Kehillat Kernow (KK) fully recognizes the responsibility and duty placed upon it to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people entrusted to their care. We are committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.
KK will ensure that safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities and government guidance and complies with best practice. All members and volunteers have a full and active part to play in protecting children and young people from harm.
We recognize that KK is a community, and that members of communities have multiple relationships. Safeguarding is part of these relationships, and this policy applies to all KK events, and to all of us in our relationship with children at KK events. As we are all responsible for safeguarding children, anyone leading a KK event holds responsibility for implementing this policy.
KK believes all children have the right to be protected from child abuse of any kind, including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse and from ‘significant harm’ or neglect.
Rights of the Child
KK believes in the rights of the child, as defined in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989, Articles 1 to 54. The Convention spells out the basic rights that children everywhere have. The four core principles of the convention are: non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child.
KK is committed to the wider concept of Safeguarding, as outlined in Every Child Matters (2003). KK believes in every young person’s fundamental right to: be healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; and achieve economic wellbeing.
This policy applies to children and young people who are younger than 18 years old. It applies to children and young people who are KK members and those that attend KK services or events.
KK believes that safeguarding is ‘everyone’s responsibility’ (Lord Lamming). “All those who come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including practitioners who do not have a specific role in relation to child protection, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children” (HM Govt, 2003).
Our Safeguarding Lead who co-ordinates child protection issues for Kehillat Kernow services and events is: Rachel Chatfield 07786176821
Rachel is a Clinical Psychologist with professional experience of safeguarding. She holds an Enhanced DBS and is employed by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society and Registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council. She has experience of safeguarding within her professional career.
Definitions of Abuse
HM Govt, 2015, Working Together to Safeguard Children
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g., over the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Physical abuse 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.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent diverse 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, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse 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 (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect is 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 as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Council Members, Lay leaders and Volunteers (including parent cheder volunteers)
All the above understand that safeguarding is their responsibility.
All have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues, are alert to the signs and symptoms of abuse, and understand their professional duty to ensure safeguarding concerns are reported to the local authority’s multi-agency referral hub (MARU) or the NSPCC. They receive updates on safeguarding at least annually.
All are confident to ask questions in relation to any safeguarding concerns and know not to just take things at face value but can be respectfully sceptical.
All understand their responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018, and understand relevant safeguarding legislation, statutory requirements and local safeguarding partner requirements and ensure that any information they may share about parents and their children with other agencies is shared appropriately and lawfully.
All understand what the organisation expects of them in terms of their required behaviour and conduct, and follow our policies and procedures on positive behaviour, online safety (including use of cameras and mobile phones) and whistleblowing.
- Parents of children under 16 must not leave their children alone in the premises.
- be aged 17
- be considered competent and responsible.
- be familiar with all the settings policies and procedures.
- be fully checked for suitability if they are to have unsupervised access to the children at any time.
Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting.
Security steps are taken to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
At KK we recognise that children and young people who identify as LGBTQ+ are particularly vulnerable to abuse and may be less likely to disclose abuse due to fear of judgement. We will:
Support council members, members and volunteers to not making heteronormative assumptions.
Be aware of heightened safeguarding risks through effective training and LGBTQ+ inclusive safeguarding policies
Support council members, members and volunteers in ensuring assumptions are not made about the gender or sexuality of a person, partner or family when responding to concerns or disclosures.
Ensure we are recording instances of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic (HBT) bullying
Ensure council members and volunteers are aware of signposting to LGBT specific support service
Responding to Suspicions of Abuse
We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents, allegations or concerns of abuse that may occur, whether they concern children attending our setting or not, and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2015) and the Care Act 2014.
Council members, members and volunteers should follow this procedure if they suspect abuse:
- Recognise the signs and behaviours which may be cause for concern
- Respond to the child or young person sensitively
- Refer the situation to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible and within one working day; she or he will decide what further action to take and inform the relevant safeguarding agencies as necessary
- Safeguarding is ‘everyone’s responsibility’ (Lord Lamming).
Disclosure of Abuse
If a child or young person has chosen to disclose abuse to you, you are a very special person for that child or young person.
Council members, members and volunteers should follow this procedure in the event of a disclosure:
- Never promise that you can keep anything secret that a child or young person tells you. You have a duty to pass information on in order to protect children and young people.
- If the young person then chooses not to disclose the information you should inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Listen to what is being said, trying not to display shock or disbelief; be careful of physical messages
- Accept what is being said but do not comment upon it.
- Do not ask ‘leading’ questions, for example, “What did s/he do next?” (This assumes s/he did!), or “Did s/he touch your private parts?” Such questions may invalidate the evidence in any later court action.
- Reassure the young person but only so far as is honest and reliable, for example, don’t make promises you may not be able to keep, such as, “I’ll stay with you”, or “Everything will be all right now”.
- Don’t promise to keep what they tell you a secret; you have a duty to pass it on.
- Do reassure and alleviate guilt if the young person refers to it. For example, you could say: “You are not to blame.” “You are not alone, you’re not the only one this sort of thing has happened to.”
