Newark and Sherwood Play Support Group -

Child Protection Policy and Procedures

We intend to create within the Play Support Group an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. In order to achieve this we will:

Exclude known abusers

It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the Play Support Group that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

All applicants for work within the Play Support Group, whether voluntary or paid, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide at least one reference. All such references will be followed up. 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.

All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the Play Support Group is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.

Seek and supply training

We will seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the group to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.

Prevent abuse by means of good practice

Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or small groups. An adult who needs to take a child aside – for example, for time out after behaviour which needs improvement – will leave the door ajar.

Adults who have not been registered as fit persons will not take children unaccompanied to the toilet.

Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding 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 room will permit constant supervision of all children.

Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse

Changes in children’s behaviour/appearance will be investigated.

Parents will normally be the first point of reference, though suspicions will also be referred as appropriate to the Social Services Department.

All such suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know. The people most commonly involved will be the member of staff, the crèche co-ordinator and the management committee chair.

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, quite 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; timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s behaviour/appearance, without comment or interpretation; where possible the exact words spoken by the child; dated, name and signature of the recorder.

Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people in the crèche other than the crèche leader, chair and member of staff as appropriate.

Liase with other bodies

The Play Support Group operates in accordance with local authority guidelines. Confidential records kept on children about whom the group is anxious will be shared with the Social Services Department if the group feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child’s condition have not been provided.

If a report on a child is to be made to the authorities, the child’s parents will be informed at the same time that the report is made.

The group 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 any emergency, for the crèche and the Social Services Department to work well together.

Records will also be kept of the local NSPCC contact(s) as appropriate.

Support Families

The crèche will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families and staff and volunteers in the group.

Where abuse at home is suspected, the crèche 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 proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the crèche will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.

Abandoned Children

1. Telephone the emergency contact
2. Inform Duty Social Worker
3. Telephone (Crèche Co-ordinator)
4. Telephone Ofsted
5. Record all details straight away

Missing Children

1. Telephone the Police to inform that a child has gone missing
2. Telephone the parents
3. Telephone the emergency contact number
4. Telephone Crèche Co-ordinator
5. Inform Ofsted
6. Record details straight away

Newark and Sherwood Play Support Group

Equal Opportunities

Everyone should be able to take part in Play and enjoy full benefit.

The Play Support Group believes no person or group should suffer disadvantage or discrimination by reason of race, culture, religion, gender disability, sexual orientation or social background.

The Play Support Group realises the need to challenge all discrimination to create the right conditions for giving everyone the opportunity to play and enjoy its full benefit.

The Play Support Group will work to eliminate prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination working together with reference to the National Standard Play Values and the human rights of children and adults.

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