"Children need models rather than critics." Joseph Joubert, French moralist
My first responsibility and priority is towards the children in my care. If I have any cause for concern I will report it, following the local Safeguarding Children Board procedures. The relevant local procedures that are held by me are available on request. I understand that child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, neglect or a mixture of these. I must notify Ofsted in England of any allegations of abuse, which are alleged to have taken place while the child is in my care.
I keep up to date with child protection issues and relevant legislation by taking regular training courses and by reading relevant publications. This helps me be aware of the signs of abuse or neglect and what to do if I have a concern.
I have copies of, and am familiar with, the local Safeguarding Children Board procedures.
I have a copy of the relevant booklets and guidance; I have read them and understand them.
If I am concerned about a child’s welfare, I may contact the local authority, the NSPCC, Morton Michel or other relevant support services for advice, confidentiality will be assured only when it is clear that there is no risk of harm to a child.
Child protection concerns that could identify a particular child are kept confidential and only shared with people who need to know this information.
Parents must notify me of any concerns they have about their child and any accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded.
I work together with parents to make sure the care of their child is consistent. Please see my Working with Parents policy.
If I notice:
significant changes in behaviour
unexpected bruising or marks
any comments made which give me cause for concern
deterioration in general well-being which causes concern
signs of neglect
I will implement the local Safeguarding Children Board procedures, without delay to minimise any risk to the child. I will call the local social services’ duty desk and follow it up with a letter within 48 hours. I will keep a factual record of the concern and will ask the parents for an explanation, providing it would not put the child at risk.
The national standards for registered childminders in England require me to let Ofsted know of any concerns that I have reported without delay.
If a child tells me that they or another child is being abused, I will:
show that I have heard what they are saying, and that I take their allegations seriously
encourage the child to talk, but I will not prompt them or ask them leading questions. I will not interrupt when a child is recalling significant events and will not make a child repeat their account
explain what actions I must take, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child
write down what I have been told using exact words where possible
make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion
then report my concerns immediately to the duty social worker who has the experience and responsibility to make an assessment of the situation.
In all instances, I will record:
the child’s full name, date of birth and address
the date and time of the record
factual details of the concern, for example bruising, what the child said, who was present
details of any previous concerns
details of any explanations from the parents
any action taken such as speaking to parents.
It is not my responsibility to attempt to investigate the situation myself.
Useful telephone numbers:
Local social services duty desk – 0300 303 0440
Local Social Services Out of Hours – 0300 303 8875
Local police station – 0161 856 8828
Ofsted - 0300 123 3155
Morton Michel – 0845 2570 117
NSPCC child protection helpline – 24-hour helpline
for people worried about a child -0808 800 5000