people, regardless of age, culture, any disability they may have, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief, gender reassignment or sexual identity have the right to protection from any kind of abuse.
• All young people have the right to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.
• Young people have the right to expect appropriate support in accordance with their personal and social development.
• Working in partnership with young people, their parent(s)/carers and other agencies is essential for the protection of young people.
• Safeguarding children and young people is the responsibility of everyone within the organisation, regardless of their role.
• A timely and appropriate response will be given to all suspicions or allegations of abuse, or poor practice.
• It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Leadership Team and any external agencies involved to uphold safeguarding criteria thresholds.
• The sharing of confidential information is restricted to the necessary external agencies.
• All personal information about children & young people is shared and stored appropriately in accordance with the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act and Information Sharing Protocols
Treads recognises their statutory responsibility to ensure the welfare of young people and work with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (LSCP) to comply with its safeguarding procedures.
Treads Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy shall be adopted by the following:
• Treads and its staff, associates, volunteers, young people and trustees
• All other bodies working in partnership with Treads
Treads Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy should be monitored annually, and a full policy review to occur bi-annually. The following situations may also trigger a review of the policy
• Any changes in legislation
• Any changes in youth governance
• The result of a significant case
Throughout this document, ‘child’ refers to a young person under the age of 18. We take seriously our duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in our care. Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018, HM Government statutory guidance, defines safeguarding as:
· Protecting children from maltreatment;
· Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
· Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
· taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Treads recognises its obligations as a ‘Young People’s Advice & Information Centre’ to:
Reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
• A clear line of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
• A senior board level lead to take leadership responsibility for the organisation’s safeguarding arrangements.
• A culture of listening to children and young people, taking account of their wishes and feelings, both in individual decisions and the development of services.
• Arrangements which set out clearly the processes for sharing information, with other professionals and with the Local Authority
• A designated professional lead for safeguarding
• Safe recruitment practices for individuals whom the organisation will permit to work regularly with children, including policies on when to obtain a criminal record check.
• Appropriate supervision and support for staff, including undertaking regular and frequent safeguarding training.
• Treads are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role.
• Staff should be given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare.
• All professionals should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time.
• Clear policies in line with for dealing with allegations against people who work with children.
Therefore, Treads will:
· Appoint a senior member of staff as the professional lead for Safeguarding, with responsibility to oversee the implementation and management of this policy.
· Appoint a Board Director with the responsibility of overseeing of all safeguarding arrangements within Treads
· Review our safeguarding policy on an annual basis and to amend this policy according to new Government guidelines
· Ensure all staff undergo annual training to maintain their understanding and recognition of the importance of safeguarding.
· Ensure this child protection policy in place together with a staff behaviour policy (code of conduct).
Both will be provided to all staff – including temporary staff and volunteers – on induction;
· Prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check staff who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required; and ensuring volunteers are appropriately supervised;
· Review training provision to ensure that appropriate training is in place so that staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role
Treads shall report to the Professional Lead for Safeguarding, or if necessary, the Appointed Board Director immediately following any actions taken under the delegated responsibilities above. Treads Trustees are accountable for ensuring that Treads meets its statutory responsibilities for safeguarding and that all policies and procedures are in place and effective.
All children and young people have the right to be safeguarded from harm or exploitation whatever their:
· health or disability
· gender or sexual orientation
· race, religion, belief or first language
· political or immigration status
Treads staff and regular volunteers at Treads understand the importance of taking appropriate action and working in partnership with children, their parents/carers and other agencies in order to safeguard children and promote their welfare.
The purpose of this policy is to:
· afford protection for all beneficiaries
· enable staff and volunteers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
· promote a culture which makes Treads a safe place to find advice, information and support.
This policy applies to all staff and volunteers or anyone working on behalf of the Treads.
We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:
· Always acting in their best interests;
· Valuing them, listening to and respecting them;
· Involving them in decisions which affect them;
· Never tolerating bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism or any other forms of discrimination, including through use of technology;
We will appointing a senior member of staff as the Designated Safeguarding Lead and ensuring this person has the time, funding, training, resources and support to perform the role effectively;
· Ensuring that staff working with Looked After Children have information appropriate to their role regarding, for example, the child’s care arrangements, legal status and contact with birth parents;
· Making sure all staff and volunteers are aware of and committed to the safeguarding policy and child protection procedures and also understand their individual responsibility to take action;
· Ensuring that all those appointed as a Designated Safeguarding Lead have training appropriate to their role.
· Identifying any concerns early and providing appropriate help to prevent them from escalating, including working with parents / carers and other agencies as appropriate
· Sharing information about child safeguarding concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving children and their parents/carers appropriately;
· Acknowledging and actively promoting that multi-agency working is the best way to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm;
· Taking the right action, in accordance with Dorset LA inter-agency safeguarding procedures, if a child discloses or there are indicators of abuse;
· Keeping clear, accurate and contemporaneous safeguarding and child protection records;
· Recruiting staff and volunteers (including host families) safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made in accordance with statutory guidance and legal requirements.
· Providing effective management for the above through induction, support and regular training appropriate to role;
· Ensuring staff and volunteers understand about ‘whistle blowing’ and how to escalate concerns about beneficiaries if they think the right action has not been taken to safeguard children;
· Promoting a culture in which staff feel able to report to Trustee’s what they consider to be unacceptable behaviour or breaches of Treads Code of Conduct by their colleagues, having faith that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken;
· Dealing appropriately with any allegations/concerns about the behaviour of staff or volunteers in accordance with the process set out in statutory guidance.
Treads recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all beneficiaries. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children and young people are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children and young people receive effective support, protection and justice. Child protection forms part of Tread’s safeguarding responsibilities. The Child Protection and Safeguarding policy underpins and guides Treads procedures and protocols to ensure its beneficiaries and staff are safe. All staff at Treads have an individual responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by taking appropriate action. This includes taking action where there are child protection concerns.
This policy provides the necessary contact details for Treads below and they should always be contacted in the first instance.
· Designated Safeguarding Lead – Libby Lloyd telephone 07766224165, email email@example.com
This is the person who takes lead responsibility for safeguarding. Any concerns about children should be discussed with / reported to the DSL who will decide what action to take including referring to Children’s Social Care or Police as appropriate. In addition, the Dorset Family Support Teams or the Dorset MASH team can provide advice and guidance on safeguarding and child protection matters (hereafter referred to as ‘Social Care’).
Dorset MASH team phone number for the public; 01305228866
Dorset MASH team phone number for professionals 01305228558
Dorset Family Support Teams (Children’s Advice & Duty Service) phone number 013055228866
· Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)– published by HM Government
· Inter-Agency Safeguarding Procedures & Guidance, accessed through the following websites: http://www.swcpp.org.uk https://www.dorsetlscb.co.uk http://www.wiltshirelscb.org
· What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Government Guidance (2015)
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
· protecting children from maltreatment;
· preventing impairment of children's mental and physical health or development;
· ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
· taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Child Protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of Treads, full or part time, temporary or permanent, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. Child includes everyone under the age of 18. Parents refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents and LA corporate parents.
- Safeguarding legislation and guidance.
