OUR SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Statement of Policy and Intent

Smart Play Network (SPN) has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in the work and projects of SPN from harm (Children (Scotland) Act 1995). SPN will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved through adherence to the Child Protection and Safeguarding guidelines adopted by SPN.

 

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).  SPN acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse.  We accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.  

 

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all children:

  • have a positive and enjoyable experience of play at all services provided by SPN in a safe and child centred environment

  • are protected from abuse whilst participating in all activities provided by SPN or outside of the activity to allow all staff to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues


As part of our safeguarding policy SPN will;

  • promote and prioritise the safety and well-being of children and young people

  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people

  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern

  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored

  • prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals, thought references and PVG checks for staff working directly with children

  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation

 

SPN will ensure that its systems and procedures reflect a culture that puts children’s interest first.  All staff have a duty to ensure that the physical environment in which they work minimises the risks to children’s health and safety.  Children and adults should have confidence that any concerns they raise will be listened to and taken seriously.  Allegations must be acted upon promptly, taking into account the views of the child or young person as appropriate to their age and understanding.  Parents/carers should expect to be involved in any intervention taken by SPN, including actions taken and information shared – unless such involvement would be deemed to be putting the child at increased risk of significant harm. 

 

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in SPN. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

 

Staff Responsibilities and Duties

  • SPN staff have a responsibility to be aware of and alert to, signs that all is not well with a child (whether it be neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse or emotional abuse – refer to Appendix 3 for definitions and Appendix 4 for potential signs and/or symptoms).

  • Any allegation or suspicion of abuse must be acted on straight away.

  • If there are ANY concerns regarding the safety or welfare of a child, they must be discussed IMMEDIATELY with the Operations Manager.

  • A Child Protection Reporting Form must be completed to record any incident or concern (Appendix 1)

  • The Operations Manager will discuss the concern with the staff member and decide whether there is a likelihood of harm and what the next course of action should be.

  • All staff should make themselves aware and follow reporting procedures in the Local Authority they work in (see Appendix 2).

 

SPN staff and volunteers also have a responsibility to be aware of, and alert to any signs of allegations or suspicions of abuse against SPN staff.

 

SPN will ensure that all staff working directly with children will receive regular and ongoing training to ensure a safe, stimulating and respectful environment for children.

Information Sharing

SPN projects, where they have direct involvement with children, will have access to the appropriate contacts with the local Social Services department and any other relevant organisations as part of ensuring that communication links are in place to enable discussions about child protection issues and individual concerns. 

 

SPN will work in partnership with practitioners and other organisations to support families; however, if child protection incidents occur they must take priority over any other issue.  Rules of confidentially will be applied when sharing information with other colleagues.  Any information gathered during a child protection enquiry or referral will be used with the purposes clearly relevant to the protection of children.  It will be shared only with others who have a legitimate need to know.

 

All record keeping will be undertaken with reference to the Data Protection Act 1998 and General Data Protection Regulations.  The basic principles of this act require that data should be:

  • Relevant, accurate and obtained for a specific purpose or purposes

  • Kept up to date

  • Retained securely and for no longer than necessary

Monitoring

This policy will be reviewed annually, or in the following circumstances: changes in legislation and/or government guidance; or as a result of any other significant change or event.  The policy is shared with Trustees for agreement.

Smart Play Network is a charity registered in Scotland (SC042505) and a company limited by guarantee (SC401334).
Registered office: Unit 40, Castlebrae Business Centre, Peffer Place, Edinburgh EH16 4BB | Telephone Number: 0131 554 2620

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