Mother Nature Science
Safeguarding Children | (Child Protection) Policy
Last update: July 2023
The purpose of this policy is to:
- afford protection for the students while under Mother Nature Science’s care.
- enable staff and volunteers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- promote a culture which makes this school a safer place to learn.
This policy applies to the Hirer and all staff, volunteers, or anyone working on behalf of Mother Nature Science.
Every Child has the right to:
- Be safe from accidental injury
- Be protected from maltreatment, neglect, violence and sexual exploitation
- Be safeguarded from bullying, discrimination and anti-social behaviour
- Be able to enjoy and achieve
At Mother Nature Science:
- All staff will have references checked during the recruitment process
- All staff will be fully Enhanced DBS checked before working with children
- All staff will receive training in the Mother Nature Science Child Protection & Safeguarding policy
- All staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
The Department for Education’s Working Together to Safeguard Children defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
- ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
- and undertaking that role to enable those children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm.
This document applies to children and young people below the age of eighteen. The term ‘children’ will be used throughout the policy to apply to children and young people below the age of eighteen.
Mother Nature Science is fully committed to this policy for safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people, by taking all reasonable steps to protect them from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect.
This document outlines child protection policy and procedures. It is not a comprehensive ‘how to’ guide in child protection practice but relates specifically to the role of all those involved in working directly or indirectly with children in child protection practice, i.e. activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm.
Mother Nature Science has a responsibility to work with others to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. We are a service-providing organisation and staff may have varying degrees of contact with children and young people. It is essential that staff in contact with children, young people and their families have the requisite knowledge and skills to carry out their jobs safely and effectively. All staff have a responsibility to ensure the safety of children with whom they work.
This document outlines our commitment to the protection of children and aims to:
- Raise awareness of the need to protect children and young people and reduce risks to them;
- Ensure that when abuse is suspected or disclosed, it is clear what action must be taken.
We ensure that all staff are aware of the requirements within this policy. We believe that:
- All children have the right to be protected;
- All children should be listened to and their views taken seriously;
- Children’s needs should be looked at holistically and should not be defined solely in terms of their abuse;
- All interventions must be child-centred;
- To effectively protect children, professionals must identify and work with safe and protective adults within children’s families and communities;
- Professionals need to be aware of how issues of race, gender, disability, culture, sexuality and age impact on an individual’s life experiences;
- Professionals need to be aware of how issues of race, gender, disability, culture, sexuality and age impact on their understanding of and response to keeping children safe;
- All staff should be aware 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;
- Joint working between agencies and disciplines is essential for the protection of children.
- Any member of staff employed by Mother Nature Science will be required to read and sign this policy prior to undertaking any work or role relating to Mother Nature Science.
Definitions of abuse
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. An individual may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Neglect or abuse, physically, emotionally or sexually, can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health, development and wellbeing. Sustained abuse is likely to have a deep impact on the child’s self-image and self-esteem, and on his or her future life. Harm may occur intentionally or unintentionally.
All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as child-on-child abuse), and that it can happen both inside and outside of school or college and online.
Domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents. That abuse can be, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional. Children can be victims of domestic abuse. They may see, hear, or experience the effects of abuse at home and/or suffer domestic abuse in their own intimate relationships (teenage relationship abuse). All of which can have a detrimental and long-term impact on their health, well-being, development, and ability to learn
The definitions of harm outlined below are used to determine whether a child needs a child protection plan.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or caregiver fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
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. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone. Parents/caregivers of children with multiple needs may find it difficult to ensure that the full range of their needs, including their emotional needs, is met. It may be hard to include such children in everyday activities alongside other family members, but not to include them may be harmful.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person into sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of sexual online or printed images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy because of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or caregiver failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing or shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment;
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-givers;
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Abuse and Children with a Disability
Evidence available in the UK on the extent of abuse among children with a disability suggests that they are at increased risk of abuse, and that the presence of multiple disabilities appears to increase the risk of both abuse and neglect. Children with a disability may be especially vulnerable to abuse for many reasons.
Where there are concerns about the welfare of a disabled child, they should be acted upon in accordance with these procedures in the same way as with any other child. The same thresholds for action and the same timescales apply. It would be unacceptable if poor standards of care were tolerated for disabled children that would not be tolerated for nondisabled children.
In any work with children and young people it is important to be clear about confidentiality. While personal information held by professionals and agencies is subject to a legal duty of confidence, and should not normally be disclosed without the subject’s consent, when there are concerns that a child is or may be at risk of significant harm, then the over-riding objective must be to safeguard that child and disclosure of information is imperative.
Confidentiality and child protection should be discussed with children and young people at the beginning of any piece of work, and reminders and information given from time to time, to ensure that they understand the processes and what responsibilities the staff members have. It is absolutely essential to be clear about the limits of confidentiality well before any such matter arises.
If, in the process of your work, a child discloses to you that they are being abused you will need to tell them that you must report it.
It is important to remember that an allegation of child abuse or neglect may lead to a criminal investigation, so any concerns must be properly recorded and shared with a line manager.
In the event of a situation in which you consider a child is at risk, you should contact the designated Child Protection Officer Varun Bali on 0208 863 8832.
If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
Mother Nature Science recognises that the welfare of the child is paramount and takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in its care.
- The Key Principles of the MNS Safeguarding Children (Child Protection) Policy are that:
- The welfare of the child is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.
- All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
- All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
- Working in partnership with schools, other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children and young people.
- Children have a right to expect support from, and activities delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted and managed staff in relation to their participation in an MNS programme, whether they are teaching, assisting, training or volunteering.
- We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by valuing them, listening to and respecting them and involving them in decisions which affect them.
- We will recruit staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made and making sure all staff and volunteers are aware of and committed to the safeguarding policy and child protection procedures.
- We will provide effective management through induction, support, training and ensuring staff and volunteers understand about ‘whistle blowing’.
- We will deal appropriately with allegations/concerns about staff or volunteers, in accordance with partner school’s policy and Government guidance.
- 2. All staffs at MNS who have a regular supervisory contact with children or a management responsibility for those working with children must undertake an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure and strict training on child protection behaviour management.
- 3. MNS will ensure that all its staffs will comply with the Best Practice Guidance, in summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the company and may result in disciplinary action being taken by MNS:
- Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child.
- Consuming alcohol before or during their care for children.
- Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
- Smoking in the presence of children.
- Being under the influence or consuming drugs including medication that may have an adverse effect on the individual’s ability to provide childcare.
- Humiliating children or vulnerable adults.
- Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children. Staff should not involve themselves in activities that can cause deliberate physical contact.
- Having an intimate relationship with any child developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust.’
- Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.
- 4. MNS will ensure that its instructors, and supporting staffs, will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. The MNS “Behaviour Management” Policy has been adopted and circulated amongst the club workforce both, voluntary and paid.
- 5. MNS will ensure that the childcare is accessible and inclusive by taking all reasonable steps to ensure children with disabilities have access to the premises. We will not refuse to provide childcare or treat any child less favourably than another child by reason of the child’s disability or learning difficulty. We will ensure that the parents of the children in questions are aware of our ratios and are aware that one to one care cannot be provided at all times. We will ensure that parents are aware that children, who have severe learning difficulties and receive one to one help at school, will need to be provided help during our services. We will ensure we carefully monitor the behaviour of all children and report back to parents as necessary to ensure the safety and welfare of the other children are protected always.
- 6. We will ensure that our in house training summarises key points as set out in the document ‘common core of skills and knowledge for the children’s workforce’
- 7. The Regional Safeguarding Officer is Varun Bali. If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult has been put at risk you must in the first instance inform the Regional Safeguarding Officer. They will then inform the MNS Regional Manager. If an incident involves the Regional Safeguarding Officer, you should inform the MNS Regional Manager or the MNS Regional Director.