1.1 Putting children first is at the heart of Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd. We believe that children and young people have the right to be safe and free from abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to practice which protects them.
1.2 We believe that:
- The welfare of the child/young person is paramount at all times.
- All children and young people have an equal right to protection from abuse, regardless of their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity.
- Interagency with schools and academies, parents/carers and other agencies is an important factor of promoting the welfare and safeguarding of all children and young people.
2.1 Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd provides specialist services to schools, academies, settings and local authorities, in doing so this brings us in daily contact with children, young people and their families. Therefore, our employees are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse and neglect and be in a position to support those who may have been abused, neglected or are considered to be at risk of significant harm.
2.2 The purpose of this policy is:
- To provide protection to children and young people receiving a service Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd.
- To provide employees with procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of actual abuse, neglect or where a child or young person is considered to be at risk of significant harm.
- To ensure that all adults employed by Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd are working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.
- To inform schools, settings, colleges, Local Authorities’ and any other commissioner of services of the policies, processes and subsequent working practices undertaken by all staff at Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd in order to promote and protect the well-being of children and safeguard and prevent them from harm.
3.1 The Children Act 1989 provides the framework for the care and protection of children up until their 18th birthday. It defines parental responsibility and encourages partnership working with parents. The Children Act 2004 supplements the 1989 Act and strengthens the duty placed on all organisations working with children to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Education Act 2002 further reinforces this duty. Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd will have full regard to the statutory guidance set out in HM Government ‘Working together to safeguard children’ (2015) and the DfE ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (2016) document. In doing so, will work in partnership with other organisations where appropriate to identify any concerns about child welfare and take timely action to address them.
3.2 The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, places a duty on all schools and specified public facing bodies in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn in to terrorism”. Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services recognises this as part of its wider safeguarding duties and the similarities in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse.
3.3 Female genital mutilation is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (as amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women which comprises of procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. This Act places a duty on all teachers and professionals to report to the police if they suspect a child under the age of 18 is at risk of or has undergone female genital mutilation.
3.4 Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd aims to create and maintain a safe environment where all children and adults feel safe, secure and valued and know they will be listened to and taken seriously. Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd is committed to implementing policies, practices and procedures which promote safeguarding and the emotional and physical well-being of children, young people and staff.
3.5 Where it is deemed appropriate by the customer Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Service Ltd employees will contribute to early help assessments. This may be where their work brings them in to contact with children and families who would benefit from co-ordinated support from more than one agency.
3.6 In seeking to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd will:
- Put children first by valuing, listening to and respecting them
- Adopt child protection procedures and safer working practices policy for all employees
- Develop effective management systems and arrangements that will create and maintain a safe learning environment for all our children, young people and employees
- Support the prevention of abuse through the teaching and sharing of information about child protection and safe practice with children, young people and their families
- Ensure that all recruitment and selection processes adhere to the guidance contained in DfE ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (2016).
3.7 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people goes beyond implementing basic child protection procedures. It is an integral part of all activities and functions of Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd. This policy complements and supports other relevant Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd policies and procedures.
3.8 This policy will be reviewed annually and in the month of August by the Changing Minds – Applied Psychology Services Ltd Executive Team.
4 FURTHER GUIDANCE
4.1 Further guidance can be found in the following documents
DfE, Keeping children safe in education’ (2016)
HM Government, What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)
HM Government, Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2015)
DfE, The Prevent duty (2015)
Home Office, Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – procedural information (2015).