Child Care Okehampton

Safeguarding Policies and Procedures

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 in Our Policies

Safeguarding Policies and Procedures

Designated Safeguarding Officers: Clare Acton and Lorraine Neighbour 

Contact details of all officers and agencies are listed at the end of the policy document.

If you are concerned about a child or young person in Devon and want to speak to someone contact our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email and give as much information as you can.

The lead practitioner is responsible for liaison with local statutory children’s services agencies and with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. 

Stepping Stones Day Nursery is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  We intend to create in our setting an environment in which children are safe from harm and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to.  In order to achieve this we will;

  • Protect children from maltreatment.
  • Prevent impairment of children’s health or development.
  • Ensure that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
  • Take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

(Working Together 2013)

Stepping Stones Day Nursery will ensure that the five outcomes set out by the Green Paper (2003) will be key in promoting positive outcomes for all children and will be demonstrated through all policies and procedures that effect children’s welfare and development.  In addition to this we will endeavour to;

  • Prevent unsuitable people working with young children and young people.
  • Promoting safe practice and challenge poor and unsafe practice.
  • Identify instances in which there are grounds for concern about a child’s welfare and initiate or take appropriate action to keep them safe.
  • Contribute to effective partnership working between all those involved with providing services for children and young people.
  • Encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence, to gain essential life skills, self esteem and the vocabulary to develop protective behaviours

To be able to do this we must:

Exclude Known Abusers 

  • It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the nursery that the position is exempt from the provision of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  Therefore all convictions, cautions and bind overs including those regarded as ‘spent’ must be declared.
  • All applicants must apply for an application form, so that applicants are unable to omit details.
  • At least two references will be obtained before interviewing that will answer specific questions with regard to suitability of working with children.
  • In the case of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought.
  • A face to face interview will take place exploring the candidate’s suitability, verifying their identity and their qualifications and checking their previous employment history.
  • The enhanced criminal record check will be carried out but it is important to note that they will only pick up abusers who have been convicted or have come to the attention of the police.
  • We will not allow people, whose suitability has not been checked, including through a criminal records check, to have unsupervised contact with children being cared for.
  • All appointments both paid and unpaid will be subject to probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the setting is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.
  • We need to be continuously aware after recruitment and therefore we have in place ways of working and appropriate practice to help reduce allegations.
  • Everyone should be able to raise concerns about unsafe practice and these concerns will always be listened to and taken seriously.
  • All information about staff qualifications, identity checks and vetting processes will be kept on record.

Seek and Supply Training

  • A senior member (Clare Acton) is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding with the designated deputy (Lorraine Neighbour) in case of absence.
  • A refresher course needs to be taken every three years.
  • We will seek out training opportunities for all staff involved in the setting to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse (Level 2).

Prevent abuse by means of good practice

  • All new staff will have an induction that includes policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding and promoting welfare; e.g. child protection, anti bullying, anti racism, physical intervention or restraint, intimate care.
  • They will be expected to follow safe practice and the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of staff and children in the establishment.
  • Adults who have not received their DBS checks or are still on their probationary period will not be left alone with the children or assist in toileting or nappy changing.
  • Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or small groups.  An adult who needs to take a child aside will leave the door ajar.
  • No mobile phones are allowed within the proximity of the children.
  • Only the settings I pads are to be used to collect evidence for children’s learning and development.
  • Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding their own names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them.  This will enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
  • The layout of the playrooms will permit constant supervision of the children.

Recognising concerns, signs and indicators of abuse

Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm.  For our setting it includes such things as child safety, bullying, racist abuse and harassment, visits, intimate care and internet safety.  However it must be acknowledged that technology itself will not present the greatest risk, but the behaviours of individuals using such equipment will.  The witnessing of abuse can have a damaging effect on those who are party to it, as well as the child subjected to the actual abuse, and in itself will have a significant impact on the health and emotional well-being of the child.  Abuse can take place in any family, institution or community setting, by telephone or on the internet.  Abuse can often be difficult to recognise as children may behave differently or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their family circumstances change.  However it is important to know the indicators of abuse and to be alert to the need to consult further.

