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policies & procedures

Below are some of our most viewed policies and procedures. Please contact the us via info@thesewingroup.com to request a full set of policies and procedures. These are also available at our clubs. Please note that all policies are reviewed annually and the policies below were reviewed on 17/05/2024. 

Safeguarding Children’s Policy

The Sew In Group CIC is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all colleagues to share this commitment.

 

We have a legal duty to recognise and respond appropriately to:

  • Significant changes in the children’s behaviour

  • Deterioration in their general well-being

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse

  • Signs of neglect

  • Comments children make which give cause for concern

 

If we recognise one of the above for a child, the severity and circumstance will dictate your actions. The important thing for us is to do something and not ignore it.  We will create an environment to make the children be and feel safe. Any suspicions or allegations of abuse will be taken very seriously, and they will be acted on quickly and correctly by following the procedure set by the relevant Safeguarding Children Partnership.

 

Four Categories of Abuse – This list is not exhaustive

All Types of abuse can occur in all types of homes, across all social and income groups.

 

Neglect

Definition

  • Longstanding and/or severe neglect

  • Effect on the Childs development

  • Non-organic failure to thrive

 

Signs/Symptoms

  • Constant Hunger, Tiredness, stealing or scrounging

  • Poor personal hygiene, or inappropriate clothing for weather or activities

  • Untreated medical problems

  • Low self-esteem, poor social relations

 

Physical

Definition

  • Deliberate injury to the child – allowing injury.

  • Beyond ‘reasonable’ chastisement

  • Poisoning, inc. alcohol

  • Withholding drugs or apparatus

  • Both the use of an implement e.g. a belt or a physical strike that leave a mark are illegal

 

    Signs/Symptoms

  • Unexplained or untreated injured, especially if repetitive

  • Refusal to discuss injuries, and untreated injuries

  • Shrinking from physical contact

  • Fear of returning home, undressing, or medical help

  • Aggression or bullying

  • Unexplained pattern of absences which may server to hide bruises or other physical injuries

Sexual

Definition

  • Sexual exploitation of any kind including watching others and viewing pornographic material

Signs/Symptoms

  • Sexual awareness inappropriate to the child’s age, through drawings, games, vocabulary etc

  • Frequent public masturbation

  • Attempts to teach other children about sexual activity

  • Aggressiveness, anger, anxiety, fearfulness

  • This is a short summary, there are other signs, individual to certain children

 

Emotional

Definition

  • Must be persistent

  • Must undermine the child’s sense of self worth

  • Might reflect poor parenting skills

  • Includes witnessing domestic violent of primary carer

Signs/Symptoms

  • Continual self-depreciation, self-harm or mutilation

  • Inappropriate response to painful situations

  • Compulsive stealing/scrounging

  • Air of detachment, social isolation or desperate attention seeking behaviour, depression or withdrawal. Eating problems, either overeating or a lack of appetite

 

Child Sexual Exploitation CSE

Involves exploitative situations where a child, male or female, receives something from an adult as a result of engaging in sexual activity. This can be seemingly ‘consensual’ relationships to serious organised crime gangs. There will be an imbalance of power where the perpetrator holds power over the victim. Technology is often used. This is a serious crime.

 

Female Genital Mutilation FGM

This is illegal and a form of child abuse. It involves a procedure to remove all or some of the female genitalia or any other injury to these organs. It is a legal duty to report known cases to the police.

 

Forced Marriage

Is illegal and a form of child abuse. A marriage entered without the full and free consent of one or both parties, where violence, treats or coercion is used.

 

Peer on Peer Abuse

Children can be vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Such abuse should be taken as seriously as abuse by adults and should be subject to the same child protection procedures.

 

 Dealing with a Disclosure

  1. Listen and stay calm. Do not condemn the abuser, do not judge, do not make promises you can’t keep.

  2. Reassure them./ Tell them that you believe them. Tell them that it happens to others and that they are brave to tell you.

  3. Stay with them.  If you can ‘ground’ them (“grounding” means to draw the child back to a more comfortable state of mind through things like normal conversation  e.g. what activities have you done today, what’s your favourite TV program)

  4. Accurately record the child words. Make it clear whether it is a fact, opinion or hearsay.

  5. Report it to your relevant manger as soon as possible; they will know the right procedure to follow. In some cases, they will speak to the parents first or report to the local safe guarding children’s board.

  6. 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.

If you have any concerns about a child’s welfare at our club, do not keep it to yourself. Write it down and take advice. The record should 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. 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. For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the DSL will contact the Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP). For more serious concerns the DSL will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the antiterrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the DSL will contact the Police using 999.

