The Dare2Dream Foundation is committed to creating and maintaining an enjoyable and safe environment for all the children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in our activities. We accept responsibility to safeguard the welfare of young people and protect them from any poor practice, abuse or bullying, while providing them with the highest possible standard of care.
We are dedicated to devising and implementing policies so that everyone in The Dare2Dream Foundation accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from any form of harm. We expect our team to follow procedures that protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of The Dare2Dream Foundation and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
We follow the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education and hold regular training sessions for our staff. Our recruitment follows the Safer Recruitment procedures and all new employees receive an electronic copy of KCSiE.
NB: A young person is defined as a person under the age of 18 (Children’s Act 1989)
The definition of a Vulnerable Adult, as stated by ‘Who Decides – Lord Chancellors Department 1997’, is:
‘A Vulnerable Adult is someone who is aged 18 or over who; is or may be in need of community care services by reasons of mental health or other disability, age or illness and is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against harm or exploitation’
Child Protection Statement We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and young people. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice. The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff, volunteers and governors and are consistent with statutory guidance and those of the locally agreed multi-agency safeguarding arrangements put in place by Warwickshire Safeguarding (WS).
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility
- The Dare2Dream Foundation’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance.
- All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection.
- Children who are safe and feel safe are better equipped to learn.
- The Dare2Dream Foundation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All adults within the organisation are required to take all welfare concerns seriously and to encourage children and young people to talk to them about anything that worries them. Staff will always act in the best interests of children.
- Due to their day-to-day contact with the children / young people they support, staff in our provisions are uniquely placed to observe changes in children’s behaviour and the outward signs of abuse, neglect, exploitation and radicalisation. Children may also turn to a trusted adult in when they are in distress or at risk. It is vital that all our staff are alert to the signs of abuse, are approachable and trusted by the children / young people they support, listen actively to children and understand the procedures for reporting their concerns. The Dare2Dream Foundation will act on identified concerns and will provide early help to prevent concerns from escalating.
- All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm.
- All staff members will maintain an attitude of ‘It could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child.
- If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral will be made to Children’s Social Care and/or the police immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, any staff member with concerns should press the Designated Safeguarding Lead for re-consideration.
- If a member of staff remains concerned about a child, they can discuss their concerns with the DSL or contact the Education Safeguarding Manager for additional advice as necessary.
- Children and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support.
- This policy will be reviewed at least annually unless an incident, new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review.
- To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable them to meet their safeguarding and child protection responsibilities.
- To ensure consistent good practice.
- To demonstrate the organisations commitment with regard to safeguarding and child protection to children, parents and other partners.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting children from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Child protection refers to the processes undertaken to protect children who have been identified as suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of The Dare2Dream Foundation, full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.
Child includes everyone under the age of 18.
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.
Safeguarding legislation and guidance
- The statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018) covers the legislative requirements and expectations on individual services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It also provides the framework for the three local safeguarding partners (the local authority; a clinical commissioning group for an area, any part of which falls within the local authority; and the chief officer of Police for a Police area, any part of which falls within the local authority area) to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children including identifying and responding to their needs. The guidance confirms that it applies, in its entirety, to all.
- The statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2019) is issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education Regulations 2014 and the Non-Maintained Special schools (England) Regulations 2015. The Dare2Dream Foundations and colleges must have regard to this guidance when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.All staff must read Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019. Staff can find a copy in our Dare2Dream Database. In addition, all staff who work directly with children must read Part Five and Annex A.
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015 – Advice for practitioners is non- statutory advice which helps practitioners (everyone who works with children) to identify abuse and neglect and take appropriate action.
Roles & Responsibilities
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Gareth Plant
Contact details: email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07855470986
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Julie Faries
Contact details: email: Julie.email@example.com tel: 07990522232
Other staff trained to undertake the functions of the designated safeguarding lead are The CEO is Steve Farmer
Contact details: email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07967427109
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL):
- is a senior member of staff from the provision leadership team and therefore has the status and authority within Dare2Dream to carry out the duties of the post, including committing resources and supporting and directing other staff
- takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, which will not be delegated although the activities of the DSL may be delegated to appropriately trained deputies. The role and responsibility is explicit in the role holder’s job description.
- is appropriately trained, receives refresher training at two-yearly intervals and regularly (at least annually) updates their knowledge and skills to keep up with any developments relevant to their role
- acts as a source of advice, support and expertise to the The Dare2Dream Foundation community
- encourages a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings
- is alert to the specific needs of children in need; those with special educational needs; children who are looked after or were previously looked after; and young carers and oversees the provision of effective pastoral support
- has a working knowledge of locally agreed multi-agency safeguarding arrangements and procedures put in place by WS.
