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Cre8's Safeguarding Policy

Cre8 Playschemes is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation.

The Playscheme will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. The Playscheme’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by Hampshire Children’s Services. 

The Designated Safeguard Officer is available at all times while the Playschemes are in session. The Designated Safeguard Officer coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Children’s Services and Ofsted).

The Playscheme’s Designated Safeguard Officer is Joanna Stirling.

Child abuse and neglect

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.

  1. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

  1. Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.

  2. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

  3. Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.

Signs of child abuse and neglect

Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:

  1. significant changes in a child's behaviour 

  2. deterioration in a child’s general well-being

  3. unexplained bruising or marks

  4. comments made by a child which give cause for concern

  5. reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg in the child’s home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation, or that the child may have witnessed domestic abuse

  6. inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.

If abuse is suspected or disclosed

When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:

  1. reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out

  2. listen to the child but not question them

  3. give reassurance that the staff member will take action

  4. record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below).

If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the matter straight away using the Logging a concern form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Children’s Services directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Playscheme is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.

Child on Child abuse

Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Child on Child abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.

Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of Child on Child abuse:

  1. Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting

  2. One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg much older)

  3. One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength)

  4. There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.

If child on child abuse is suspected or disclosed

We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.

Prevent - Extremism and radicalisation 

All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg:

  1. feeling alienated or alone

  2. seeking a sense of identity or individuality

  3. suffering from mental health issues such as depression

  4. desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause

  5. associating with others who hold extremist beliefs

Signs of radicalisation

Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:

  1. changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive

  2. claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified

  3. viewing violent extremist material online

  4. possessing or sharing violent extremist material

If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form, and refer the matter to the DSL.

Logging a concern

All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:

  1. date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern

  2. date and time at which the record was made

  3. name and date of birth of the child involved

  4. a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words

  5. name, signature and job title of the person making the record.

The record will be given to the Playscheme’s DSL who will decide on the appropriate course of action.

For concerns about child abuse, the DSL will contact Children’s Services. The DSL will follow up all referrals in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Children’s Services directly.

For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the DSL will contact Hampshire Children’s Services. For more serious concerns the DSL will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the Prevent hotline on  0800 011 3764. For urgent concerns the DLS will contact the Police using 999.

Allegations against staff

If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:

  1. The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.

  2. The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and the Playscheme will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.

  3. Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.

  4. If appropriate, the Playscheme will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Promoting awareness among staff

The Playscheme promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. The Playscheme ensures that:

  1. the DSL has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Safeguarding and how to access it

  2. designated person training is refreshed every three years

  3. safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff

  4. all staff have a copy of this Safeguarding policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation/prevent

  5. all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation/prevent

  6. all staff receive basic safeguarding training, and safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all staff meetings

  7. all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty

  8. staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept in the folder in the kitchen

    • the Playscheme’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 to Working Together To Safeguarding Children (2018)’ and staff are familiar with ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)’.

Use of mobile phones and cameras

Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Only the Playscheme camera will be used to take photographs of children at the Playscheme, except with the express permission of the manager. Neither staff nor children nor visitors may use their mobile phones to take photographs at the Playscheme. For more details see our Mobile Phone Policy.

Contact numbers

Children’s Services Hampshire: 0300 555 1373

Social Care out of hours contact: As Above

LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer): 01962 876364

Hampshire Adult Services: 0300 555 1386 or 0300 555 1373

Police: 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency)

National Police Prevent Hotline: 0800 011 3764

NSPCC Hampshire: 023 8202 3400 NSPCC National: 020 7825 2505    

Ofsted: 0300 123 1231

Lovedean Village Hall Safeguard Lead: Joanna Stirling – 07907 236685 or 02392361727

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