Child Protection & Safeguarding Children

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1 Child Protection Policy Child Protection & Safeguarding Children Thanet District Council Policy & Procedure "All organisations need to listen and be reponsive to the diverse needs of children, young people and their families, and to recognise that safeguarding children and young people is everyone's business." The Children Act 1989 states that the child s welfare is paramount and that every child has a right to protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation. Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 was published in August The guidance came into force 1 October 2005 and details what is expected of District Councils. This includes: Senior management commitment to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children s welfare; A clear statement of the Council s responsibilities to children, made available to staff; Clear lines of accountability for work on safeguarding and promoting well being; Using the views of children and young people to help shape services; Safe recruitment procedures for those coming into contact with children and young people ; Appropriate training for staff; Effective working relations within the Council and with other agencies to safeguard and promote well being, and to share information effectively. Page 1 of 5

2 Child Protection Statement Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy Statement Thanet District Council is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people when they come into contact with the services that we provide. Kent has a Multi Agency Children s Safeguarding Board which Thanet District Council supports and is guided by. These procedures should be read in conjunction with KSCB procedures, available at TDC offers a range of services to children and young people and recognises that these may have a very powerful and positive influence on them. It is our aim to aid the development of self-esteem and social awareness of children and young people and to provide opportunities for enjoyment with personal achievement. TDC will promote the safeguarding of children in all our services affecting them and consult with young people in policy and service delivery matters which affect them so that they may help shape our services. In addition to direct service delivery for children, the wide ranging nature of the Council s work gives many staff substantial access to children and young people. This policy applies to all staff and Members that may come into contact with children and young people in the course of their work, whether in someone s home, on Council premises, or in the community. As many staff are in regular contact with children and young people, they are in a position to observe outward signs of abuse and can and should alert others when such signs are observed. All Thanet District Council staff and Members have a responsibility to be mindful of the potential for abuse, and to refer suspected cases to Kent County Council Children s Social Services or to the Police. This policy will be reviewed annually, or as required in accordance with central Government legislation. Scope This Policy, its related procedures and guidance apply to all staff, members, volunteers and those working on behalf of the Council, whose work involves contact with children and young people under the age of 18 and vulnerable adults, hereafter collectively referred to as staff. Contractors and/or those providing a service on behalf of the council i.e. sports coaches, unless bound to comply with their own Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures (which shall be no less onerous than the Council s), shall comply with the terms of this policy and procedure and shall ensure that employees and sub-contractors do likewise throughout the duration of the contract. Elected members of Thanet District Council share a responsibility with staff when Page 2 of 5

3 representing Thanet District Council. Therefore all aspects of this policy apply equally to elected members. Accountability Accountability for ensuring that Thanet District Council fulfils its child protection and safeguarding children responsibilities falls to the Chief Executive. However, responsibility is delegated to the Designated Child Protection Officer. The Designated Child Protection Officer is also the Council s Champion for Children and is responsible for promoting their well being. The designated officer will be suitably trained in child protection and will be responsible for: The actions set out within the Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures. Maintaining a record of all child protection related documents and reports. Receiving and recording information regarding child protection concerns. Consulting with the relevant statutory agencies regarding any child protection concerns raised. Making formal referrals to relevant statutory agencies regarding any child protection concerns. All staff have a responsibility for ensuring that the activities that they are involved in during the course of their work are carried out in accordance with this policy and procedures relating to it. Managers are responsible for ensuring that the activities and services they provide have adequate procedures to protect and safeguard young people. Managers are responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed by their staff. Recruitment All TDC staff will be appointed in line with the Council s recruitment and selection policies and procedures to ensure that all necessary checks are carried out on individuals expected to work with children and young people. Pre selection checks must include the following: Completion of an application form including a self-disclosure about criminal records. Consent to obtain information from the Disclosure and Barring Service to check for convictions for criminal offences against children in accordance with current legislation. Receipt of two references in accordance with Thanet District Council recruitment and selection procedures. Verification of qualifications. Verification of identity. Screening by the Disclosure and Barring Service will be undertaken on all staff and volunteers that work with children and vulnerable adults as part of their normal duties. Page 3 of 5

4 Elected Members of TDC do not have an eligibility requirement to undertake an ecrb to carry out their duties. TDC is not able to carry out ecrb checks without individual consent. If any Member feels that they should have an ecrb check due to their duties, please contact the Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer. A register of designated posts, which are subject to ecrb checks is maintained by the Human Resources Department. This will also be held by the Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer to maintain and ensure that renewals of ecrbs are made when required. Page 4 of 5

5 Principles Child Protection Policy: Principles The application of the Council s Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures is based on the following key principles: The welfare of the child is paramount. All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse. Whilst it is not the responsibility of the Council to determine whether or not abuse has taken place (this is undertaken in liaison with external child protection professionals), it is everyone s responsibility to report any concerns to the deputy Designated Child Protection Officer. All incidents of suspected poor practice and any allegations made will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. While we will work within a framework provided by; the Data Protection Act 1998; the Human Rights Act 2000; the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and the Kent Information Sharing protocol (as required under the Children Act 2004). Respect for confidentiality will be given where appropriate, but the welfare of the child will always take precedent over other concerns. Serious Case Reviews Thanet District Council are committed to participating fully in any Serious Case Review that is undertaken by the Kent Safeguarding Children s Board. The Chief Executive and/or the Designated Child Protection Officer will receive a report following the participation in a Serious Case Review and will agree who will lead Thanet District Council s internal review. The outcome of the internal review will be reported to SMT and the relevant portfolio holder who will agree the actions proposed prior to submission to the Kent Safeguarding Children s Board. Following this, the Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Committee will monitor any actions as a result of the Serious Case Review and a summary of involvement in any Serious Case Reviews will be included within the Section 11 Annual Audit and resulting report to Cabinet. Page 5 of 5

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