Safeguarding

 

Name of setting: Chingford House Nursery

Ofsted registration number: EY552668

 

Contact details: 

22 Marlborough Rd, Chingford, E4 9AL

020 8527 2902

07305961590

office@chingfordhousenursery.co.uk

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead & contact details: 

Yolande Farrell

020 8527 2902

07305961590

Yolande.chingfordhouseschool@outlook.com

 

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead & contact details:

Zarkar Akhtar

020 8527 2902

07305961590

zakhtarchingfordhouseschool@outlook.com

Named Person for allegations against staff: Yolande Farrell

 

SENCO: Yolande Farrell/Nargis Ibrahim

 

Manager: Yolande Farrell

 

Business Owner with Lead responsibility for safeguarding: Zarkar Akhtar

 

Principles & Aims:

At Chingford House Nursery, all staff understand and accept their responsibilities in their duty to safeguard children and to promote their welfare; this 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

  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

 

Aims:

The aim of our safeguarding policy is to provide all staff, visitors and volunteers with a framework which will enable them to holistically safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.

 

Further to this, our aims are:

  • To ensure that the main and overriding focus is the child’s welfare and safety and that everyone understands that children have a right to be safe from harm

  • To develop effective relationships with the children so they can disclose any concerns

  • To commit to our child-centred approach and know that all actions taken are in the child’s best interest

  • To have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy)

  • To provide on-going Safeguarding and Child Protection training for all staff

  • To ensure that staff understand and accept their responsibility to have up-to- date knowledge of safeguarding issues 

  • To ensure that all staff are fit to work with children and have had suitable checks carried out

  • To develop a ‘peer culture’ environment in which staff can respectfully discuss poor professionalism within the team.

  • To develop a culture of safeguarding which is shared between the nursery, parents and other users of the setting

  • To develop and promote effective communication channels and procedures for notifying concerns of abuse and to ensure that concerns are dealt with efficiently

  • To ensure that parents are aware of the nursery’s duty to safeguard children from their child’s beginning and that it is evident through the nursery’s admissions and registration forms

 

Legislative & Guidance Framework:

There are a number of guidelines, legislations and acts that we adhere to, to ensure that we meet all requirements in keeping children safe and to ensure high quality practice. This Safeguarding policy and procedures have been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989; and is in line with the following statutory and departmental guidance: (please see the appendix for the links to the guidance below).
 

  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 (Safeguarding and Welfare requirements)

 

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021
     

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
     

  • What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015
     

  • The Prevent Duty Guidance for England & Wales 2015
     

  • Information Sharing; Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers 2018
     

  • Safeguarding children and protecting professionals in early years settings: Online safety guidance for practitioners 2019
     

  • Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers
     

  • Statutory guidance SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years

 

Covid-19:

At Chingford House Nursery, our endeavours in keeping children safe have not diminished throughout the Covid pandemic as we have implemented and maintained robust protocols. Alongside the children’s safety, we will continue to work with other professionals to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all the children and most especially the children who may be more vulnerable through financial hardship, developmental delay, abuse or other. Children’s attendance is monitored closely and for children who have been assigned a Social Worker, we will discuss any absences which are a cause for concern.

 

Responsibilities:

The overall responsibility for the compliance with statutory safeguarding requirements lies with Zarkar Akhtar. As the Business Owner, Ms Akhtar is nominated as having the lead responsibility for safeguarding and ensuring that there are appropriate policies and procedures in place for action to be taken in a timely manner, to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children.

 

At Chingford House Nursery, staff and students understand that, due to the nature of their roles and the relationships that they establish with the children, they are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour, disposition, appearance and wellbeing which could alert them to safeguarding concerns; this is especially key for pre-language children or children with special educational needs or disabilities.

 

We are therefore guided by the following key principles:

  • All children have the right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect

  • Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility

  • It is better to help children as early as possible before issues escalate and become more damaging

  • Children and families are best supported and protected when there is a

co-ordinated response from all agencies

 

As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding children, we will ensure that this policy is available to professionals, parents and other users, to access via our  website www.chingfordhouseschool.co.uk and the  policies folder in the nursery lobby. We will ensure that parents are also given access to the policy prior to children attending the setting and following each update. Where English is not the parents’ first language, support and consideration will be given to access the information.

 

In order to ensure that we have high quality safeguarding arrangements, we will ensure that staff read, understand and implement the policy. Staff will have access to annual safeguarding training and it will be a particular focus in staff meetings and supervision. Further to our safeguarding policy, we have other policies in which we ensure that we keep children safe.

 

 

The staff at Chingford House Nursery further recognise their responsibilities in:

  • Being able to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse

  • Being able to identify concerns

  • Being aware that children’s poor behaviour may be a sign that they are suffering harm or that they have been traumatised by abuse

  • Understanding that children who have a Social Worker may be educationally disadvantaged and face barriers to attendance, learning, behaviour and positive mental health.

  • Understanding that mental health issues for children may be an indicator of harm or abuse, or where it is known that a child has suffered harm or abuse this may impact on their mental health, behaviour and education.

  • Understanding that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the setting and/or can occur between children outside of these environments.

  • Being familiar with internal reporting procedures and processes

  • Referring concerns to children’s social care in the absence of Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL)

  • Ensure that all safeguarding concerns are shared promptly with the Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Being able to challenge professional safeguarding decisions internally/ externally with other agencies

  • Referring/ escalating a case if staff disagree with the Designated Safeguarding Lead’s decision not to refer, with respect and transparency

  • Being able to whistle-blow when required

  • Being aware that, wherever we work in Chingford House Nursery, we are responsible for reading and knowing the safeguarding policy

 

Designated Safeguarding Leads:

At Chingford House Nursery we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Yolande Farrell who has a specific operational responsibility for implementing our safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures. In the event that Yolande Farrell is unavailable, to ensure safeguarding matters are dealt with promptly, Zarkar Akhtar, our Deputy DSL, will be available to cover the DSL duties.

Both Yolande Farrell and Zarkar Akhtar have received training in Safeguarding children and Safer Recruitment. In addition to this, they have had training for Designated Safeguarding Leads which enables them to carry out their roles effectively with the knowledge and skills to support children, staff and families. The Designated Leads also attend forums throughout the year which enables them to keep abreast of changes to guidance, updates, managing staff allegations and other training relevant to their safeguarding role.

The DSLs’ details, along with the nursery’s role in safeguarding, monitoring and referring children to Waltham Forest’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), is displayed in the nursery lobby.

As the principal Designated Safeguarding Lead, Yolande Farrell’s responsibility for safeguarding and child protection will not be delegated. 

 

Staff, students & volunteers induction, training and development:

The Designated Safeguarding Lead/Manager ensures that a robust induction takes place for new members of staff and students; this includes issuing and discussing the following: EYFS & supporting children’s development, safeguarding and child protection; behaviour management; staff code of conduct and health and safety policies. The induction will also include  introducing new staff/recruits to the staff’s designated roles such as Designated Safeguarding Lead, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Health & Safety Officer.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will also ensure that new staff undertake safeguarding training within a month of starting at the nursery. The induction document will include staff signing to say that they have read and agreed to work within and implement the nursery’s policies and procedures.

 

Staffing & Safer Recruitment:

At Chingford House Nursery, we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer and, as such, we advertise this when recruiting staff. It is our mission to have a fair and just procedure accepting of any applicants who meet our criteria.

 

When recruiting we pay regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021, the EYFS 2021, Criminal record checks for childminders and childcare workers and the London Child Protection 5th edition. This is to ensure that we do not employ unsuitable staff to work with the children at our nursery.

 

(Please see our Safer Recruitment Policy for more information)

 

Staff Code of Conduct:

At Chingford House Nursery we are explicit in how we want staff to conduct themselves; we expect staff to establish a friendly approach but heed professional boundaries.

As staff, students and volunteers are responsible for promoting and protecting children’s welfare, it is important that their own actions and behaviour are not called into question.

 

The Manager ensures that professional conduct is discussed at staff supervision and other meetings to ensure that staff are working to a high standard. However, if concerns are raised, they are dealt with promptly and appropriately, taking into account ‘low level’ concerns which may not meet the ‘harm threshold.’

 

A ‘Low level concern’ is defined in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 (KCSIE) as a concern that causes ‘unease or nagging doubt- that an adult working in or on behalf of the ‘setting’ that may have acted in a way that: 

  • Is inconsistent with the staff code of conduct, including inappropriate conduct outside of work

  • Does not meet the allegations threshold or is otherwise not considered serious enough to consider a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

 

Dealing with Allegations/ concerns that do not meet the threshold:

Chingford House Nursery will always undertake Low level concerns in consultation with the LADO. This process allows for concerns to be evaluated objectively and to ascertain whether similar concerns may have been raised previously but not met the threshold for an allegation. Whilst the LADO will only record those allegations which appear to meet their threshold for consideration within these procedures, Chingford House Nursery will always record any concern that arises in respect of a member of their staff.

 

Staff practices, behaviours and conduct are monitored and form part of staff’s annual appraisal.

(See Staff Code of Conduct for more information)

 

Key Person:

Chingford House Nursery recognises the significance of the Key Person role to children’s care, education and wellbeing. Alongside this, we acknowledge the impact the role has on safeguarding; fundamentally ensuring that children have a voice, that they feel they have someone to listen to them and will advocate on their behalf if they feel unsafe.

To this end, every child has a Key Person when starting at the nursery and we endeavour to ensure that the child and Key Person can spend a significant amount of time together throughout the day.

 

Supervision of Staff:

The Manager at Chingford House Nursery is Yolande Farrell who is a level 6 childcare professional with a BA Honours in Early Childhood Studies. Alongside the Designated Safeguarding Lead responsibilities, Yolande Farrell is required to provide termly supervision meetings to review staff performance, practice and development in working with the children and their families.

 

Supervision will enable staff to:

  • discuss any issues – particularly concerning children’s development or wellbeing, including child protection concerns

  • identify solutions to address issues as they arise

  • receive coaching to improve their personal effectiveness

 

The Business Owner, Zarkar Akhtar, provides support and supervision for Yolande Farrell.

 

Working in Partnership:

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will work in partnership with all agencies i.e. Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) service, Early Help, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Social Care, Health and the Police to ensure that the children’s safety and welfare is always paramount. In addition to this, we endeavour to establish effective working relationships with parents/carers and other colleagues so that we can develop and provide opportunities that will enable and equip the children with the necessary skills that they may need to develop protective behaviours and life skills to keep themselves safe from harm.

 

As part of our partnership working, we will make available information to parents and carers with regards to the following:

 

  • how we support children with special educational needs and disabilities

  • food and drinks provided for the children (displayed menus in the lobby and on the website)

  • details of all our safeguarding policies and procedures, i.e., failure to collect a child, or in the event of a child going missing etc.

  • staffing in the setting; the name of their child’s Key person and their role; and a telephone number for parents and/or carers to contact in an emergency

 

Allegations against staff or other persons involved at Chingford House Nursery:

If there is an allegation or concern that any person who works with children in connection with their employment or voluntary capacity has, as defined by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021:

 

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child

  • has possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child

  • has behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children

  • has behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children

 

This will be brought to the immediate attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will advise the Business Owner (Zarkar Akhtar). 

In the case of the allegation being made against the DSL, the information will be brought to Ms. Akhtar’s immediate attention who will then discuss the allegation with the Local Authority’s Designated Officer (LADO). The LADO will evaluate the nature of the allegation and have a strategy discussion.

 

In line with Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021), Chingford House Nursery will inform the LADO of any allegations made against agency staff; this does not automatically mean that the nursery will no longer use that member of staff. In conjunction with the LADO, we will determine the facts and ascertain whether their conduct met the threshold for safeguarding.

 

Alongside this, the agency will be expected to fully co-operate in any enquiries made by the LADO, Police and/or Children’s Social Services. Chingford House Nursery will support any safeguarding investigation by collecting the facts when an allegation is made. With this regard it may be that we will take a lead on the safeguarding element of the investigation.

 

In all cases any allegation made will be referred to the LADO immediately and followed up in writing within 48 hours. As part of the allegation management process, the DSL will consider the safeguarding arrangements of the child to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will also:

 

  • Contact the parents or carers of the child/young person if advised to do so by the LADO.

  • Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation.

  • Advise Ofsted within 14 days of the allegation

  • Ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of an investigation is deemed necessary.

  • Ensure any decisions made in strategy meetings are acted on

 

Whistleblowing:

Adopting personal and professional boundaries gives the staff a framework to work within; working outside of this may raise concerns. When a member of staff acts fraudulently, illegally or puts Chingford House Nursery’s reputation into question, their peer may ‘whistle-blow’ to raise their concerns of the wrong-doing. An investigation will take place if it is determined that the wrong-doing is in the nursery’s or public’s interest.

(please see full whistleblowing policy for more information).

 

Disclosure and Barring Service:

As an employer of staff in a regulated activity, Chingford House Nursery will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) when the conditions for doing so have been met.  It is our legal duty to refer anyone in our employ or associated with the nursery if allegations against them have been substantiated or the ‘harm test’ has been met; we understand that it is an offence if we fail to do so.

 

Chingford House Nursery recognises that a DBS referral can take place during any stage of the investigation or disciplinary process, even if the member of staff hasn’t been suspended and we believe that referring is in the best interest of the child. The reason to refer may also include acting on the advice of the police or a safeguarding professional, or in situations where we do not have enough evidence to dismiss or remove a person from working with children. Chingford House Nursery will act in accordance with employment and data protection laws if the referral conditions have not been met.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for making referrals to the DBS; however, if the allegation is made against her, then it is the responsibility of the Deputy DSL to make the referral.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will also make a referral if they use agency staff and would expect the agency who employs the staff to do so too.

 

Ratios:

In line with the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory framework (2021), we adhere to the recommended staff qualifications and ratios to meet the holistic needs of the children:

 

Under 2’s:

One member of staff to three children

At least one member of staff should be approved level 3 qualified and suitably experienced with children of this age. At least half of all other staff must hold an approved level 2 qualification.

 

Two-three year olds:

One member of staff to four children

At least one member of staff should be approved level three qualified and at least half of all other staff must hold an approved level 2 qualification.

 

Children over three years:

One member of staff to eight children

At least one member of staff should be approved level 3 qualified and at least half of all other staff must hold an approved level 2 qualification.

Staff under 17 are not included in the ratios; however, staff and students who are over 17 years and are on long-term placements and is termed competent by the Manager can be counted in the ratios, however, they will always be supervised by a level 3 member of staff and will not be left unattended.

 

Most of the staff at Chingford House Nursery hold a Paediatric First Aid qualification and we are working towards all staff being first aid qualified.

 

Mobile phones, smartwatches, photography and technology in the nursery:

 

It is important that we safeguard children from potential harm from outside influences such as unsuitable images, material or information from the internet.  The children’s safety and dignity must also be protected and, as such staff, parents & students cannot use mobile phones, cameras, smartwatches or other technology in the presence of the children; No Phones posters are displayed throughout the nursery. Parents, visitors and users of the nursery will be informed of our policy and will be asked to decline calls or to take them in the lobby, office or other areas where children are not present. Parents and visitors will be asked to leave if they do not comply (staff leave their phones in the staffroom and cannot take them in their rooms with children present).

(Please see E-safety policy for more information)

 

Visitors:

To ensure the safety of the children in the setting we have procedures in place for recording the details of visitors and the purpose of their visit to our setting. The setting’s security procedures ensure that the possibility of unauthorised persons having access to the children is minimised.

Under no circumstances will visitors/contractors be allowed unsupervised access to the children.

(please see Supervision of visitors policy for more information)

 

Defining abuse and symptoms:

There are four types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse

  • Emotional abuse

  • Sexual abuse

  • Neglect

Through training, supervision, staff meetings and discussions, we endeavour to ensure that all staff at Chingford House Nursery are aware of the indicators of abuse; staff understand that, although there may be more indicators and that poor behaviour may indicate that a child has suffered harm or trauma, it can also signify something other than abuse. Staff will always consult when concerned.

Physical Abuse:

May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child e.g. FGM, Breast ironing.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child

Possible indicators are:

Physical signs that do not tally with the given account of occurrence conflicting or unrealistic explanations of cause repeated injuries delay in reporting or seeking medical advice.

Emotional Abuse:

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.

Possible indicators are:

  • Rejection

  • Isolation

  • Child being blamed for actions of adults

  • Child being used as carer for younger siblings

  • Affection and basic emotional care giving/warmth, persistently absent or withheld

Sexual Abuse:

Forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, penetrative or non-penetrative acts and also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.

