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Manor Farm Safeguarding Policy

We at Manor Farm fully recognise our responsibilities for safeguarding children and our policies apply to all adults visiting, working or living at the Farm. 

 

Manor Farm is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all people involved in our activities, and especially children, and we will take all reasonable steps to protect them from physical, emotional, sexual or internet abuse and neglect. This applies to all with whom we work, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, nationality or country of origin. 

Staff, volunteers, visitors and children will at all times show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of all with whom we work. We will ensure that staff and volunteers know how to recognise and respond to concerns that a child or young person may be abused or neglected. 

We will operate safer recruitment practice including ensuring the suitability of adults who have contact with children. We will obtain an enhanced criminal records disclosure for every person over 16 who works in regulated activity with children and/or lives on the premises. 

Adults should never mention any children by name outside of the Manor Farm setting, or discuss events that have occurred in the Manor Farm setting. 

We review our policies and procedures on an annual basis. 

 

Child Protection Policy 

Manor Farm believes that it is always unacceptable for a child to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children. We will be alert to any indications of neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the children with whom we work, and we will respond to their needs. 

We value and respect every child. We will make sure that they know they can talk to us, we will always endeavour to listen to them and respond appropriately to safeguard them. 

We have appointed a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy for safeguarding and child protection.
Our DSL is Antonia Stewart and the deputy is Caroline Thomas  

We will provide our staff and volunteers with guidance to follow when they suspect a child may be experiencing or at risk of harm. We will ensure staff and volunteers understand their responsibility for referring any concerns to the DSL and are aware that they may raise concerns directly with Children's Social Care Services (through the Access Centre) if they believe their concerns have not been listened to or acted upon. 

We will work cooperatively with other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We will review our policy and procedures on an annual basis. 

 

All Adults, Staff and Volunteers 

Additional Responsibilities 

In order to keep children safe, we expect all adults (both Manor Farm staff and volunteers, and external visitors) to: 

·  Take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well 

·  Give all people regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse 

·  Follow our policies and procedures and notify the relevant person or authority without delay if concerns arise 

·  Keep appropriate records 

·  Be alert to any issues for concern in the child's life at home or elsewhere 

Visitors 

Teachers, group leaders and parents are responsible for the supervision and the behaviour of the children they bring at all times. The Farm staff and volunteers will lead and assist with animal and farm activities, but we expect at least one adult member of the group to always be present with the children at all times. 

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 

Our DSL will: 

·  Raise awareness of the Farm’s safeguarding policies, procedures and systems, among all staff, volunteers and visitors 

·  Ensure that all adults at the Farm understand and are able to implement the setting's policies and procedures 

·  Receive information from staff, volunteers, visitors, teachers or children about child protection issues including any allegations against adults 

·  Assess information promptly and take appropriate action 

·  Share child protection information with the DSL of visiting groups 

·  Make referrals to or seek advice from the Access Centre as necessary 

·  Ensure that children, parents/carers and staff/volunteers have access to appropriate support after a child protection issue 

·  Keep up to date with current safeguarding and child protection legislation 

·  Ensure policies and procedures are reviewed at least annually 

·  Ensure that consistent and effective record keeping systems are in place and guidelines followed 

Training 

When staff and volunteers join they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place and given a copy of this policy and our code of conduct. They will be told who the DSL and Deputy are. 

All staff and volunteers will receive induction in safeguarding children. The induction programme will include basic child protection information relating to signs and symptoms of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child, when and how to record a concern about the welfare of a child, who to report concerns to, and advice on safe working practice. 

Staff and volunteers will receive further training as necessary but at least every 3 years. 

 

Procedures for Incident, Suspicion or Allegation of Abuse 

Incidents, suspicions or allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by the Farm and we will always act to keep a child safe. If a situation occurs, we will endeavour to make sure that the appropriate authorities and individuals are notified. The appropriate authorities may depend on the situation, but we will always share information (in a confidential manner) and will keep full records. 

