Safeguarding Vulnerable Children Policy
At Driving 2ition we have a duty under section 11 of the Children’s Act 2004 to ensure that all staff consider the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Children’s Act 2004, as amended by the Children and Social Work Act 2017, places new duties on key agencies in a local area. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
Although we do not see children, staff should, in particular, be alert to the potential that they may come into contact with a child who may need early intervention.
Examples of when a child may need help follow:
is disabled and has specific additional needs;
is a young carer;
is showing signs of being drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse;
is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
has returned home to their family from care;
is a privately fostered child.
The purpose of this policy is to demonstrate Driving 2ition’s commitment to ensuring that children are safeguarded from harm if a situation arises.
Driving 2ition will demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by:
Designating a safeguarding lead, Simon Harbidge, the Proprietor of Driving 2ition
Ensuring that all staff recognise the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and have a clear understanding of their responsibility whether or not they are directly responsible for children
Providing appropriate training to all staff in accordance with requirements covering ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People’
Ensuring good practice in respect of equality and diversity, as outlined in the Equality and Diversity policy.
Accountability and responsibility
The safeguarding lead is the accountable officer and as such has overall responsibility for ensuring it meets its statutory requirements.
The lead for safeguarding children whose responsibilities include ensuring that Driving 2ition:
Has clear priorities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, explicitly stated in policy documents
Has a clear commitment to safeguarding ensuring all staff understand their responsibilities
Has clear lines of accountability for safeguarding with education and training programmes for all staff
Maintains good data protection and information sharing where appropriate to do so
Adheres to national and local policy and guidance
Training, raising awareness and supervision
Staff will be trained in child safeguarding in anticipation of coming across children with care and support needs that may be at risk of abuse.
The safeguarding lead will be responsible for ensuring safeguarding training is up to date.
Therefore, it is essential staff are well versed on safeguarding should they need to raise a safeguarding concern. Knowledge and awareness of what constitutes a safeguard is essential to staff identifying abuse.
Information sharing is important to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. It is recognised in many serious case reviews that the failure to share information has prevented early help. In accordance with the Department of Health ‘Working Together ‘document 2018, effective early sharing of information is the key to providing early help.
All staff will share information with relevant agencies when they suspect a child may be suffering or at risk of abuse.
All concerns should be referred to:
Children’s Services First Response on 0800 131 3126 8.30am-5pm Monday-Thursday, Friday 8.30am-4.30pm or complete an online enquiry form at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/first response.
Outside of these times, contact the Emergency duty team on 0345 604 2886 or 07815 492613.
Additional useful contacts:-
Staffordshire Police enquiries: Telephone 101 and ask for mash ( Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub). In an emergency always call 999.
NSPCC : Adults concerned about a child 0808 800 5000
NSPCC : Help for children and young people 0800 1111
Childline for free on 0800 1111.
Key definitions and concepts
As defined in ‘Working Together’ (2018)
The Children Acts 1989 and 2004 define a child as anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday (appendices 1, 2 and 9).
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
Is defined as:
Protecting children from maltreatment;
Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
Acting to support all children to have the best life chances.
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity, which is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or are likely to suffer from significant harm.
Children with disabilities
Children with disabilities may have an increased likelihood of being socially isolated. They are dependent on others for aspects of daily living including intimate care. They may have communication difficulties and/ or often may not have access to someone they can trust to disclose any abuse or they are vulnerable to bullying and intimidation.
Looked After Children
In England and Wales, the term ‘looked after children’ is defined in law under the Children Act 1989. A child is looked after by a local authority if he or she is in their care or is provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours by the authority.
Looked after children fall into four main groups:
Children who are accommodated under voluntary agreement with their parents (section 20)
Children who are the subject of a care order or interim care order (section 38)
Children who are the subject of emergency orders for their protection (section 44 and 46)
Children who are compulsorily accommodated.
Categories of abuse
This may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, burning or scalding, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child, such as to cause adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.
The forcing, or alluring, of a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.
Some children are in need because they are suffering significant harm. The Children Act 1989 (appendix 9) introduced the perception of significant harm as being the threshold that justifies necessary intervention. There are no absolute criteria on which to rely when judging what constitutes significant harm.
To understand and recognise significant harm it is necessary to consider:
The nature of the harm;
The impact on the child’s health and development;
The child’s development within the context of the family;
Any special needs that may affect the child’s development and care within the family;
The capacity of the parents to meet the child’s needs.
Child sexual exploitation
Although not always visible, children are involved in sexual exploitation across England and Wales. It is a tragedy for any child to become involved; it exposes them to abuse and assault and may even threaten their lives.
Children may suffer both directly or indirectly if they live in a house where there is domestic violence. Children that have been exposed to domestic violence have been shown to be at risk of behavioural, emotional, physical, cognitive-functioning, attitude and long-term developmental problems.
‘Honour-based’ violence and forced marriage
Honour based violence: A crime which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision and is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. This practice is illegal in Great Britain. If any child (under-18) presents with a physical sign that FGM has taken place or the child tells you that FGM has been performed mandatory reporting to the police via 101 is required.
You will not need consent from the family/carer to make this referral.
Young people vulnerable to radicalisation: PREVENT Strategy
The purpose of the PREVENT Strategy is to prevent people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism.
National news alerts us to the vulnerability of young people to radicalisation. This may evident either as a spoken opinion, ownership of material, changes to behaviour or voicing violent opinions and ideology.
Child trafficking and the Modern Slavery Act
Child trafficking is child abuse: it is defined as recruiting, moving, receiving and harbouring children for the purpose of exploitation (HM Government, 2011). Child trafficking is a form of modern slavery (HM Government, 2014).
Symptoms that should arouse suspicion and prompt referral
These lists are for guidance only and are not restricted Further guidance cm be found in NICE Clinical Guideline 89 ‘When to suspect child maltreatment’ (see appendix 10).
Bruising - age, site, cause e.g. fingertip, thumbprint, linear e.g. belt;
Linear burns, dunking;
Adult bite marks;
Any person who has knowledge of, or concerns that, a child may be suffering from significant harm or potentially may suffer from significant harm should follow the guidance from their local safeguarding team, details can be found on the local authority safeguarding web page. You must ensure that any concerns have been heard and understood and acted on appropriately.
Voice of the Child
You must ensure the child’s voice is heard, recorded and action taken is essential in maintaining child centred care for all children. Where possible, concerns should be discussed with the family and young person. If appropriate their consent should be gained prior to making a referral to Children’s Services. However, consent should not be sought if you think that by so doing you may place a child at increased risk of harm-including the child being silenced or punished for drawing attention to an issue of concern, prejudice a possible criminal investigation, or compromise formal enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act, i.e. where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer from significant harm.
The professional who makes the referral is responsible for communicating the concern. Where the concerns for a child or young person's safety are immediate the professional should telephone the local children’s safeguarding team and then complete a Safeguarding Children Referral Form online.
For all other safeguarding concerns the electronic referral from should be completed gaining consent from the family where appropriate
Once a referral has been made, inter-agency co-operation is essential.
Where there is clear evidence of criminal activity the Police must be involved. The Police have a duty and responsibility to investigate all criminal offences.
Monitoring of the effectiveness of safeguarding procedures will take place through a monthly quality performance audit, the rolling audit programme. Due to the nature of the service, we are aware we may not have any safeguards and therefore we may not audit practice
References and further reading
Department for Education ‘What to Do if You Are Worried A Child Is Being Abused.’ DfE London – appendix 5
NICE Clinical Guideline 89
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents Children’s Act 2014
Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare Staff Fourth edition: January 2019. Intercollegiate document.
When to suspect child maltreatment – appendix 10
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Managing Risk and Minimising Mistakes in Services to Children and Families – appendix 19