Safeguarding Policy

Fitt4kids is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected  from abuse, harm and radicalisation.  

Fitt4kids will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a  child that may occur. Fitt4kids child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with  guidance issued by Warwickshire’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)/ The Front Door  

There is a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) available at all times while the Club is in session. The  DSL coordinates safeguarding and child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social  Care and Ofsted). 

Fitt4kids designated DSL’s are Simon Arnold and Adam Maltby 

Child abuse and neglect 

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to  injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from  harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.  

  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and  persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child  feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in  all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone. 
  • Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or  otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or  carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child. 
  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not  the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities  such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate  ways. 
  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve  a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and  emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment. 

Signs of child abuse and neglect 

Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:  

  • significant changes in a child’s behaviour 
  • deterioration in a child’s general well-being 
  • unexplained bruising or marks 
  • comments made by a child which give cause for concern 
  • reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg in the child’s home, or that a girl  may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation (FGM), or that the child  may have witnessed domestic abuse 
  • inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example,  inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of  their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.  

If abuse is suspected or disclosed 

When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will: reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out  listen to the child but not question them

  • give reassurance that the staff member will take action 
  • record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below). 

If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the matter straightaway using the  Green form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to  contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Club is obliged to and the  incident will be logged accordingly. 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) 

FGM is an illegal, extremely harmful practice and a form of child abuse, and is therefore dealt with as  part of our existing safeguarding procedures. All of our staff receive training in how to recognise when  girls are at risk of FGM, or may have been subjected to it. 

If FGM is suspected or disclosed 

We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse. 

Child-on-Child abuse 

Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Child-on-child abuse is taken seriously by staff and will  be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the  potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.  

Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more  of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of  child-on-child abuse:  

  • Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg much older) One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability,  confidence, physical strength)  
  • There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.  If child-on-child abuse is suspected or disclosed 

We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse. 

Extremism and radicalisation 

All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being  drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg: 

  • feeling alienated or alone 
  • seeking a sense of identity or individuality 
  • suffering from mental health issues such as depression 
  • desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause 
  • associating with others who hold extremist beliefs 

Signs of radicalisation 

Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include: 

  • changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive 
  • claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified 
  • viewing violent extremist material online 
  • possessing or sharing violent extremist material 

If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any  relevant information or observations on a Green form, and refer the matter to the DSL.

Logging a concern 

All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be  recorded on the Green form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include: 

  • date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern 
  • date and time at which the record was made 
  • name and date of birth of the child involved 
  • a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words name, signature and job title of the person making the record. 

The record will be given to the Club’s DSL who will decide on the appropriate course of action.  

For concerns about child abuse, the DSL will contact Social Care. The DSL will follow up all referrals to  Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt  with properly, they may contact Social Care directly. 

For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the DSL will contact Warwickshire’s Multi Agency  Safeguarding Hub (MASH) )/ The Front Door. For more serious concerns the DSL will contact the Police on  the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns  the DSL will contact the Police using 999. 

Allegations against staff  

If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff: 

  • The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record form. Any witnesses to the incident should  sign and date the entry to confirm it. 
  • The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted.  The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and the Club will act upon  their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours. 
  • Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full  investigation of the allegation. 
  • If appropriate, the Club will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

Promoting awareness among staff 

The Club promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. The  Club ensures that: 

  • the designated DSL has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding  designated person training is refreshed every two/three years  
  • safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff 
  • all staff have a copy of this Safeguarding policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to  signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation 
  • all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child  abuse, and concerns about radicalisation 
  • all staff receive basic safeguarding training, and safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all  staff meetings 
  • staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept Safe guarding folder the Club’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children  (2020)’ and staff are familiar with ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused  (2015)’. 

Use of mobile phones and cameras 

Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Staff will use their phones to  take photographs of children at the Club to send to the Fitt4kids director, once sent staff must delete  the photos immediately. Visitors can’t use their mobile phones to take photographs at the Club. For  more details see our Mobile Phone Policy.

Contact numbers 

Social Care: Warwickshire safeguarding 01926 410410 

LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer): 01926 745376 

Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator: 01926 412432 

Police: 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency) 

Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321 

NSPCC: 0808 800 500 

Ofsted: 0300 123 1231 

This policy was adopted by: Fitt4kids Limited 

Date: October 2022

To be reviewed: October 2023 

Signed: Simon Arnold

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021): Safeguarding  and Welfare requirements: Child Protection [3.4-3.8] and Suitable People [3.9-3.13].