Safeguarding at Bowerham Kids Club
Safeguarding is at the heart of what we do, and keeping your child safe and happy while in our care is at the forefront of our planning and how we work.
All our staff are subject to background checks and we have a number of policies and procedures to make sure that your child’s welfare is our number one priority.
Our Safeguarding policy is written out below and you can download and save a copy of it by going to our Policies Page.
Bowerham Kids Club Safeguarding Children Policy
Bowerham Kids Club is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse and harm.
The Club will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur. The Club’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
The Club’s designated Child Protection Officer (CPO) is Suzannah Keeves. The CPO coordinates child protection issues and liaises with Bowerham Nursery & Primary School and external agencies (eg Social Care, the LSCB and Ofsted).
Forms of 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 a child from harm. The following are some signs often associated with particular types of child abuse and neglect. These types of abuse are more often found in combination than alone.
- 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 or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
- 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.
- 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, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts, or non-contact activities such as showing children pornographic materials, sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. Neglect can involve a failure to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm
- ensure adequate supervision
- allow access to medical treatment.
If abuse is suspected or disclosed
When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:
- Reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to talk to them
- Listen to the child but not question them
- Give reassurance that the staff member will take action
- Record the incident as soon as possible (see below).
If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the incident straightaway. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Club is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.
Logging an incident
All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure will be recorded as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:
- Date of the disclosure or of the incident causing concern
- Date and time at which the record was made
- Name and date of birth of the child involved
- A factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, it is essential to use the child’s own words.
- Name, signature and job title of the person making the record.
The record will be given to the Club’s CPO who will decide whether they need to contact Social Care or make a referral. If other staff feel that the incident has not been adequately followed up, they may call Social Care themselves.
Allegations against staff
If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:
- The allegation will be recorded in the Incident Book. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
- 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 Club will act upon the advice.
- Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.
Promoting awareness among staff
The Club will promote awareness of child abuse issues throughout its staff training. The Club
will ensure that:
- Its designated CPO has relevant experience and receives appropriate training
- Safe recruitment practices are followed for all staff
- All staff have a copy of the Safeguarding Children policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse or neglect
- All staff are aware of their statutory requirements with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse
- Staff are familiar with the ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused’ flowchart
- Staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File.
Ofsted: 0300 123 1231
NSPCC: 0808 800 500