Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Child Protection

Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children.

Policy Statement

Staff will often be the first people to sense that there is a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse.  The setting has a duty to be aware that abuse does occur in our society.  This statement lays out the procedures that will be followed if we have any reason to believe that a child in our care is subject to emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect.

Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well being of all children in our care.  As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents/carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention.

The setting has a duty to report any suspicions of abuse to the Local Authority, which has a duty to investigate such matters.  The setting will follow the procedures set out in the Local Authority Child Protection Documents, and as such will seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently.

As an Ofsted registered provider, and as practitioners, we have both shared and individual responsibilities under a duty of care to ensure that we safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and protect them from significant harm. We ensure, therefore, that the welfare of each and every child in our care remains our paramount concern at all times.

Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the pre-school’s other policies and procedures.


Legislation to which we follow:

Working together to safeguard children 2015

This guidance aims to help professionals understand what they need to do, and what they can expect of one another, to safeguard children. It focuses on core legal requirements, making it clear what individuals and organisations should do to keep children safe. In doing so, it seeks to emphasise that effective safeguarding systems are in place.


Information sharing 2015

Information sharing is vital to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. A key factor identified in many serious case reviews (SCRs) has been a failure by practitioners to record information, to share it, to understand its significance and then take appropriate action. (see the 7 golden rules to sharing information on the last page)




Legal frameworks

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2014
  • Working together to safeguard children, 2013
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Children Act 2004 
  • The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • We also follow the Plymouth assessment framework and threshold guidance 2016


Types of abuse and procedures we follow

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution, or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children. The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.


Possible 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.


Definition of Child Abuse:

“Child abuse consists of anything which individuals, institutions or processes do, or fail to do, which directly or indirectly harms children or damages their prospects of safe and healthy development into adulthood.”

         (National Commission of Enquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse)


Physical Abuse

Actual or likely physical injury to a child or failure to prevent physical injury. This category may also be use when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.

Procedure for physical abuse:

Any sign of a mark/injury to a child when they come into nursery will be recorded.

The incident will be discussed with the parent/carer and such discussion will be recorded.  If there appears to be any queries regarding the injury, the Child Protection Unit in the Local Authority will be notified


Sexual Abuse

Forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activity whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may involve non-contact activities such as children looking at pornographic material or watching sexual activity or encouraging the child to act in a sexually inappropriate way, or grooming a child in


preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Woman can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Procedure for sexual abuse:

The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager. The matter will be referred to the Local Authority



The persistent failure to meet a child?s basic physical or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child?s health or development. It will include the failure by a parent or carer to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. Whilst a feature of neglect is that it is persistent, a one off serious incident of neglect can also result in significant harm.

Procedure for neglect:

The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer. Such discussion will be recorded . If there appears to be any queries regarding the circumstances the Local Authority will be notified.


Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child?s emotional development. It may include conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve making a child feel afraid or in danger, including severe or persistent bullying, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment.

Procedure for emotional abuse:

The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer. Such discussion will be recorded. If there appears to be any queries regarding the circumstances, the matter will be referred to the Local Authority.


Female genital mutilation

This type of physical abuse is practised as a cultural ritual by certain ethnic groups and there is now more awareness of its prevalence in some communities in England including its effect on the child and any other siblings involved.

 If we have concerns about a child in this area, we would contact children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse.


Modern Slavery and child trafficking

Child trafficking is the movement of a child or children for the purpose of exploitation. It is a criminal; offence under Modern Slavery legislation. A child is any person under the age of 18 and children can not consent to being exploited. Children can be trafficked into and out of the UK and within the UK itself. They can be trafficked by parents, extended family members, know adults from a community or by strangers. Trafficking often involves organised international networks of criminal gangs.

Modern slavery is a complex crime that takes a number of different forms. It encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. Victims maybe sexually exploited, forced to work for little or no pay or forced to commit criminal activities against their will. Victims are often pressured into debt bondage and are likely to be fearful of those who exploit them, who will often threaten and abuse victims and their families. All of these factors make it very difficult for victims to escape.


Fabricated illness

This is also a type of physical abuse. This is where a child is presented with an illness that is fabricated by the adult carer. The carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation. The signs may include a carer exaggerating a real illness or symptoms, complete

fabrication of symptoms or inducing physical illness, e.g. through poisoning, starvation, inappropriate diet. This may also be presented through 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 pre-school, will be recorded on an exciting injury form 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 on the existing injury paperwork and the parent will have access to such records and be asked to sign them
  • If there appears to be any queries regarding the injury, the local authority children’s social care team will be notified in line with procedures set out by the Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board


As well, as the categories of abuse defined above, we are also aware that exposure to domestic violence can have a serious impact on a child’s development and emotional well-being. We will therefore take appropriate action if we believe any child is directly or indirectly a recipient of this type of abuse. We will also take action, if a child presents with a significant unexplained injury, which may have occurred either at the setting, or in the home.


When considering a child’s welfare, we will seek to determine if the child is at risk of significant harm and/or is a child in need. We understand that there are no absolute criteria on which to rely on when judging what constitutes significant harm. We will therefore use our professional judgement, knowledge of the child and family, and where appropriate information from other agencies when making this assessment.

If in doubt, we will always seek advice from Children’s services at the Multi Agency Hub and can also contact Advice and Assessment (A & A) Service. If we determine that a child is suffering or at risk of significant harm, we will make an immediate telephone referral


Prevent Duty

In order for childcare providers to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of childcare providers’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences. Childcare providers can also build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. At Bobtails we follow the statutory guidance on Prevent Duty and all staff have complete the On-Line general awareness training module on channel.


Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT)

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The EHAT is a simple way to help identify needs of children and families and make a plan to meet those needs. It is a shared tool which can be used by all agencies in Plymouth who are delivering early help. Its purpose is to provide a co-ordinated response so no-one misses out on the support they may need

Multi agency hub

The Multi-Agency Hub is new service that is staffed by social workers alongside colleagues from health, education and the police. The Hub aims to target significant concerns from professionals and conduct research where it is thought that a child is at significant risk of harm or there is a child protection concern . The Hub will then be able to make decisions based on effective information sharing from all partners to determine whether or not a referral should be taken to carry out a child protection enquiry or child in need assessment.  The Hub will work alongside the Gateway, which was set up last December to respond as soon as possible to the early help needs of children, young people and families in order to support with advice and access to more targeted services in order to improve outcomes. The Gateway aims to provide a central point of advice giving for early help as well as supporting access to services before things get worse, to help the family move on from their difficulties and lead happier and healthier lives. 


Support families

Bobtails 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 setting will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed.

Confidential records kept on a child will be shared with parents in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

With the proviso that the 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


Exclude known abusers

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

All applicants for work within Bobtails, 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.


Prevent abuse by means of good practice

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

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. 


Should any member of staff have concerns for the welfare of any child they will immediately inform our Child Protection Officer, who will make a decision on whether/ who to contact,  if the member of staff is still not happy they may also contacted any other member of the management team or go direct to Children’s services. 

Early years practitioner responsibilities do not include investigating the suspected abuse. However, the staff will keep accurate records of their observations and of anything said to them by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse.

It is always important to listen to children.  Strict confidentially will be observed at all times on a need to know basis. All our staff will receive training on the protection of children from abuse.  .

At all times Bobtails staff will follow the guidance in the Department of Health’s booklet called “What to do if you are worried a child is being abused”.  In all cases, staff would need to keep a log of concerns and the Child Protection Officer would need to correlate all actions and observations.


Staff will not at any time raise their concerns with a parent unless advised by Children’s young peoples and family department.

It aims to:

  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of the nursery staff.
  • Ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.
  • Ensure that all staff are familiar with Child Protection issues and procedures.
  • Regularly review and update this policy.


If a volunteer or member of staff is accused of any form of child abuse:

The Manager would contact Ofsted and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) immediately.  Upon receiving advise from the LADO we will act accordingly. The duty to investigating falls upon Children Social Care and that we will not under take any investigation and will fully cooperate with their enquires. Upon receiving advise from the LADO we would then make the decision to inform/or not the person against whom the allegation is made.   If necessary after receiving information from LADO we will make the decision on whether to suspend as in line with appropriate policies and with liaison with Law Call. Confidential records will be kept of the allegation and of all subsequent proceedings.  This information will only be shared on a need to know basis.



The procedure to follow in the event of an allegation of abuse being made against a member of staff is :

  • Consider the safety of the child, other children, and practitioners, including the member of staff involved in the allegation.
  • Do not automatically suspend the member of staff. Consult the Local Authority Designated Officer first before making such a decision (except in an emergency situation where the decision to be made is clear). 
  • If suspension is deemed appropriate, consult and agree the decision with the registered person, and follow guidelines set out in the settings disciplinary procedures. Legal advice should be sought.
  • If suspension is deemed not appropriate, it may still be advisable to recommend the staff member takes some leave whilst the allegation is being addressed. This should be insisted on where necessary.
  • The setting under no circumstances should investigate the allegation themselves. The duties to investigate are the responsibility of Children’s Social Care and where appropriate the police.
  • The Local Authority Designated Officer should be contacted in the first instance should any allegations be made. Ofsted should also be made aware of the situation. Information should be shared on a need to know basis only.
  • The Local Authority Designated Officer will advise on the next steps to take. In many instances a strategy meeting will be held with a number of senior professionals to determine whether a child protection investigation is required and whether any further actions are required.
  • The setting should follow advice given by the Local Authority Designated Officer and undertake any actions recommended through the strategy meeting


Child Protection / Safeguarding

Bobtails train all their staff to understand their safeguarding policy and procedures, and ensure that all staff have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues. Training made available by Bobtails enables staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way.


The use of cameras and mobile phones within in the setting.

To ensure the safety and welfare of the children in our care we operate a personal mobile phone usage policy, which stipulates that personal mobile phones cannot be used when in the presence of children or within the nursery setting. Staff and visitors who wish to bring their mobile phones into the setting have to keep them in the office in the designated basket at the start of their shift or visit. The mobile phones will be available during break times and when the staff member or visitor leaves the setting. For parents/carers who enter the setting during drop off or pick up we ask that they keep their mobile phones in their bags or pockets until they have left the premises. (Please refer to the mobile phone policy)


The setting has cameras and tablets that are used by staff to take photos of the children for their learning journeys and relevant observations. Photos are also used for our documentation walls and for the children’s coat pegs and trays and for their online learning journals. The photos that are taken on these devises are deleted termly or when the children leave the setting. The cameras and tablets are stored in the office when not in use and all the laptops and computers are password protected. The cameras, tablets and laptops stay in the setting at all times with the exception of home visits or special circumstances agreed by management


Child Protection

Officer: Rachel Dix

Deputy: Elizabeth Thompson


Officer: Elizabeth Thompson

Deputy: Lillian Goodall


Useful Telephone Numbers

Gateway   Tel:01752 668000  - select children’s services option 1  


Number for professionals 307160

? Advice on child protection concerns

? Concerns over the safety of a child

NSPCC’s Helpline on 0808 800 5000, email, or visit the NSPCC website at

Devon Advice and assessment unit: 0345 155 1071

Cornwall advice and assessment: 0300 123 1116

Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit: 01752 284522

Early Years Coordinator (Maria Hollett)  07795121445 or 01752 398037

Local Authority Designated Officer  Simon White 01752 307144

? Safeguarding Business Manager

? Named contact for any safeguarding queries and advice.




The seven golden rules to sharing information


 1. Remember that the Data Protection Act 1998 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.

2. Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

3. Seek advice from other practitioners if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.

4. Share with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. When you are sharing or requesting personal information from someone, be certain of the basis upon which you are doing so. Where you have consent, be mindful that an individual might not expect information to be shared.

5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the individual and others who may be affected by their actions.

6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely (see principles).

7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.




Written By: Rachel Dix

     Last Updated: 11.09.18

                                                                                        Review Date: 11.09.19