Day Care
Nursery in
Cardiff
caring for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years
open 8am til 6pm
Little Cherubs Nursery Cardiff

Child Protection Policy information and guidance


Introduction

Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.

One of the underlying principles of the Children Act 1989 is that the welfare of the child is paramount at all times. As childcare workers we have a duty to help protect all children within our care at all times. As childcare workers, we are well placed to be able to listen and observe changes in children’s behaviour, which may ensure that a child at risk receives the protection, he or she needs and that their family gains help and support.

Types of abuse

There are four main categories of abuse and some children may experience more than one type at a time.

Physical Abuse

This is non-accidental injury-deliberately inflicted. Physical abuse includes anything a parent/carer does that results in physical harm to a child. Physical abuse may happen if a child is punished harshly, even though the parent/carer may not of meant to hurt the child. This type of abuse is often the most obvious as it involves bruises, cuts, burns or broken bones. These are often disguised, or the child will be kept away from the nursery until the injury has healed.

Examples of physical abuse include:
  • Bruises
  • Marks in the shape of objects or handprints
  • Shaking
  • Burns
  • Human bite marks
  • Fractures of the skull, arms, legs and ribs.
Physical abuse may result in a minor injury (such as a bruise) to a more serious injury, which could cause lasting damage or death (for example from shaking a child).

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a person uses power over a child, and involves the child in any sexual act. It is a combination of physical and emotional abuse as it violates the child’s body and emotions. Sexual abuse can have long lasting effects. This will include having difficulties in later life in forming trusting and stable personal relationships. It is important to remember that abusers are not always adults and that young children are inquisitive sexual beings and not all sexual behaviour is by any means indicative of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse includes involving the child in acts such as:
  • Fondling (touching the child in a sexual way)
  • Getting the child to touch the adult inappropriately
  • Exposing oneself
  • Pornography of any sort
Most sexual offenders are people the children know.

Emotional Abuse

This is the persistent lack of affection and physical interaction with a child. A parent/ carer who continually uses any of the following when interacting or disciplining a child is emotionally abusing the child.
  • Rejecting
  • Criticizing
  • Insulting
  • Humiliating
  • Isolating
  • Terrorizing
  • Not responding emotionally
  • Punishing the child for exploring the environment
Children who witness violence in their home may suffer emotional damage watching a love one being physically or verbally attacked. Emotional abuse can cause a child to become nervous, withdrawn, lacking in confidence and self-esteem.

Neglect

This is persistent or severe failure to meet a child’s basic needs. Neglect appears to be the most damaging form of abuse. Emotional, physical and sexual abuse mean that the child impinges on an adults thinking in some respect. With neglect, this is not the case: the child has no purpose and is as if he or she was not there at all. Examples of neglect include not providing proper:
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Supervision
  • Personal health care
  • Medical and emotional care
Children who are neglected physically and emotionally may not develop normally. Some children may suffer permanent damage and failure to thrive.

Physical and Behavioural indicators of abuse

When you have concerns for a child’s well being, the indicators listed below may help guide you in your thought process. Many of these “signs” could be caused by things other than abuse or neglect. Generally, these indicators do indicate that a child’s safety may be at risk and, at the very least, the situation should be assessed by a professional able to determine the causes of these symptoms and offer the help and assistance necessary to reduce the risk to a child.

Physical Abuse

Physical indicators
  • Unexplained bruises and welts
  • Unexplained burns, cigarette burns
  • Rope burns
Behavioural indicators
  • Behavioural extremes (withdrawal, aggression, regression, depression)
  • Inappropriate fear of parent/carer
  • Unbelievable or inconsistent explanation for the injuries
  • Unusual shyness, wariness of physical contact
Sexual Abuse

Physical indicators
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothes
  • Somatic complaints, including pain and irritation of the genitals
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
Behavioural indicators
  • The victims disclosure of sexual abuse
  • Unusual and age-inappropriate interest in sexual matters
  • Regressive behaviours (thumb-sucking, bedwetting, fear of the dark)
Emotional abuse

Physical indicators
  • Speech disorders (stuttering, stammering)
  • Weight or height level below the norm
  • Nervous disorders (rashes, facial tics, stomach aches)
Behavioural indicators
  • Habit disorders (biting, rocking, head-banging)
  • Behavioural extremes
  • Cruel behaviour, seeming to get pleasure from hurting others
Neglect

Physical indicators
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unsuitable clothing, overdressed or underdressed for climate conditions
  • Untreated injury or illness
Behavioural indicators
  • Unusual school attendance
  • Chronic hunger, tiredness, or lethargy
  • Assuming adult responsibilities
Taking Action

In order to protect children from abuse, you need to be able to:
  • Identify possible abuse
  • Reflect on your observations and decide what to do
  • Know how and to whom to report suspected abuse
  • Know where you can get advice or personal support
Glaringly obvious evidence of abuse is rare, but if there is some, the first duty is to protect the child. This may require urgent referral to social services and if they consider it necessary, an emergency protection order.