- has an understanding of the early help process to ensure effective assessment and understanding of children’s additional needs in order to inform appropriate provision of early help and intervention
- keeps detailed written records of all concerns, ensuring that such records are stored securely and flagged, but kept separate from, the child’s general file
- refers cases of suspected abuse to Children’s Social Care or the Police as appropriate
- ensures that staff do everything they can to support social workers when Children’s Social Care become involved
- notifies Children’s Social Care if a child with a child protection plan is absent for more than two days without explanation
- attends and/or contributes to child protection conferences, strategy meetings and multi-agency sexual exploitation (MASE) meetings
- develops effective links with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies including the local safeguarding partnership
- ensures that all staff understand that if they have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately, either by speaking to the DSL (or a deputy) or, in exceptional circumstances, taking responsibility to make a referral to Children’s Social Care
- ensures that all staff know how to make a referral
- has a working knowledge of relevant national guidance in respect of all specific safeguarding issues and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 (pages 78-91), ensuring that all staff receive necessary training, information and guidance
- ensures that the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures are reviewed and updated at least annually, working with the whole community of children, parents, staff, volunteers and governors and/or proprietors regarding this
- makes the child protection and safeguarding policy available publicly, i.e. on the Dare2Dream website or by other means
- ensures parents are aware of the role in safeguarding and that referrals about suspected abuse and neglect may be made
- ensures that the provision holds more than one emergency contact number for every child / young person referred into our programmes
- ensures that the CEO/DSL is aware of the responsibility under Working Together 2018 to refer all allegations that a child has been harmed by or that children may be at risk of harm from a member of staff or volunteer to the Designated Officer (DO) in the Local Authority within one working day prior to any internal investigation; and to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as appropriate.
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead(s)
Is/are appropriately trained to the same level as the DSL and supports the DSL with safeguarding matters as appropriate. In the absence of the DSL, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of children / young people. The role and responsibility is explicit in the role holder’s job description. In the event of the long-term absence of the DSL, the deputy will assume all of the functions of the DSL as above.
- develops a training strategy that ensures all staff, and volunteers receive appropriate and regularly updated safeguarding and child protection training and updates as required (at least annually) to provide them with the relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively in line with any requirements of WS. The training strategy will also ensure that the DSL receives refresher training and regular updates as defined under the DSL’s duties above.
- ensures that all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers, are provided with copies of or access to the provision’s child protection and safeguarding policy and Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct) before they start work at the The Dare2Dream Foundation
- appoints a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after by the Local Authority and who have left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders or who were adopted from state care outside England and Wales; and ensures that the designated teacher has appropriate training
- contributes to inter-agency working and plans
- provides effective pastoral care, participates in the early help process and offers to initiate Early Help Single Assessments for those with additional needs in order to provide a co-ordinated offer of early help
- teaches children about safeguarding and how to keep themselves safe at all times, including when online, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
- ensures that the child protection policy and procedures are understood and implemented by all staff
- allocates sufficient time, training, support and resources, including cover arrangements when necessary, to enable the DSL and deputy/s to carry out their roles effectively, including the assessment of each child and attendance at strategy discussions and other necessary meetings
- supports the designated teacher for looked after children to promote the educational achievement of any children who are looked after by the Local Authority and who have left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders or who were adopted from state care outside England and Wales
- ensures that all staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep looked after and previously looked after children safe
- ensures that all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the whistleblowing procedures
- ensures that the culture of The Dare2Dream Foundation supports the provision of effective pastoral care and early help,
- ensures that staff do everything they can to support social workers when Children’s Social Care become involved
- ensures that children / young people are provided with opportunities throughout the delivery of our programmes to learn about safeguarding and how to keep themselves safe at all times, including when online.
- refers all allegations that a child has been harmed by or that children may be at risk of harm from a member of staff or volunteer to the Designated Officer in the Local Authority within one working day prior to any internal investigation
- ensures that anyone who has harmed or may pose a risk of harm to a child is referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service, as advised by the Designated Officer.
- appoints a case officer who will be a member of the senior leadership team to investigate allegations concerning members of staff and volunteers and/or act as a point of contact for the member of staff/volunteer against whom the allegation is made.
Good practice guidelines and staff code of conduct
To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards the children and young people we work with, we identify standards of good practice and set out our expectations of staff in the Staff Behaviour Policy, which all members of staff and volunteers are required to read and sign before starting work in The Dare2Dream Foundation. In summary, our expectations include:
- treating all children and young people with respect
- setting a good example by conducting ourselves appropriately
- involving the children and young people on our programmes in decisions that affect them
- encouraging positive, respectful and safe behaviour among themselves
- being a good listener
- being alert to changes in childrens behaviour and to signs of abuse and neglect and exploitation
- recognising that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
- reading and understanding The Dare2Dream Foundation child protection policy, staff behaviour policy (code of conduct) and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues, for example bullying, behaviour, physical contact, sexual exploitation, extremism, online safety and information-sharing
- asking permission before initiating physical contact, such as assisting with dressing, physical support during an activity or administering first aid
- maintaining appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between children / young people and avoiding the use of sexualised or derogatory language
- not participating in, tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment as “banter”, “part of growing up”, “just having a laugh” or “boys being boys”;
- making clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up; and
- challenging behaviours (potentially criminal in nature) which constitute sexual harassment, such as grabbing bottoms, breasts and genitalia, flicking bras and lifting up skirts.
