Child Protection Policy

‘Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.‘ (Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage. DfE)

All staff have a duty to safeguard children.

Our DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) is Julian Earle. Claire Earle is our Deputy DSL and will support the DSL within the role and deputise when the DSL is not on-site.

Safeguarding and Child Protection information will be dealt with, in a confidential manner.  Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the DSL feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to support an individual child and/or family.  A written record will be made of what information has been shared, with whom, and when. 

Safeguarding records will be stored securely.

In general, we will discuss any Safeguarding or Child Protection concerns with parents/carers before approaching other agencies and will seek their consent to making a referral to another agency.

However, there may be occasions when the school will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.

The Centre staff have DBS clearance.

Adult’s without DBS clearance accompanying schools will be expected to stay within close supervision of the school and centre’s staff.

Parents accompanying their children during holiday club should not be left alone with other children.

Adults working within Forest School need to appreciate that when children feel comfortable and content, when their instinct to trust and risk take is encouraged, they may be moved to disclose information which they might have otherwise kept to themselves. Any volunteer, or member of staff, who finds that a child is telling them something that concerns them should follow the course of action set out below in simple steps:

· Stay calm.

·  Do not communicate shock, anger or embarrassment.

·  Reassure the child. Tell her/him you are pleased that s/he is speaking to you.

· Never enter into a pact of secrecy with the child.  Assure her/him that you will try to help but let the child know that you will have to tell other people in order to do this.  State who this will be and why.

· Tell her/him that you believe them. Children very rarely lie about abuse; but s/he may have tried to tell others and not been heard or believed.

· Tell the child that it is not her/his fault.

· Encourage the child to talk but do not ask "leading questions" or press for information.

· Listen and remember.

· Check that you have understood correctly what the child is trying to tell you.

· Praise the child for telling you. Communicate that s/he has a right to be safe and protected.

· Do not tell the child that what s/he experienced is dirty, naughty or bad.

· It is inappropriate to make any comments about the alleged offender.

· Be aware that the child may retract what s/he has told you.  It is essential to record in writing, all you have heard, though not necessarily at the time of disclosure.

· At the end of the conversation, tell the child again who you are going to tell and why that person or those people need to know.

· As soon as you can afterwards, make a detailed record of the conversation using the child’s own language.  Include any questions you may have asked.  Do not add any opinions or interpretations.

· If the disclosure relates to a physical injury do not photograph the injury but record in writing as much detail as possible.

· Inform SWOC DSL who will contact the school’s DSL directly. Pass any notes to the school’s DSL via the teacher in charge.

NB, it is not staff’s role to seek disclosures.  Their role is to observe that something may be wrong, ask about it, listen, be available and try to make time to talk.

Photos and video

Photos & Video Permission will be requested by Stocks Wood Outdoor Centre staff to take photographs of participants for monitoring and evaluation purposes and suitable use in publications for leaflets/materials/website. Where permission is refused, we will aim to avoid photographing and videoing that child and blur out faces wherever they do appear in recorded material.