Key Points for Staff/Volunteers: 

  • ·  IF IN DOUBT – CONSULT YOUR MANAGER OR THE LOCAL AUTHORITY 

  • ·  Respect the confidentiality of everyone involved in the incident and keep the matter 

restricted only to those who need to know. 

  • ·  Make sure support is provided for the child making the disclosure and for yourself if 

necessary. 

  • ·  Don’t  press for explanations, put it off, leave it to someone else to help or be afraid to express your concerns 

 

Procedure Following an Incident or Suspicion of Abuse 

Write down notes – dates, times, facts, who was involved, observations, actions – using form in the Appendix

Make sure the child is safe and with a suitable adult 

Report the incident or suspicion to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 

Speak to the group’s DSL, senior adult or emergency contact (as appropriate) 

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead 

Act on the advice given and record any action taken

Procedure Following a Disclosure of Abuse 

Keep calm. Do not show if you are shocked or surprised. 

Listen to the child and remember to: 

  • ·  accept what you hear without passing judgement 

  • ·  ask questions only for clarification, don’t ask leading questions 

  • ·  do not investigate, do not make promises, offer support and understanding 

  • ·  explain that you cannot keep it secret and what may happen next (they may choose to stop telling you their information but this is OK) 

  • ·  reassure the child that they were right to talk to you 

  • Make sure the child is safe and with a suitable adult. 

Report the incident or suspicion to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 

Speak to the group’s DSL, senior adult or emergency contact (as appropriate)

Staff member or volunteer

Write down notes – dates, times, facts, who was involved, observations, actions – using form in the Appendix   

 

Whistleblowing Statement 

Confidential Reporting (previously known as whistleblowing) is described as the disclosure of wrongdoing, abuse or unethical behaviour by a staff member or volunteer within a group/organisation and reporting to those in a position of authority. 

Staff and volunteers have an individual responsibility to bring to the attention of their line manager or a member of the Trustees, any concern, suspicion, or allegation so that the matter can be investigated. The concern, suspicion or allegation may be about the behaviour of another staff member/volunteer, a member of the management committee or a representative of a partner organisation. The person voicing a concern is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation but will need to demonstrate sufficient grounds for the concern. 

Any member of staff, including a volunteer, raising such a concern will be listened to and treated respectfully and their concerns taken seriously. When a person has reported concerns they will be protected from any harassment or unfair treatment and be informed about the progress. 

Procedure 

If staff/volunteers have a concern then they should: 

  1. Discuss the incident with the manager  as soon 

as possible 

  1. Try to be specific about what is concerning them and why 

  2. Put their concern in writing, including the background and any history 

We will support and will provide protection for anyone confidentially reporting a concern. We undertake to investigate robustly any concern raised. 

Self reporting 

There may be occasions when an individual worker or volunteer has a personal difficulty, perhaps a physical or mental health problem, which they recognise to be impinging on their competence. That individual has a responsibility to discuss the situation with their line manager so that appropriate support can be offered. It may be that the individual is required to remove themselves from their work setting for a period. 

While such reporting will remain confidential in most instances, this cannot be guaranteed where personal difficulties raise concerns about the welfare and safety of children and young people. 

Positive Behaviour 

The Farm believes that children thrive best in a positive and supportive environment. We believe that all children have a right to be treated with respect and dignity, even in those circumstances where they display difficult or challenging behaviour. 

To this end we will: 

·  ensure a consistent approach to promoting positive behaviour and managing unacceptable 

behaviour 

·  promote respectful relationships and build children’s self esteem 

·  identify and support children who display signs of emotional or behavioural difficulties 

·  support children as they learn to resolve conflicts independently 

·  behaving in a positive and respectful way when interacting with other adults or children 

We expect all adults to both model and promote positive behaviour by: 

·  behaving in a positive and respectful way when interacting with other adults or children 

·  giving positive reinforcement when children are behaving appropriately 

·  telling children when their behaviour is inappropriate 

·  trying to diffuse situations before they escalate 

The use of physical interaction should be avoided as far as reasonably possible and should only be used in exceptional circumstances if it is necessary to prevent personal injury. If it is used, it should be undertaken in such a way that maintains the safety and dignity of all concerned. Any physical intervention must be recorded. 