If you become concerned about a child’s behaviour or injuries, the manager should take notes and talk to the child’s parents. Discussions about injuries or behaviour should always be in the context of clarifying the situation. Any discussion must be confidential, but if you feel the parents aren’t responding to your concerns then you must contact social services.

You do not have to investigate to make sure your referral is valid, or that it complies with legal definitions. When you suspect a child’s welfare is jeopardized, and make a referral to Children’s services, you are helping to identify a potential need. Your feeling that something just isn’t right with a child is sufficient enough to warrant a call.

In more problematic cases, discussion with others who know the child and family in the nursery may be helpful. Advice should be sought from the child protection co-ordinator at the nursery (the manager).

If concerns remain, a discussion with local social services may be helpful. However, if you are sufficiently convinced then the parents/carer should be informed as the allocated social workers first responsibility will be to speak to the family. Talking to the family may be difficult and certainly should not be done alone.

It is important to record instances, injuries should be clearly described, or the behaviour detailed in everyday terms, avoiding the use of non-specific terms like ‘behaving in a bizarre manner’ or ‘being sexually provocative’. Evidence such as drawings or a recorded conversation may be helpful.

If there are sufficient concerns for the local authority to call an initial child protection case conference, it is essential that the professional who first referred the child attend, and be prepared to explain in detail why he or she made the referral. They will be expected to contribute to the decision as to whether the child’s name be placed on the child protection register and be involved in the care plan.

The parents are likely to be present at the conference and so it is important to be as non-judgemental as possible in the descriptions of the child and his or her injuries or behaviour.

Observing and recording signs of abuse

When you observe a child’s behaviour and physical condition make sure you do this unobtrusively and try not to disturb routines. If you notice any behaviour that is not in keeping with that child’s level of development or usual pattern of behaviour you will need to decide whether to record it. Record and report any significant changes in a child’s health or appearance. Bruises and abrasions, which are unlikely to have been inflicted by physical play, should be recorded promptly and accurately with an explanation of how they occurred on the observation sheets included in the accident file. These should be reported to the manager. To get information you could try talking to the parents or casually talk to the child about it.

Evaluating Evidence

You may be satisfied that there is no need for concern. If however you still feel doubtful then make a record of your concerns and evaluate the significance of all the evidence you have:
  • Physical signs or behavioural symptoms
  • Information from the child
  • Information from the parents
  • Any other information
It may be the situation doesn’t require urgent action, in which case you can keep your record and continue to observe the child.

Alternatively you may decide to make an immediate referral. There is more on this in ‘Taking Action’ section.

Summary
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse
  • Recognise the behavioural problems associated with abuse
  • Observe a child unobtrusively and without disturbing routine activities
  • Record such signs accurately on the observation sheets in the accident folder
  • Inform your child protection co-ordinator and manager
  • Discuss any concerns with parents, colleagues and other professionals if appropriate
  • Evaluate the evidence of abuse you have collected. Talk to the child if appropriate
  • Decide whether or not to take further action
  • Follow the guidelines above when referring a child

Our Policy


At nursery we aim to provide a safe and secure environment. The welfare of each and every child is paramount and it is the responsibility of all staff to protect them from harm. Any suspicion of abuse is reported promptly and appropriately. We have regard to and work in accordance with the safeguarding children: working together under the Children Act 2004, All Wales child protection procedures 2008 and Children and families (Wales) measure 2010 and the Welsh government’s statutory guidance on safeguarding children under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. We will have due regard to the Counter Terrorism and Security Act and assess the risks of any child being drawn into terrorism and protect them by following our child protection policies and procedures. We will identify and raise any concerns accordingly with the local authority and police.

Staffing

Applications for employment within our setting are exempt from the rehabilitation of offenders act 1974. The manager will have interviewed all staff and a DBS check will have been done along with at least two references. All staff will be under a probationary period of three months to ensure suitability to the particular setting. Induction training in which all policies and procedures are read and understood will be undertaken in the first week of joining. This applies for volunteers as well.

Prevention of abuse by means of good practise
  • Adults will not be left alone for long periods with one child. Children will be supervised at all times.
  • There is CCTV present in the nursery
  • Any adult involved in a one to one activity with a child in a separate room will be checked on regularly
  • Children will not be accompanied to the toilet or left alone by adults who have not received their police checks
  • An intimate care policy is followed for toileting
  • Children will be assisted by staff to extend their personal, social and communication skills so that they are more able to resist inappropriate approaches
  • There are no circumstances in which children will be punished by smacking, slapping or shaking. Neither will humiliating and/or frightening methods of discipline be used.
  • Children will only be collected from the nursery by an authorised adult whose details are held by the group.
Training and observing behaviour