Protecting yourself

Part of safeguarding is also to protect yourself from allegations and to ensure your actions are not misinterpreted by anyone.  Do this by observing the following:

  • Take a register of which children are with you for each session, noting the time of the session.

  • If you take a child somewhere e.g. an empty room, do not enter with them, wait outside. If you have to enter the room, it’s vital you keep all doors open.

  • Do not play-fight

  • Children should not be encouraged to sit on your lap

  • Challenge any child using ‘bad’ language

  • Never let children touch themselves or others inappropriately in any form

  • Never let a child’s allegation go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted on

  • Never do personal things for children that they are capable of doing themselves. Encourage children to help each other.

  • Do not build ‘special’ relationships with individual children

  • You must not, before, during or after your employment make or accept any contact with a child or a friend of a child you know through your work with The Sew In Group CIC or through social networking websites.

  • Any images of children taken on site must only be of those children whose parents allow photos to be taken.  Colleagues should not take any photos off site.

  • Any images taken must be appropriate.

  • It is each individual colleagues personal responsibility to delete any images from cameras, phones and recording devices.

  • Images must not be published elsewhere without the authorisation of a company director.

Allegation against a colleague within The Sew In Group CIC.

If there is a serious allegation of abuse made against you,  The Sew In Group CIC . has an obligation to protect you and any other parties whilst investigation is carried out. Investigation maybe carried out internally by The Sew In Group CIC. or by an external professional, this may be LADO, police or Children’s Social care. During this period of investigation we may need to suspend a colleague from all duties or relocate for a period of time this is to protect all parties, including you. You should:

  • Stay calm

  • Follow the instructions you are given

  • Co-operate with questions and enquires

  • Seek advice – such as Citizens advice bureau.

  • Not confront the accuser

  • Not speak with your ‘victim’

We take all allegations seriously and the named DSLs will seek advice from the LADO.

The Sew In Group CIC. has a legal duty to inform the Disclosure and Barring Service of any suspicions of any allegations even if colleagues leave before an investigation is started or completed that may impact on an individuals suitability to work with children and young people.

Allegation against an Adult Outside of The Sew In Group CIC.

If you have any concerns about an adult’s behaviour, even if they do not work for The Sew In Group CIC, for example a parent, a member of club staff, etc. you have a duty to report your concerns using our normal procedure of escalating to the DSL.

Whistleblowing Policy

The Sew In Group CIC  is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability. If a member of staff discovers evidence of malpractice or wrongdoing within the Club they can disclose this information internally without fear of reprisal. Our Whistleblowing policy is intended to cover concerns such as:

• Financial malpractice or fraud

• Failure to comply with a legal obligation

• Dangers to health and safety or the environment

• Criminal activity

• Improper conduct or unethical behaviour

This policy should not be used to question business decisions made by the club, or to raise any matters that are covered under other policies (e.g. discrimination or racial harassment). Any allegations relating to child protection will follow the procedures set out in the Safeguarding Children policy. Any concerns relating to the employment conditions of an individual member of staff should be raised according to the procedures set out in the Staff Grievance policy.

Raising a concern

Ideally the staff member should put his or her allegations in writing, setting out the background to the situation, giving names, dates and places where possible, and the reason why they are concerned about the situation. In the first instance concerns should be taken to the Club’s manager.

If this person or body is unwilling or unable to act on the concern, the staff member should then raise it with:

• The Local Authority Designated Officer or the Local Safeguarding Partnership (if it concerns a child protection issue and is not already covered by the procedure set out in the Club’s Safeguarding Children policy)

• Ultimately, with the police (if a crime is thought to have been committed).

If the member of staff is still uncertain about how to proceed with the concern, he or she can contact the whistle-blowing charity Protect for advice.

Responding to a concern

Initial enquiries will usually involve a meeting with the individual raising the concern, and will decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. If a concern relates to issues which fall within the scope of other policies, it will be addressed under those policies.

If the initial meeting does not resolve the concern, further investigation is required. The appropriate person will investigate the concerns thoroughly, ensuring that a written response can be provided within ten working days where feasible, or if this is not possible, giving a date by which the final response can be expected. The response should include details of how the matter was investigated, conclusions drawn from the investigation, and who to contact if the member of staff is unhappy with the response and wishes to take the matter further.

Rights and responsibilities of the whistle-blower

All concerns will be treated in confidence and the Club will make every effort not to reveal the identity of anyone raising a concern in good faith. At the appropriate time, however, the member of staff may need to come forward as a witness. If a member of staff raises a concern in good faith which is then not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against that person. If the investigation concludes that the member of staff maliciously fabricated the allegations, disciplinary action may be taken against that person.