- The following safeguarding legislation and guidance has been considered when drafting this policy:
- · The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- · Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2018
- · Information Sharing 2018
- · What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused Government Guidance 2015
- Policy Principles
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- · All children regardless of age, gender, culture, language, race, ability, sexual identity or religion have equal rights to protection, safeguarding and opportunities.
- · We recognise that all adults, including temporary staff, volunteers and governors, have a full and active part to play in protecting Treads beneficiaries from harm and have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm.
- · All staff believe that Treads provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical, mental wellbeing and moral development of the individual child. · Beneficiaries and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support and supervision.
- Policy Aims
- · Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside of Treads and/or can occur between children outside the Treads. All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) should be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, which simply means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.
- · To demonstrate Treads commitment with regard to safeguarding and child protection to beneficiaries, parents and other partners.
- · To provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, and feel confident to, and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties, believing they will be effectively listened to.
- · To raise the awareness of all Treads staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
- · To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff.
- · To develop a structured procedure within Treads which will be followed by all members of Treads in cases of suspected abuse.
- · To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the Police and Children’s Social Care.
- · To ensure that all staff working within Treads who have substantial access to children have been checked as to their suitability, including verification of their identity, qualifications, and a satisfactory DBS check (according to guidance), and a single central record is kept for audit.
- Values Supporting Children.
- · Treads recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses’ violence may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame themselves, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth.
- · Treads recognise that we may provide the only stability in the lives of children and young people who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.
- · Treads accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child and young people in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn as well as exhibiting signs of mental health problems.
- · Treads understand the impact on a child’s and young people’s mental health, behaviour and education when experiencing difficulties, abuse and/or neglect.
Treads will support all children and young people by:
· encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness, through our relationships, whilst not condoning aggression or bullying;
· promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within Treads;
· responding sympathetically to any requests for time out to deal with distress and anxiety;
· offering details of helplines, counselling or other avenues of external support;
· liaising and working together with all other settings, support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children;
· notifying Children’s Social Care as soon as there is a significant concern;
· Establish and maintain an ethos where children and young people feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are always listened to;
· include regular consultation with children and young people e.g. through safety questionnaires, participation in our relevant workshops, asking children to report whether they have had happy/sad, follow up wellbeing phone calls
· ensure that all children and young people know there are adults in Treads whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty;
· include safeguarding in our workshops and offer opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help.
We will ensure that;
· all staff and volunteers read our safeguarding policy and sign to say they read and understood it;
· all staff receive information about the Treads safeguarding arrangements, staff behaviour policy (code of conduct), child protection and safeguarding policy, the role and names of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and sign to say they have read, understood and will abide by it;
· all staff receive safeguarding and child protection information at induction;
· all staff receive safeguarding and child protection training
· the Child Protection and Safeguarding policy is made available to parents/carers and outside agencies
· Our lettings policy will seek to ensure the suitability of adults working with children on Treads site at any time, for example, by having evidence of DBS checks having been undertaken;
· The name of the designated members of staff for child protection, the Designated Safeguarding Lead are clearly advertised at Treads with a statement explaining Treads role in referring and monitoring cases of suspected abuse;
· All Treads Trustees understand and fulfil their responsibilities, namely to ensure that there is a Child Protection and Safeguarding policy together with a staff behaviour policy (code of conduct).
· Child protection, safeguarding, recruitment and managing allegations policies and procedures, including the staff behaviour policy (code of conduct), are consistent with local and national statutory requirements, are reviewed annually and that the Child Protection and Safeguarding policy is publically available
· Ensures that all staff including temporary staff and volunteers are provided with the school’s Child Protection and Safeguarding policy and staff Code of Conduct.
· Treads operates a safer recruitment procedure that includes statutory checks on staff suitability to work with children and disqualification by association regulations.
· Treads has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff, Trustees, volunteers and against other children and that a referral is made to the DBS if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns, or would have had they not resigned.
· A Trustee, usually the Chair, is nominated to liaise with the LA and the Trust on Child Protection issues and in the event of an allegation of abuse made against Treads staff.
· A member of Treads team has been appointed as the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) by the Trustees who will take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection and that the role is explicit in the role holder’s job description.
· On appointment, the DSL undertake appropriate Level 3 identified training every two years.
· All other staff have safeguarding training updated as appropriate; but at least annually.
· Enhanced DBS checks are in place for all Staff, Trustee’s and Volunteers.
· Any weaknesses in Child Protection are remedied immediately.
Treads will ensure that:
· the Child Protection and Safeguarding policy and procedures are implemented and followed by all staff, Trustee’s and volunteers;
· sufficient time, training, support, resources, including cover arrangements where necessary, is allocated to the DSL to carry out their roles effectively;
· where there is a safeguarding concern that the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide;
· systems are in place for children to express their views and give feedback which operate with the best interest of the child at heart;
· all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the whistle-blowing procedures;
· that beneficiaries are provided with opportunities to learn about safeguarding, including keeping themselves safe online;
· they liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), before taking any action and on an ongoing basis, where an allegation is made against a member of staff, supply staff or volunteer; and · anyone who has harmed or may pose a risk to a child is referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead:
· holds ultimate responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) for those attending Treads
· acts as a source of support and expertise in carrying out safeguarding duties for Treads
· will have the necessary knowledge and understanding to recognise possible children and young people at risk of contextual and/or familial abuse or exploitation;
· encourages a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings;
· appropriately trained with updates every two years and will refresh their knowledge and skills at regular intervals but at least annually;
· will refer a child if there are concerns about possible abuse, to the Children Social Care, and act as a focal point for staff to discuss concerns. Enquiries must be followed up in writing, if referred by telephone;
· will keep detailed, accurate records, either written or using appropriate online software, of all concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral;
· will ensure that all such records are kept confidential, stored securely until the child’s 25th birthday;
· will liaise with the Local Authority, its safeguarding partners and work with other agencies and professionals in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children;
· will organise child protection and safeguarding induction, regularly updated training and a minimum of annual updates (including online safety) for Treads staff;
All Treads Staff:
· understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that they have a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action;
· consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child;
· will be aware of the indicators of abuse and neglect both familial and contextual; and recognise that contextual harm can take a variety of different forms;
· know how to respond to a beneficiary who discloses abuse through delivery of ‘Working together to Safeguard Children’, and ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’;
· will refer any safeguarding or child protection concerns to the DSL or if necessary, where the child is at immediate risk to the police;
· Treads recognises that in order to effectively meet a child’s needs, safeguard their welfare and protect them from harm Treads must contribute to inter-agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and share information between professionals and agencies where there are concerns.
· All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and that the Data Protection Act 20185 is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would place a child at risk of harm.
· All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.
· However, we also recognise that all matters relating to child protection are personal to children and families. Therefore, in this respect they are confidential and Treads DSL will only disclose information about a child to other members of staff on a need-to-know basis.
· We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Social Care with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation.
- Child Protection Procedures
· 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 the family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. They may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
Abuse and Neglect may also take place outside of the home, contextual safeguarding, and this may include (but not limited to), sexual exploitation criminal exploitation, serious youth violence, radicalisation.
· Any child that comes into Treads could be a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “It could happen here”.
· There are also a number of specific safeguarding concerns that we recognise our beneficiaries may experience;
· child missing from education
· child missing from home or care
· child sexual exploitation (CSE)
· bullying including cyberbullying
· domestic abuse · drugs
· fabricated or induced illness
· faith abuse
· female genital mutilation (FGM)
· forced marriage
· gangs and youth violence
· gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
· mental health · private fostering
· youth produced sexual imagery (sexting)
· teenage relationship abuse
· peer on peer abuse
· serious violence
Staff are aware that behaviours linked to drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger and that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer-on-peer abuse. We also recognise that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are complex and are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. Staff are aware that in most cases multiple issues will overlap one another.
If staff are concerned about a child’s welfare
· If staff notice any indicators of abuse/neglect or signs that a child may be experiencing a safeguarding issue they should record these concerns on the appropriate form and pass it to the DSL. They may also discuss their concerns in person with the DSL but the details of the concern should be recorded in writing.
· There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a beneficiary may be at risk, but have no ‘real’ evidence. The beneficiary’s behaviour may have changed and be suffering from confusion or distress, or physical or inconclusive signs may have been noticed
Treads recognises that the signs may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. However, they may also indicate a child is being abused or is in need of safeguarding.
· In these circumstances staff will try to give the child the opportunity to talk. It is fine for staff to ask the beneficiary if they are OK or if they can help in any way.
· Following an initial conversation with the beneficiary, if the member of staff remains concerned, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL and put them in writing.
· If the beneficiary does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below regarding a beneficiary making a disclosure.
If a beneficiary discloses to a member of staff
· We recognise that it takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, guilty or scared, their abuser may have threatened that something will happen if they tell, they may have lost all trust in adults or believe that was has happened is their fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abuse.
· A child who makes a disclosure may have to tell their story on a number of subsequent occasions to the police and/or social workers. Therefore, it is vital that their first experience of talking to a trusted adult is a positive one.
During their conversation with the pupil staff will:
· listen to what the child has to say and allow them to speak freely;
· remain calm and not overact or act shocked or disgusted – the beneficiary may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting the listener;
· reassure the child that it is not their fault and that they have done the right thing in telling someone;
· not be afraid of silences – staff must remember how difficult it is for the beneficiary and allow them time to talk;
· take what the child is disclosing seriously;
· ask open questions and avoid asking leading questions;
· avoid jumping to conclusions, speculation or make accusations;
· not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who is being abused;
· avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing sooner. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about it when it started’ may be the staff member’s way of being supportive but may be interpreted by the child to mean they have done something wrong; and
· tell the child what will happen next. If a beneficiary talks to any member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing the staff member will let the child know that they will have to pass the information on – staff are not allowed to keep secrets. The member of staff should write up their conversation as soon as possible on the Expression of Concern form in the child’s own words. Staff should make this a matter of priority. The record should be signed and dated, the member of staff’s name should be printed and it should also detail where the disclosure was made and who else was present. The record should be handed to the DSL. Notifying Parents
Treads will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a beneficiary with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and normally the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure. However, if Treads believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from Children’s Social Care. Where there are concerns about forced marriage or honour-based abuse parents should not be informed a referral is being made as to do so may place the child at a significantly increased risk. In some circumstances it would be appropriate to contact the police.
Making a referral
· Concerns about a child or a disclosure should be immediately raised with the DSL who will help decide whether a referral or other support is appropriate in accordance with local requirements.
· If a referral is needed, then the DSL should make this rapidly and there are systems in place to enable this to happen. However, anyone can make a referral and if for any reason a staff member thinks a referral is appropriate and one hasn’t been made, they can and should consider making a referral themselves.
· The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.
· If after a referral the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the designated safeguarding lead (or the person that made the referral) should press for re-consideration to ensure their concerns have been addressed, and most importantly the child’s situation improves.
· If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately. Anybody can make a referral. Supporting our Staff
· We recognise that staff working in the school 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.
· We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSLs and to seek further support as appropriate.
- Children who are particularly vulnerable
Treads recognises that some children are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect and that additional barriers exist when recognising abuse for some children. We understand that this increase in risk is due more to societal attitudes and assumptions or child protection procedures which fail to acknowledge children’s diverse circumstances, rather than the individual child’s personality, impairment or circumstances. In some cases, possible indicators of abuse such as a child’s mood, behaviour or injury might be assumed to relate to the child’s impairment or disability rather than giving a cause for concern. Or a focus may be on the child’s disability, special educational needs or situation without consideration of the full picture. In other cases, such as bullying, the child may be disproportionately impacted by the behaviour without outwardly showing any signs that they are experiencing it. Some children may also find it harder to disclose abuse due to communication barriers, lack of access to a trusted adult or not being aware that what they are experiencing is abuse. Any child may benefit from Early Help, but Treads should be particularly alert to the potential need for Early Help for a child who:
· is disabled and has specific additional needs;
· has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan);
· is a young carer;
· is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
· is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
· is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
· is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
· is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse;
· has returned home to their family from care;
· is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect; 14.
· is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
· is a privately fostered child;
· has an imprisoned parent;
· is experiencing mental health, wellbeing difficulties.
- Radicalisation and Extremism
The Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015) under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on education and other children’s services to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Extremism is defined as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas. Some children are at risk of being radicalised; adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous. Treads is clear that exploitation of vulnerable children and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern and will be reported to the police. Treads seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements. Treads receive training to help identify early signs of radicalisation and extremism. Treads Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will assess the level of risk within Treads and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include, the use of Treads premises by external agencies. When any member of staff has concerns that a beneficiary may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the DSL. They should then follow normal safeguarding procedures. If the matter is urgent then the Police must be contacted by dialling 999. In non-urgent cases where police advice is sought then dial 101. The Department of Education has also set up a dedicated telephone helpline for staff and governors to raise concerns around Prevent (020 7340 7264).
10. Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse represents one quarter of all violent crime. It is actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. It involves the use of power and control by one person over another. It occurs regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, age, and religion, mental or physical ability. Domestic abuse can also involve other types of abuse. 6 The Prevent duty 7 Promoting Fundamental British Value
We use the term domestic abuse to reflect that a number of abusive and controlling behaviours are involved beyond violence. Slapping, punching, kicking, bruising, rape, ridicule, constant criticism, threats, manipulation, sleep deprivation, social isolation, and other controlling behaviours all count as abuse. Living in a home where domestic abuse takes place is harmful to children and can have a serious impact on their behaviour, wellbeing and understanding of healthy, positive relationships. Children who witness domestic abuse are at risk of significant harm and staff are alert to the signs and symptoms of a child suffering or witnessing domestic abuse.
11 .Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity.
This power imbalance could be due to age, gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and /or access to economic or other resources. The abuse could be linked to an exchange for something the victim perceives that they need or want and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage (such as increase status) of the perpetrator or facilitator. The abuse can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. It may involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence. Victims can be exploited even when the activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online. Any concerns that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually or criminally exploited should be passed without delay to the DSL. On all occasions when there is a concern that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually or criminally exploited or where indicators have been observed that are consistent with a child who is being or who is at risk of being sexually or criminally exploited, the DSL must be informed. In all cases if assessments identify any level of concern the DSL should contact their local MACE (Missing & Child Exploitation). If a child is in immediate danger the police should be called on 999. Treads is aware that a child often is not able to recognise the coercive nature of the abuse and does not see themselves as a victim. As a consequence, the child may resent what they perceive as interference by staff. However, staff must act on their concerns as they would for any other type of abuse.
12. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act (2003). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. A mandatory reporting duty requires Treads staff to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s, which are identified in the course of their professional work, to the police. The duty applies to all staff, Trustees or volunteers who are employed or engaged to carry out ‘youth work’ in Treads. The duty applies to the individual who becomes aware of the case to make a report. It should not be transferred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, however the DSL should be informed. If a member of Treads staff are informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her or a Treads staff member observes physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth, the staff member should personally make a report to the police force in which the girl resides by calling 101. The report should be made by the close of the next working day. Staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female beneficiaries about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period. There should also be consideration of potential risk to other girls in the family and practicing community. Where there is a risk to life or likelihood of serious immediate harm Treads staff should report the case immediately to the police, including dialling 999 if appropriate. There are no circumstances in which a member of Treads staff, Trustees or volunteers should examine a girl.
13. Forced Marriage
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities cannot) consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.
Forced marriage is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. Since June 2014 forcing someone to marry has become a criminal offence in England and Wales under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage which is common in several cultures. The families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses. Treads staff should never attempt to intervene directly or through a third party. Contact should be made with Children’s Social Care.
FGM Procedural Information – Government Website
14. Honour-based Abuse/Violence
Honour based abuse/violence (HBV) can be described as a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such abuse can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code. Honour based abuse might be committed against people who;
· become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion;
· want to get out of an arranged marriage;
· want to get out of a forced marriage;
· wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture. It is a violation of human rights and may be a form of domestic and/or sexual abuse. There is no, and cannot be, honour or justification for abusing the human rights of others.
15. One Chance Rule
All staff are aware of the ‘One Chance’ Rule’ in relation to forced marriage, FGM and HBV. Staff recognise they may only have ‘one chance’ to speak to a beneficiary who is a potential victim and have just one chance to save a life. Treads are aware that if the victim is not offered support following disclosure that the ‘One Chance’ opportunity may be lost. Therefore, all staff are aware of their responsibilities and obligations when they become aware of potential forced marriage, FGM and HBV cases.
16. Mental Health
Staff will be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child and young person has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Whilst Treads recognise that only appropriately trained professionals can diagnose mental health problems; staff are able to make observations of children and young people, identify such behaviour that may suggest they are experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.
How traumatic ACE’s and experiences of abuse and neglect can impact on a child’s mental health, behaviour through to adolescence and adulthood will be covered in safeguarding awareness training and updates. If staff have a mental health concern about a child or young person that is also a safeguarding concern, they will share this with the DSL.
17. Private Fostering Arrangements
A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16 or 18 if the child is disabled. Children looked after by the local authority or who are placed in residential schools, children’s homes or hospitals are not considered to be privately fostered. Private fostering occurs in all cultures, including British culture and children may be privately fostered at any age.
Treads recognises that most privately fostered children remain safe and well but are aware that safeguarding concerns have been raised in some cases. Therefore, all staff are alert to possible safeguarding issues, including the possibility that the child has been trafficked into the country. By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children’s services as soon as possible. However, where a member of staff becomes aware that a beneficiary may be in a private fostering arrangement, they will raise this will the DSL and the DSL will notify Children’s Social Care of the circumstances.
18. Looked after children and previously looked after children
The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and neglect. Treads ensures that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after/previously looked after children safe. Appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements, including the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility. The DSL have details of the child’s social worker and the name and contact details of the Local Authority virtual school head for children in care.
19. Online Safety
Our beneficiaries under 18 increasingly use electronic equipment on a daily basis to access the internet and share content and images via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and ooVoo. Unfortunately, some adults and other children use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts or emails, to grooming and enticing children to engage in sexual behaviour such as webcam photography or face-to-face meetings. Beneficiaries may also be distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate material such as pornographic websites or those which promote extremist behaviour, criminal activity, suicide or eating disorders. Treads will provide advice to the beneficiaries and their parents/guardians on how best to safeguard themselves when online.
20. Child on Child sexual violence and sexual harassment
The DSL, Trustees, all staff and volunteers will take due regard to Section 5, KCSiE 2020 . In most instances, the conduct of beneficiaries towards each other will be covered by our behaviour policy. However, some allegations may be of such a serious nature that they may raise safeguarding concerns. Treads recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers. It will not be passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. The forms of peer on peer abuse are outlined below.
· Domestic abuse – an incident or pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, financial and/or emotional abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner regardless of gender or sexuality.
· Child Sexual Exploitation – children under the age of 18 may be sexually abused in the context of exploitative relationships, contexts and situations by peers who are also under 18.
· Harmful Sexual Behaviour – Children and young people presenting with sexual behaviours that are outside of developmentally ‘normative’ parameters and harmful to themselves and others.
· Upskirting – which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
· Serious Youth Violence – Any offence of most serious violence or weapon enabled crime, where the victim is aged 1-19 i.e. murder, manslaughter, rape, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm. ‘Youth violence’ is defined in the same way, but also includes assault with injury offences. All staff will receive training so that they are aware of indicators which may signal that children are at risk from, or involved with, serious violence and crime. The term peer-on-peer abuse can refer to all of these definitions and a child may experience one or multiple facets of abuse at any one time. Therefore, our response will cut across these definitions and capture the complex web of their experiences. There are also different gender issues that can be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse (i.e. girls being sexually touched/assaulted, or boys being subjected to initiation/hazing type violence). Treads aims to reduce the likelihood of peer on peer abuse through; · the established ethos of respect, friendship, courtesy and kindness;
· high expectations of behaviour;
· clear consequences for unacceptable behaviour;
· systems for any beneficary to raise concerns with staff, knowing that they will be listened to, valued and believed;
Research indicates that young people rarely disclose peer on peer abuse and that if they do, it is likely to be to their friends. Therefore, Treads will also educate beneficiaries in how to support their friends if they are concerned about them, that they should talk to a trusted adult in the school or at Treads and what services they can contact for further advice. Any concerns, disclosures or allegations of peer on peer abuse in any form should be referred to the DSL. Where a concern regarding peer on peer abuse has been disclosed to the DSL, advice and guidance will be sought from Children’s Social Care and where it is clear a crime has been committed or there is a risk of crime being committed the Police will be contacted. Working with external agencies Treads will respond to the unacceptable behaviour.
If a beneficiaries’ behaviour negatively impacts on the safety and welfare of others then safeguards will be put in place to promote the well-being of the other beneficiaries affected and the victim and perpetrator will be provided with support.
21. Youth produced sexual imagery (sexting)
The practice of children sharing images and videos via text message, email, social media or mobile messaging apps has become commonplace. However, this online technology has also given children the opportunity to produce and distribute sexual imagery in the form of photos and videos. Such imagery involving anyone under the age of 18 is illegal. Youth produced sexual imagery refers to both images and videos where;
· A person under the age of 18 creates and shares sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18.
· A person under the age of 18 shares sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult.
· A person under the age if 18 is in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18.
All incidents of this nature should be treated as a safeguarding concern and will be reported to the DSL and CEOP’s
Cases where sexual imagery of people under 18 has been shared by adults and where sexual imagery of a person of any age has been shared by an adult to a child is child sexual abuse and should be responded to accordingly. If a member of staff becomes aware of an incident involving youth(under 18 years) produced sexual imagery, they should follow the child protection procedures and refer to the DSL immediately. The DSL will report the incident to the police. Parents/guardians should be informed at an early stage and involved in the reporting process unless there is reason to believe that involving parents would put the child at risk of harm. At any point in the process if there is concern a young person has been harmed or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care (CSC) or the Police as appropriate. Immediate referral at the initial review stage should be made to CSC/Police if;
· The incident involves an adult;
· There is good reason to believe that a young person has been coerced, blackmailed or groomed or if there are concerns about their capacity to consent (for example, owing to special education needs);
· What you know about the imagery suggests the content depicts sexual acts which are unusual for the child’s development stage or are violent;
· The imagery involves sexual acts;
· The imagery involves anyone aged 12 or under;
· There is reason to believe a child is at immediate risk of harm owing to the sharing of the imagery, for example the child is presenting as suicidal or self-harming. If none of the above apply then the DSL will use their professional judgement to assess the risk to the beneficiary involved and may decide, to respond to the incident without escalation to CSC or the police. Such decisions will be recorded. 20.
In applying judgement the DSL will consider if;
· there is a significant age difference between the sender/receiver;
· there is any coercion or encouragement beyond the sender/receiver;
· the imagery was shared and received with the knowledge of the child in the imagery;
· the child is more vulnerable than usual i.e. at risk;
· there is a significant impact on the children involved;
· the image is of a severe or extreme nature;
· the child involved understands consent;
· the situation is isolated or if the image been more widely distributed;
· there other circumstances relating to either the sender or recipient that may add cause for concern i.e. difficult home circumstances;
· the children have been involved in incidents relating to youth produced imagery before.
If any of these circumstances are present the situation will be escalated according to our child protection procedures, including reporting to the police or CSC. Otherwise, the situation will be managed within Treads and the beneficiary’s school will be notified. The DSL will record all incidents of youth produced sexual imagery, including both the actions taken, actions not taken, reasons for doing so and the resolution in line with safeguarding recording procedures.
22. Allegations against staff
All Treads staff, Trustees and volunteers should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
Guidance about conduct and safe practice, including safe use of mobile phones by staff and volunteers will be given at induction. We understand that a beneficiaries may make an allegation against a member of staff or staff may have concerns about another staff member. If such an allegation is made, or information is received which suggests that a person may be unsuitable to work with children, the member of staff receiving the allegation or aware of the information, will immediately inform the DSL . The DSL on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Treads Trustees and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) at the earliest opportunity and before taking any further action. Suspension of the member of staff or volunteer against whom an allegation has been made, needs careful consideration, and the DSL will seek the advice of the Trustees and LADO in making this decision.
We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.
All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the attitude or actions of colleagues, poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in Treads safeguarding arrangements.
If it becomes necessary to consult outside Treads they should speak in the first instance, to the LADO following the Whistleblowing Policy. The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
24. Physical Intervention
We acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, when a child is endangering him/herself or others, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person. Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness. Staff who are likely to need to use physical intervention will be appropriately trained. We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures. We recognise that touch is appropriate in the context of working with children, and all staff have been given ‘Safe Practice’ guidance to ensure they are clear about their professional boundaries.
25. Confidentiality, sharing information and GDPR
All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the pupil and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence. Treads staff should be proactive in sharing as early as possible to help identify, assess and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children, whether this is when problems are first emerging, or where a child is already known to local authority children’s social care. Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSL, or Trustees (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. However, any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child. Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 15 and HM Government Information Sharing and Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers, July 2018. Information sharing is guided by the following principles:
· necessary and proportionate
· relevant · adequate · accurate
· timely 15 The UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) is supplementary to the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (the GDPR) and replaces DPA 1998
Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.
Recognising signs of child abuse
Categories of Abuse:
· Physical Abuse
· Emotional Abuse (including Domestic Abuse)
· Sexual Abuse (including child sexual exploitation)
Signs of Abuse in Children:
The following non-specific signs may indicate something is wrong:
· Significant change in behaviour
· Extreme anger or sadness
· Aggressive and attention-needing behaviour
· Suspicious bruises with unsatisfactory explanations
· Lack of self-esteem
· Depression and/or anxiousness
· Age inappropriate sexual behaviour
· Child Sexual Exploitation
· Substance abuse
· Mental health problems
· Poor attendance
The factors described in this section are frequently found in cases of child abuse. Their presence is not proof that abuse has occurred, but:
· Must be regarded as indicators of the possibility of significant harm
· Justifies the need for careful assessment and discussion with designated / named / lead person, manager, (or in the absence of all those individuals, an experienced colleague)
· May require consultation with and / or referral to Children’s Services The absence of such indicators does not mean that abuse or neglect has not occurred.
In an abusive relationship the child may:
· Appear frightened of the parent/s
· Act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development (though full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups)
The parent or carer may:
· Persistently avoid child health promotion services and treatment of the child’s episodic illnesses
· Have unrealistic expectations of the child
· Frequently complain about/to the child and may fail to provide attention or praise (high criticism/low warmth environment)
· Be absent or misusing substances
· Persistently refuse to allow access on home visits
· Be involved in domestic abuse
Staff should be aware of the potential risk to children when individuals, previously known or suspected to have abused children, move into the household. Recognising Physical Abuse The following are often regarded as indicators of concern:
· An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
· Several different explanations provided for an injury
· Unexplained delay in seeking treatment
· The parents/carers are uninterested or undisturbed by an accident or injury
· Parents are absent without good reason when their child is presented for treatment
· Repeated presentation of minor injuries (which may represent a “cry for help” and if ignored could lead to a more serious injury)
· Family use of different doctors and A&E departments · Reluctance to give information or mention previous injuries Bruising
Children can have accidental bruising, but the following must be considered as non-accidental unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided:
· Bruising in or around the mouth
· Two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead, (rarely accidental, though a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive)
· Repeated or multiple bruising on the head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally
· Variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times
· The outline of an object used e.g. belt marks, hand prints or a hair brush
· Bruising or tears around, or behind, the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting
· Bruising around the face
· Grasp marks on small children
· Bruising on the arms, buttocks and thighs may be an indicator of sexual abuse Bite Marks Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth. Human bite marks are oval or crescent shaped. Those over 3 cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child. A medical opinion should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.
Burns and Scalds
It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds, and will always require experienced medical opinion. Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g.:
· Circular burns from cigarettes (but may be friction burns if along the bony protuberance of the spine)
· Linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements
· Burns of uniform depth over a large area
· Scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid (a child getting into hot water is his/her own accord will struggle to get out and cause splash marks)
· Old scars indicating previous burns/scalds which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.
Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint. Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures. There are grounds for concern if:
· The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent with the fracture type
· There are associated old fractures
Medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement
· There is an unexplained fracture in the first year of life Scars A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, may suggest abuse.
