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Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Procedures
The New Carnival Company CIC

Safeguarding children is the responsibility of everyone.

The New Carnival Company recognises its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within the legal framework of the Children Acts 1989 and 2004.
We are aware that many children and young people are the victims of different kinds of abuse and that they can be subjected to social factors that have an adverse impact upon their lives –including domestic violence, substance misuse, bullying, child prostitution and ritualistic abuse.

We aim to create a safe environment within which children and young people can thrive and adults can work with the security of clear guidance.
Under the terms of the Children Act 2004 anyone under the age of 19 is considered to be a child/young person.

These guidelines are for the use of all staff, volunteers and directors. Through them, we will endeavour to ensure that:

  • Children and young people are listened to, valued and respected
  • Staff are aware of the need to be alert to the signs of abuse and know what to do with their concerns
  • All staff and volunteers are subject to rigorous recruitment procedures
  • All staff and volunteers are given appropriate support and training

All child protection concerns should be acted upon immediately. If you are concerned that a child might be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you should tell the designated child protection lead officer within your organisation.

Your designated officer is: Alison Knapman
Telephone number: 01983 716095
If the designated officer is not available, speak to a senior member of staff.

These guidelines are divided into the following sections:

  1. Recognising signs of abuse
  2. What to do with your concerns
  3. Allegations made against staff
  4. Safe recruitment
  5. Good practice
  6. Implementation Checklist
  7. Contacts

1. Recognising Signs of Abuse

It can often be difficult to recognise abuse. The signs listed in these guidelines are only indicators and many can have reasonable explanations. Children may behave strangely or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their families experience changes. It is nevertheless important to know what could indicate that abuse is taking place and to be alert to the need to consult further. Someone can abuse a child by actively inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Abuse can take place within a family, in an institutional or community setting, by telephone or on the Internet. Abuse can be carried out by someone known to a child or by a complete stranger.

If you are worried about a child it is important that you keep a written record of any physical or behavioural signs and symptoms. In this way you can monitor whether or not a pattern emerges and provide evidence to any investigation if required.

Physical Abuse: Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning and suffocating. It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention; this is called fabricated illness, or Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

Symptoms that indicate physical abuse include:

  • Bruising in or around the mouth, on the back, buttocks or rectal area
  • Finger mark bruising or grasp marks on the limbs or chest of a small child
  • Bites
  • Burn and scald marks; small round burns that could be caused by a cigarette
  • Fractures to arms, legs or ribs in a small child
  • Large numbers of scars of different sizes or ages

Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse happens when a child’s need for love, security, praise and recognition is not met. It usually co-exists with other forms of abuse. Emotionally abusive behaviour occurs if a parent, carer or authority figure is consistently hostile, rejecting, threatening or undermining. It can also result when children are prevented from social contact with others, or if developmentally inappropriate expectations are imposed upon them. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of someone else. Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include:

  • Excessively clingy or attention-seeking behaviour
  • Very low self-esteem or excessive self-criticism
  • Excessively withdrawn behaviour or fearfulness; a ‘frozen watchfulness’
  • Despondency
  • Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please
  • Eating disorders

Neglect: Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, causing damage to their health and development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failing to protect a child from harm or danger, or failing to access appropriate medical care and treatment when necessary. It can exist in isolation or in combination with other forms of abuse. Symptoms of physical and emotional neglect can include:

  • Inadequate supervision; being left alone for long periods of time
  • Lack of stimulation, social contact or education
  • Inadequate nutrition, leading to ill-health
  • Constant hunger; stealing or gorging food
  • Failure to seek or to follow medical advice such that a child’s life or development is endangered
  • Inappropriate clothing for conditions

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may include physical contact, both penetrative and non-penetrative, or involve no contact, such as watching sexual activities or looking at pornographic material. Encouraging children to act in sexually inappropriate ways is also abusive. Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, any sexual activity – contact or non-contact – with a child under the age of 13, is a crime. Symptoms of sexual abuse include:

  • Allegations or disclosure
  • Genital soreness, injuries or discomfort
  • Sexually transmitted diseases; urinary infections
  • Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters; inappropriately sexualized play, words or drawing
  • A child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
  • Repeated sleep disturbances through nightmares and/or wetting
  • Older children and young people may additionally exhibit: Depression
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Eating disorders; obsessive behaviours
  • Self mutilation; suicide attempts
  • School/peer/relationship problems

2. What to do with Your Concerns?

If a Child Discloses to you: DO

  • Listen carefully
  • Record the conversation in the child’s words and note the time Sign and date the record you make
  • Take it seriously
  • Reassure they are right to tell
  • Explain what will happen next
  • It is permissible to ask the child simple, non-leading questions to ascertain the facts of the allegation (T.E.D) Tell, Explain, Describe

If a Child Discloses to you: DON’T

  • Ask leading questions
  • Make promises you can’t keep Jump to conclusions
  • Speculate or accuse anybody Interview the child / children Inform the parents / carers
  • It is not your responsibility to decide if the allegation is true or not.
  • Sometimes you may just feel concerned about a child but do not know whether to share your concerns or not. In this situation you should always raise your concerns with your designated child protection officer, who will help you to decide what to do.

3. Allegations Made Against Staff or Volunteers

Organisations that work or come into contact with children and young people need to be aware of the possibility that allegations of abuse will be made against members of their staff.
Allegations will usually be that some kind of abuse has taken place. They can be made by children and young people and they can be made by other concerned adults. Allegations can be made for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Abuse has actually taken place
  • Something happens to a child that reminds them of an event that happened in the past – the child is unable to recognize that the situation and the people are different
  • Children can misinterpret your language or your actions because they are reminded of something else Some children know how powerful an allegation can be; if they are angry with you about something they can make an allegation as a way of hitting out
  • An allegation can be a way of seeking attention
  • All allegations should be brought to the notice of the designated child protection officer immediately. In cases where the allegation is made against this person, the complainant should approach a more senior official or, if unavailable, take the following action themself
  • Make sure that the child in question is safe and away from the alleged abuser
  • Contact the Isle of Wight’s First Response Unit (see section 7)

4. Safe Recruitment

The application of rigorous procedures for the recruitment of any staff who come into contact with children, both directly and indirectly, can reduce the likelihood of allegations of abuse being made that are founded. As an absolute minimum, the following standards should be followed:

  • All prospective staff and volunteers should complete an application form which asks for details of their previous employment and for the names of two referees
  • All prospective staff and regular volunteers who have contact with children and / or vulnerable adults, should have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure before they start employment with you
  • All prospective staff and volunteers should be interviewed to establish previous experience of working in an environment where there is contact with children and perceptions of acceptable behaviour
  • Nobody should start work before references have been received
  • All appointments to work with children should be subject to an agreed probationary period
  • New members of staff should be clear about their responsibilities and wherever possible, work to an agreed job description
  • These guidelines should be available to everyone and fully discussed as part of an Induction Process

5. Good Practice

Every organisation working with children should have a designated child protection officer who must undergo child protection training. It is the responsibility of this person to make themselves available for consultation by staff, volunteers, visitors, children and their families.

  • All staff are responsible for the children in their care and must make sure that health and safety guidelines are adhered to
  • All staff working with children should receive regular supervision from a more experienced staff member and be encouraged to attend basic child protection training
  • No member of staff should be left alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others
  • Where possible there should always be at least two adults present with a group of children – it is vital that the ratio of adult to child is adequate to ensure safety. For children under 8 the ration should be no more than 1:8; for children under 5 it should be no more than 1:6

Outings & Trips

  • All vehicles hired for outings must be insured, roadworthy and fitted with seatbelts
  • Roll call will be taken at the start of a journey and again before commencing the return journey; if travelling in more than one vehicle, children will be encouraged to travel in the same vehicle there and back
  • Staff accompanying trips will carry the contact numbers for the home organization and emergency services in the event of an alert being necessary
  • If a child goes missing while on a trip, staff should instigate an immediate search. If the child cannot be found within half an hour, the appropriate security staff and the police should be notified
  • If, having notified security staff and the police, the child cannot be found, the parents/carers of the child will be notified immediately
  • The care of the remaining children is paramount. It is imperative that they return to the home site as quickly as possible, while a senior staff member remains at the visit site to coordinate contact between security staff and the child’s parents/carers

6. Implementation Checklist

These child protection procedures will only be effective if all staff and volunteers in your organisation own and understand them. This checklist is designed to help you to go through that process:

  • Identify designated child protection officer (CPO)
  • Add CPO name and contact details to procedure
  • Ensure CPO attends training on child protection and updates that training regularly
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers have a copy of child protection procedures
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers know what to do if they have concerns about a child
  • Ensure all existing staff and volunteers who have contact with children have Enhanced CRB Disclosures Ensure that new staff/volunteers who have contact with children have Enhanced CRB Disclosures before they start work
  • Ensure that any premises we use conforms to health and safety guidelines

7. Contacts

All safeguarding concerns should be acted upon immediately. If you are concerned that a child or vulnerable adult might be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you should tell the designated child protection lead officer within your organisation.

Your designated officer is:

Alison Knapman
Telephone number: 01983 716095
If the designated officer is not available, speak to a senior member of staff.

The Childrens Safeguarding First Response Unit is the entry point to children’s social work services, including child protection. The team provides advice and guidance to people working directly or indirectly with families who are finding it difficult to cope or members of the public who are worried that a child may be being abused.

The First Response Unit is based at County Hall, Newport. First Response can be contacted on 814374.

If you have any concerns for the immediate welfare of a child or vulnerable adult at any time outside office hours contact the Emergency Duty Service on 01983 821105

The New Carnival Company: Child Protection Policy 05/09/2016 Version 4  Review date September 2017 and annually thereafter

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