- Do not criticise the perpetrator; the young person may love that person and reconciliation may be possible.
- As soon as possible all information should be recorded. Record as much detail as possible, including names, address, and contact information.
- Write down the nature of the allegation, do not include your own judgement or assumptions. Stick to what was actually said by the young person.
- Note any observations on behaviour, emotional state or injuries and bruising.
- Note time, location and date of disclosure and sign the notes.
- Do not investigate the matter yourself, merely receive information and be ready to refer.
- Pass this information and a verbal account immediately to a Designated Safeguarding Lead. In the absence of a Designated Safeguarding Lead, refer information to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Child Protection issues are treated as a priority.
- It is your duty to refer this information – you cannot keep it a secret.
- Information should only be shared with a Designated Safeguarding Lead, Rachel Chatfield. If she is not available then contact Jeremy Jacobson, KK President
Disclosure by a 3rd party
If a 3rd party e.g., another parent, neighbour or member of the public discloses information that may indicate a safeguarding issue, they should be empowered to report their concerns directly to social care or the police (anonymously if necessary). KK also has a duty to record and refer on such serious concerns to the appropriate agency. This will be done by a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Local Authority Escalation process
If we feel that a referral made has not been dealt with properly or that concerns are not being addressed or responded to, we will follow the local authority escalation process by contacting the Cornwall Multi-agency Referral Unit (MARU)
We will ensure that council members, members and volunteers are aware of how to escalate concerns.
Any verbal information or referrals must be followed promptly by a written report. Written reports should be marked with the date and time, persons involved and notes on the event and action taken. Any original rough notes made during the interview must be kept and attached in case they are needed by a court. Avoid paraphrasing and use quotes where possible.
The following may be helpful as guidelines generally but especially where a disclosure has been made about alleged abuse:
- Written recording during the interview – It may be possible to write down phrases and words whilst the child is talking which can be used to trigger recall when a full report is made. This should only be done if the child is in agreement and if it feels comfortable.
- Written recording immediately after the interview – It is very important to try to record exactly what the child said and using the child’s vocabulary even if the meaning is unclear.
- Recording your own responses – Your responses should be recorded, and it should be clear that a non-leading approach has been used.
- Recording the context of the disclosure – The context in which a child chooses to tell about an incident of abuse can provide valuable information to the investigating team.
- Recording the emotional context of the disclosure – The emotional context can provide valuable clues to the investigating team. A child may make serious statements in a joking way or may present as tearful and distressed. Describe any non-verbal behaviour
- Recording repetition – If a child repeats statements these should be recorded. Consistency in a child’s repeated statements adds to the strength of the evidence.
- Draw a Diagram – If there is any obvious bruising or injury draw a diagram to indicate its position.
In the event of a referral being made, a Designated Safeguarding Lead will contact Cornwall’s MARU (Multi-Agency Referral Unit) on 0300 123 1116 and submit the report in accordance with their procedures.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board / Local Safeguarding Partners and in line with the GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018, and Working Together 2018.
All written accounts including rough notes and all other related material are stored securely.
Electronic versions of referrals are kept in a secure folder.
Avoiding risks of complaints and allegation against Council members, members and volunteers
We ensure that parents are made aware of our safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures.
Steps are taken to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child. Any images of children are held securely and in a locked filing cabinet when not in use.
Council members, members and volunteers should not use personal cameras or filming equipment to record images. However, in exceptional circumstances Council members, members and volunteers may, with prior consent, use personal equipment to record the participation of children in an event. It is acknowledged that best practice would be to transfer all images of children to KK equipment and to delete them from personal devices. Any member of Council members, members and volunteers who by necessity uses personal equipment for KK purposes has an undertaking of the proper use of any stored images.
If any member of Council members, members and volunteers are sent picture of a child or vulnerable adult to their personal phone that they have any concerns about, they will inform the safeguarding team in writing and this information will be stored securely in the Safeguarding folder.
Personal mobile phones should not used where children are present.
The designated person in the setting has responsibility for ensuring that there is an adequate online safety policy in place.
We keep a written record of all complaints and concerns including details of how they were responded to.
We ensure that robust risk assessments are completed, that they are seen and signed by all relevant Council members, members and volunteers and that they are regularly reviewed and updated, in line with our health and safety policy.
The council will support the Designated Safeguarding Lead to undertake their role adequately and offer advice, guidance, supervision and support.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will inform the council at the first opportunity of any significant safeguarding concern; however, this should not delay any referrals being made to the children’s social care, or where appropriate, the LADO or Ofsted.
Council members, members and volunteers’ members, should avoid working alone with individual children except, if essential for the activity, for short periods, with the door open and other adults made aware.
Lone working should be avoided if possible.
Parents are normally the first point of contact. Concerns are normally discussed with parents to gain their view of events, unless it is felt that this may put the child or other person at risk, or may interfere with the course of a police investigation, or may unduly delay the referral, or unless it is otherwise unreasonable to seek consent. Advice will be sought from social care, or in some circumstances police, where necessary.
Parents are informed when we make a record of concerns in their child’s file and that we also make a note of any discussion we have with them regarding a concern.