Recognising Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical. The manifestations of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse. The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse. The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:
· Developmental delay
· Abnormal attachment between a child and parent/carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or not attachment
· Indiscriminate attachment or failure to attach
· Aggressive behaviour towards others
· Scapegoated within the family
· Frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
· Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
· Withdrawn or seen as a “loner” – difficulty relating to others
Recognising Signs of Sexual Abuse Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear. This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child/family. Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional/behavioural. Some behavioural indicators associated with this form of abuse are:
· Inappropriate sexualised conduct
· Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child’s age
· Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation
· Self-harm (including eating disorder), self-mutilation and suicide attempts · Involvement in prostitution or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners
· An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes e.g. for sports events (but this may be related to cultural norms or physical difficulties)
Some physical indicators associated with this form of abuse are:
· Pain or itching of genital area
· Blood on underclothes
· Pregnancy in a younger girl where the identity of the father is not disclosed
· Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen on vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing.
Recognising Neglect Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting. Indicators include:
· Failure by parents or carers to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical care
· A child seen to be listless, apathetic and irresponsive with no apparent medical cause
· Failure of child to grow within normal expected pattern, with accompanying weight loss
· Child thrives away from home environment
· Child frequently absent from school
· Child left with adults who are intoxicated or violent
· Child abandoned or left alone for excessive periods
Sexual Abuse & Sexual Harassment The boundary between what is abusive and what is part of normal childhood or youthful experimentation can be blurred. The determination of whether behaviour is developmental, inappropriate or abusive will hinge around the related concepts of true consent, power imbalance and exploitation. This may include children and young people who exhibit a range of sexually problematic behaviour such as indecent exposure, obscene telephone calls, fetishism, bestiality and sexual abuse against adults, peers or children. Staff should be vigilant to:
· bullying (including cyberbullying)
· physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm · sexual violence and sexual harassment
· sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery)
· initiation/hazing type violence and rituals
Developmental Sexual Activity Encompasses those actions that are to be expected from children and young people as they move from infancy through to an adult understanding of their physical, emotional and behavioural relationships with each other. Such sexual activity is essentially information gathering and experience testing. It is characterised by mutuality and of the seeking of consent. Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour Can be inappropriate socially, in appropriate to development, or both. In considering whether behaviour fits into this category, it is important to consider what negative effects it has on any of the parties involved and what concerns it raises about a child or young person. It should be recognised that some actions may be motivated by information seeking, but still cause significant upset, confusion, worry, physical damage, etc. It may also be that the behaviour is “acting out” which may derive from other sexual situations to which the child or young person has been exposed. If an act appears to have been inappropriate, there may still be a need for some form of behaviour management or intervention. For some children, educative inputs may be enough to address the behaviour.
Abusive sexual activity included any behaviour involving coercion, threats, aggression together with secrecy, or where one participant relies on an unequal power base. In order to more fully determine the nature of the incident the following factors should be given consideration.
The presence of exploitation in terms of: Equality – consider differentials of physical, cognitive and emotional development, power and control and authority, passive and assertive tendencies Consent – agreement including all the following:
· Understanding that is proposed based on age, maturity, development level, functioning and experience
· Knowledge of society’s standards for what is being proposed
· Awareness of potential consequences and alternatives
· Assumption that agreements or disagreements will be respected equally
· Voluntary decision
· Mental competence Coercion – the young perpetrator who abuses may use techniques like bribing, manipulation and emotional threats of secondary gains and losses that is loss of love, friendship, etc. Some may use physical force, brutality or the threat of these regardless of victim resistance. In evaluating sexual behaviour of children and young people, the above information
should be used only as a guide. It may also be that the behaviour is “acting out” which may derive from other sexual situations to which the child or young person has been exposed. If an act appears to have been inappropriate, there may still be a need for some form of behaviour management or intervention. For some children, educative inputs may be enough to address the behaviour. Abusive sexual activity included any behaviour involving coercion, threats, aggression together with secrecy, or where one participant relies on an unequal power base. In order to more fully determine the nature of the incident the following factors should be given consideration.
The presence of exploitation in terms of:
Equality – consider differentials of physical, cognitive and emotional development, power and control and authority, passive and assertive tendencies.
Consent – agreement including all the following:
· Understanding that is proposed based on age, maturity, development level, functioning and experience
· Knowledge of society’s standards for what is being proposed
· Awareness of potential consequences and alternatives
· Assumption that agreements or disagreements will be respected equally
· Voluntary decision
· Mental competence Coercion – the young perpetrator who abuses may use techniques like bribing, manipulation and emotional threats of secondary gains and losses that is loss of love, friendship, etc. Some may use physical force, brutality or the threat of these regardless of victim resistance. In evaluating sexual behaviour of children and young people, the above information should be used only as a guide. 27.
Exploitation (including Child Sex Exploitation, Child Criminal Exploitation and County Lines) The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of sexual or criminal exploitation.
· underage sexual activity
· inappropriate sexual or sexualised behaviour
· sexually risky behaviour, 'swapping' sex
· repeat sexually transmitted infections
· in girls, repeat pregnancy, abortions, miscarriage
· receiving unexplained gifts or gifts from unknown sources
· having multiple mobile phones and worrying about losing contact via mobile
· online safety concerns such as youth produced sexual imagery or being coerced into sharing explicit images.
· having unaffordable new things (clothes, mobile) or expensive habits (alcohol, drugs)
· changes in the way they dress
· going to hotels or other unusual locations to meet friends
· seen at known places of concern
· moving around the country, appearing in new towns or cities, not knowing where they are
· getting in/out of different cars driven by unknown adults
· having older boyfriends or girlfriends
· contact with known perpetrators
· involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations
· hanging out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers
· associating with other young people involved in sexual exploitation
· recruiting other young people to exploitative situations
· truancy, exclusion, disengagement with school, opting out of education altogether
· unexplained changes in behaviour or personality (chaotic, aggressive, sexual)
· mood swings, volatile behaviour, emotional distress
· self-harming, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, overdosing, eating disorders
· drug or alcohol misuse
· getting involved in crime
· police involvement, police records
· involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership
· injuries from physical assault, physical restraint, sexual assault.
County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in the exporting of illegal drugs (primarily crack cocaine and heroin) into one or more importing areas (within the UK), using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line.’ Exploitation is an integral part of the county lines offending model with children ad vulnerable adults being exploited to move (and store) drugs and money. The same grooming models used to coerce, intimidate and abuse individuals for sexual and criminal exploitation are also used for grooming vulnerable individuals for county lines
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) It is essential that staff are aware of FGM practices and the need to look for signs, symptoms and other indicators of FGM. If a member of staff, in the course of their work, discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, the member of staff must report this to the Police. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Section 5B of the 2003 Act1 introduces a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. The duty came into force on 31 October 2015.
What is FGM? It involves procedures that intentionally alter/injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. 4 types of procedure:
Type 1 Clitoridectomy – partial/total removal of clitoris
Type 2 Excision – partial/total removal of clitoris and labia minora
Type 3 Infibulation entrance to vagina is narrowed by repositioning the inner/outer labia
Type 4 all other procedures that may include: pricking, piercing, incising, cauterising and scraping the genital area.
Why is it carried out?
