V.I.M Camps Ltd 

Safeguarding Policy

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

The Club will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. The Club’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by West Sussex SCP (Safeguarding Children Partnership). 

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, supports practitioners with safeguarding concerns and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care and Ofsted).  

The Club’s designated DSL are Sarah Sims-Fielding. The DDSL is Donna Bovaird 

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 or be living with 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 or has concerns about a child’s safety, they will record the matter straightaway using the Logging a concern form and report to DSL (Sarah) or DDSL (Donna) straight away 

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.  

All staff recognise that children may not feel ready or know how to tell someone that they are being abused, exploited or neglected and/or they may not recognise their experiences as harmful. This could be due to their vulnerability, disability or language barriers. They may also feel embarrassed, humiliated or are being threatened. Our staff recognise this and where they have any concerns about a child they will raise these with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) without unreasonable delay.  

Female genital mutilation (FGM) FGM is an illegal, extremely harmful practice and a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. FGM 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.  

Signs FGM might happen include: 

  • a relative or someone know as a ‘cutter’ visiting from abroad 
  • a special ceremony takes place where a girl becomes a ‘woman’ or is prepared for marriage 
  • a female relative like a sister, aunt or mother has undergone FGM 
  • a girl had unexpected or long absence from school 
  • a family arranges a long holiday overseas or visits a family abroad during the summer holidays 
  • a girl struggles to keep up in school 
  • a girl runs away – or plans to run away from home 

Signs that FGM might have taken place: 

  • having difficulty walking standing or sitting 
  • spending longer in the bathroom or toilet 
  • appearing quite anxious or depressed 
  • acting differently after an absence from school 
  • reluctant to go to doctors and have a medical examination 
  • asking for help – though they might not be explicit about the problem because they are scared or embarrassed 

If FGM is suspected or disclosed 

If FGM is suspected, you can contact the national FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 for advice. If a disclosure takes place you must repot this immediately by calling the police on 101 or reporting online using the following link: https://www.sussex.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ 

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 technology and the internet 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 peer-on-peer 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.  

Prevent  

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. (The Prevent Duty Act 2015) 

  • 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 Logging a concern form and refer the matter to the DSL.  

The DSL may contact: Prevent Lead Officer in Brighton & Hove City Council or make a referral using the following link: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/community-safety-partnership/prevent-preventing-terrorism/make-prevent-referral-brighton-hove 

Or you can contact the Counter Terrorism Police South East (CTPSE): send an email to Channel.Prevent@brighton-hove.gov.uk OR phone 01273 291 115 

 

Logging a concern  

All information about the suspected abuse, disclosure or concern, will be recorded on the Logging a concern 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 immediately in line with the local reporting procedures. 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.  

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) immediately 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 and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it 
  • designated person training is refreshed every two 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 how to respond in a timely way at the earliest opportunity 
  • 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 ensuring staff receive at least annual safeguarding updates. 
  • all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty 
  • staff are supported to understand how to keep themselves safe and how to blow the whistle should they be concerned about another adults behaviour or practise. 
  • staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept in the cupboard on the shelf. 
  • the Club’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023)’ 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. Only the club camera will be used to take photographs of children at the Club, except with the express permission of the manager. Neither staff nor children nor visitors may use their mobile phones or wearable technology such as smart watches to take photographs at the Club. For more details see our Mobile Phone, Tablet Computers and Wearable Technology Policy 

Daily attendance: 

We record daily attendance through our booking system called Magic Booking. We have a daily register that all staff have access to and will check what children are present at the beginning of each session. If a child seems to be missing sessions regularly, we will contact the family just to check in and make sure they everything is ok. 

 

Information and data: 

We respect the privacy of the children attending the Club and the privacy of their parents or carers, as well as the privacy of our staff. Our aim is to ensure that all those using and working at V.I.M Camps can do so with confidence that their personal data is being kept secure.  

Confidentiality  

Within the Club we respect confidentiality in the following ways:  

  • We will only ever share information with a parent about their own child.  
  • Information given by parents to Club staff about their child will not be passed on to third parties without permission unless there is a safeguarding issue (as covered in our Safeguarding Policy).  
  • Concerns or evidence relating to a child’s safety, will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared within the Club, except with the designated Child Protection Officer and the manager.  
  • Staff only discuss individual children for purposes of planning and group management.  
  • Staff are made aware of the importance of confidentiality during their induction  

process.  

  • Issues relating to the employment of staff, whether paid or voluntary, will remain confidential to those making personnel decisions.  
  • All personal data is stored securely on a password protected computer /passcode-locked phone  

 

Information we keep: 

  • Children and parents: We hold only the information necessary to provide a childcare service for each child. This includes child registration information, medical information, parent contact information, attendance records, incident and accident records and so forth. Our lawful basis for processing this data is fulfilment of our contract with the child’s parents. Our legal condition for processing any health-related information about a child, is so that we can provide appropriate care to the child. Once a child leaves our care we retain only the data required by statutory legislation, insurance requirements and industry best practice, and for the prescribed periods of time. Electronic data that is no longer required is deleted and paper records are disposed of securely or returned to parents.  
  • Staff: We keep information about employees in order to meet HMRC requirements, and to comply with all other areas of employment legislation. Our lawful basis for processing this data is to meet our legal obligations. Our legal condition for processing data relating to an employee’s health is to meet the obligations of employment law. We retain the data after a member of staff has left our employment for the periods required by statutory legislation and industry best practice, then it is deleted or destroyed as necessary. 

We comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), regarding obtaining, storing and using personal data.  

Contact numbers  

To report a concern about a child’s safety: 

Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) Front Door For Families on 01273 290400 or email FrontDoorForFamilies@brighton-hove.gov.uk. You can find out more information about safeguarding at: www.bhscp.org.uk 

To report a concern about a member of staff:
LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) all referrals to be sent to LADO@brighton-hove.gov.uk
 

To report relating to Prevent: 

Local Authority Prevent Lead officer: (CTPSE) Channel.Prevent@brighton-hove.gov.uk OR phone 01273 291 115 

Prevent online reporting: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/community-safety-partnership/prevent-preventing-terrorism/make-prevent-referral-brighton-hove 

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: V.I.M Camps To be reviewed: 10/01/2025 

Date:10/01/2024
Signed: Sarah Sims-Fielding 

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2024): Safeguarding and Welfare requirements: Safeguarding policies and procedures [3.5-3.7] and Suitable People [3.8] Safeguarding training [3.25- 3.26].