- being aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of abuse
- referring all concerns about a child’s safety and welfare to the DSL or, if necessary, directly to the Police or Children’s Social Care
- following The Dare2Dream Foundation policy with regard to communication and relationships with children / young people, including via social media
- referring all allegations against members of staff, volunteers or other adults that work with children and any concerns about breaches of the Staff Behaviour policy directly to the headteacher; and any similar allegations against or concerns about the CEO directly to the chair of trustees.
Abuse of position of trust
All staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards a child / young person is unacceptable and that their conduct towards children / young people must be beyond reproach.
In addition, staff should understand that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of The Dare2Dream Foundation staff and a young person under 18 may be a criminal offence, even if that child / young person is over the age of consent.
Children who may be particularly vulnerable
Some children are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect than others. Several factors may contribute to that increased vulnerability, including prejudice and discrimination; isolation; social exclusion; communication issues; a reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur; as well as an individual child’s personality, behaviour, disability, mental and physical health needs and family circumstances.
To ensure that all children on our programmes receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:
· disabled, have special educational needs or have mental health needs
· young carers
· affected by parental substance misuse, domestic abuse and violence or parental mental health needs
· asylum seekers
· looked after by the Local Authority, otherwise living away from home or were previously looked after
· vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying behaviours
· living away from home or in temporary accommodation
· living transient lifestyles
· living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
· vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality
· at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and/or child criminal exploitation
· at risk from or are involved with serious violent crime
· do not have English as a first language
· at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM)
· at risk of forced marriage
· at risk of being drawn into extremism.
This list provides examples of additionally vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive. Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages and accessible formats for children with communication needs.
Children with special educational needs and disabilities or have mental health needs
Children with special educational needs (SEN), disabilities or who have mental health needs can face additional safeguarding challenges. Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children, which can include:
• assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability or mental health issues without further exploration;
• the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
• communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
Staff are trained to manage these additional barriers to ensure this group of children are appropriately safeguarded.
We recognise that full attendance at provision is important to the well-being of all the children / young people we support and enables them to access the opportunities made available to them. Attendance is monitored closely and we work in partnership with the referring organisations / authorities attendance teams.
Children who run away or go missing from home or care
The Dare2Dream Foundation recognises that children who run away or go missing (particularly repeatedly) and are thus absent from their normal residence are potentially vulnerable to abuse and neglect, which may include sexual abuse or exploitation and child criminal exploitation. It could also indicate mental health problems, risk of substance abuse, risk of travelling to conflict zones, risk of female genital mutilation or risk of forced marriage.
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 highlights that ‘Statutory Guidance on Children who Run Away or go Missing from Home or Care’ (DfE 2014) requires that every child or young person who runs away or goes missing must be offered a Return Home Interview (RHI) within a period of 72 hours of their return. RHI’s are intended to ascertain the factors that triggered the young person’s absence. Those factors may include difficulties at home, in Alternative Provision / Therapeutic Intervention Service and in the community. The short timescale of 72 hours is imposed in order to ensure that the RHI remains relevant to the young person and enables any required action to be initiated at the earliest opportunity. RHI’s are undertaken by practitioners who are independent in order to facilitate a discussion with the young person that is as open as possible. As soon as the Local Authority receives notification that a young person has gone missing from home or care, a letter will be sent to parents/carers seeking their consent to a RHI with their son/daughter. Direct contact will then be made with parents/carers and the young person to make arrangements for the interview. In order to fulfil the timescale of within 72 hours, it is essential that all opportunities to interview young people including times during provision day are utilised.
Our complaints procedure will be followed where a child or parent raises a concern about poor practice towards a child that initially does not reach the threshold for child protection action. Poor practice examples include unfairly singling out a child / young person or attempting to humiliate them, bullying or belittling a child or discriminating against them in some way. Complaints are managed by the CEO and other members of the senior leadership team.
Staff reporting concerns about a colleague or other adult who works with children (Whistleblowing)
Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague – including visiting practitioners and volunteers – towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood a situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise a colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The provision’s whistleblowing policy enables staff to raise concerns or allegations, initially in confidence, and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.
Staff are expected to report all concerns about poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues – including what may seem minor contraventions of the The Dare2Dream Foundation’s staff behaviour policy (code of conduct) – to the CEO; to facilitate proactive and early intervention in order to maintain appropriate boundaries and a safe culture that protect children and reduce the risk of serious abuse.
Managing allegations against staff
When an allegation is made against a member of staff, set procedures must be followed. The full procedures for dealing with allegations against staff can be found in Part 4 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and the WS inter-agency safeguarding procedures Allegations Against Staff or Persons in Positions of Trust – https://www.safeguardingwarwickshire.co.uk/safeguarding-children/i-work-with-children-and-young-people/interagency-safeguarding-procedures. Staff who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress. Suspension is not the default option and alternatives to suspension will always be considered. However, in some cases staff may be suspended where this is deemed to be the best way to ensure that allegations are investigated fairly, quickly and consistently and that all parties are protected. In the event of suspension the provision will provide support and a named contact for the member of staff. Allegations concerning staff who no longer work at The Dare2Dream Foundation or historical allegations will be reported to the Police.
In accordance with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019, the provision will make every effort to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered.
As required by Working Together to Safeguard Children, all allegations in respect of an individual who works at the provision that fulfil any of the following criteria will be reported to the Designated Officer in the Local Authority (LADO) within one working day:
• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
The Head Office of The Dare2Dream Foundation is located in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Therefore, the Designated Officer’s contact number is 01926 743433. Referrals to the Designated Officer should be submitted on a PoT MARF form and sent to email@example.com.
NB it is the CEO responsibility to contact and refer to the Designated Officer when necessary. The only exception is when the allegation is against the CEO, in which instance the nominated director will undertake that responsibility.
It is important that all staff have training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse, neglect, exploitation and radicalisation and to know what to do if they have a concern. New staff who will have direct contact with children and volunteers will receive an explanation during their induction which will include:
· the provision’s child protection and safeguarding policy
· signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect
· responding to disclosure of abuse or neglect by a child
· reporting and recording arrangements
· the staff behaviour policy (code of conduct)
· the identity and role of the DSL and all Deputy DSLs
· the behaviour policy
The DSL will attend training for newly appointed DSLs and refresher training every two years delivered by Warwickshire County Council’s Education Safeguarding Service. That training will include up to date information about local safeguarding partnership inter-agency procedures. In addition, the DSL will update their knowledge and skills at least annually to keep up with any developments relevant to their role and will be supported to access inter-agency training as part of their continuing professional development.
All staff will be made aware of the increased risk of abuse to certain groups, including children with special educational needs and disabilities, looked after children, previously looked after children, young carers and risks associated with specific safeguarding issues including child sexual
exploitation, child criminal exploitation, peer on peer abuse, sexual harassment and sexual violence , extremism, female genital mutilation and forced marriage; and will receive training in relation to keeping children safe online.
Our provision endeavours to ensure that we do our utmost to employ ‘suitable’ staff and allow ‘suitable’ volunteers to work with children by complying with the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 together with the WS Safer Recruitment policies.
Safer recruitment means that all applicants will:
· complete an application form which includes their employment history and explains any gaps in that history
· provide two referees, including at least one who can comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children
· provide evidence of identity and qualifications
· if offered employment, be checked in accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regulations as appropriate to their role. This will include:
o an enhanced DBS check and a barred list check for those including unsupervised volunteers engaged in Regulated Activity;
· if offered employment, provide evidence of their right to work in the UK
· be interviewed by a panel of at least two leaders/governors, if shortlisted.
The Dare2Dream Foundation will also
Ø ensure that every job description and person specification for roles in The Dare2Dream Foundation includes a description of the role holder’s responsibility for safeguarding
Ø ask at least one question at interview for every role in Alternative Provision / Therapeutic Intervention Service about the candidate’s attitude to safeguarding and motivation for working with children
Ø verify the preferred candidate’s mental and physical fitness to carry out their work responsibilities
Ø obtain references for all shortlisted candidates, including internal candidates
Ø carry out additional or alternative checks for applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK
At least one member of each recruitment panel will have attended safer recruitment training.
All new members of staff and volunteers will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with The Dare2Dream child protection and safeguarding policy, staff behaviour policy (code of conduct), other issues as in section 16 of this policy and identification of their child protection training needs.
All staff are required to sign to confirm they have received a copy of the child protection and safeguarding policy and Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct).
The Dare2Dream Foundation maintains a single central record of recruitment checks undertaken and ensures that the record is maintained in accordance with section 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education and guidance issued by Warwickshire County Council.
In accordance with DfE guidance Searching, screening and confiscation (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/674416/Searching_screening_and_confiscation.pdf), staff can search a child / young person referred onto our programmes for any item if the child agrees. Any member of staff authorised by the CEO also has a statutory power to search the child / young person or their possessions, without consent, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the child may have one or more of the following prohibited items in their possession: knives or weapons; alcohol; illegal drugs; stolen items; tobacco and cigarette papers; fireworks; pornographic images; indecent images of children; any article that a member of staff reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be, used to commit an offence, or to cause personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the child).
