Child Protection

Pelican Childrens Centre is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, Trustees and volunteers to share this commitment. We welcome applications from all sections of the community regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age. Successful candidates will be required to complete an enhanced DBS disclosure.

 
The Centre has undergone a Safeguarding and Welfare audit and updated all relevant policies and procedures relating to this. In order to achieve this we aim to work within the Safeguarding criteria set by the local Safeguarding Board.

In our Centre we aim to create an environment in which children are safe from abuse and where any suspicion of abuse is responded to promptly and appropriately.

The prime responsibility of the staff of Pelican Childrens Centre is the welfare and well being of all children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance of concern that comes to our attention.

The Centre has a duty to report any suspicions of abuse and neglect to the local authority and OFSTED, who have a duty to investigate such matters. The Centre will follow the child protection procedures laid out by the local authority and will seek their advice on all subsequent steps.

Exclude Known Abusers

It will be made clear to all job applicants that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

All applicants, whether paid or voluntary, will be interviewed and will be asked to provide at least two references. 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.

All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a satisfactor DBS check, a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the Centre is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.

Training

The Centre's Child Protection Officer will offer training opportunities for staff, Trustees and volunteers, to ensure that they are able to recognise the symptoms of possible abuse.

Prevent Abuse By Means Of Good Practice

If a member of staff is accused or suspected of any form of abuse, a record will be made of the allegation and the line manager and Trustees will be informed at once. The Gateway, Hub team and OFSTED will also be informed and the matter fully investigated.

Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of self and independence, in making choices and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable children to have the self-confidence and vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.

The layout of the play areas will enable constant supervision of the children with the support from our CTTV monitors.

Respond Appropriately To Suspicion Of Abuse

Changes to children’s behaviour/appearance will be investigated. Parents will normally be the first point of reference, though suspicions will also be referred, as appropriate, to the Advice and Assessment department.

All suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know.

Keep Records

Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be kept. Such records will be kept in a separate, secure file and will not be accessible to anyone other than the child protection office, lead practitioner, manager, and those staff directly involved.

The record will include, in addition to the name, address and age of the child, timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s behaviour/appearance, without comment or interpretation. Where possible, the exact words spoken by the child and the name and signature of the observer will be recorded.

Liase With Other Professionals

The Centre operates in accordance with local authority guidelines. Confidential records kept on children about whom the Centre is anxious, will be shared with the relevant Gateway/Hub department if the Centre feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child’s condition have not been provided.
If a  report on a  child is to be made to the authorities, the child’s parent/carer will be informed as guided by the Gateway/Hub  team maintaining  ongoing contact with the registered authority, including names, addresses and telephone numbers of individual social workers, to ensure that it would be easy, in an emergency, for the Centre and social service departments’ work together for the good of the child.

Records will also be kept of the local Safeguarding contacts, NSPCC , or other contact(s) as appropriate.

Support Families

The Centre will take every step in its power to build up a trusting and supportive relationship between families, staff and volunteers.

Where abuse at home is suspected, the Centre will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed.

Above is just a summary of our child protection policy.