Our aim is to ensure that all staff are fully trained in recognition of symptoms of possible physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect and how to respond appropriately. This includes considering changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance and discussing concerns with the manager and child protection co-ordinator at the nursery. Parents would normally be the first point of reference for manager but suspicions will be reported to social services if appropriate. Parents/carers are requested to report injuries, which occur outside of nursery. All injuries outside of nursery and any observations or suspicions will be recorded. Any suspicions or investigations are strictly confidential and are only shared with those who need to know, this does not automatically mean all staff. If ever worrying changes are observed in a child a specific and entirely separate and confidential record of those concerns will be made detailing dates, times, observations, what is said by the child and adult. Any such record will be objective and without interpretation and will only be accessible to the manager and the particular member of staff involved. If a report on a child is to be made to the authorities then the child’s parents will be informed in writing at the time.

Family support

Staff at Nursery will strive to create a relationship of trust and support with families at the nursery. If abuse in the home is suspected, staff will continue to welcome the child and the family into the group while investigations are being carried out. Although the safety of the child will always be paramount, nursery will make every effort to work closely with and support the family

What to do if a child tells you that they or another young person is being abused (taken from section 2 AWCPP)
  • Show the child that you have heard what they are saying, and that you take their allegations seriously:
  • Encourage the child to talk, but do not prompt or ask misleading questions: don’t interrupt when the child is recalling significant events. Don’t make the child repeat their account:
  • Explain what actions you must take, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child;
  • Do not promise to keep what you have been told secret or confidential, as you have a responsibility to disclose information to those who need to know. Reporting concerns is not a betrayal of trust;
  • Write down as soon as you can and no later than 24 hours what you have been told, using the exact words if possible;
  • Report your concerns to your line manager or (if appropriate) the member of staff in your organisation with designated responsibility for child protection;
  • Ensure that your concerns are immediately reported to the duty social worker at the local office. Do not delay;
  • Do not confront the alleged abuser;
  • Do not worry that you may be mistaken. You will always be taken seriously by social services. It is better to have discussed it with somebody with the experience and responsibility to make an assessment;
  • Make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion.
Reporting incidences

We have a duty to act on any suspicion that a child is being abused.

If parents have any concerns regarding any member of staff they must contact the manager or designated safe guarding officer immediately and in total confidence. Written records of any concerns and/or incidences will be kept and passed to relevant authorities if necessary.

If a member of staff suspects that another member of staff has been breeching regulations then it will be reported to the manager or designated safe guarding officer Jessica Miller, who can then decide what actions to take and report the incident to Care Inspectorate Wales or social services who can advise and investigate the matter. It is very important that you do not ignore or dismiss suspicions about another professional or colleague.

Under the Children Act 1989, Safe guarding children-working together under the children act 2004 and children and families (Wales) measure 2010 it is the duty of all staff to report all unexplained incidents and injuries, which give concern to a higher authority. Employees will be protected at work if they make an allegation by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). This is whereby if you are concerned that as a result of disclosing information at work you may be dismissed or penalised by your employer then the PIDA 1998 will protect your employment position.

If an allegation of abuse against a member of staff or volunteer should arise either by parents or colleagues we will take this seriously and treat in accordance with legislative framework and procedural guidance procedures. (Safeguarding children-Working together under the Children Act 2004, Children Act 2004, All Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008, Keeping us safe review 2006 and working together WAG guidelines 2006).

The procedure is as follows:
  1. The member of staff would be informed that a complaint has been made against them, they would be asked to leave the premises until the situation has been investigated and be on immediate suspension from work.
  2. Record allegation on a complaint form in accordance with AWCPP recording procedures
  3. The nursery will not undertake their own internal child protection enquiries but refer all concerns
  4. The manager and/or safe guarding officer will review the case and refer to the local authority social services department to inform them. CIW will also be notified. (AWCPP section 2 and 4)

CIW
Mid and South Wales Region
Government buildings
Rhydycar
Merthyr Tydfil
CF48 1UZ
Telephone: 03000 7900126


Contacts and information
  • Manager of the nursery/safeguarding officer
  • Care And Social Services Inspectorate Wales Tel:0300 7900126
  • Working together to safeguard children booklet
  • All Wales child protection procedures folder
  • NSPCC child protection helpline Tel: 0800 800 500
  • Childline Wales Tel: 08001111
In the event that you may feel the need to contact someone regarding concerns please contact the Multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) Cardiff.

If you are a professional and have a concern about a child at risk of harm contact MASH on:
  • Day time hours 02920 338506
  • In an emergency outside of the hours 8.30am-5pm Monday to Thursday and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm please call the Emergency Duty Team 02920 788570
  • If you are a professional and have a concern about an adult at the risk of harm please contact MASH on 02920 338439
If you think someone is in immediate risk for a child or adult please contact the police on 999
Visit The Nursery
Little Cherubs Day Nursery Cardiff
12 Penlline Rd, Whitchurch, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF14 2AD

Tel - 029 2052 1007

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