· FGM brings status/respect to the girl – social acceptance for marriage
· Preserves a girl’s virginity
· Part of being a woman / rite of passage
· Upholds family honour
· Cleanses and purifies the girl
· Gives a sense of belonging to the community
· Fulfils a religious requirement
· Perpetuates a custom/tradition
· Helps girls be clean / hygienic
· Is cosmetically desirable
· Mistakenly believed to make childbirth easier
Is FGM legal? FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights of girls and women. It is illegal in most countries including the UK.
Circumstances and occurrences that may point to FGM happening are:
· Child talking about getting ready for a special ceremony
· Family taking a long trip abroad
· Child’s family being from one of the ‘at risk’ communities for FGM (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leon, Egypt, Nigeria, Eritrea as well as non-African communities including Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdistan, Indonesia and Pakistan)
· Knowledge that the child’s sibling has undergone FGM
· Child talks about going abroad to be ‘cut’ or to prepare for marriage
Signs that may indicate a child has undergone FGM:
· Prolonged absence from school and other activities
· Behaviour change on return from a holiday abroad, such as being withdrawn and appearing subdued
· Bladder or menstrual problems
· Finding it difficult to sit still and looking uncomfortable
· Complaining about pain between the legs
· Mentioning something somebody did to them that they are not allowed to talk about
· Secretive behaviour, including isolating themselves from the group
· Reluctance to take part in physical activity
· Repeated urinal tract infection
The ‘One Chance’ rule As with Forced Marriage there is the ‘One Chance’ rule. It is essential that Treads take action without delay and make a referral to children’s services.
Domestic Abuse (including Operation Encompass)
How does it affect children?
Children can be traumatised by seeing and hearing violence and abuse. They may also be directly targeted by the abuser or take on a protective role and get caught in the middle. In the long term this can lead to serious long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases children may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. What are the signs to look out for? Children affected by domestic abuse reflect their distress in a variety of ways. They may change their usual behaviour and become withdrawn, tired, start to wet the bed and have behavioural difficulties. They may not want to leave their house or may become reluctant to return. Others will excel, using their time in your care as a way to escape from their home life. None of these signs are exclusive to domestic abuse so when you are considering changes in behaviours and concerns about a child, think about whether domestic abuse may be a factor.
What should I do if I suspect a family is affected by domestic abuse?
Treads designated safeguarding leads can signpost support. Dorset’s Domestic Abuse Hotline (You reach) can be reached on 0800 032 5204. Dorset CHAD service may be used if safeguarding concerns relate to children (01305 228866). National Domestic Abuse Helpline Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, available 24 hour a day 0808 2000 247 and its website offers guidance and support for potential victims.
Indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation
1. Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
2. Extremism is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as:
Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
3. Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as:
The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:
· Encourage, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;
· Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
· Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts; or
· Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK. There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”: those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity. Beneficiary’s may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors - it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities.
It is vital that Treads staff are able to recognise those vulnerabilities. Indicators of vulnerability include:
· Identity Crisis – the beneficiary is distanced from their cultural / religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society;
· Personal Crisis – the beneficiary may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation; and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
· Personal Circumstances – migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the beneficiary’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
· Unmet Aspirations – the beneficiary may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
· Experiences of Criminality – which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement / reintegration;
· Special Educational Need – beneficiary may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.
However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism. More critical risk factors could include:
· Being in contact with extremist recruiters;
· Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element;
· Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature;
· Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage;
· Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues;
· Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations; and
· Significant changes to appearance and / or behaviour;
· Experiencing a high level of social isolation resulting in issues of identity crisis and / or personal crisis.
Channel is the voluntary, confidential support programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to individuals that have been identified as being vulnerable to radicalisation. Prevent referrals may be passed to the multi-agency Channel panel to determine whether individuals require support. The Prevent Duty can be accessed via this link. Guidance on Channel https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/channel-guidance Further information can be obtained from the Home Office website
Best Practice for DSLs
1.1 The importance of good, clear child welfare and child protection record keeping has been highlighted repeatedly in national and local Serious Case Reviews.
1.2 It is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)’s responsibility to ensure that child protection files, access, storage and transfer meet the required professional standards as detailed in this document.
1.3 The common law of confidentiality, Data Protection and Human Rights principles must be adhered to when obtaining, processing or sharing personal or sensitive information or records. In summary, the Data Protection Act requires that records should be securely kept, accurate, relevant, up to date and kept for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which they were made.
1.4 Any electronic record keeping system must be password and virus protected.
2. Record to be made by an adult receiving a disclosure of abuse (when a child talks about abuse)
2.1 This record should be made as soon as possible after the individual hearing the disclosure has reported it verbally to the DSL. The facts, not opinions (unless of particular relevance), should be accurately recorded in a non-judgemental way. It is important to remember that expressing an opinion as to whether the child is telling the truth is not helpful and can prejudice how a case proceeds. This does not seem to reflect the electronic system used.
2.2 The record should be entered onto the My Concern chronology of the beneficary without delay - if a visitor or volunteer to the school there will be a standard ‘concerns’ form available from the DSL.:
· Date and time of the conversation;
· What was the context and who was present during the disclosure?
· What did the child say? – verbatim if possible;
· What questions were asked? – verbatim;
· Responses to questions –verbatim;
· Any observations concerning child’s demeanour and any injuries;
· The name of the person to whom the disclosure was reported;
· Printed name and job title of the author, followed by signature and date. On paper copies
2.3 The DSL will be alerted to the report via My Concern and will be actioned.
2.4 If a paper copy, the record about a disclosure of abuse should be passed to the DSL and retained in the beneficiary child protection file in its original and contemporaneous form (as it could be used as evidence in court proceedings), even if later typed or if the information is incorporated into a report. If there is no evidence of action, the staff member should seek out the DSL to enquire as to status of the action.
2.5 Treads should never ask beneficiary’s, regardless of their involvement in a child protection matter (i.e. the subject of an allegation, a witness or the alleged ‘perpetrator’), to write out their ‘statements’ of what has happened. In some cases, this could have the unintended consequence of jeopardising a child protection investigation. This applies regardless of whether the incident(s) took place within or outside Treads.
3. Records kept by the Designated Safeguarding Lead
3.1 As stated at 2.2 above it is useful and recommended practice for staff to have access to ‘My Concern’ and to have one standard pro forma for recording all ‘welfare’ and child protection concerns for visitors and volunteers.
3.2 The concern will be alerted to the DSL who will make a judgement about what action needs to be taken, in accordance with local inter-agency safeguarding procedures. The decision about any action, whether or not a referral is made to Social Care, will be recorded clearly by the DSL.
3.3 Concerns which initially seem trivial may turn out to be vital pieces of information later, so it is important to give as much detail as possible. A concern raised may not progress further than a conversation by the DSL with the parent/guardian or, at the other end of the scale, could lead to matters being heard in a court.
3.4 All ‘lower level’ concerns about a child’s welfare, which will generally have been discussed with parents/carers, are recorded on My Concern.
3.5 It is never good practice to keep beneficiarys welfare records in a diary or day-book system. Often it is only when a number of seemingly minor issues relating to an individual pupil over a period of time are seen as a whole that a pattern can be identified indicating a child protection concern.
4.Starting a Treads child protection file
4.1 A’ Treads child protection’ file does not necessarily mean that the beneficiary is or has been the subject of a child protection conference or plan. ‘Child protection file’ denotes a high level of Treads concern which has warranted the involvement of child care social workers.
4.2 It is the responsibility of the DSL to start a Treads child protection file when a social worker is or was involved, e.g.: a) A formal referral is made by the Children’s Social Care on an inter-agency referral.
4.3 Treads child protection files are never ‘closed’ or de-categorised. Once Treads has started a child protection file, it is always a Treads child protection file and the chronology is maintained so that any future concerns can be considered in the context of past events.
4.4 Note - If there is an allocated social worker because a child is disabled or a young carer and there are no child protection concerns then a child protection file should not be started.
6. The format of child protection files
6.1 Treads make use of the My Concern Child Protection online package for recording chronologies and concerns. Paper files will also be kept as required and will follow the guidelines below as appropriate.
6.2 It is helpful if individual files have a front sheet with key information about the beneficiary and contact details of parents/carers, social worker and any other relevant professionals.
6.3 If the child is Looked-After the front sheet should include important information about legal status, parental responsibility, arrangements for contact with birth parents and extended family,
levels of authority delegated to carers and the name of the virtual school head in the authority that looks after the child.
6.4 If a beneficiary is or was subject of a child protection plan or in care/looked after, this should be highlighted in some way to make it immediately obvious to anyone accessing the record.
6.5 It is a multi-agency standard that children’s child protection files must have at the front an up-to-date chronology of significant incidents or events and subsequent actions/outcomes. Maintaining the chronology is an important part of the DSL role; it aids the DSL and others to see the central issues ‘at a glance’ and helps to identify patterns of events and behaviours.
6.6 It should make sense as a ‘standalone’ document: anyone else reading the chronology should be able to follow easily what the concerns are/have been, whether the concerns have escalated and why plus the actions taken by Treads to support and protect the child.
6.8 The file should be well organised and include, as appropriate, the ‘Treads concern forms and Treads Contact Monitoring Form.
7.1 All records relating to child protection concerns are sensitive and confidential so will be kept in a secure (i.e. locked at all times) filing cabinet, separate from other Treads files, and accessible through the DSL.
7.2. All staff who may need to consult a child’s file obtain permission from the DSL
8. Sharing of and access to child protection records
8.1 It is highly unlikely that all members of staff need to know the details of a child’s situation, or that there should be widespread access to the records. Access to, and sharing of, information should be on a need-toknow basis, decided case by case. The DSL is the best person to decide this. Consideration must also be given to what needs to be shared. Generally speaking, the closer the contact with the child, the more likely the need to have some information.
8.2 The child who is the subject of a child protection record has the right to access the file, unless to do so would affect his/her health or well-being or that of another person, or would be likely to prejudice a criminal investigation or a Section 47 assessment (which relates to significant harm) under the Children Act 1989.
8.3 Parents (i.e. those with parental responsibility in law) are entitled to see their child’s child protection file, with the same exemptions as apply to the child’s right to access the record. Note that an older beneficiaries may be entitled to refuse access to the record by his/her parents. As a guide, this applies to beneficiaries who are 12 years of age or above, if they are of normal development or maturity.
8.4 References by name to children other than the beneficary who is the subject of the file should be removed when disclosing records, unless consent is obtained from the individual/s concerned (or their parents/carer on their behalf). Care must be taken to ensure all identifying information is removed from the copy of the record to be shared.
8.5 Always seek advice from your legal advisor or Dorset Data Protection Officer if there are any concerns or doubt about a child or parents reading records. However, it is generally good practice to share all information held unless there is a valid reason to withhold it, e.g. to do so would place the child or any other person at risk of harm. Any requests to see the child’s record should be made in advance to give time for confidential information, such as any details of others, to be removed.
8.6 Child protection information should not normally be shared with professionals other than those from Social Care, the Police, Health or the Local Authority.
8.7 Further advice about disclosure of information held in child protection records can be sought from the DCC Data Protection Officer (01305 225175).
9. Retention of records
9.1 Treads should retain beneficiary child protection, contact monitoring and my concern records until they reach their 25th birthday. It should then be shredded (and a record kept of this having been done, date, and why).
9.2 The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has instructed relevant organisations, that they should NOT destroy, for the foreseeable future, any of their records that could potentially come within the scope of the inquiry (i.e. any records relating to sexual abuse).
10. Electronic child protection records
10.1 Electronic records must be password protected with access strictly controlled in the same way as paper records.
10.2 They should be in the same format as paper records (i.e. with well-maintained chronologies etc.) so that they are up to date if/when printed, if necessary.
10.3 Electronic files must not be transferred electronically unless there is a secure system in place (such as cjsm, GCSX or IronPort).
Levels of training
The following information outlines staff levels of training appropriate to them
Level 1 All staff working in settings who may be in infrequent contact with children, young people and/or parents and carers who may become aware of possible abuse or neglect. Single agency basic awareness training delivered within own organisation as face to face training or e-learning.
Level 2 All staff who work directly and on a regular basis with children or young people and where their role requires them to understand the multi-agency context of child protection work.
Level 3 Practitioners and managers with a specific safeguarding role: Designated Safeguarding Leads, and managers with child protection responsibilities in assessing, planning, intervening and evaluation of the needs of a child or young person.
MY Concern Records.
For all Trustees/staff/volunteers and visitors logging a concern/disclosure about a child’s welfare.
This form will be uploaded to My Concern Records
|Beneficary’s Name: DOB:|
|Your Name (Print) Signature|
|Note the reason(s) for recording the incident/concern:|
|How and why did this happen? Leave blank if unsure|
|Note the action you have taken, including names and positions of anyone to whom your information was passed and when: (Do not inform parents unless agreed with DSL)|
|Contact Monitoring Form|
Beneficary’s Name: DOB:
|Your Name (Print) Date of contact|
Time of contact
|Method of contact: (ie face to face, zoom, phone)|
|Description of reason for contact and outcomes|
|Detail of follow up:|
Designated Safeguarding Lead checklist
|Factual account of the incident or information, attached on concern form?||Yes No|
|Opinion (substantiated), if appropriate?||Yes No|
|Names and job titles of any other staff involved:||1.|
|With whom and when has the information been shared? Give names and job titles:|
(Do not inform parents if there is a disclosure of abuse or concern about significant harm, unless agreed by Family Support-Social Care)
Referrals made to Pan Dorset Multi Agency Safeguarding and a Treads Child Protection File started.
(Call Family Support – Social Care if they have not told you the outcome of a referral within a reasonable time)
|Chronology started on child’s file?|
(A chronology shoul be started if there is a referral to Family Support – Social Care)
|Where is the information to be filed?|
|Any cross-reference to another file or child?|
Safeguarding Overview Sheet
|Safeguarding Overview Sheet|
(To be included in the child’s CP file when concerns are logged for the first time
Name of child…………………………………………………………… DOB………………………………………………………
Date file created………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Nature of concern:
Other Known names:……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Other family members:
Are any other child protection files held in Treads relating to this child or another child closely connected to him/her? Yes No
If yes, which files are relevant?....................................................................................................
Name and contact number of Social Worker (Children’s Social Care) or CAF details
Name and contact number of any other agency workers involved:
Name of lead person responsible for reviewing this record: