Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults

Policy statement

Our setting will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children, young people (A ‘young person’ is defined as 16 to 19 years old – in our setting they may be a student, worker, volunteer or parent) and vulnerable adults. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments.


We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments, which incorporates responding to child protection concerns.

Key commitment 1

We are committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.

  • Our designated person who co-ordinates child, young person and vulnerable adult protection issues are:

Tracey Kemp – Manager

Tracey Couldridge – Assistant Manager

And in their absence:

Denise Penna – Senior Practitioner

Melissa Thomas – Senior Practitioner

  • The designated persons and the suitably trained deputies ensure they have relevant links with statutory and voluntary organisations with regard to safeguarding.
  • The designated persons (and the persons who deputises for them) understands the Local (Cornwall and Isles of Scilly) Safeguarding Children Partnership safeguarding procedures, attends relevant LSCP training at least every two years and refreshes their knowledge of safeguarding at least annually.
  • We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware of them too.
  • All staff understand that safeguarding is their responsibility.
  • All staff have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues, are alert to potential indicators and signs of abuse and neglect and understand their professional duty to ensure safeguarding and child protection concerns are reported. They receive regular updates on safeguarding.
  • All staff 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 staff understand the principles of early help (as defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018) and are able to identify those children and families who may be in need of early help and enable them to access it. Staff are also aware and have read Keeping children safe in Education 2022. This is aimed at schools and colleges but we care for children school aged during wraparound.
  • All staff understands the thresholds of significant harm and understand how to access services for families, including for those families who are below the threshold for significant harm, according to arrangements published by the LSCP and MARU.
  • All staff 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.
  • We will support families to receive appropriate early help by sharing information with other agencies in accordance with statutory requirements and legislation.
  • We will share information lawfully with safeguarding partners and other agencies where there are safeguarding concerns.
  • We will be transparent about how we lawfully process data.
  • All staff understand how to escalate their concerns in the event that they feel either the local authority and/or their own organisation has not acted adequately to safeguard and know how to follow local safeguarding procedures to resolve professional disputes between staff and organisations.
  • All staff 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), whistleblowing and dignity at work.
  • Children have a key person to build a relationship with, and are supported to articulate any worries, concerns or complaints that they may have in an age appropriate way.
  • All staff understand our policy on promoting positive behaviour and follow it in relation to children showing aggression towards other children.
  • Adequate and appropriate staffing resources are provided to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks and other suitability checks are carried out for staff and volunteers prior to their post being confirmed, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
  • Where applications are rejected based on information disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
  • Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks are carried out on anyone living or working on the premises.
  • Volunteers must:
    • be aged 17 or over;
    • be considered competent and responsible;
    • receive a robust induction and regular supervisory meetings;
    • be familiar with all the settings policies and procedures.
  • Information is recorded about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:
  • the criminal records disclosure reference number;
  • certificate of good conduct or equivalent where a UK DBS check is not appropriate;
  • the date the disclosure was obtained; and
  • details of who obtained it.
  • All staff and volunteers are informed that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders or reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment with us).
  • From 31 August 2018, staff and volunteers in childcare settings that are not based on domestic premises are not required to notify their line manager if anyone in their household (including family members, lodgers, partners etc.) has any relevant convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands or warnings or has been barred from, or had registration refused or cancelled in relation to any childcare provision or have had orders made in relation to care of their children.
  • Staff receive regular supervision, which includes discussion of any safeguarding issues, and their performance and learning needs are reviewed regularly.
  • In addition to induction and supervision, staff are provided with clear expectations in relation to their behaviour outlined in the employee handbook.
  • We notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern.
  • Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting. On arrival staff ask to see identification and all visitors sign in and wear a visitors lanyard.
  • 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.
  • 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. Staff do not use personal cameras or filming equipment to record images.
  • Personal mobile phones are not used where children are present. All staff sign in and out their phones on arrival and leaving the preschool. Staff mobile phones are kept in the office in a locked box. Staff can access their phones when on their breaks when not in contact with children. If a member of staff is seen with their phone in their procession around the children or in the preschool rooms/kitchen/toilet areas (any area, other than the staff room or annex whilst on breaks) this will result in disciplinary action.
  • 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 staff and that they are regularly reviewed and updated, in line with our health and safety policy.
  • The designated officer will support the designated person to undertake their role adequately and offer advice, guidance, supervision and support.
  • The designated person will inform the designated officer at the first opportunity of every significant safeguarding concern, however this should not delay any referrals being made to children’s social care, or where appropriate, the LADO, Ofsted or RIDDOR.
  • Any persons collecting children must be over the age of 16 years. Staff will ask for prrof of age and parents must write giving permission for a person to collect a child from the setting. Staff will also ask for a password when a person who we were not informed of collects a child.

Key commitment 2

We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents, allegations or concerns of abuse that may occur 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.

Safeguarding is the responsibility of every person undertaking the work of the organisation in any capacity.

Responding to suspicions of abuse

  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.
  • We ensure that all staff have an understanding of the additional vulnerabilities that arise from special educational needs and/or disabilities, plus inequalities of race, gender, language, religion, sexual orientation or culture, and that these receive full consideration in relation to child, young person or vulnerable adult protection.
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through:
  • significant changes in their behaviour;
  • deterioration in their general well-being;
  • their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect
  • disclosure);
  • changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play;
  • unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; and
  • any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.
    • We understand how to identify children who may be in need of early help, how to access services for them
  • We understand that we should refer a child who meets the s17 Children Act 1989 child in need definition to local authority children’s social work services
  • We understand that we should refer any child who may be at risk of significant harm to local authority children’s social work services.
  • We are aware of the ‘hidden harm’ agenda concerning parents with drug and alcohol problems and consider other factors affecting parental capacity and risk, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, radicalisation, mental or physical illness and parent’s learning disability.

We are aware that children’s vulnerability is potentially increased when they are privately fostered and when we know that a child is being cared for under a private fostering arrangement, we inform our local authority children’s social care team and Contact MARU 0300 1231116

If the concerns arise out of office hours contact 01208 251300

If the DSL/DDSL are not available.

If there is an immediate concern about a child or their family any member of staff can phone the MARU for advice and guidance if the DSL/DDSL are not available.

Contact details: MARU 0300 1231116

If the concerns arise out of office hours contact 01208 251300

Contacting MARU (for advice or when making a referral)

Ensure that you have as much factual information about the child as possible when you phone include:

  • Full name
  • O.B
  • Address
  • Family composition details (including names of parent(s) and siblings)
  • Any key professionals working with the school

Factual information about the concerns you have – including access to any chronologies the school has on the child

  • NSPCCwhat you can do to report abuse dedicated helpline is available as an alternative route for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally or are concerned about how a safeguarding issue is being handled within school. Staff can call 0800 028 0285 8am -8pm Monday – Friday or
  • We are prepared to take action if we have concerns about the welfare of a child who fails to arrive at a session when expected. The designated person will take immediate action to contact the child’s parent to seek an explanation for the child’s absence and be assured that the child is safe and well. If no contact is made with the child’s parents and the designated person has reason to believe that the child is at risk of significant harm, the relevant professionals are contacted immediately and LSCP procedures are followed. If the child has current involvement with social care the social worker is notified on the day of the unexplained absence.
  • We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability that may affect, or may have affected, children and young people using our provision, such as abuse of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities; fabricated or induced illness; child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession; sexual exploitation of children, including through internet abuse; Female Genital Mutilation and radicalisation or extremism.
  • In relation to radicalisation and extremism, we follow the Prevent Duty guidance for England and Wales published by the Home Office and LSCP procedures on responding to radicalisation.
  • The designated person completes online Channel training, online Prevent training where available to ensure they are familiar with the local protocol and procedures for responding to concerns about radicalisation.
  1. We are aware of the mandatory duty that applies to teachers, and health workers to report cases of Female Genital Mutilation to the police. We are also aware that early years practitioners should follow local authority published safeguarding procedures to respond to FGM and other safeguarding issues, which involves contacting police if a crime of FGM has been or may be about to be committed.
  2. We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex, multiple or organised abuse, through forced marriage or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. While this may be less likely to affect young children in our care, we may become aware of any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.
  3. If we become concerned that a child may be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking we will refer to the National Referral Mechanism, as soon as possible and refer and/or seek advice to the local authority children’s social work service and/or police.
  4. We will be alert to the threats children may face from outside their families, such as that posed by organised crime groups such as county lines and child sexual exploitation, online use and from within peer groups and the wider community.
  5. Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors we follow the procedures below for reporting child protection and child in need concerns and follow the LSCP procedures.
  6. Where such indicators are apparent, the child’s key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the member of staff who is acting as the designated person. The information is stored on the child’s personal file.
  7. In the event that a staff member or volunteer is unhappy with the decision made of the designated person in relation to whether to make a safeguarding referral they must follow escalation procedures.
  • We refer concerns about children’s welfare to the local authority children’s social care team and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation. In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.
  1. We respond to any disclosures sensitively and appropriately and take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children (although we may check out/clarify the details of what we think they have told us with them).
  2. We take account of the need to protect young people aged 16-19 as defined by the Children Act 1989. This may include students or school children on work placement, young employees or young parents. Where abuse or neglect is suspected we follow the procedure for reporting any other child protection concerns. The views of the young person will always be taken into account in an age appropriate way, but the setting may override the young person’s refusal to consent to share information if it feels that it is necessary to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult. Sharing confidential information without consent is done only where not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
  3. All staff are also aware that adults can also be vulnerable and know how to refer adults who are in need of community care services.
  4. All staff know that they can contact the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline if they feel that or organisation and the local authority have not taken appropriate action to safeguard a child and this has not been addressed satisfactorily through organisational escalation and professional challenge procedures.
  5. We have a whistleblowing policy in place.
  6. Staff/volunteers know they can contact the organisation Public Concern at Work for advice relating to whistleblowing

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

  • Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), or a member of staff observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; that member of staff:
  • listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
  • does not question the child, although it is OK to ask questions for the purposes of clarification;
  • makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes: the date and time of the observation or the disclosure; the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time.
  • These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s personal file, which is kept securely and confidentially.
  • The member of staff acting as the designated person is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity, and always within one working day.
  • Where the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership stipulates the process for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.

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 LSCP escalation process.
  • We will ensure that staff are aware of how to escalate concerns.
  • We will follow local procedures published by the LSCP.

Informing parents

  • 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 Partnership does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed at risk.
  • 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 person should consider seeking advice from children’s social care, about whether or not to advise parents beforehand, and should record and follow the advice given.

Liaison with other agencies and multi-agency working

  • We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership guidelines.
  • The current version of ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ is available for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.
  • We notify Ofsted of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children or where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on our premises or elsewhere). Notifications to Ofsted are made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made.

Allegations against staff and persons in position of trust

  • Before any action is taken we will discuss with LADO. 01872 326536
  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
  • We ensure that all staff 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 staff/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 staff, volunteer or any other person living or working on the premises, which includes:
  • 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 respond to any concerns raised by staff and volunteers who know how to escalate their concerns if they are not satisfied with our response
  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer 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:

01872 326536

  • We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted, as well as what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
  • 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 staff or volunteer 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 staff, as well as children and families, throughout the process. Where it is appropriate and practical and agreed with LADO, we will seek to offer an alternative to suspension for the duration of the investigation, if an alternative is available that will safeguard children and not place the affected staff or volunteer at risk.

Disciplinary action

Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, The Disclosure and Barring Service will be notified 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.

Key commitment 3

We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and learning programmes for adults. We are also committed to empowering children, 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 (including child sexual exploitation) 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 how to identify and respond to families who may be in need of early help, and organisational safeguarding procedures.
  • Designated persons receive appropriate training, as recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership, every two years and refresh their knowledge and skills at least annually.
  • We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns they may have about the provision.
  • We ensure that all staff receive updates on safeguarding regularly via emails, newsletters, online training and/or discussion at staff meetings.


  • The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being within sight and/or hearing of other staff or volunteers.


  • We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.


  • 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 Partnership and in line with the GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018, and Working Together 2018.

Support to families

  • We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff 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 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 Partnership.

Incapacitated parent

Incapacitated refers to a condition which renders a parent unable to take responsibility for their child; this could be at the time of collecting their child from the setting or on arrival. Concerns may include:

  • appearing drunk
  • appearing under the influence of drugs
  • demonstrating angry and threatening behaviour to the child, members of staff or others
  • appearing erratic or manic


  • If a member of staff is concerned that a parent displays any of the above characteristics, they inform the designated personas soon as possible.
  • The designated person assesses the risk and decides if further intervention is required.
  • If it is decided that no further action is required, a record of the incident is made on form 06.1b Safeguarding incident reporting form.
  • If intervention is required, the designated person speaks to the parent in an appropriate, confidential manner.
  • The designated person will, in agreement with the parent, use emergency contacts listed for the child to ask an alternative adult to collect the child.
  • The emergency contact is informed of the situation by the designated person and of the setting’s requirement to inform social care of their contact details.
  • The designated officer is informed of the situation as soon as possible and provides advice and assistance as appropriate.
  • If there is no one suitable to collect the child social care are informed.
  • If violence is threatened towards anybody, the police are called immediately.
  • If the parent takes the child from the setting while incapacitated the police are called immediately and a referral is made to social care.


  • The designated person completes a Safeguarding incident reporting form and if social care were contacted Confidential safeguarding incident report form is completed the designated officer. If police were contacted directors/trustees will be informed.
  • Further updates/notes/conversations/ telephone calls are recorded.

Death of a child on-site


  • If it is suspected that a child has died in the setting, emergency resuscitation will be given to the child by a qualified First Aider until the ambulance arrives.
  • Only a medical practitioner can confirm a child has died.


  • The designated person ensures emergency services have been contacted; ambulance and police.
  • The parents are contacted and asked to come to the setting immediately, informing them that there has been an incident involving their child and that an ambulance has been called; asking them to come straight to the setting or hospital as appropriate.
  • The designated person calls the designated officer and informs them of what has happened.
  • The trustees/directors are contacted and Confidential safeguarding incident report form prepared by the designated person and designated officer.
  • A member of staff is delegated to phone all parents to collect their children. The reason given must be agreed by the designated officer and the information given should be the same to each parent.
  • The decision on how long the setting will remain closed will be based on police advice.
  • Ofsted are informed of the incident by the nominated person and a RIDDOR report is made.
  • Staff will not discuss the death of a child with the press.


  • The trustees/directors will decide how the death is investigated within the organisation after taking advice from relevant agencies.
  • The trustees/directors will coordinate support for staff and children to ensure their mental health and well-being.

Legal framework

Primary legislation

  • 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
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education for Schools and colleges September 2022

Secondary legislation

  • 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)

Signs and Indicators of Abuse

A more comprehensive list will be considered within staff training however this will give staff some indication of what to look out for. Although these signs do not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, they may help staff recognise that something is wrong.

If you have any concerns you must pass these to your DSL immediately.

Physical Abuse

Most children will collect cuts and bruises and injuries, and these should always be interpreted in the context of the child’s medical/social history, developmental stage and the explanation given. Most accidental bruises are seen over bony parts of the body, e.g. elbows, knees, shins, and are often on the front of the body. Some children, however, will have bruising that is more than likely inflicted rather than accidental. Important indicators of physical abuse are bruises or injuries that are either unexplained or inconsistent with the explanation given; these can often be visible on the ‘soft’ parts of the body where accidental injuries are unlikely, e g, cheeks, abdomen, back and buttocks. Occasionally a ‘pattern’ may be seen e.g. fingertip or hand mark.

A delay in seeking medical treatment when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern.

The physical signs of abuse may include:

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body.
  • Multiple bruises- in clusters, often on the upper arm, outside of the thigh.
  • Cigarette burns.
  • Human bite marks.
  • Broken bones.
  • Burns- shape of burn, uncommon sites, friction burn Changes in behaviour that can also indicate physical abuse:
  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation.
  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts.
  • Flinching when approached or touched.
  • Reluctance to get changed, for example in hot weather.
  • Withdrawn behaviour.
  • Running away from home.


It can be difficult to recognise neglect, however its effects can be long term and damaging for children. It is also impossible to recognize that aspects of neglect can be very subjective. We may need to challenge ourselves and others and remember that people can have different values and 35 that there will be differences in how children are cared for which may be based on faith or cultural issues that our different to ours. In respecting these differences, we must not be afraid to raise our concerns if we believe the care being given to the child may be impacting on its safety and welfare.

Signs of Abuse.

The physical signs of neglect may include:

  • Being constantly dirty or ‘smelly’.
  • Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children.
  • Losing weight, or being constantly underweight (obesity may be a neglect issue as well).
  • Inappropriate or dirty clothing.
  • Neglect may be indicated by changes in behaviour which may include:
  • Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.
  • Not having many friends.
  • Complaining of being tired all the time.
  • Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify as there are often no outward physical signs.

Indications may be a developmental delay due to a failure to thrive (also known as faltering growth) and grow, however, children who appear well-cared for may nevertheless be emotionally abused by being taunted, put down or belittled. They may receive little or no love, affection or attention from their parents or carers. Emotional abuse can also take the form of children not being allowed to mix or play with other children.

Changes in behaviour which can indicate emotional abuse include:

  • Neurotic/anxious behaviour e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking.
  • Being unable to play.
  • Fear of making mistakes.
  • Sudden speech disorders.
  • Self-harm.
  • Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour.
  • Development delay in terms of emotional progress.
  • Overreaction to mistakes.

Sexual Abuse

It is recognised that there is underreporting of sexual abuse within the family. All Staff and Trustees at Kea Preschool should play a crucial role in identifying/reporting any concerns that they may have through, for example, the observation and play of younger children and understanding the indicators of behaviour in older children which may be underlining of such abuse.

All Staff and Governors should be aware that adults, who may be men, women or other children, who use children to meet their own sexual needs abuse both girls and boys of all ages.

Indications of sexual abuse may be physical or from the child’s behaviour. In all cases, children who tell about sexual abuse do so because they want it to stop. It is important, therefore, that they are listened to and taken seriously.

The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:

  • Pain or itching in the genital area.
  • Bruising or bleeding near genital area.
  • Sexually transmitted disease.
  • Stomach pains.
  • Discomfort when walking or sitting down.

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:

Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming aggressive or withdrawn.

  • Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people.
  • Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age, or developmental level.
  • Sexual drawings or language
  • Eating problems such as overeating or anorexia.
  • Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts.
  • Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about.
  • Acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults.

Note: A child may be subjected to a combination of different kinds of abuse. It is also possible that a child may show no outward signs and hide what is happening from everyone.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Different forms of abuse can often overlap and perpetrators may subject children to may forms of abuse Many aspects of CSE take place online so it may be difficult to identify this within preschool. The behaviours also need to be considered within the context of the child’s age and stage of development. As they get older this may be more difficult to identify. However, abuse indicators may include:

Children talking about having lots of ‘friends’ online whom when asked the do not know personally

Associate with other children involved in exploitation

  • Disengagement from education
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Unexplained gifts/money
  • Repeat concerns about sexual health
  • Children who suffer from sexually transmitted disease or are pregnant
  • Suffer from changes in emotional wellbeing
  • Talking about physically meeting up with someone they met online
  • Posting lots of images of themselves online
  • Going missing or regularly coming home late
  • Talking about friendships with older young people/adults
  • Children who have older girlfriends/boyfriends
  • Engagement with offending
  • Exclusion or unexplained absences from preschool
  • Isolation from peers/social network
  • Frequently in the company of older people – association with ‘risky’ adults
  • Accepting lifts or being picked up in vehicles
  • Physical injury without plausible explanation
  • No parental supervision/monitoring of online activity
  • Poor school attendance
  • Secretive behaviour
  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Concerning use of internet or other social media
  • Returning home late
  • Chronic tiredness.
  • Reference: Child sexual Exploitation – guide for practitioners February 2017

County Lines

Indicators may include:

Go missing and are subsequently found in areas away from their home

  • Have been the victim or perpetrator of serious violence (e.g knife crime)
  • Are involved in receiving request for drugs via phone line, moving drugs, handing over
  • and collecting money for drugs
  • avoid detection
  • or ‘cuckooing’ or hotel room where there is drug activity

Owe a ‘debt bond’ to their exploiters·

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Although situations of FGM may be unusual it is important that you do not assume it could not happen here. 8-15 year old girls are the most vulnerable.

Indicators may include:

Days absent from school

  • Not participating in physical education
  • In pain/has restricted movement/frequent and long visits to the toilet/broken limbs
  • Confides that she is having a special procedure, cut or celebration
  • Unauthorised and or extended leave, vague explanations or plans for removal of a female in a high risk category especially over the summer period.
  • Country known to practice FGM Parents from a country who are known to practice FGM.

Legal framework

Primary legislation

  • 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
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education for Schools and colleges September 2022

Secondary legislation

  • 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)

Further guidance

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children–2
  • 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)

Managing a Disclosure of Abuse at Kea Preschool

It is extremely important that if a child discloses that you know what to do.

This will be explained by the DSL/DDSL during induction and will form a key part of any safeguarding training undertaken within the preschool.

These are the key principles:

  • If a child or young person discloses abuse,
  • you suspect a child may have been abused,
  • You witness an abusive situation involving another professional.


  • Respond without showing any signs of disquiet, anxiety or shock.
  • Enquire casually about how an injury was sustained or why a child appears upset.
  • Confidentiality must never be promised to children, young people, or adults in this situation.
  • Observe carefully the demeanour or behaviour of the child.
  • Record in detail what has been seen and heard in the child’s own words (after you have spoken to them, not during a disclosure).
  • Do not interrogate or enter into detailed investigations: rather, encourage the child to say what she/he wants until enough information is gained to decide whether or not a referral is appropriate.
  • Ensure if the child is complaining of being hurt/unwell this is reported immediately
  • Asking questions is fine to help understand what the issue is BUT you must ensure the questions are open and give the child the ability to clarify.
  • It is important NOT to ask leading questions e.g. Did —– Was it ——?.
  • It is important to know when to stop asking questions and listen.
  • It is important not to interrogate.

Types of Questions you can ask: TED

  • Can you tell me?
  • Can you explain?
  • Can you describe?
  • Remember you are only clarifying with the child if something concerning did happen or could have happened from the information they give you.

Report to your DSL or DDSL immediately.

If they are not available contact MARU.


  • Investigate suspected/alleged abuse themselves
  • Evaluate the grounds for concern
  • Seek or wait for proof
  • Discuss the matter with anyone other than the designated staff or MARU
  • Speak to the parents until you have had a conversation with your DSL/MARU
  • Ask the child to repeat the info
This policy was adopted by Kea Preschool Ltd
Adopted On 1st October 2021
Date reviewed 25th October 2023
Date to be Reviewed October 2024
Signed on behalf of the provider TMKEMP
Name of signatory Tracey Kemp
Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner) Manager