Purpose & Scope of this policy
Children learn and thrive best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. Chingford House School aims to offer an environment where children feel welcome, safe, stimulated and where children are able to enjoy learning and developing in confidence.
In order to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well, Chingford House School will safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures.
The purpose of this policy is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children at Chingford House School. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this policy 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;
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
This policy applies to all staff, including paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, one-off visitors, students or anyone working on behalf of Chingford House School. This policy relates to all children with whom Chingford House School works. This policy is available on our website for professionals, parents and partners. Support and consideration will be given to those parents for whom English is not a first language. All staff must read, understand and put the policy into practice. Furthermore, all staff must read the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). The DofE departmental guidance What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2015) is also highly recommended. Education professionals are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018).
Chingford House School believes that no child or young person should ever experience abuse, maltreatment or neglect of any kind, and that it is our responsibility to keep children safe. We are committed to practise in such a way that both prevents and protects.
We recognize our role as educators to support parents and the community at wide to develop more effective parenting and behaviour management strategies, and to challenge any behaviour that puts children at risk.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances.
The voice of the child
All professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child. We must try to understand the lived experience of a given child in a given classroom/family/neighbourhood at this moment; this necessarily involves giving the child a voice within their own safeguarding. Even non-verbal children have can express preference and wishes, and it is our job as professionals to ensure that these are understood and incorporated in our plans.
Obligatory practice for ALL staff
The statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), and departmental guidance What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2015) are each clear that all staff:
• are individually responsible for safeguarding
• must be able to identify concerns (Early Help / Child in Need / Child Protection / Allegations Against Professionals)
• must be familiar with internal reporting procedures and processes (reporting safeguarding concerns to DSLs, and allegations only to the owner/manager
• must refer concerns to children’s social care in the absence of DSLs
• must ensure that all safeguarding concerns are shared promptly with DSLs
• must be able to challenge professional safeguarding decisions internally and with other agencies
• must refer a case if disagree with DSL not to refer, with respect and transparency
• must be able to whistleblow when required
Each member of staff must take responsibility for reading and reviewing the safeguarding policy.
We are committed to contributing to a fairer society by promoting equality and good relations for children, young people, parents and carers, partner organisations, staff and job applicants. We believe in giving every individual the opportunity to fulfil their potential. We are committed to treating all individuals with respect and dignity.
Research clearly shows that diversity in safe environments produces more creative and effective work products than homogenous groups. We recognise that differences and diversity enrich society and practice, and celebrating diversity is always at the heart of our practice.
All staff are committed to anti-discriminatory practice, and to giving all children the same offer of support, response and protection regardless of:
• Cultural identity
• Disability / ability / SEND
• Financial status
• Housing status
• Immigration status
• Social class
• Social status
• Religion / beliefs
1. Requirements for all staff
Chingford House School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of its pupils. Each pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance.
As such, all our staff are aware of our policies which support safeguarding. These are covered during training sessions and explained as part of staff induction. These include:
• the safeguarding policy;
• the behaviour policy;
• the role of the designated safeguarding lead (including the identity of the designated safeguarding lead and any deputies).
• Part 1 and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) and Chapter 1 of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
Support for all staff
All staff receive:
• appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated.
• In addition, all staff receive safeguarding and child protection updates via staff meetings, as required to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
• Training ensures that ALL staff:
• Are aware of their local early help process and understand their role in it.
• Are aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989
• Are aware of the process for making referrals of allegations against professionals to the local authority’s Designated Officer (usually known as the LADO)
• Know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected.
• Know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality.
All staff demonstrate particular alertness for children who:
• Are disabled and have specific additional needs
• Have special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory EHC plan)
• Are frequently missing/go missing from care or from home
• Live in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse
• Have returned home to their family from care
• Are showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect
• Are at risk of being radicalised or exploited, including their families
• Are a privately fostered child.
All Staff Awareness of Indicators
• All staff are aware of indicators of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.
• Staff working with children maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.
• When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff always act in the best interests of the child.
• If staff are unsure, they always speak to the designated safeguarding lead or the deputy DSL.
The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. The Data Protection Act 2018 allows practitioners to share information without consent when –
• it is not possible to gain consent,
• it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent
• if to gain consent would place a child at risk
• if a practitioner has reason to believe that there is good reason to do so, and that the sharing of information will enhance the safeguarding of a child in a timely manner. When decisions are made to share or withhold information, practitioners should record who has been given the information, what has been given and why.
2. The Legislative & Guidance Framework
All Staff & Volunteers:
Everyone working in or for Chingford House School shares an objective to help keep children and young people safe by contributing to:
• providing a safe environment for children and young people to learn and develop
• identifying children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and taking appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and in our setting.
This policy adheres to the London Child Protection Procedures. This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation aimed to protect children:
• Children Act 1989
• UN Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
• General Data Protection Regulations 2016
• Data Protection Act 2018
• Human Rights Act 1998
• Education Act 2002
• Sexual Offences Act 2003
• Children Act 2004
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
• Childcare Act 2006
• Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
• Children & Families Act 2014
It is also applied alongside the following statutory guidance:
• Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)
• Working together to safeguard children: A guide to interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children 2018
• Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (2017)
• Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) code of practice for 0 to 25 years: Statutory guidance 2014
• Section 39 (1) (b) of the Childcare Act 2006 places a duty on childcare and early years providers to comply with the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017. All childcare providers should also to refer to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)
And departmental guidance:
• What to Do if You Are Worried a Child is Being Abused - Advice for Practitioners (2015)
• Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers 2018
Basic Statutory Requirements
• All staff must read s3 of the EYFS 2017
This policy should be read alongside Chingford House School’s policies and procedures on:
• Concerns about a member of staff
• Child Protection
• Health & Safety
3. Safeguarding Leadership
The Designated Safeguarding Lead Role
Ms Yolande Farrell is our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and as such has the appropriate status and authority to carry out the duties and key tasks of the post.
Key Tasks of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Role
• Work with others
• Raising Safeguarding Awareness with children, professionals and parents
• Managing the child protection file and transfers for incoming and leaving pupils
• Ensure availability and cover
• Managing referrals to children’s social care
• Supporting staff around referrals
• Policy development, review & compliance
• Raising awareness
• Managing annual safeguarding training of all staff
• Take a lead on decision-making in relation to blemished DBS disclosures of candidates and referring cases to the DBS
School Transfers: child protection file
• Where children leave Chingford House School, we ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new setting as soon as possible. This is transferred separately from the main pupil file by secure transit, and confirmation of receipt is obtained.
• In addition to the child protection file, the designated safeguarding lead might, if appropriate, share information with the new setting in advance of a child leaving. For example, to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.
• The designated safeguarding lead or deputy DSL are always available during the school’s opening hours for staff or parents/carers to discuss any safeguarding concerns. Mrs Akhtar is our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and is trained to the same standard as the designated safeguarding lead. Mrs Akhtar can deputise and cover for Ms Farrell. However, the ultimate lead responsibility for child protection, as set out above, remains with the designated safeguarding lead, Ms Farrell.
4. Understanding & Identifying Abuse
All staff are aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment – a person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.
Child welfare concerns may arise in many different contexts, and can vary greatly in terms of their nature and seriousness:
• Children may be abused in a family or in a community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger, including, via the internet.
• In the case of female genital mutilation, children may be taken out of the country to be abused.
• They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
• An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties.
• Abuse reduces resilience in children and puts them at further risk of abuse throughout their lives.
Abuse and neglect can happen over a period of time, but can also be a one-off event. Child abuse and neglect can have major long-term impacts on all aspects of a child's health, development and well-being.
Assessments of children consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare. Children’s social care assessments should consider such factors so Chingford House School has a duty to provide as much information as possible as part of the referral process. This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and the full context of any abuse.
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
There are four main categories of abuse and neglect:
• physical abuse
• emotional abuse
• sexual abuse
Physical abuse is deliberately physically hurting a child. It might take a variety of different forms, including hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating a child.
Physical abuse can happen in any family, but children may be more at risk if their parents have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health or if they live in a home where domestic abuse happens. Babies and disabled children also have a higher risk of suffering physical abuse. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Physical abuse can also occur outside of the family environment.
Indicators may include:
• Children with frequent injuries;
• Children with unexplained or unusual fractures or broken bones; and
• Children with unexplained bruises or cuts, burns or scalds; or bite marks.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. It is also sometimes called psychological abuse and it can have severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development.
Although the effects of emotional abuse might take a long time to be recognisable, practitioners will be in a position to observe it, for example, in the way that a parent interacts with their child. Emotional abuse may involve deliberately telling a child that they are worthless, or unloved and inadequate. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Indicators may include:
• Children who are excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong;
• Parents or carers who withdraw their attention from their child, giving the child the ‘cold shoulder’;
• Parents or carers blaming their problems on their child;
• Parents or carers who humiliate their child, for example, by name-calling or making negative comparisons.
Sexual Abuse & Exploitation:
Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. Many children who are victims of sexual abuse do not recognise themselves as such. A child may not understand what is happening and may not even understand that it is wrong. Sexual abuse can have a long-term impact on mental health. Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Indicators may include:
• Children who display knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to their age
• Children who use sexual language / have sexual knowledge that you wouldn’t expect them to have
• Children who ask others to behave sexually or play sexual games
Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, supervision or shelter. It is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s health or development.There are many different aspects in which neglect can manifest: educational neglect, medical neglect, emotional neglect, physical neglect, and so on. Neglect usually indicates a relationship issue between the parent and child. Emotional neglect can be as detrimental if not worse than physical neglect. Emotional Neglect is a parent’s failure to respond enough to a child’s emotional needs; it is a failure to notice, attend to or respond appropriately to a child’s feelings. It results in children having difficulty trusting or knowing their own feelings or others because theirs were never validated. Children who are neglected often also suffer from other types of abuse. Neglect may occur if a parent becomes physically or mentally unable to care for a child. A parent may also have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, which could impair their ability to keep a child safe or result in them prioritising buying drugs, or alcohol, over food, clothing or warmth for the child. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal drug or alcohol abuse.
Indicators may include:
• Children who are living in a home that is indisputably dirty or unsafe
• Children who are left hungry or dirty
• Children who are left without adequate clothing – e.g. not having a winter coat
• Children who are living in dangerous conditions, i.e. around drugs, alcohol or violence
• Children who are often angry or aggressive
• Children who fail to receive basic health care
• Parents who fail to seek medical treatment when their children are ill or are injured
The warning signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect can vary from child to child. Disabled children may be especially vulnerable to abuse, including because they may have an impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse. They may have speech, language and communication needs which may make it difficult to tell others what is happening. Children also develop and mature at different rates so what appears to be worrying for a younger child might be normal behaviour for an older child. Parental behaviours may also indicate child abuse or neglect, so it is important to be aware of parent-child interactions.
Some of the following signs might be indicators of abuse or neglect:
• Children whose behaviour changes – they may become aggressive, challenging, disruptive, withdrawn or clingy, or they might have difficulty sleeping or start wetting the bed
• Children with clothes which are ill-fitting and/or dirty
• Children with consistently poor hygiene
• Children who make strong efforts to avoid specific family members or friends
• Children who are having problems in the setting
• Children who appear to be tired and hungry
• Children who talk about being left home alone, with inappropriate carers or with strangers
• Children who reach developmental milestones late, with no medical reason
• Children who are regularly missing from education
• Children who are reluctant to go home after nursery
• Children with poor attendance and punctuality / consistently late being picked up
• Parents who are dismissive and non-responsive to practitioners’ concerns
• Parents who collect their children when drunk, or under the influence
Children with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND) and other additional needs:
Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. This can include;
• Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s impairment without further exploration
• Assumptions that children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying- without outwardly showing any signs
• Communication barriers and difficulties
• Reluctance to challenge carers, (professionals may over empathise with carers because of the perceived stress of caring for a disabled child)
• Disabled children often rely on a wide network of carers to meet their basic needs and therefore the potential risk of exposure to abusive behaviour can be increased
• A disabled child’s understanding of abuse
• Lack of choice/participation
To ensure that all of our pupils receive equal protection we will give special consideration to children who are;
• Affected by parental substance misuse, domestic violence or parental mental health needs
• Asylum seekers
• Living in temporary accommodation
• Live transient lifestyles
• Living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
• At risk of sexual exploitation
• Do not have English as a first language
• At risk of female genital mutilation (FGM)
This list provides examples of additionally vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive. Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages and accessible formats for children with communication needs.
5. Thresholds for intervention
Waltham Forest has a Single Request for Help, Support and Protection via the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This means that Chingford House School does not need to make a thresholds assessment when referring children for concerns beyond the universal level.
A referral for Early Help and for acute concerns will go to the MASH. These referrals will be assessed by professionals from social care, the police, and health. This process helps to ensure that there is:
• Timeliness of screening decisions
• Consistency of threshold decisions
• Outcomes from the single request
• Responses to referrers
• Timeliness of allocations following screening decisions
Following any information raising concern, the designated safeguarding lead will;
• Consider the child’s wishes and feelings, but not promise confidentiality
• Consider any urgent medical needs of the child
• Make an immediate referral to Waltham Forest MASH Team if there has been a disclosure and/or allegation of abuse or there are clear grounds for concerns about the child’s safety and well-being
• Review Action when a child has suffered or is likely to suffer harm (Appendix 5) and Early help and threshold criteria for intervention
• Consult with a member of Waltham Forest MASH Team if uncertain whether or not a referral is required
Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. Early help can also prevent further problems arising; for example, if it is provided as part of a support plan where a child has returned home to their family from care, or in families where there are emerging parental mental health issues or drug and alcohol misuse.
Effective early help relies upon local organisations and agencies working together to:
• identify children and families who would benefit from early help
• undertake an assessment of the need for early help
• provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child
Identifying children and families who would benefit from early help
Practitioners must be able to identify new and emerging threats, including online abuse, grooming, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and radicalisation. To enable this, the safeguarding leads consider what training is needed locally and how they will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of any training they commission.
Effective assessment of the need for early help
Children and families may need support from a wide range of local organisations and agencies. Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one organisation or agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment.
These early help assessments should be evidence-based, be clear about the action to be taken and services to be provided and identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed through a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989.
The DSL or her deputy should undertake the assessment, provide help to the child and family, act as an advocate on their behalf and co-ordinate the delivery of support services.
For an early help assessment to be effective:
• It should be undertaken with the agreement of the child and their parents or carers, involving the child and family as well as all the practitioners who are working with them. It should take account of the child’s wishes and feelings wherever possible, their age, family circumstances and the wider community context in which they are living
• Practitioners should be able to discuss concerns they may have about a child and family with a social worker in the local authority. Local authority children’s social care should set out the process for how this will happen
In cases where consent is not given for an early help assessment, practitioners should consider how the needs of the child might be met. If at any time it is considered that the child may be a child in need, as defined in the Children Act 1989, or that the child has suffered significant harm or is likely to do so, a referral should be made immediately to the local authority children’s social care. This referral can be made by any practitioner.
Child In Need (s17)
“A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. Local authorities are required to provide services for children in need for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. Children in need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989”.
Child Protection (s47)
“The processes for children where there is reasonable cause to suspect that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm (this includes immediate protection for children at serious risk of harm)”
Referrals to the Waltham Forest children’s social care should be made immediately when concerns arise about a child’s welfare if there is a concern that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to do so. Practitioners who make a referral should always follow up their concerns if they are not satisfied with the response. In Chingford House School the DSL ordinarily takes responsibility for deciding whether to refer and they should be consulted prior to making a referral, where possible. If the DSL or Deputy DSL is not available, the referral should be made without delay by any other member of staff as a matter of priority. When practitioners refer a child, they should include any information they have on the child’s developmental needs, the capacity of the child’s parents or carers to meet those needs and any external factors that may be undermining their capacity to parent. Failure to accurately transmit the level of concern regarding a child by way of evidence (e.g., chronology, body map, disclosure) may result in the referral failing to meet threshold for statutory intervention; in turn, the child is not adequately safeguarded. If practitioners have concerns that a child may be a potential victim of modern slavery or human trafficking then a referral should be made to the National Referral Mechanism, as soon as possible.
Feedback should be given by the local authority children’s social care to the referrer on the decisions taken. Where appropriate, this feedback should include the reasons why a case may not meet the statutory threshold and offer suggestions for other sources of more suitable support. Practitioners should always follow up their concerns if they are not satisfied with the local authority children’s social care response and should escalate their concerns if they remain dissatisfied.
• Multi-agency referral form/single request for help and support or protection
• MASH information sharing guidance
• MASH practice guide
6. Procedures for reporting concerns
If you are concerned about a child’s welfare
There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a pupil may be at risk. The child’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be concerning, they may write stories that reveal confusion or distress, or display physical but inconclusive indicators of abuse. In these circumstances, the staff will try to give the child the opportunity to talk. Staff should use the welfare concern form on the staff noticeboard to record these early concerns, with a view to ongoing monitoring and assessment by the DSL, and can be referred to the Waltham Forest Early Help as required.
Staff will not investigate but will, wherever possible, listen, record and pass on information to the designated safeguarding lead in order that she can make an informed decision of what to do next.
• Listen to and take seriously any disclosure or information that a child may be at risk of harm
• Clarify the information by asking open questions (usually beginning with words such as ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ – in other words, questions that do not predict the answer). Sometimes just repeating the last statement made with a question intonation can keep someone talking.
• Make a written record of what the child has said (do not ask a child to write a statement)
• Try not to show signs of shock, horror, disbelief or surprise
• Not express feelings or judgements regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child
• Reassure and support the person as far as possible
• Explain that only those who ‘need to know’ will be told
• Explain what will happen next and keep them informed
• Report your concern as soon as possible to the DSL, definitely by the end of the day
Designated Safeguarding Lead Response
• In an emergency take the action necessary to help the child; if necessary call 999
• Without delay, inform social care by phone that a referral is on its way
• Gather information from staff in the setting
• Produce detailed chronology from Child Protection recording system
• Share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
• Complete a record of concern
• Seek support for yourself if you are distressed
In consultation with Waltham Forest MASH Team if necessary, Chingford House School’s DSLs and involved staff will decide together:
• Wherever possible, to talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk.
• Whether to make a child protection referral to social care because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately.
• Contact the designated officer for safeguarding in another agency if that agency is working with the family.
• Not to make a referral at this stage, but retain the information in written notes on the child’s confidential child protection file
• If further monitoring is necessary and agree who and how this will be undertaken
• If it would be appropriate to undertake an Early Help Assessment and/or make a referral for other services.
All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented.
All referrals to social care for children living in Waltham Forest needs to be completed using the Request for Help, Support and Protection.
Action following a child protection referral:
The designated safeguarding lead or other appropriate member of staff will;
• Maintain contact with the allocated social worker
• Contribute to the Strategy Discussion and Strategy Meeting
• Provide a report for, attend and contribute to any Initial and Review Child Protection Conference
• Share the content of this report with the parent, prior to the meeting
• Attend Core Group Meetings for any child subject to a Child Protection Plan or Child in Need Meeting for any child subject to a Child in Need Plan
• Where a child on a Child Protection Plan moves from the setting or goes missing, immediately inform the key worker in Social Care
Disclosures by a child:
Disclosures or information may be received from pupils, parents or other members of the public. Chingford House School recognises that those who disclose may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak. Accordingly, all staff will handle disclosures with sensitivity.
Staff cannot promise complete confidentiality as staff must report any disclosure of abuse or harm to a child or young person. However, children can be reassured that only those who need to know will be told.
Staff must immediately report any disclosure to the designated safeguarding lead and make a contemporaneous record.
Often a child will disclose information that causes concern but insufficient to making a referral. In such cases, staff will try to seek sufficient information to refer successfully to children’s social care, and thereby to effectively safeguard the child. In order to do this, staff will have to ask the child open questions that do not lead.
Policy adopted on October 15th 2018
Policy to be reviewed as necessary annually or whenever official guidance updates are issued.