Staff Protection

This policy aims to highlight the important issue of safe practice for staff whilst working with children. Sometimes allegations of abuse are made against workers in day care settings. Whilst this can be distressing, every allegation must be investigated thoroughly and independently to take account of the best interest of the child and to allay any lingering doubts or suspicions that may be apparent. Please refer to our staff complaints policy for more detailed information on this area.

All paid or voluntary staff are encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to safeguard children and ensure their welfare, and also protect themselves from false allegations. We at Cottage Pre-school aim to create a positive culture and climate within the setting by:

* Always working in an open environment (avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment).

* Treating all children and young people equally, and with dignity and respect (refer also to our changing and toileting procedure).

* Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with children.

* Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision making process.

* Involving parents and carers wherever possible in developing policies/procedures at the setting.

* Securing parental consent in writing on all visits/trips/events etc. especially for the administration of first aid. All children complete medical consent forms, records, when registering.

* Keeping a written record of any injury or incident that occurs, along with all the people involved and any action or treatment given. Please refer to our accident/incident policy and procedures.

* Accidents/incidents will always be recorded in the accident/incident record file. The parent/carer is then required to sign the report.

All Staff are responsible for:

* Recognising and responding to physical, emotional and behavioural indicators that a child might be suffering from harm. (All staff receive some child protection training as part of their induction programme. Child protection training is also updated regularly).

* Responding appropriately to a child’s allegations of abuse or neglect on responding to a child making an allegation of abuse.

* Acting on concerns about the conduct of a colleague or volunteer (please refer to our staff complaints policy).

* Acting on a report of suspicion of abuse.

* Attending regular training courses regarding child protection.

* On being alerted to abuse, all staff and volunteers should record accurately and report to the designated person without delay and certainly on the same day.

All Staff are aware that when dealing with child protection issues that parental co- operation is of the up-most importance and we are committed to:

* Supporting parents/carers in understanding their responsibilities for the welfare of their children.

* Working at fostering trust and good relationships with parents.

* Informing parents/carers of their child’s progress and development and encouraging them to enjoy and celebrate their child’s achievements. Each child has a key-worker to record and monitor achievements and complete evaluation forms etc.

Practices to be avoided

The following will be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable, they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of the supervisor, or the children’s parents/carers:

* Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.

* Children being taken to a member of staff’s home.

The following practices will never be sanctioned:

Staff and volunteers will never:

* Engage in physical expressions of emotion such as kissing or hugging.

* Engage in rough, overly physical or sexually provocative games.

* Engage in any form of inappropriate touching.

* Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.

* Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.

* Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.

* Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or un-acted on.

Photographic and Video Guidelines.

If Cottage Pre-school are taking photos or videos, we will ensure that pictures of children and young people are not used for inappropriate reasons.

We check that all parents/carers have granted their permission via our consent form for the taking and publishing of any photographs. This must include web usage.

* All children and young people are appropriately dressed for any photography session that is due to take place.

* Anyone taking photos must have a valid reason for doing so and have written permission from the supervisor and the parents/carers from the consent form.

* Any photography session will be organised in advance. Parents/carers will be informed a week in advance and given the opportunity to request that their child is not photographed.

* If a photographer is hired, he/she should carry and present ID when required by staff.

* The pre-school, prior to publication should see all photographs, and only use images agreed.

Mobile Phone use.

During session times all staff mobile phones will be kept outside of the main room

and will only be used in the event of a emergency.  See Mobile Phone Use Policy