Physical Abuse

This can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, punching, kicking, scalding, burning, drowning and suffocating.  It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention through fabricated or induced illness.  This was previously known as Munchausens Syndrome by proxy.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is where a child’s need for love, security, recognition and praise is not met.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of someone else such as domestic violence or domestic abuse.  A parent, carer or authority figure is considered emotionally abusive when they are constantly hostile, rejecting, threatening or undermining towards a child or other family member.  It can also occur when children are prevented from having social contact with others or if inappropriate expectations are placed upon them.  Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include;

  • Excessively clingy or attention seeking
  • Very low self-esteem or excessive self-criticism
  • Withdrawn behaviour or fearfulness
  • Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please
  • Eating disorders or self-harm

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  This may include physical contact both penetrative and non-penetrative, or viewing pornographic material including through the use of the internet.  Indicators of sexual abuse include; allegations or disclosures, genital soreness, injuries or disclosure, sexually transmitted diseases, inappropriate sexualised behaviour including words, play or drawing.


Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs which can significantly harm their health and development.  Neglect can include inadequate supervision (being left alone for long periods of time), lack of stimulation, social contact or education, lack of appropriate food, shelter, appropriate clothing for conditions and medical attention and treatment when necessary.

Actions to be taken if you are concerned

  • Take the child to a quiet place away from other children
  • Do not ask leading questions
  • Stay calm and listen carefully, try not to show emotion
  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing by telling you.
  • Do not promise to keep what they told you a secret
  • Explain that you will need to tell someone else
  • Inform the Safeguarding Designated Officer as soon as possible
  • Complete written reports of the allegation, which must be signed, dated and state our position using the safeguarding record log forms.

All child protection concerns need to be acted on immediately.  If you are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse you must inform the Safeguarding Designated Officer.

Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse

  • Changes in children’s behaviour / appearance will be investigated.
  • All suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those on a ‘who need to know’ basis.
  • In general professionals should seek to discuss any concerns about the child’s welfare with the family and where possible seek their agreement to making referrals to children’s social care.  Parents will normally be the first point of reference, though suspicions will also be referred as appropriate to either the Multi- Agency Safeguarding Hub (M.A.S.H.) or to Children and Young People Services (CYPS) – Social Care or the Police.
  • If the child is thought to be at high risk from the parents, referral will be made without the parent’s knowledge.
  • Where there are doubts, the designated person should clarify with the statutory agency whether and if so when and by whom the parents should be told about the referral.
  • Where appropriate the setting should help parents understand that a referral is in the interest of the child.

Procedure to follow if an allegation is made against a member of staff / Whistle-blowing

If a member of staff has;

  • Behaved in a way that has or may have harmed a child.
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child.
  • Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates they are unsuitable to work with children.

All allegations should be reported straight away, normally to the setting’s manager / proprietor.  A written statement of the accusation will be recorded and will include the date and time of when the accusation was first made, the name of the person making the accusation, details of the accusation together with any supporting evidence and the name of the member of staff to whom the allegation was first reported.

This statement will be signed, dated and timed by the person making the accusation and the person to whom the accusation was reported.  The designated local authority officer responsible for advising and monitoring cases will be informed.

In the case of an allegation there will be three strands to consider;

  • A police investigation of a possible criminal offence
  • Enquires and assessment by children’s social care about whether the child is in need of protection or in need of services
  • Consideration by the setting of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.

The member of staff accused of the safeguarding offence will be interviewed by the manager / proprietor.  The member of staff will be made aware of the details of the allegation and that the designated local authority officer has been informed.  In some instances there may also be a need to contact DFES for consideration.

The member of staff will be asked to comment on the allegation.  The setting’s manager / proprietor will decide on the action to be taken with support from the local authority designated officer (01392 386013).  This may include immediate suspension of the member of staff without pay.

Parents or carers of a child should be told about the allegation as soon as possible.  They should also be kept informed about the progress of the case and told the outcome where there is not a criminal prosecution, including the outcome of any disciplinary procedure.

In cases where children have suffered significant harm, consideration needs to be taken on supporting the child.

The alleged person should also be kept informed of the progress of the case and we should consider what support they may need.  Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered.

If a person resigns due to allegations, they still need to be followed up.  It is important to reach and record a conclusion whenever possible.

It is important that record keeping is a clear and concise summary of the allegations made, there needs to be details on how it was followed up and a personnel file and a copy to be given to the person concerned. This record should be retained until retirement age or for a period of ten years if that is longer.

If on conclusion of the case the nursery ceases to use the person’s services or the person ceases to offer their services, the setting should consult the designated officer about whether a referral to DFES is required. If appropriate this should be done within one month.

Where an employer becomes aware of relevant information which may lead to disqualification of an employee, the provider must take appropriate action to ensure the safety of children.

  • Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Group Act 2006, the nursery has a duty to make a referral to the disclosure and barring service where a member of staff is dismissed or would have been, had the person not left the setting, because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk.

The provider must therefore give Ofsted the following information when relevant:

  • details of any order, determination, conviction, or other ground for disqualification from registration made under regulations made under section 75 of the Childcare Act 2006;
  • The date of the order, determination or conviction, or the date when the other ground for disqualification arose;
  • The body or court which made the order, determination or conviction, and the sentence (if any imposed) and;
  • A certified copy of the relevant order (in relation to an order or conviction).

This information must be provided to Ofsted as soon as reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the date the provider became aware of the information or ought reasonably to have become aware of it if they had made reasonable enquiries.

Keep Records

  • Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up.
  • Each individual file will have its own genogram and chronology.  These will be regularly updated as and when incidents and meetings occur.
  • This record will be separate from the usual on going records of children’s progress and development.
  • The record will include, in addition to the name, address and age of the child: time and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s behaviour / appearance, without comment or interpretation. Where possible the exact words spoken by the child; the date, name and signature of the recorder.
  • Such records will not be accessible to people in the setting other than the relevant staff.
  • All records will comply with the Data Protection Act 1988.  Requiring that all information is to be accurate, relevant and secure ensuing that there is justification for holding the information but there are exemptions to this.  Advice should be sought from MASH Consultation enquiries before providing access to safeguarding records.

Liaise with other bodies

  • The setting operates in accordance with local authority guidelines
  • Confidential records of children about whom the setting is anxious will be shared with either M.A.S.H., CYPS, Social Care or the Police, if the setting feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child’s condition have not bee provided.
  • If a report on a child is made to the authorities, the child’s parents will be informed at the same time as the report is made, unless it is felt that the child will be put at further risk.
  • The setting will maintain ongoing contact with the registering authority, including names, addresses and telephone numbers of individual social workers to ensure that it would be easy in an emergency, for the setting and Social Services to work well together.
  • Records will also be kept of the local safeguarding board contact or other contacts as appropriate and the police.


Clare Acton 07771 933617 Email

CYPS area contact numbers (Exeter and East): 01392 384 444

(North Devon): 01271 388 660

(Mid Devon):    08448 805 838

(Teignbridge, South and West Devon): 01392 386 000

(Available; 9.00 – 5.00 Monday to Thursday 9.00 – 4.00 Friday)

M.A.S.H.: 0345 1551071

Enquiry forms available from


(9.00 – 5.00 Monday to Thursday 9.00 – 4.00 Friday)

Out of Hours CYPS emergency duty service: 0845 6000 388

Police Central Referral Unit: 0845 605 116

Allegations against Staff referral co-ordinator (L.A.D.O): 01392 384964

EYCS Consultation Service:

If you have concerns about a child but are unsure whether to make a Social Care Referral. The numbers are;

Nikki Philips – Locality manager for Exeter, East and Mid Devon 01392 385394

Melissa Filby – Locality manager for Northern Devon 01271 388901

Susan Bolt –  Locality manager for South West Devon 01626 324982


Head of Safeguarding: Chris Dimmelow 01392 386091

DSCB Office: Christina Ashforth 01392 386067

Support Families

  • All parents need to understand that the setting has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that this necessitates a child protection policy and procedure.  With this in mind, Stepping Stones will not condone illegal practices according to English Law, which are harmful to children.  Even if this maybe in compliance with some beliefs that may be common within particular cultures.
  • The setting may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare.
  • The setting will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families and staff.
  • Where abuse is suspected, the setting will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed.
  • Confidential records kept on a child will be shared with the child’s parents.
  • With the provision that care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the setting will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.

Related Setting Policies

Safeguarding covers more than the contribution made to child protection in relation to individual children.  It also encompasses issues such as child health and safety, bullying and a range of other issues, for example, arrangements for meeting the medical needs of children, providing first aid, setting security, etc.

This policy will cross reference to related  setting policies and other protocol

  • Behaviour management policy
  • Confidentiality policy
  • E- Safety Policy; cameras, mobile phones, ict misuse, online policies
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Safe recruitment policy

Legislation relating to this policy:

Children Act 1989, 2004

Education Act 1996, 2002 (section 175)

School standards and framework act 1998

Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in Education guidance Dfes 2007

Every Child Matters

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014

Working together to safeguard children 2013

Manuals kept in setting

Safeguarding children and safer recruitment 2007

What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2006

Working together to safeguard children 2010

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