If a suspicion of abuse warrants referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will be made, except where the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board / Local Safeguarding Partners does not allow this. For example, where it is believed that the child may be placed in greater danger.
This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser or where sexual abuse may have occurred.
If there is a possibility that advising a parent beforehand may place a child at greater risk, (or interfere with a police response), the Designated Safeguarding Lead should consider seeking advice from children’s social work services, about whether or not to advise parents beforehand, and should record and follow the advice given.
KK has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies where there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We ensure that effective working relationships are developed with all external services involved in Safeguarding and Child Protection.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will contact Social Care or other relevant agency for advice where there are sufficient concerns regarding a child’s safety and welfare.
If a referral to Social Care is accepted, a written referral together with any disclosure reports will be sent within one working day.
An outcome of the Social Care contact will be to agree what the child and parents will be told, by whom and when.
Social Care will decide on the next course of action within one working day and feedback to referrer.
If Social Care make an initial assessment which confirms concerns about student’s safety, a Social Worker and Child Protection Police may interview the child.
If no emergency action is considered necessary, an initial assessment will be completed by Social Care within 7 working days and fed back to the referrer.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will keep relevant Council members, members and volunteers informed on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Children who have been identified as ‘at risk’ are monitored by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and agreed further action is taken if needed.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead or an appropriately informed member of Council members, members and volunteers attends strategy meetings, case conferences, Core Group or other multi agency planning meetings.
Accurate records relating to children subject to a Child Protection Plan are kept securely.
If the child is the subject of a Child Protection Plan, the assigned Social Worker is informed of any concerns, exclusions or changes in the child or their circumstances.
Allegations against Council members, members and volunteers and persons in positions of trust
We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of Council members, members and volunteers within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
We ensure that all Council members, members and volunteers and anyone else working in the setting knows how to raise concerns that they may have about the conduct or behaviour of other people including council members, members and volunteers/colleagues.
We differentiate between allegations, and concerns about the quality of care or practice and complaints and have a separate process for responding to complaints.
We respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of council members, members and volunteers:
Inappropriate sexual comments:
- excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images.
We will recognise and respond to allegations that a person who works with children has:
- 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
We ensure that all Council members, members and volunteers know how to raise concerns to their designated safeguarding lead about a member of Council members, members and volunteers within the setting; the DSL will respond appropriately.
Council members, members and volunteers are aware of how to escalate their concerns within the organisation if they are not satisfied with the response given by the designated safeguarding lead.
We respond to any disclosure by children or council members, members and volunteers that abuse by a member of Council members, members and volunteers within the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
We refer any such complaint immediately to a senior manager within the organisation and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) as necessary, to investigate and / or offer advice: 0208 359 4066
We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
Where the management team and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the member of council members, members and volunteers will be suspended for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the Council members, members and volunteers, as well as children and families throughout the process.
Where a members of Council, KK members and volunteers has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children and vulnerable groups can be identified and barred from working with these groups.
Promoting Awareness and Training
We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and learning programmes for adults. We are also committed to empowering young children, through our education programmes, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.
Training opportunities are sought for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals. Training opportunities should also cover extra familial threats such as online risks, radicalisation and grooming and FGM and how to identify and respond to families who may be in need of early help, and organisational safeguarding procedures.
Designated persons receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
We ensure that all Council members, members and volunteers know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns they may have about the provision.
We ensure that all Council members, members and volunteers receive updates on safeguarding via emails, newsletters, online training and/or discussion.
Support for council members, members and volunteers
KK has a duty of care for all council members, members and volunteers. It is recognised that dealing with safeguarding and child protection concerns is likely to be a stressful experience.
We will support such Council members, members and volunteers by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or to seek further support. In cases of serious abuse or trauma, KK will seek psychological support.
We recognise that the Designated Safeguarding Lead should also have access to support. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is supported in the first instance by the council however additional support may also be required.
Support to families
We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, Council members, members and volunteers.
We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, information sharing, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.
We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
We will engage with any Child in Need plan or Early Help plan as agreed.
Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- Children Act (1989 s47)
- Protection of Children Act (1999)
- The Children Act (2004 s11)
- Children and Social Work Act 2017
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
- Childcare Act (2006)
- Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018
- Sexual Offences Act (2003)
- Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
- Equality Act (2010)
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (2018)
- Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations (2009)
- Children and Families Act (2014)
- Care Act (2014)
- Serious Crime Act (2015)
- Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (HMG, 2018)
- What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG, 2015)
- Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)
- The Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People: A Guide for Practitioners
- (CWDC 2010)
- Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (HMG 2008)
- Hidden Harm – Responding to the Needs of Children of Problem Drug Users (ACMD, 2003)
- Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing Safeguarding Services (DfE 2018)
- Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check
- Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (HMG, 2015)
- Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings, (Ofsted, 2018)
*A ‘young person’ is defined as 16 to 19 years old – in our setting they may be a student, volunteer or parent.
|This policy was adopted by:
|7 Feb 2021
|Date to be reviewed by:
|Signed on behalf of the provider:
|Name of signatory:
|Role of signatory: