Little Village Camden
Little Village Wandsworth
Little Village HQ, St Mark's Church,
53 Rowfont Road, London, SW17 7AP
This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, trustees and anyone working for Little Village. Staff and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of issues, which cause children and young people harm.
The organisation does not undertake activities with children in the absence of their parents/carers, but has the opportunity to observe the young person’s/children’s welfare within their family setting. Parents/carers remain responsible for their children’s welfare throughout all the work undertaken by the organisation.
This policy has been drawn up as a response to:
We recognise that:
We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:
Policy and Procedures
Statement of Intent
It is the policy of Little Village to safeguard the welfare of all children by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm. Staff and volunteers should be committed to treating children with respect and dignity, always listening to what a child is saying.
SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD PROTECTION AND GOOD PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Good communication is essential in any organisation. At Little Village every effort will be made to ensure that, should individuals have concerns, they will be listened to and taken seriously.
It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that information is available to, and exchanged between all those involved in this organisation and its activities. Some information is confidential and should only be shared on a strictly need-to-know basis.
A copy of our Child Protection Policy will be made available to all staff, volunteers and any other appropriate body. It will also be placed on our website.
Each new member of staff will be required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (“DBS”) check as part of our recruitment policy. Each new volunteer will be subject to a DBS check dependent upon the position applied for.
Induction – Each new member of staff or volunteer will be made familiar with Little Village’s policies and procedures including the Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE
DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE
The term “abuse” is intended to include any situation where there is grave concern regarding the well-being 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. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
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 institution or community setting; by those known to them, or more rarely by a stranger. 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 carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent 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, 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:
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM involves cutting, and sometimes sewing the girl’s genitalia, normally without anaesthetic, and can take place at any time from birth onwards. It is sometimes referred to as ‘female circumcision’ but this misnomer belies the invasive and irreversible nature of the procedure. It is now more correctly termed female genital mutilation.
The procedure has a cultural, rather than religious, origin and is practised by disparate ethnic communities in many countries, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it a criminal offence, not only to carry out FGM in England, Scotland and Wales on a girl who is a UK national or permanent resident, but also to take a girl out of the UK to have FGM performed abroad, even to countries where FGM is legal. The indicators of FGM may initially mirror those of sexual abuse. You may notice, for example, that a girl or young woman shows signs of pain or discomfort, needs to visit the toilet constantly, has vaginal blood loss or is unable to sit comfortably.
It is the personal duty of volunteers who identifies FGM or receives a disclosure to make a crime report to the police.
Individuals within Little Village need to be alert to the potential abuse of children both within their families and also from other sources including abuse by members of Little Village.
The organisation should know how to recognise and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children. There is an expected responsibility for all members of the organisation to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child in accordance with these procedures.
Additional information can be found at: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/
What to do if children talk to you about abuse or neglect
It is recognised that a child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when you are present. In these situations you must:
Consulting about your concern
The purpose of consultation is to discuss your concerns in relation to a child and decide what action is necessary. You may become concerned about a child who has not spoken to you, because of your observations of, or information about that child.
It is good practice to ask a child why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a child wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.
If you are concerned about a child you must share your concerns. Initially you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for child protection within the organisation. At Little Village, the Designated Safeguarding Lead is the Chief Executive, Sophia Parker. The lead Trustee is Sophie Livingstone, supported by Mary Kuhn and Helen Murphy. The person responsible for child protection at each Little Village site, is the relevant Director. The CEO, Trustee or Site Director will contact the relevant services if required. If one of those people is implicated in the concerns you should discuss your concerns directly with Social Services.
You should consult externally with your local Social Services Department in the following circumstances:
Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Social Services or the Police should progress.
Camden Safeguarding Children Board:
Call 020 7974 3317(9am to 5pm)
Out of hours: 020 7974 4444 or email CSCB@camden.gov.uk.
Wandsworth Multi-Agency Safeguarding Help:
Call 020 8871 6622 (9am to 5pm)
Out of hours: 020 8871 6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwark Multi-Agency Safeguarding Help:
Call 020 7525 1921 (9am to 5pm)
Out of hours: 020 7525 5000 or email@example.com
Emergency action – In some cases you may need to protect a child immediately – in these situations dial 999. The police are the only agency with statutory powers for the immediate protection of children.
Making a referral
A referral involves giving Social Services or the Police information about concerns relating to an individual or family in order that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary action.
In certain cases the level of concern will lead straight to a referral without external consultation being necessary.
If your concern is about abuse or risk of abuse from a family member or someone known to the children, you should make a telephone referral to your local Social Services Office (see above).
IF YOUR CONCERN IS ABOUT ABUSE OR RISK OF ABUSE FROM SOMEONE NOT KNOWN TO THE CHILD OR CHILD’S FAMILY, YOU SHOULD MAKE A TELEPHONE REFERRAL DIRECTLY TO THE POLICE AND CONSULT WITH THE PARENTS.
Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available). Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral.
Action to be taken following the referral
Extremism/Radicalisation/Prevent Policy and Procedures
The government has defined extremism as:
Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of our armed forces as extremist.
Little Village does not tolerate the expression or promotion of extremist views of any kind from any member of our charity or any external agencies or visitors.
Any concerns about extremist views or radicalisation should be recorded and reported to the designated Child Protection Officer who will then take appropriate action, consulting with Social Care and if necessary, make a Channel referral.
Little Village will ensure that any records made in relation to a referral will be kept confidentially and in a secure place. Only the designated Persons will have access to these files.
Information in relation to child protection concerns should be shared on a “need to know” basis. However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to a child’s need for protection.