Safeguarding Children Policy
The legal framework for this policy is based on:This policy lays out the procedure that will be followed if we have any reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to welfare issues including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
- UAE Child Right’s Law (2016)
- UK Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (2014)
At Falcon British Nursery, we :
- protect children from maltreatment,
- prevent the impairment of children’s health or development,
- ensure that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and
- take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
- work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to
- ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.
- Children have the right to be treated with respect, be helped to thrive and to be safe from any abuse or neglect in whatever form.
We define abuse as any action or inaction on the part of a caregiver that causes a child physical or emotional harm.
An example would be :
- holding a child under water, tying a child up, intentionally burning a child or scalding a child with hot water, throwing an object at a child or using an object to beat a child or hurting a child with bare hands, shaken child syndrome, starving a child or failing to provide a child with food, making a child pose or perform for pornographic pictures or videos, telling a child dirty jokes or stories, showing a child pornographic material, forcing a child to undress, forcing a child to touch an adults genitals, sexually touching a child’s genitals, having sexual relations with a child, “flashing” a child or showing them one’s genitals,
We define neglect as maltreatment of a child or failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care, typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care.
An example would be :
failing to provide medical care when a child is injured or sick, locking a child in a closet or room, placing a child in a dangerous situation that could lead to physical injury or death, leaving a child alone where they suffer harm because no one was looking after them.
Falcon British Nursery will create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image, encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development, provide a safe and secure environment for all children, always listen to children, provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need and share information with other agencies as appropriate.
Falcon British Nursery is committed to protecting children and promoting their welfare. Should anyone at believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the principal and the quality assurance board.
School practitioners are often the first people to see or sense a problem or have children confide in them that may indicate abuse.
Falcon British Nursery aims to:
- Keep the child at the centre of all we do
- Ensure children are kept safe while in the nursery
- Ensure that staff are supported to seek the help that a child may need
- Ensure confidentiality by sharing information with only those people who need to know in order to act in the best interest of the child.
- Ensure staff understand and adopt the safeguarding policy, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse, understand what is meant by child protection, are aware of the different ways in which
- children can be harmed, including by other children, i.e. bullying, discriminatory behaviour and are updated regularly with child protection issues.
- As part of the registration policy, ensure parents are aware of the child protection policy and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
- Make any referrals in a timely way
- Make sure the Child Protection Policy complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued by the UAE government, the ministry of education or ministry of interior
Children will be supported by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions. Activities will be devised according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence within their peer group.
Contact telephone numbers
Police – 999 for emergencies
ADEC – 02 615 0000 to report suspected abuse and maltreatment
Ministry of Education – 02 695 1309 for support and guidance
Types of abuse
Maltreatment includes abuse and neglect, causing harm and failing to act to prevent harm. Abuse can occur within a family, institution, or community setting by an adult or adults, another child or children known or unknown to the child.
Possible indicators may include some of the following:
Indicators of child abuse
- Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones
- Fearful or withdrawn tendencies
- Aggressive behaviour
- Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff
- Repeated injuries
- Unaddressed illnesses or injuries.
- Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
The nursery principal and deputy should write a record of any observation or disclosure to include:
- Child’s name
- Child’s address
- Age of the child and date of birth
- Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
- Exact words spoken by the child
- Exact position and type of injuries or marks seen
- Exact observation of an incident including any other witnesses
- Name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time
- Any discussion held with the parent(s)
which should be signed by the principal, deputy and HR manager, dated and kept in a separate confidential file in the HR department.
It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure is not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. The child should not be promised confidentiality, but staff should keep confidentiality as part of the staff employment documents signed when starting with the nursery.
Physical abuse includes symptoms like bruising or injuries in an area that is not usual for a child, e.g. fleshy parts of the arms and legs, back, wrists, ankles and face, shaking or throwing (especially babies), burns and scalds, deliberate poisoning(where there is definite knowledge, or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented) . Cuts and grazes from normal childhood injuries should be logged and discussed with the manager.
Illness fabricated by an adult in order to receive medical treatment or investigation may include symptoms of physical illness, e.g. through poisoning, starvation and inappropriate diet, false allegations of abuse or encouraging the child to appear disabled or ill to obtain unnecessary treatment or specialist support.
All signs of marks/injuries to a child, when they come into nursery or occur during time at the nursery, will be recorded as soon as noticed by a staff member
The incident will be discussed with the parent at the earliest opportunity, where felt appropriate
Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records.
The manager should contact the appropriate authorities if immediate or potential threat detected.
When a child indicates sexual activity through words, play, drawing, had an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters, or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour or language, action needs to be taken. This may include acting out sexual activity on dolls/toys or in the role play area with their peers, drawing pictures that are inappropriate for a child, talking about sexual activities or using sexual language or words. The child may become worried when their clothes are removed, e.g. for nappy changes.
Physical symptoms may include genital trauma, discharge, and bruises between the legs or signs of a sexually transmitted disease.
Emotional symptoms could include a distinct change in a child’s behaviour. They may be withdrawn or overly extroverted and outgoing. They may withdraw away from a particular adult and become distressed if they reach out for them, but they may also be particularly clingy to a potential abuser so all symptoms and signs should be looked at together and assessed as a whole.
If a child starts to talk openly to an adult about abuse they may be experiencing; the procedure stated later in this document under ‘recording abuse suspicions’ will be followed.
- The adult should reassure the child and listen without interrupting if the child wishes to talk
- The observed instances will be detailed in a confidential report
- The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager
- The matter will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team
- A sensitive and confidential discussion will be held with the parents/carers of any other children party to inappropriate play.
Action should be taken under this heading if the staff member has reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child, caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.
This may include extremes of discipline where a child is shouted at or put down on a consistent basis, lack of emotional attachment by a parent, or it may include parents or carers placing inappropriate age or developmental expectations upon them. Emotional abuse may also be imposed through the child witnessing domestic abuse and alcohol and drug misuse by adults caring for them.
The child is likely to show extremes of emotion with this type of abuse. This may include shying away from an adult who is abusing them, becoming withdrawn, aggressive or clingy in order to receive their love and attention. This type of abuse is harder to identify as the child is not likely to show any physical signs.
- The concern should be discussed with the principal, registrar and deputy
- The concern will be discussed with the parent
- Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records
Action should be taken under this heading if the staff member has reason to believe that there has been persistent or severe neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold, starvation or failure to seek medical treatment when required on behalf of the child), which results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, including failure to thrive.
Signs may include a child persistently arriving at nursery unwashed or unkempt, wearing clothes that are too small (especially shoes that may restrict the child’s growth or hurt them), arriving at nursery in the same nappy they went home in or a child having an illness that is not being addressed by the parent. A child may also be persistently hungry if a parent is withholding food or not providing enough for a child’s needs.
Neglect may also be shown through emotional signs, e.g. a child may not be receiving the attention they need at home and may crave love and support at nursery. They may be clingy and emotional. In addition, neglect may occur through pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
- The concern will be discussed with the parent
- Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records
- If there appears to be any queries regarding the circumstances the MOI will be notified
Staffing and volunteering
It is the policy of the nursery to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. The nursery will only allow an adult who is employed by the nursery to care for children and who has an enhanced clearance to be left alone with children. It won’t allow volunteers to be alone with children or any other adult in the nursery regardless of whether or not they have a DBS clearance.
All staff will attend child protection training and receive initial basic child protection training during their induction period. This will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery.
We have a named person within the nursery who takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and co-ordinates child protection and welfare issues, known as the Designated Safeguarding Co-ordinator (DSCO). The nursery manager, DSCO and deputy will undertake specific training, including a child protection training course, and receives regular updates to developments within this field.
The Designated Safeguarding Co-ordinator (DSCO) at the nursery is Ms Princess
- We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children
- Applicants for posts within the nursery are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out police clearance checks before posts can be confirmed.
- HR gives staff members/volunteers and students opportunities to declare changes that may affect their suitability to care for the children including anything in their private life, family members or medical background during regular reviews/supervisions termly.
- This information is also stated within every member of staff’s contract.
- We request police security checks prior to the start of employment.
- We abide by the requirements of the EYFS, MOE and MOI guidance in respect to obtaining references and suitability checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the nursery or has access to the children.
- The HR manager collects at least two written references BEFORE a new member of staff commences employment with us
- Volunteers, including students, do not work unsupervised
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the nursery, so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children. Visitors name, emirates id, phone number and child information is recorded. Suppliers and contracts need to sign in with the receptionist
- All visitors/contractors will be supervised whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use. They need to wear a visitors badge given to them in reception.
- All staff have access to a whistleblowing policy which will enable them to share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner
- All staff will receive regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss any issues relating to individual children, child protection training and any needs for further support
- The deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision and support. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, the door will be left ajar or other safeguards will be put into action to ensure the safety of the child and the adult.
Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the MOI does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser, or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
All suspicions, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared in line with guidance from the MOI.
Support to families
The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff, students and volunteers within the nursery.
The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interests of the child.
Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate in line with guidance of the MOI with the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount. We will do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.
Employees, students or volunteers of the nursery or any other person working on the nursery premises
If an allegation is made against a member of staff, student or volunteer or any other person who lives or works on the nursery premises regardless of whether the allegation relates to the nursery premises or elsewhere, we will follow the procedure below.
The allegation should be reported to the HR manager or line manager on duty. If this person is the subject of the allegation, then this should be reported to the manager instead.
- A full investigation will be carried out by the senior staff members
- Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation
- The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff during an investigation
- All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file by the HR manager for access by the relevant authorities
- Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being re-instated
- Founded allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisations, and where an offence is believed to have been committed, the police, and will result in the termination of employment. All records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 10 years if that is longer. This will ensure accurate information is available for references.
- The nursery retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry
- Counselling with the HR manager will be available for any member of the nursery who is affected by an allegation, their colleagues in the nursery and the parents.