Contact information:

LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer): [01634331065; 01634331307; 01634331126

Email: child.protection@medway.gov.uk.cjsm.net (secure)]

MSCP (Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership): [01634336329 web address: wwwmedwayscp.org.uk/mscb/]

Ofsted: 0300 123 1231 Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work): 020 3117 2520 (website: https://protectadvice.org.uk)

Kent LADO: 03000410888

Related policies Staff Grievance policy. 

This policy was adopted by: The Sew In Group CIC.

Date: 17th May 2024

To be reviewed: 17th May 2025

Signed: Naomi Benjamin, Director

Arrivals & Departures

 

The Sew In Group CIC recognises that the safe arrival and departure of the children in our care is paramount.

We will ensure that an accurate record is kept of all children in the Club, and that any arrivals or departures are recorded in the register. The register will be kept in an accessible location on the premises at all times. This process will be supplemented by regular head counts throughout the session/day.

Arrivals at The Sew in Kent Studio

We will greet each child warmly on their arrival at the club and parents are expected to record the child’s attendance in the daily sign in register straightaway, including the time of arrival.

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  • Parents will only enter through the electronic door after buzzing and being identified. §

  • Parents will immediately record the child’s attendance by singing and timing the register. §

  • Parents / carers are not permitted to wait in the setting whilst  club is in session.

  • Parents can also speak to staff regarding any other relevant information that they feel the club should be aware of.

 

 

Parents would’ve completed an online registration form prior to their child starting which also confirms the parent is happy to follow our medical processes in case of an emergency.

Parents must update any changes to contact information, medical information or other details by updating their child’s information with us via email.

School Arrivals

If a child arrives and they are not on the register and you’re in a school setting you must check with the school reception team. The school will then contact the parent/guardian to confirm if their child/children should be attending the club. If this happens within the The Sew In Group CIC setting you must let the director know as soon as possible. If the child should be attending, we will make a late booking for the child.

You will need to ensure the safe collection of all children, if a child does not arrive it is your responsibility to investigate the whereabouts of that child (Please see the No Show Policy and Term Conditions relating to charges).

Departures

After School Clubs and Holiday Clubs

  • You will ensure that parents or carers check children out before they leave, including the time of collection.

  • Children arriving at the club who are not on the register must be added as a late booking.

  • Children can only be collected by an adult over the age of 16 who has been authorised to collect them on booking system.

  • If parents are in dispute, we cannot bar a parent who has parental responsibility from removing their child, unless we have seen and have a copy of a court order stating this.

  • Parents or carers must amend their child’s details via email in advance if someone who is not usually listed is to collect their child. You will need to contact the main parent or carer for confirmation if there are any concerns regarding departures.

  • If any person collecting a child is not known to colleagues they will be asked to provide photo identification. If this is not available then colleagues will ask 2 questions relating to the child taken from the registration form.

  • The parent or carer must notify the club if they will be late collecting their child. If The Sew In Group CIC is not informed, the Uncollected Children policy will be followed.

  • In all cases a late fee will be charged at £8 per 15 minutes or part thereof after the stated end of the session.

  • No child will be allowed to leave the Club unaccompanied unless they are over the age of eight and the parent has consented at booking.

  • If a parent or carer is perceived to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you must do your utmost to prevent the child from leaving with them especially if they are travelling in a vehicle driven by them. You must report this to the designated safeguarding lead for the company- Naomi Benjamin. If necessary the police will be called.

 

Child No Show Policy

Booked sessions are to be paid for in advance. Parents must inform The Sew In Group CIC if a child is not attending for any reason, this must be done via email. Fees will not be refunded for non-attendance.

After School Club

In the event of a child being listed on the register but not arriving and the club have not been informed you will need to:

  • Visually check whether the child is attending another activity club before arriving in After School Club..

  • If you are informed of the child’s non-attendance by The Sew In Group CIC Head Office, The host school or by the child’s parents/guardians the child can be marked as not attending.

  • Check the child’s classroom and school reception and any other relevant areas.

  • Call the club director to inform them that the child has not arrived at the club and the club has not been informed.

  • The club director will check to see if they have had any information from the parents.

  • If not the club should make contact with parents using existing contact information.

  • If the parents know where the child is they will be informed about the policy of non-refundable charges the club will mark the child absent if applicable.

  • If the parents, or any other contacts on the registration form, are not contactable or if the child should be at the club, then you will need to speak to the school and organise a co-ordinated search in line with the Lost Child Procedure.

In any instance where a child does not attend the session and colleagues cannot account for the child’s whereabouts The Sew In Group CIC head office must be informed so appropriate action can be taken.

 

Uncollected Children Policy

It is the parents’ responsibility to inform The Sew In Group CIC if they will be late collecting their children. If a child is not collected at the end of a session, and the parent or carer has not notified us that they will be delayed, we will implement the following procedures:

  • After the advertised finish time of the club, the you will need to contact the parents.

  • The parent or carer will be informed that penalty fees will have to be charged.

  • If there is no response from the parent or carer, messages will be left requesting that they contact the Club immediately. You will need to then try to contact the emergency contacts listed on the child’s registration form.

  • While waiting to be collected, the child will be supervised by a member of staff.

  • When the parent or carer arrives they will need to be reminded that they must call or email The Sew In Group CIC to notify us if they are delayed, and that penalty fees will have to be charged.

Over 30 minutes late

  • If you have been unable to contact the child’s parents or carers after 30 minutes, you will need to contact the local Social Care team for advice.

  • The child will remain in the care of a The Sew In Group CIC staff member, on the Club’s premises if possible, until collected by the parent or carer, or until placed in the care of the Social Care team.

  • If it is not possible for the child to remain at the Club’s premises, a note will be left on the door of the Club informing the child’s parent or carer where the child has been taken (e.g. into the care of a safeguarding agency) and leaving a contact number. A further message will be left on the parent or carer’s telephone explaining events.

Charging

A charge of £8 per 15 minutes will be levied for all late collections. You must inform The Sew In Group CIC head office of the exact time the child was signed out.

Parents and carers will be reminded that if they persistently collect their child late they may lose their place at the Club.

Useful contacts

Children’s Services Social Care (First Response Service) – 01634 344 366.

Medway Council Out of Hours: 03000 41 91 91

 

This policy was adopted by: The Sew In Group CIC.

Date: 17th May 2024

To be reviewed: 17th May 2025

Signed: Naomi Benjamin, Director

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021): Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements: Information for parents and carers [3.74]

Administering Medication Policy

If a child attending The Sew In Group CIC clubs requires medication of any kind, their parent or carer must complete a Permission to administer medicine form in advance. You must not administer any medication without such prior written consent.

Ideally children should take their medication before arriving at the Club. If this is not possible, children will be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their medication, under adult supervision if appropriate. If children carry their own medication (e.g. asthma inhalers), you may offer to keep the medication safe until it is required. Inhalers must be labelled with the child’s name.

Prescription medication

The Sew In Group CIC staff will normally only administer medication that has been prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist. If a medicine contains aspirin we can only administer it if it has been prescribed by a doctor. All prescription medication provided must have the prescription sticker attached which includes the child’s name, the date, the type of medicine and the dosage.

 

Non-prescription medication

If a child requires a non-prescription medication to be administered, we will consider this on a case by case basis after careful discussion with the parent or carer. We reserve the right to refuse to administer non prescription medication. Non-prescription medicine does not require a GP prescription before The Sew In Group CIC can administer.

 

Procedure for administering medication

A designated staff member will be responsible for administering medication or for witnessing self-administration by the child. The designated person will record receipt of the medication on a Medication Log, will check that the medication is properly labelled, and will ensure that it is stored securely during the session.


Before any medication is given, the designated person will:

• Check that the Club has received written consent

• Take steps to check when the last dosage was given

• If possible ask another member of staff to witness that the correct dosage is given.

 

When the medication has been administered, the designated person must:

 

• Record all relevant details on the Record of Medication Given form

• Ask the child’s parent or carer to sign the form to acknowledge that the medication has been given.

When the medication is returned to the child’s parent or carer, the designated person will record this on the Medication Log.

 

If a child refuses to take their medication, staff will not force them to do so. The manager and the child’s parent or carer will be notified, and the incident recorded on the Record of Medication Given.

Specialist training

 

Certain medications require specialist training before use, eg Epi Pens. If a child requires such medication the manager will arrange appropriate training as soon as possible. It may be necessary to absent the child until such training has been undertaken. Where specialist training is required, only appropriately trained staff may administer the medication.

Changes to medication

A child’s parent or carer must complete a new Permission to Administer Medication form if there are any changes to a child’s medication (including change of dosage or frequency) and the Medication Log must be updated.

Long term conditions

If a child suffers from a long term medical condition the club will ask the child's parents to provide a medical care plan from their doctor, to clarify exactly what the symptoms and treatment are so that the Club has a clear statement of the child's medical requirements.

This policy was adopted by: The Sew In Group CIC

Date: 17th May 2024

To be reviewed: 17th May 2025

Signed: Naomi Benjamin, Director

 

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021): Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements: Health [3.45-3.47]

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