Staff can confiscate any prohibited item found as a result of a search. They can also confiscate any item they consider harmful or detrimental to discipline.
The Dare2Dream will maintain safeguarding and child protection records in accordance with the guidance document provided by WCC Education Safeguarding Service Child Protection Record Keeping Guidance.
Safeguarding and child protection records will be maintained independently in the Dare2Dream Database from the learners file. Such records will only be accessible to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and The Dare2Dream Foundation leaders who need to be aware.
The recommended format for all staff in The Dare2Dream Foundation to record any safeguarding or child protection observations or concerns about a child is the pro forma Logging A Concern About A Child’s Safety And Welfare. The same format will be used by staff to record and report any observations or concerns that suggest a child might benefit from early help.
Such records will include, in addition to the name, address and age of the child, timed and dated observations describing the child’s behaviour, appearance, statements/remarks made to staff or other children and observations of interactions between the child, other children, members of staff and/or parents/carers that give rise to concern. Where possible and without interpretation, the exact words spoken by the child or parent/carer will be recorded. Records will be signed, dated and timed by the member of staff making the record.
Records of safeguarding/child protection observations or concerns can be completed electronically or as a paper version but it is most important that all staff use one consistent system for the recording of concerns and that all records are passed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who should complete the form to confirm what action has been taken.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
The Dare2Dream Foundation will manage and share confidential information about children in line with Information sharing – Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (HMG 2018). All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the child, family and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.
The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the GDPR places duties on the The Dare2Dream Foundation and individual staff to process personal information fairly and lawfully and to keep the information they hold safe and secure.
However, neither the DPA nor the GDPR prevent or limit the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2019) states clearly that “Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children”.
Staff will ensure confidentiality protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately. If in any doubt about confidentiality, staff will seek advice from the DSL, another SLT member or outside agency as required (e.g. Education Safeguarding Manager). It is reasonable for staff to discuss day-to-day concerns about children on our programmes with colleagues in order to ensure that children’s general needs are met. However, staff should report all child protection and safeguarding concerns to the DSL or CEO. The person receiving the referral will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to–know’ basis.
The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 do not prevent The Dare2Dream Foundation staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.
The DSL will normally obtain consent from the child and/or parents to share sensitive information with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent. If any member of staff receives a request from a child or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the DSL. Information sharing will take place in a timely and secure manner and where:
· it is necessary and proportionate to do so; and
· the information to be shared is relevant, adequate and accurate.
Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share.
Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.
Every effort will be made to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information. Any sensitive information that needs to be stored on portable devices such as laptop computers or tablets or on portable media such as a CD or flash drive will be password protected or encrypted and kept in locked storage.
Photography and images
The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so we must ensure that we have some safeguards in place.
To protect children we will:
· seek their consent for photographs or video images to be taken;
· seek parental consent;
· ensure children are appropriately dressed; and
· encourage children to tell us if they are worried about any photographs/images that are taken of them.
Furthermore, when using images for publicity purposes (e.g. on our website or in newspapers or publications), we will:
· avoid naming children when possible
· if it is necessary to name children, use first names rather than surnames
· if children are named, avoid using their image
· establish whether the image will be retained for further use, where and for how long
· ensure that images are stored securely and used only by those authorised to do so.
For the protection of children and staff, only provision owned equipment will be used to record and store images taken by staff or volunteers.
Children and young people commonly use electronic equipment including mobile phones, tablets and computers on a daily basis to access the internet and share content and images via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Tumblr, Snapchat and Instagram.
Those technologies and the internet are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. Unfortunately, however, some adults and young people will use those technologies to harm children and the use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation: technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm.
The breadth of issues within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:
· content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; for example pornography, fake news, racist or radical and extremist views;
· contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example commercial advertising as well as adults posing as children or young adults; and
· conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.
Online communication between staff and children
Staff also receive advice regarding personal online activity, use of social networking and electronic communication with children on our programmes, about which there are strict rules. Staff found to be in breach of these rules may the subject of a referral to the Designated Officer in the Local Authority and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Child Protection Procedures
To ensure that the children on our programmes are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of children.
Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by adult men or women or by other children or young people. Staff are trained to understand and recognise indicators of all four categories of abuse as defined below.
There are four categories of abuse: Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Neglect
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education (see section 31).
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
a. provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
b. protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
c. ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
d. ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Definitions taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2019).
Indicators of abuse
Physical signs define some types of abuse, for example bruising, bleeding or broken bones resulting from physical or sexual abuse, or injuries sustained while a child has been inadequately supervised. The identification of physical signs is complicated, as children may go to great lengths to hide injuries, often because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or their abuser has threatened further violence or trauma if they ‘tell’. It is also quite difficult for anyone without medical training to categorise injuries into accidental or deliberate with any degree of certainty. For those reasons it is vital that staff are also aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
It is the responsibility of staff to report their concerns. It is not their responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused.
A child who is being abused or neglected may:
· have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries;
· show signs of pain or discomfort;
· keep arms and legs covered, even in warm weather;
· be concerned about changing for PE or swimming;
· look unkempt and uncared for;
· change their eating habits;
· have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships;
· appear fearful;
· be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety;
· frequently miss provision or arrive late;
· show signs of not wanting to go home;
· display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy-go-lucky to withdrawn;
· challenge authority;
· become disinterested in their Alternative Provision / Therapeutic Intervention Service work;
· be constantly tired or preoccupied;
· be wary of physical contact;
· be involved in, or particularly knowledgeable about drugs or alcohol;
· display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age and/or stage of development; and/or
· acquire gifts such as money or a mobile phone from new ‘friends’ or adults recently acquainted with the child’s family.
Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. They should be viewed as part of a jigsaw and each small piece of information will help the DSL to decide how to proceed.
It is very important that staff report all of their concerns, however minor or insignificant they may think they are – they do not need ‘absolute proof’ that the child is at risk.
Impact of Abuse
The impact of child abuse, neglect and exploitation should not be underestimated. Many children do recover well and go on to lead healthy, happy and productive lives, although most adult survivors agree that the emotional scars remain, however well buried. For some children, full recovery is beyond their reach and the rest of their childhood and their adulthood may be characterised by anxiety or depression, self-harm, eating disorders, alcohol and substance misuse, unequal and destructive relationships and long-term medical or psychiatric difficulties.
Any child in any family in any place could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “It could happen here”.
Key points for staff to remember when taking action are:
· in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example, call 999;
· report your concern to the DSL as quickly as possible – immediately when there is evidence of physical or sexual abuse and certainly by the end of the day;
· do not start your own investigation;
· share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family;
· complete a record of concern
· seek support for yourself if you are distressed or need to debrief.
If a member of staff or volunteer is concerned about a child’s welfare…
There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a child we are supporting may be at risk without unequivocal evidence. The child’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress or physical but inconclusive signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff will try to give the child the opportunity to talk. The signs they have noticed may be due to a variety of factors, for example a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. Staff are encouraged and supported to ask children on our programmes if they are OK, if there is anything the child would like to talk to them about and if they can help in any way. Staff are trained to do this by asking appropriate open questions which do not lead the child in any particular direction but invite the child to talk about anything if they wish to.
Staff should use the same record of concern form to record these early concerns. If the child does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the child, if the member of staff remains concerned, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL.
If a child discloses to a member of staff or volunteer…
It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual. Their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell. They may have lost all trust in adults. Or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive.
If a child talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will need to let the child know that they must pass the information on – staff are not allowed to keep unsafe secrets. The point at which they tell the child this is a matter for professional judgement. If they jump in immediately the child may think that they do not want to listen but if left until the very end of the conversation, the child may feel that they have been misled into revealing more than they would have otherwise.
During their conversations with children staff will:
· allow them to speak freely;
· remain calm and not overreact – the child may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting their listener;
· give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m glad you told me’/’thank you for telling me’; ‘I believe you’; ‘What happened to you is not your fault’/’This isn’t your fault’; ‘I’m going to do what I can to help you’;
· not be afraid of silences – staff must remember how hard this must be for the child;
· under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the child’s mother think about it; (however, it is reasonable to ask questions to clarify understanding and to support a meaningful referral if that is required, e.g. ‘when did this happen’, ‘where did this happen?’)
· at an appropriate time tell the child that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on; · not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused;
· avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ or ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing’ may be the staff member’s way of being supportive but may be interpreted by the child to mean that they have done something wrong;
· tell the child what will happen next;
· let the child know that someone (either the member of staff or another named person, e.g. the DSL) will come to see them before the end of the day; · report verbally to the DSL (or CEO if the child has made an allegation against a member of staff);
· write up their conversation as soon as possible on the record of concern form and hand it to the DSL; and · seek support if they feel distressed or need to debrief.
Making a referral to Children’s Social Care…
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 emphasises that the DSL (and any deputies) are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to safeguarding concerns. The DSL will make a referral to Children’s Social Care (and if appropriate the Police) if it is believed that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child or create undue delay. Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 also emphasises that all staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to Children’s Social Care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.
Children in Need
A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. Local authorities are required to provide services for children in need for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. Children in need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
Children Suffering or Likely to Suffer Significant Harm
Local authorities, with the help of other organisations as appropriate, have a duty to make enquires under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. Such enquiries enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare and must be initiated where there are concerns about maltreatment, including all forms of abuse and neglect, female genital mutilation or other so-called honour based violence, and extra-familial threats like radicalisation and sexual exploitation.
Submitting Child Protection Referrals
All child protection referrals should be made to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by completing a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) and submitting it to the MASH at firstname.lastname@example.org. The form can also be completed online.
