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.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for early years providers to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. 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 staff should follow the values 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 are a good way to identify different 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. Recognising abuse is not usually identified by one thing and evidence is often gathered over time and from different sources so it is important that all concerns kept together to be able to see if there is there is a need to take steps to protect a child. 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 do 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. The safeguarding policy and procedures contains an explanation of the action to be taken when there are safeguarding concerns about a child. The policy 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. There must be designated person to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting. 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 the named safeguarding lead name on and 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. All staff have had some training and are aware of GDPR and confidentiality ‘Where practitioners need to share personal data, they should be aware that the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows practitioners to share information. This includes allowing practitioners to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk’ ( HM Government p.19 2018). 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 share any information.
2.1 Investigate why inquiries and serious case reviews are required and how sharing of findings affects practice
A serious case review (SCR) takes place after a child has died or abuse or neglect is thought to be involved where a child is seriously injured. The SCR process involves assigning an independent person to review the case, which have had no previous involvement in the case. The findings are then published. A SCR will look at what can be put in place to help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
The most high profile case was the death of Victoria Climbie in February 2000. She died after months of abuse at the hands of her grant aunt Marie Therese Kouao and her boyfriend Carl Manning. As a result of this report the government published a green paper entitled “Every Child Matters” and consequently passed the Children Act 2004. Following the death of baby P a serious case review was published in 2010 which found Peter’s death could have been prevented. Every agency involved in his care, including health, the police and social services, had been “well motivated” and wanted to protect him. But their practice collectively and individually, was “completely inadequate” (McNicoll 2007). Lord Laming called for some of his recommendations to be addressed through a review of the Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance. These serious case reviews highlighted that there were missed opportunities to record and share information in a timely manner can have severe consequences for the safety and welfare of children. Finding from SCR have an impact on practice. As a practitioner and part of the management team it is part of my responsibility to ensure that I keep up to date with changes and that the staff are informed and receive any training needed. Every child matters had a big impact on the childcare sector when it was introduced. Our setting follows the statutory EYFS. The main aim of the EYFS is to help children achieve the Every Child Matters five outcomes. Ofsted and the EYFS require all early years providers to have policies and procedures in place to safeguard their children. We have policies and procedures in place which are written following guidelines set out and reviewed regularly, which all staff have to follow. Staff in the setting all have safeguarding training and understand the importance of sharing information between each other and local organisations and agencies to keep children safe.
2.4 Evaluate the impact of a child/young person centred approach to safeguarding on policies and procedures.
A child centred approach is fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of every child. A child centred approach means keeping the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families (HM Government 2018). Losing sight of the needs and views of the children are often what causes mistakes in the safeguarding systems, or placing the interests of adults ahead of the needs of children. We have legislations drawn up by government and these are passed down to childcare setting through codes of practice, care standards and the national minimum standards which all settings are regularly inspected against by OFSTED. Safeguarding policies and procedures are put into place to protect the children but also adults who are working with them. It is important that everyone follows the rules and guidelines which are set out by the Policies & Procedures to ensure that the children and staff are equally protected. We have different polices in place, like the safeguarding policy, the whistleblowing policy and all staff have prevent training and female genital mutilation training, when policies or acts are changed it is important that policies are amended and updated and training is provided, this all has an impact on the setting including cost, time and resources, but it is important to keep up to date and make sure staff are trained to protect children. There are many issues arising from the role of a practitioner in an Early Years Setting in safeguarding regarding staff development and training. Things we need to consider are;
• The need to develop child observation skills.
• Have knowledge of child development.
• Develop skills in providing emotional support for children.
• Inclusive practice taking in to account each child.
• Training to support multi-disciplinary and inter agency approaches.
(Macleod-Brudenell and Kay 2008)
Even though all staff are trained in safeguarding, when putting it into practice some staff find it difficult and are not sure how to handle a disclosure, it is important that staff are confident and comfortable dealing with it. Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them and their families collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs. Whatever the form of abuse or neglect, staff should put the needs of the children first when determining what needs to be done.
4.1 Justify how promoting wellbeing and resilience supports the safeguarding of children and young people.
Promoting wellbeing and resilience in children and young people is important. By supporting children to develop confidence and high self-esteem and to encourage them to respect themselves and others and to understand what is right or wrong. By encouraging children to be confident in expressing their feeling and thoughts and letting them know what they say matters can help them have the self-confidence, to be able to say no or speak out if they feel in danger or do not comfortable in some situations and they know they will be listened to and be able to protect themselves from harm. Helping children to build positive relationships with other that they can trust, so they’ll know what to do in times of danger, who to ask for help, advice and guidance, they’ll be able to look at choices and make informed decisions that benefit the success of their health, lives and in due course those around them. By promoting resilience in children from an early age we can help they to learn to cope and adapt with uncertainty and recover more positively from traumatic events that they might face in their lives. If we don’t promote wellbeing and resilience then children can suffer from mental health issues later in life. Children with mental health disorders were also more likely to have education, health and social issues.
4.2 Review how children or young people’s resilience and wellbeing are supported in own work setting
Early Years Foundation Stage is a legal framework used in the setting; it aims to encourage every child’s development. We follow the EYFS which has the fundamental Values incorporated through it. In my own setting we look first at the environment; we plan and set it up to support each child with resources that are age and developmentally appropriate for the children. We observe the children as this is important to understand where they are and how we can support their learning. When teaching early years be mindful of how you teach them, it needs to be age appropriate and remember that children are individuals (Kelly 2015). We plan for individual children in our key groups following the children’s next steps and their interests. I am a key person with a group of children and develop positive relationships with all the children which I care for and nurture the children. I am a role model to the children and encourage the children through group games to share and take turns treating all the children equally and showing them that they have equal rights by encouraging them all to be able to choose what they want to play with. They have access to interesting and challenging resources. We have free flow allowing the children to choose indoors and outdoors, in the setting. I encourage them to express their voice and allow them to talk and show them that I am listening to them. If there is a disagreement between children I listen to both children and encourage them to solve the problem by thinking about what they can do before I give a way to solve the disagreement. We have a star because board which encourages children to show wanted behaviour, being kind to each other, sharing and taking turns when a child gets a star it gives them pride and encourages the children to understand feelings and behaviours. At group time I used this opportunity to sit down the children at and together we make the preschool rules so that they all know the room rules. This time is also used to help and encourage children to listen to each other. We are a diverse setting with children from lots of different countries and religions. We celebrate these different religions and cultures; we have themed days celebrating different countries and have food at meal times from that country. I have good relationships with my parents and have family learning events to encourage parents to be involved in their child’s learning.