Children and young people under 18 years of age are an especially vulnerable. Whilst it is parents and carers who are the main carers for their children, local authorities, working with other organisations and agencies, have specific duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area. All children have the right to a safe, loving, and stable childhood. Everyone that has contact with children has a role to play in making sure that children are safe and cared for. There have been different legislations put into place to protect children and young people. All children and young people have rights to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, neglect, negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse and injury caused by those looking after them. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 is a legally-binding international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities. The UK signed the convention on 19 April 1990, sanctioned it on 16 December 1991 and it came into force on 15 January 1992. Since the agreement of the UNCRC in 1991, putting into practice of the Convention has been pursued through legislation and policy initiatives, including the Children Act 1989, Children Act 2004, Every Child Matters and policy for 0-19 year olds set out in the Government’s 2007 Children’s Plan. The Children Act 1989 was the main legislation governing child protection procedures. Local Authority has a duty to investigate if it is suspected that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Due to several high profile child abuse cases in recent years, including the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, the child protection system has faced major reforms. The Children Act 2004 provides the legal framework for Every Child Matters. Every Child Matters covers the well-being of children from birth to age 19. The five outcomes which mattered most to children and young people were: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and economic well-being. The Government aim is for every child, whatever their background or circumstances, to have the support they need. It includes that services are require to work more closely together, forming an integrated service. The Green Paper proposed changes in policy and legislation in England to maximise chances and reduce the risks for all children and young people, focusing services more around the needs of children, young people and families. The Act places a duty on local authorities to make arrangements where key agencies co-operate to improve the well-being of children and young people, to ensure that safeguarding children continues to be given priority.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006, sets out the duties of organisations and that they need to work together to safeguard children and young people. Professionals have to work together to improve the chid, young person’s life and they must respect and listen to what everyone has to say, involving everyone including the child if possible when making decisions. Working together to Safeguard Children has recently been updated in July 2018, there have been 3 main changes which are Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, Child death reviews and Local and national safeguarding practice reviews.
The Education Act 2002, sets out the responsibilities of Local Education Authorities (LEAs), Governing bodies, head teachers and all those working in schools to make sure that children are safe and free from harm. All schools are required by law to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral and cultural development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. On the 1st July 2015 all early years, schools and colleges are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015,(prevent duty) and have a responsibility to protect children from radicalisation and extremism. Schools and early year’s settings should help to protect children from extremist and violent views in the same ways that they help to safeguard children from drugs, gang violence or alcohol.
After the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley the Bichard Inquiry was commissioned. This Inquiry looked at how employers employed people who work with children and vulnerable adults. The Inquiry’s recommendations led to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The Act places a statutory duty on people working with vulnerable groups to register and undergo an advanced vetting process with criminal sanctions for non-compliance. The Act was later altered by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 established the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which does criminal records checks and checks if a person is suitable to work with children and young people.
1.2 Evaluate how national and local guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding affect day-to-day work with children and young people.
All early years providers have to be registered and are inspected by the regulating Body OFSTED. They check the safety and suitability of building, the environment and the equipment we use meet the necessary requirements. We have been inspected as a setting and we display our registration certificate for everyone to see.
As a setting we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Childcare Act 2006 Section 40 requires early years providers registered on the Early Years Register and schools providing early year’s childcare to comply with the welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. All staff have had a DBS check before they are left unsupervised and have an induction when they start which includes reading our policies and procedures. We have duty rotas in every room so staff are always in the correct ratio for the age room and the children in the room. We avoid lone working when possible to minimise the risk to both the adult and the children.
All practitioners should follow the main beliefs of the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, which states that the welfare of children is paramount. Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe. A single practitioner will not know all of a child’s needs or their circumstances, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. As a welfare requirement mutual support, teamwork, continuous improvement and training must be available for all staff; it is both mandatory and crucial. Our employer and manger ensures that the all staff receive safeguarding training which we update regular and before new staff start as part of their induction we ensure that they have had the basic on line safe guarding training. We also had staff update their training regularly and when needed for example when prevent training became available all staff had to complete it. The Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 has new guidance which highlights specifically that “practitioners should, in particular, be alert to the potential need for early help for a child. Practitioners in the setting do observations on their key children following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) These observation provides opportunities to gauge children’s needs and to plan the child’s next steps in their learning. Observations take place on a regular basis as part of daily routines. Our keyperson system includes a secondary keyperson and we all work as a team with in the room, sharing information when needed. The setting works closely with families and co-operate fully with other agencies to take all reasonable steps to minimise the risks of harm to a child’s well-being. The staff follow the policy and procedures when filling in accident forms and ask parent, carers to fill in accident at home forms if a child comes to the setting with an injury. These are monitored and any repeated injuries or unexplained injuries are reported to the Safeguarding Lead officer or the deputy safeguarding lead. All staff share appropriate information in a timely way and can discuss any concerns about an individual child with senior members of staff, the SENCO or the designated safeguarding lead officer (DSL). We have different sheets for concerns which staff fill in and pass to the safeguarding lead officer (DSL), the SENCO or the manager; this person will then follow the necessary procedure. All staff are aware of the Fundamental Values, Democracy, Rule of law, Individual liberty and Mutual respect and use them within practice every day. The children are given opportunities to develop their self-confidence and self-awareness, they choose what they want to explore and what activities they do. We have rules within the room which the children helped to make. We have an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance in our settings, where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and celebrated.
The guidance states that early years and childcare settings must “have and implement a policy and procedures to safeguard children” (crown 2018). In my setting we have policies and procedures which take into account legal legislation. They are in place to protect children which include a safeguarding policy, which also has the prevent duty within it showing the clear procedure which is in place for protecting children at risk of radicalisation, whistle blowing policy, mobile phone policy and lone working policy. All policies are evaluated regularly in line with any changes and reviewed annually. All policies are easy to read and understand. We also have posters in each room and in the main entrance of the setting which shows staff and parents the steps they need to follow if they have a safeguarding concern with contact numbers and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) details.
1.3 Explain how the processes used by own work setting comply with legislation that covers data protection, information handling and sharing.
In the setting all information on children is kept safe and secure following the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and our own policies and procedures. Personal files are locked and the computers and iPads are password protected. The management computers are only assessed by the management team. We only collect the data that is needed and used. We regularly check that information is up to date by sending out slips to parents asking them if there any change in details. As a setting we follow the retaining periods for all information after which information is then shredded. All safeguarding information is handled with care and stored in a confidential file which is only assessed by the DSL or the deputy DSL. Any information that needs to be shared is shared on a need to know basis and all staff understand about confidentiality. Before any information on a child is shared with other agencies parental permission is asked, unless it is felt that this might put the child in more harm. When other agencies phone for information we always ask them their details and phone them back before we give out information.