All urgent child protection referrals, i.e. where there is an immediate concern about a child’s safety, should be made in the first instance by telephoning the MASH on 01926 414144. This should be followed by submission of a MARF as above.
NB If a child is already the subject of an open case to Children’s Social Care, the DSL will have the name and contact details of the allocated social worker. Further child protection concerns about any child in those circumstances must be referred directly to the allocated social worker, not to the MASH. Again, where there is an immediate concern about a child’s safety, the DSL should contact the social worker by telephone in the first instance. Any difficulties in contacting the social worker must be escalated to their line manager, not to the MASH. Outside of office hours, immediate concerns about a child should be referred to the Emergency Duty Team on telephone number 01926 886922.
If staff are ever concerned that a child is in immediate danger, they will contact the Police by dialling 999.
Staff may seek support directly from the Education Safeguarding Manager should they consider that necessary.
Staff Reporting Directly to Child Protection Agencies
Staff should ordinarily follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, as highlighted above, all staff should be aware of the early help process and understand their role in it; and all staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to Children’s Social Care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989. Any member of staff may therefore refer their concerns directly to Children’s Social Care and/or the Police if:
· the situation is an emergency and the DSL, the deputy DSL, the CEO
· they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the child’s safety; or
· for any other reason they make a judgement that a direct referral is in the best interests of the child.
In any of those circumstances, staff may make direct child protection referrals and share information without being subject of censure or disciplinary action. However, staff should inform the DSL and/or CEO at the earliest opportunity that they have done so unless in their judgement doing so would increase the risk of harm to the child. If in any doubt, members of staff may consult the MASH (details above) or seek support from the Education Safeguarding Manager via 01926 742525.
What will Children’s Social Care do?
Children’s Social Care should make a decision about the type of response that is required within one working day of a referral being made; and should let the referrer know the outcome. This will include determining whether:
• the child requires immediate protection and urgent action is required;
• whether the child is in need, and should be assessed under section 17;
• there is reasonable cause to suspect the child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, and whether enquiries must be made and the child assessed under section 47;
• any services are required by the child and family and what type of services; and
• further specialist assessments are required in order to help the local authority to decide what further action to take.
The provision will follow up if this information is not forthcoming and if, after a referral, the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, will consider following the WS escalation procedure to ensure the referred concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves.
If Children’s Social Care decide to carry out a statutory assessment, staff will do everything they can to support that assessment, led and supported by the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) as required.
Bullying, Peer on Peer Abuse and Harmful Sexual Behaviour
The Dare2Dream Foundation believes that all children have a right to attend our provision and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm, both from adults and other students in the The Dare2Dream Foundation.
All staff are made aware of indicators that children are at risk from or are involved with serious violent crime; and are trained to record and report any concern about children at risk of or involved in perpetrating serious violence as with any other safeguarding concern. Indicators may include increased absence, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in wellbeing, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts could also indicate that children have been approached by or are involved with individuals associated with criminal gangs.
Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse. Child criminal exploitation (CCE) is a form of child abuse. Both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual and/or criminal activity
(a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants; and/or
(b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.
The victim may have been sexually and/or criminally exploited even if the sexual/criminal activity appears consensual. CSE and CCE do not always involve physical contact; they can also occur through the use of technology. Victims of CSE and CCE can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual and/or criminal exploitation through the offer of friendship and care, gifts, drugs, alcohol and sometimes accommodation. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to other criminal activity including trafficking and illegal drugs. Drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns.
Criminal exploitation of children can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and is often accompanied by violence or threats of violence. It can be perpetrated by individuals or groups; males or females; and young people or adults. It is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the exploitation. As well as age, the power imbalance can also be due to other factors including gender, cognitive ability, physical strength, status and access to economic or other resources. Child criminal exploitation may include activities such as:
· a child travelling outside the area in which she/he lives in order to transport, distribute or sell drugs for others by whom they are being exploited. This form of criminal activity and exploitation is referred to as county lines (for further information see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/741194/HOCountyLinesGuidanceSept2018.pdf);
· a child committing crimes on behalf of or at the behest of others because they, their friends or relatives have been threatened, deceived or manipulated;
· a child being forced to commit crime in order to settle actual or fabricated debts
· gang membership, which may lead to the child being exploited to do something illegal or dangerous in return for kudos/status in the gang;
· a child being encouraged or manipulated to commit crime via social media;
· a child receiving food, money, kudos or status in return for storing a weapon or drugs for others.
