V.I.M Camps Ltd Safeguarding Policy 

 

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

 V.I.M Camps will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur. The Club’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP). 

 The Club’s designated Child Protection Officer’s (CPO/DLS) are Sarah Sims-Fielding and Donna Bovaird. The CPO /DSL coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (e.g., Social Care, the SCP and Ofsted). 

 Forms of 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 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 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 
  • Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members 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 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 act 
  • Record the incident as soon as possible (Using a logging a concern form). 
  • Report to VIM Camps DSL/CPO (Sarah Sims-Fielding or Donna Bovaird) immediately. 
  • To raise a concern about a child, go to: West Sussex – Safeguarding Children Partnership – IFD (Integrated Front Door) – 01403 229900 

WSChildrenServices@westsussex.gov.uk   

  • If you are concerned that a child is in immediate danger you can call 101 or 999. 

If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they do not do this, we will explain that the club is obliged to, and the incident will be logged/reported accordingly. 

 

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), including: 

  • 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 

 

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/CPO. 

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/ 

 

Logging an incident: All information about the suspected abuse, disclosure or concern about radicalisation 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 of the incident 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/CPO who will decide whether they need to contact Social Care via Intergraded Front Door (IFD) and make a referral. All referrals to Social Care will be followed up 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. 

Allegations against staff: 

  • If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff: 
  • The allegation will be recorded on a Logging a concern about a member of staff 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 within 14 days of the allegation. The LADO will advise if other agencies (e.g., 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. 
  • Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO for West Sussex – Sally Arbuckle – 0330 22 6450 / 01403 229900 
  • LAD0@WestSussex.gov.uk  

Promoting awareness among staff: V.I.M Camps promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. We will ensure that: 

  • The designated DSL/CPO 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 
  • All staff are aware off, work in line with and know where to find ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023’ statutory guidance document.  
  • Safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff, including an annual declaration form designed to help ensure the suitability of those working with children 
  • All staff have a copy of this Safeguarding Children policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect, or radicalisation 
  • All staff are aware of their statutory duties regarding the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation 
  • All staff receive basic safeguarding training ñ all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty ñ staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File 
  • the Club’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023)’ and staff are familiar with the guidance in ‘What to Do If You’re Worried a Child Is Being Abused (2015)’. 

Use of Mobile phones and wearable technology (mobile phones/iPad/camera/watches): VIM Camps accepts that mobile technology is part of the ever-changing digital environment that we live and work in. VIM Camps continues to foster a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children and staff are protected from abuse, harm, and distress. We therefore have a clear policy on the acceptable use of mobile phones, tablet computers and wearable technology that have imaging and sharing capabilities, which is understood and adhered to by everyone, staff, children and parents. 

  • Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission (parents tick if they give permission on the child MB account). The photos used for the purpose of showing parents/carers the variety of activities that their children take part in when at our clubs. When taking photographs of children ensure that you do not take a photo of their face. Just take a photo of their hands doing hands doing whatever the activity is that they are involved in or of the back of their bodies. Children must always be taking part in an activity when a photo is taken. 
  • Staff must always use the VIM Camps club work phone when taking photos and these then need to be deleted after they have been used and not stored on the phone. 
  •  Neither staff nor children may use their mobile phones or take photographs on their while working/attending at any V.I.M sites. 
  • Staff are requested to leave their mobile phones on the shelf in the cupboard at whatever site they are working at.  
  • The iPad is for or staff use. (We do on occasions allow children to use the iPad to play games. This needs to be always monitored by staff. Staff must ensure that the iPad is not connected to the internet so children cannot get online while using it. They do have access to appropriate aged, downloaded games.  

Abiding by the terms of the club’s policy ensures that we all:  

  • Protect children from harm and abuse  
  • Ensure privacy is respected and online safety is preserved  
  • Prevent staff from being subject to false allegations  
  • Help staff remain focused on the care of children  
  • Work in an open and transparent environment.  

With the evolution of mobile phones, tablet computers and wearable technology that have camera facilities and sharing capabilities as standard, it is of the upmost Personal mobile phones belonging to members of staff should be switched off and kept in the cupboard or in the basket on top of the microwave during working hours. 

  • Only tablet computers that are owned and maintained by VIM Camps are permitted to be used on site. These have appropriate safeguards for their use and the use of the image taking capabilities including ensuring that internet access is switched off if children have access to the iPad and that an adult is observing the children when they use the iPad. Children can only access the age-appropriate games that have already been downloaded on to the iPad. 
  • Wearable technology such as Smartwatches and Fitbits (this list is not exhaustive) are permitted to be worn by staff, but they must only use it as a watch when working with children. This means that all other functions including imaging and sharing capabilities must be disabled (using flight mode) when working at any of the VIM Camps sites. 
  • If a member of staff needs to make an urgent personal call they can use the club phone or make a personal call from their mobile in the other room when there are no children in there or outside of view in the playground. 
  • If a member of staff has a family emergency or similar and needs to keep their mobile phone to hand, prior permission must be sought from the Manager or Deputy. 
  • Under no circumstances may staff use their personal mobile phones or wearable technology to take photographs at the club during working hours.  

 

Children’s use of mobile phones  

Whilst we understand that some children have mobile phones, tablet computers and wearable technology such as smart watches. We actively discourage them from using their phones within the club and {Mobile phones/tablet computers/ wearable technology are not permitted. Children are asked to put their devices into the cupboard or in the basket on top of the microwave while they attend club.  

The club does not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to mobile phones brought to the club by the children.  

Children must not use their mobile phone to take photographs of any kind whilst at the club. If they want a photograph of a particular activity, they can ask a member of staff to take one using the club camera.  

Visitors’ and parents use of mobile phones  

In the interest of safeguarding, we ask all parents and visitors not to use their phones or other mobile devices on club premises.  

Taking of photographs by parents or visitors is strictly prohibited. If a parent would like to have a photograph of their child involved in an activity or at play, they can ask a member of staff to take one using the club camera.  

 

To report a concern about a childcare setting: 

Please call Ofsted on 0300 123 1231 (to raise a concern about the setting/company) 

 Contact numbers/info: 

  • IFD (Integrated Front Door) – 01403 229900 
  • Email – WSChildrenServices@westsussex.gov.uk 
  • At all other times, including nights, weekends, and bank holidays, contact the ‘out of hours’ emergency team: 0330 222 6664 or email cap@westsussex.gcsx.gov.uk ensuring to put in the subject box: 
  • ALERT FOR EDT LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) 0330 222 3339 
  • Ofsted – 0300 123 1231 
  • For emergencies – 999 
  • Local Sussex Police (non-urgent) 101 
  • NSPCC – 0808 800 500 
  • Anti-terrorist hotline – 0800 789 321 
  • Childline – 08001111 

 

Please also refer to VIM Camps Mobile phone Policy 

This policy was adopted by: 

 V.I.M Camps Ltd 

Date: 24/07/2023 
To be reviewed on: 24/07/2024  Signed: Sarah Sims-Fielding 

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2024)