Possible indicators:

  • Sudden changes in behaviour

  • Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate

  • Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance

  • Tendency to cry easily

  • Regression to younger behaviour – e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby

  • Unexplained gifts or money

  • Depression and withdrawal

  • Wetting/soiling day or night

  • Fear of undressing for PE

Neglect:

The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairments of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide food, clothing and shelter; protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision; ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

Possible indicators are obvious signs of lack of care including:

  • Problems with personal hygiene

  • Constant hunger

  • Inadequate clothing

  • Emaciation

  • Lateness or non-attendance at the setting

  • Poor relationship with peers

  • Untreated medical problems

  • Compulsive stealing and scavenging

  • Rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking

  • Running away

  • Low self-esteem

Bruising in Babies:

At Chingford House Nursery, should we observe bruising in a baby who is not crawling, cruising or independently mobile we will raise the concern with the child’s parent in the first instance depending on the timing and the nature of the concern. In cases of bruising in pre-mobile children a referral will be made to MASH.
https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/pre-2013/bruises-children-core-info-leaflet

 

Peer-on-peer abuse:

Through our experience of working with children at Chingford House Nursery, we understand that peer-on-peer abuse can happen. The abuse can manifest in a number of ways such as bullying, physically hurting another child, emotional abuse or even sexual abuse. If the abuse is of a sexual nature, we would refer to Waltham Forest Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub for advice, this will enable Chingford House Nursery to get the best support for the victim and abuser, as we recognise that the abuser may have indeed been abused themselves. If the abuse is not sexual then we employ our managing behaviour strategies and work in partnership with both sets of parents.

 

Supporting children:

At Chingford House Nursery, our child-centred approach ensures that we work in the best interests of the children. It is important to us therefore that we try to understand the child’s lived experience, especially in terms of safeguarding where they must have a voice in their own safeguarding support, plans and protection.  There are a number of ways in which we do this:

 

  • Ensuring that staff/student/volunteers understand and implement good professional behaviour

  • Promoting good health, effective management of children’s medical conditions and medication; promoting the development of children’s self-care

  • Frequently checking sleeping children

  • Liaising and working with other agencies to safeguard children

  • Promoting and implementing positive behaviour strategies to ensure that we are supporting children’s behaviour effectively

  • Effectively monitoring and supporting children who have been identified as having welfare or safeguarding concerns

  • Ensuring that children only leave the premises attended and with nominated individuals

  • Ensuring that we maintain robust record-keeping documents, including low level concerns so that we are fully aware of concerns

  • Ensuring that safeguarding and wellbeing policies are updated annually and shared with staff and parents

  • Ensuring that staff understand additional safeguarding vulnerabilities for certain groups of children and know how to address them

 

Additional vulnerabilities and characteristics in children under five:

  • Children who are looked after by the Local Authority

  • Children previously looked after by the Local Authority

  • Children showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour

  • Children at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation.

  • Children in family circumstances presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse

  • Children showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.

  • Children at risk of being radicalised or exploited.

  • Privately fostered children

  • Children with special educational needs or disabilities

 

Special Educational Needs

Further to recognising signs and symptoms of abuse, staff at Chingford House Nursery understand that children with special educational needs and disabilities can be more vulnerable to abuse and face additional safeguarding challenges. Staff also acknowledge that children with special educational needs have further barriers that may exist when recognising abuse and neglect. These barriers can include:

  • Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration

  • Being more prone to peer group isolation than other children

  • The potential for children with SEND being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs

  • Communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers

 

Children and mental health problems:

At Chingford House Nursery, we recognise that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or even exploitation.  Where a child has been identified as having suffered a traumatically adverse childhood experience or has been abused or neglected, staff acknowledge that this can impact their behaviour and their mental health which in turn can affect their education.

 

We identify any additional needs the child may have and provide extra monitoring and support to mitigate these additional barriers.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will liaise with mental health professionals where safeguarding concerns are linked to mental health, ensuring that children are heard and understood.  The referral will be made to mental health professionals and/or Early Help for further support.

 

At Chingford House Nursery we aim to take a trauma-informed approach to support children in the setting, considering their lived experience, and using this to inform how best to support them in terms of their welfare and engaging them in their learning.

 

We always discuss any concerns that we may have with the child’s parents, as they need to know that we are worried about their child. However, we will not discuss our concerns if we believe that this would place the child at a greater risk or lead to loss of evidence for a police investigation. If we decide not to discuss our concerns with the child’s parents this will be recorded in the child’s safeguarding file with a full explanation of our decision.

 

Specific Safeguarding Issues:

Private Fostering:

This term means a private arrangement (without any involvement from a Local Authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, in their own home, with the intention that it will last for 28 days or more. Both birth parents, private foster carers and persons who are seeking to arrange for a child to be privately fostered are required by law to notify Waltham Forest Council's Children's Services department of the arrangement. At Chingford House Nursery, we have a responsibility to notify the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub team, should we become aware that a child is being privately fostered.

 

Female Genital Mutilation:

At Chingford House Nursery, we have a legal duty to protect all children in our care under the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 agenda. This duty extends to protecting young girls and women from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), an illegal and extremely harmful practice and a form of abuse. Our staff have received training to increase their awareness of the practice and the harm that FGM causes.

 

We understand that children are at a higher risk of undergoing this practice, if the child’s mother, sister or a member of their extended family have had it carried out (HM Government 2016). If staff are aware of the family’s background in this regard, they will always maintain a culture of vigilance.

 

Should a child in our care show any signs or symptoms of FGM or we have good reason to believe that the child is at risk of FGM, we will refer the child to Waltham Forest MASH team as it is a form of child abuse. However, should we think a child is in immediate danger we will contact the police on 999.

 

Prevent:

At Chingford House Nursery, we are alert to any issues of concerns in a child’s life at home or anywhere else outside our setting. In light of this, staff are aware of the Prevent Duty to help protect children from radicalisation and extremism under section 26 of the Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015.  To do this we will do by:

 

  • Understanding our own role and responsibilities on how to protect children from extremism

  • Promoting and embedding fundamental British Values in the nursery through the policies and activities that we provide

  • Ensuring that staff have up to date training that provides them with the knowledge on how to identify children at risk

  • Monitoring children’s attendance and following up absences

 

Domestic abuse:

Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.  The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological

  • physical

  • sexual

  • financial

  • emotional abuse

 

For children seeing, hearing or knowing a parent is being abused is a traumatic experience and can have long-term damaging emotional and psychological effects.  It is important that staff establish positive relationships with families so that they can recognise and respond to any concerns of domestic violence. A referral will be made to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub team where there are concerns to a child’s welfare due to domestic violence as they have a duty to investigate. Our doors are always open to parents to discuss any issues of abuse they may be suffering and to signpost them to relevant services.

Please see the appendix in folder for additional advice on identifying children who are affected by domestic abuse and how they can be helped.  

 

Homelessness:

The staff realise that there are several indicators in which children may be at risk of being homeless or becoming homeless; factors such as debt, rent arrears, domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour or even just being asked to leave their home can put them at risk. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will make a referral to the Local Housing Authority, so that they can support the parents at the earliest stage as well as Children’s Social Care in the event that the child may have been harmed or is at risk of being harmed.

 

So called ‘Honour-based’ abuse:

Honour-based abuse focuses on practices which protect or defend the ‘so-called honour’ of a family or community. It is used to control behaviour which fits in with the family’s culture and customs. At Chingford House Nursery, we in fact recognise these practices as abuse, for instance, female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and breast ironing.

 

In these instances, the family do not want shame brought onto them, so they commit abuse in the context of preserving ‘honour’. In some cases, the abuse often involves a wider network of family or even pressure from the community which therefore can include multiple perpetrators. 

 

The staff at Chingford House Nursery continue to have training and discussions so that we are aware of the different dynamic and the additional risk factors. We monitor children, where we think that they may be vulnerable to or have suffered from honour-based abuse.

 

Despite perceived cultural customs and regardless of the motivation, staff will report and record any so-called honour-based abuse that they are aware of to the Designated Safeguarding Lead; the DSL will then refer to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, Forced Marriage Unit or the Police for further guidance.

 

Dealing with child disclosures:

Having established caring and affectionate relationships, a child may disclose their experience of abuse to their Key Person or member of staff. This will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy in her absence) immediately. 

 

It is important that staff:

  • Stay calm and listen carefully

  • Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling us

  • Do not investigate or ask leading questions

  • Let them know that they will need to tell someone else

  • Do not promise to keep what they have told us a secret

  • Inform Yolande Farrell (Zarkar Akhtar) as soon as possible

  • Make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident

(see appendix in folder for further information)

 

As we work in partnership with the parents, it is our practice to raise any concerns about their child with them; this is true of safeguarding concerns that arise. However, there are instances where this is the exception to the rule; if we believe that a child may be at risk of harm or further harm, we will not inform the parents that their child has made an allegation against them. This is particularly where the parent or family member is the abuser. The Police or Children’s Social Care (the investigating Officers) will take the lead in informing the parents.

 

It is important to us that we continue to maintain our relationship with the child and parents whilst an investigation might be ongoing at the home. We aim to do so in a non-judgemental and respectful manner.

 

If a child discloses an allegation against a member of staff, procedures are followed as highlighted above; the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be notified and they will inform the Local Authority Designated Officer

 

Information Sharing:

At Chingford House Nursery, a multi-professional approach is always adopted in the best interests of the child and this is the same in safeguarding and as such sharing information is integral to the approach. As part of this we acknowledge that there may be concerns about a child or family which could be considered low- level; in such cases we will share information as necessary to protect the child. The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.  Any information shared will be done on a need- to-know basis to aid the effective assessment and identifying of children at risk. The staff at the nursery are advised about the importance of respect, discretion and confidentiality; they are aware of how, when, where and with whom to share information and that this is in line with the nursery’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, the Local Authority or the Police.

 

Referrals:

The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is Waltham Forest’s single point of referral to social care for concerns regarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. Their services include:

 

Early Help (parental consent needed)

Child in Need

Child Protection

Adult Safeguarding

 

We make referrals to MASH if we are concerned that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm. It is our practice to notify MASH by phone and/or email to discuss a concern prior to sending a written referral. MASH will then determine the level of intervention needed; it will also give Children’s Social Care and the Police time to make arrangements to see the child that same day at the nursery if deemed necessary.

 

Yolande Farrell (Designated Safeguarding Lead) is responsible for making referrals in conjunction with the child’s Key Person; however, there are circumstances in which staff can refer a child to MASH:

 

  • If Yolande Farrell is not available, the referral will be made by Zarkar Akhtar (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead ), or another member of staff

 

  • If staff disagree with the DSL’s decision not to refer a case to MASH, it is their responsibility to refer the case, and to inform the DSL that they are doing so.

 

At Chingford House Nursery, the staff are aware that they all have a responsibility, alongside the DSL, to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to the relevant agency, i.e., MASH, LADO, or the Police.

If a child were to make a disclosure to an Early Years Consultant, Health Visitor or other professional etc., it is their responsibility to formally report the referral to Yolande Farrell in the first instance and to follow their own organisation’s procedures. She will then document the information; records are kept securely in a Child Protection file.

 

Holding children after a MASH referral:

There may be occasions, following a referral, that Children’s Social Care or the Police may want to see a child to determine whether it is safe enough to go home. We will then keep the child at nursery until they have met with the child.

These agencies may ask us to inform the families that they will have to wait in order to take their child home, this may also include them being advised that they cannot see their child whilst we wait for Children Social Care or the Police to arrive.

 

Understandably, waiting for the agencies to arrive can be stressful for both the parents and the staff at the nursery, especially if everyone has to wait until late evening.  In these instances, we endeavour to make things as comfortable as possible, continually updating the parents of the length of the wait and visit (if known).

 

Chingford House Nursery do not have legal powers to detain children, however we would do so at the request of Children’s Social Care or the Police, who do hold these powers. Parents are therefore strongly advised to co-operate and not to remove their child from the nursery, as that will ensure the best chances that the child will be able to go home that evening.

 

Escalation:

Any member of the staff team is able to escalate proceedings if they feel that the nursery’s Designated Safeguarding Lead has not, in their opinion, made the correct decision in not referring a concern; or that Children’s Social Care have not taken appropriate action or responded in a timely manner to a concern. This is called a professional disagreement escalation. See Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Bureau for more information

Screen Shot 2022-03-02 at 05.19.59.png