Bullying 

Bullying can be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. Bullying doesn’t have to be a series of incidents – it can be any occasion when someone deliberately intimidates or harasses another. 

Bullying can take many forms - physical, verbal, emotional or cyber. It can often be a mix of these types and may involve others as witnesses or active participants. 

The Farm believes that any form of bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We will: 

·  provide opportunities for children and adults to tell us about incidents of bullying 

·  listen to children and adults and take seriously what they tell us about bullying 

·  take steps to deal immediately with incidents of bullying 

·  be aware of the potential vulnerability of specific individuals and groups 

·  ensure that both victims of bullying and the bullies receive support 

·  keep a record of any incidents of bullying, how we dealt with them and whether there is 

anything the Farm can do to learn from the incidents. 

Photography and Recorded Images 

Photographs/videos of children at the Farm may sometimes be taken in the interests of recording development and significant events. They will only be taken or used in the following ways: 

·  Consent will always be sought from those with parental responsibility (this may include the Local Authority in the case of Looked After Children) and additional consideration will be given to photographing vulnerable children 

·  Staff /volunteers will not take or store photographs/videos of children at the Farm on their own devices or for personal use 

·  Under no circumstances will staff/volunteers post any images which include children at the setting on social media sites 

·  Permission will be sought before uploading images of children to our website. In doing so we will consider the risks, will not include vulnerable children and children will always be appropriately clothed. 

·  Sometimes children and family members will want to take photographs of children for example at special events. On these occasions we will remind parents of our policies and ask them in particular not to post photographs of children other than their own on the internet. 

 

E-Safety 

The Farm does not provide computers or mobile phones for use by children or visitors, but we recognise that groups may bring internet-enabled technology with them to the Farm. We are fully committed to the safe and acceptable use of the internet and social media sites and expect staff, volunteers, groups and visitors to: 

·  ensure that the personal information of children, volunteers or staff is not published on any website 

·  examine and risk assess any emerging new technologies before making use of them. 

Safer Recruitment 

Manor Farm will pursue a safer recruitment approach to recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers. 

Adverts - When a vacancy is advertised, the advertisement will include a statement about the Farm’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and advise that an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be required (role dependent). 

Job Description and Person Specification - Job descriptions and personal specifications will clearly describe the role, responsibilities, accountabilities, knowledge, skills and experience required for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The person specification will explain that issues relating to safeguarding of children will be considered at the interview stage (role dependent). 

Application Form - The Farm will use an application form to obtain a common set of core data from all applicants. The application form will explain that posts working with children are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, therefore, all convictions, cautions and reprimands including those regarded as “spent” or “pending” must be declared. The application form will require a signed statement that the person is not disqualified from working with children. 

Scrutinising and Short Listing - All application forms will be scrutinised to ensure they are fully and properly completed; that the information provided is consistent and does not contain any discrepancies and to identify any gaps in employment history or any other issues that may cause concern. Any areas of concern will be explored and verified with the candidate at interview. In addition, the information provided by the applicant should be compared to that provided by the referees (after the short-listing process). 

References - The Farm recognises that references are an important part of the safer recruitment process, their purpose being to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. They will always be sought and obtained directly from the referee. If all questions have not been answered or the reference is vague or unspecific, the referee will be contacted and asked to provide written answers or further information as requested. We will not rely on references and testimonials provided by the candidate or open references and testimonials. 

If a candidate is not currently working with children but has worked in the past with children, a reference will be sought from that former employer. Refusal or reluctance by an applicant for a former employer to be contacted will be explored further. 

Any conditional offer of employment will be made subject to all the relevant pre-employment checks being made before they take up the position e.g. right to work, references, qualifications, employment history registration, evidence of identity. This will include seeing an applicant’s passport or birth certificate and undergoing an basic DBS check.

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