All staff are trained to be vigilant about and report indicators of CSE and CCE including:
· acquisition of money, clothes, mobile phones, etc. without plausible explanation;
· gang-association and/or isolation from peers/social networks;
· children being exposed to or perpetrating serious levels of violence; and/or being manipulated or forced into excessive violence towards others by somebody who is exploiting them (for further information see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418131/Preventing_youth_violence_and_gang_involvement_v3_March2015.pdf);
· exclusion or unexplained absences from The Dare2Dream Foundation, college or work;
· leaving home/care without explanation and persistently going missing or returning late;
· excessive receipt of texts/phone calls;
· returning home under the influence of drugs/alcohol;
· inappropriate sexualised behaviour for age/sexually transmitted infections;
· evidence of/suspicions of physical or sexual assault;
· relationships with controlling or significantly older individuals or groups;
· multiple callers (unknown adults or peers);
· frequenting areas known for sex work;
· concerning use of internet or other social media;
· increasing secretiveness around behaviours; and
· self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being.
Although the following vulnerabilities increase the risk of child sexual and/or criminal exploitation, not all children with these indicators will be exploited and child sexual and criminal exploitation can occur without any of these issues:
· having a prior experience of neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse;
· lack of a safe/stable home environment, now or in the past (domestic violence or parental substance misuse, mental health issues or criminality, for example);
· recent bereavement or loss;
· social isolation or social difficulties;
· absence of a safe environment to explore sexuality;
· economic vulnerability;
· homelessness or insecure accommodation status;
· connections with other children and young people who are being sexually and/or criminally exploited;
· family members or other connections involved in adult sex work and/or other criminal activity;
· having a physical or learning disability; and
· being looked after (particularly those in residential care and those with interrupted care histories).
So-called ‘Honour Based’ Violence
So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of a family and/or community. Such crimes include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving ‘honour’ often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take. Staff will be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV or already having suffered HBV. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and staff will record and report any concerns about a child who might be at risk of HBV to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as with any other safeguarding concern. The DSL will consider the need to make a referral to the Police, and/or Children’s Social Care as with any other child protection concern; and may also contact the Forced Marriage Unit for advice as necessary.
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse. It is the collective name given to a range of procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons or other injury to the female genital organs. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. The practice, which is most commonly carried out without anaesthetic, can cause intense pain and distress and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth. FGM is carried out on girls of any age, from young babies to older teenagers and adult women, so The Dare2Dream Foundation staff are trained to be aware of risk indicators. Many such procedures are carried out abroad and staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by a female child / young person about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. Any person found guilty of an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 is liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment or a fine, or both. (See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-genital-mutilation-guidelines for further information).
If staff have a concern that a girl may be at risk of FGM, they will record their concern and inform the DSL as they would any other safeguarding concern.
A forced marriage is a marriage in which a female (and sometimes a male) does not consent to the marriage but is coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.
A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, which is common in several cultures, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.
Children may be married at a very young age, and well below the age of consent in England. The Dare2Dream Foundation staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns raised by a child about being taken abroad and not being allowed to return to England.
Since June 2014 forcing someone to marry has become a criminal offence in England and Wales under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. (See https://www.gov.uk/forced-marriage for further information).
Protecting Children from Radicalisation and Extremism
The Dare2Dream Foundation follow section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the CTSA 2015), in the exercise of their functions, to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
Some children are vulnerable to extremist ideology and radicalisation. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is part of the The Dare2Dream Foundation’s wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. As such, the Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for the The Dare2Dream Foundation’s strategy for protecting children from those risks.
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups. Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to fundamental values, including the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This also includes calling for the death of members of the armed forces. Even very young children have been exposed, in rare circumstances, to extremism at home and elsewhere including online.
As children get older, they look for adventure and excitement and they may start to ask questions about their identity and belonging. During that stage of their development they are vulnerable to extremist groups that may claim to offer answers, identity and a social network apparently providing a sense of belonging. Many of those extremist groups make sophisticated use of the internet and social media to target young people and spread their ideology, making young people more vulnerable to being influenced by extremist ideas. Young people who feel isolated or disaffected in some way are particularly vulnerable to radicalisation as they are other forms of abuse and exploitation.
During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised. The The Dare2Dream Foundation is committed to preventing children from being radicalised and drawn into any form of extremism or terrorism. The The Dare2Dream Foundation promotes the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs by providing children with opportunities through the delivery of our programmes to discuss issues of religion, ethnicity and culture and learn how to discuss and debate points of view; and by ensuring that all children are valued and listened to within The Dare2Dream Foundation.
Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for The Dare2Dream Foundations to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages.
Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
· financial; and
· emotional abuse.
Exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. Domestic abuse affecting young people can also occur within their personal relationships, as well as in the context of their home life.
All concerns about children being affected by domestic abuse will be reported to the DSL as with any other safeguarding concern. The DSL will respond to the report by consulting Children’s Social Care in order to establish whether a referral is required or the situation should be managed by discussion with parents/carers and possibly the offer of early help.
Logging a concern about a child’s safety and welfare
(NB All concerns must be recorded but a Designated Safeguarding Lead must be informed immediately about all disclosures by a child of abuse and any situation where a child may be at immediate risk of harm at the end of their day – this form should then be filled in and passed to the DSL as soon as possible after the DSL has been informed)
Download the attached report form