Everyone who participates in medical or dental school application preparation courses or services provided by theMSAG is entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. We have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for young people, our staff provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
theMSAG is committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone in the team accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to follow procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities. Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation and anyone can make a referral to the MASH team (Children’s Social Care) (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub Team) or the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer). See Appendix 1 for contact numbers.
The aim of this policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of theMSAG and to allow staff and training partners to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
Safeguarding = Prevention
All agencies working with children and their families taking all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised.
Child Protection = Protection
Where there are concerns about children’s welfare, all agencies taking appropriate actions to address those concerns in full partnership with other local agencies.
Child at Risk
A child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, action should be taken to protect that child. A referral to the Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL) and then to MASH/Police if crime committed
Child in Need
Action should also be taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are not at immediate risk. A referral to the DSL (or DDSLs) and then to MASH
TheMSAG is committed to:
Policies will be reviewed annually, unless any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection arrangements require remedies without delay or any new guidance or procedures are produced (London Children’s Safeguarding Board, Department For Education etc).
It is not always easy to distinguish poor practice from abuse. It is therefore NOT the responsibility of employees or participants to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place. It is, however, their responsibility to identify poor practice and possible abuse and act if they have concerns about the welfare of the child, as explained in section 4.
This section will help you identify what is meant by good practice and poor practice.
All team members should adhere to the following principles and action:
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel:
When a case arises where it is impractical/impossible to avoid a certain situation e.g. transporting a young person on your car, the tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/care and the young person involved.
If during your care you accidentally hurt a young person, the young person seems distressed in any manner, appears to be sexually aroused by your actions and/or if the young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incidents as soon as possible to the DSL and make a written note of it. Parents should also be informed of the incident.
The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so we must ensure that we have some safeguards in place.
To protect young persons we will:
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm, it commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a young person regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.
There are four main types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.
The abuser may be a family member, someone the young person encounters in residential care or in the community, including sports and leisure activities. Any individual may abuse or neglect a young person directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the young person.
Abuse in all of its forms can affect a young person at any age. The effects can be so damaging that if not treated may follow the individual into adulthood.
Young people with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse had occurred.
Ill-treatment of children, whatever form it takes, will always feature a degree of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse may occur when the young person is constant criticised, given negative feedback, expected to perform at levels that are above their capability. Other forms of emotional abuse could take the form of name calling and bullying.
It may be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, slapping), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, name calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating form the group), or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).
Refusal to give love, affection and attention can also be a form of neglect.
Activities which might involve physical contact with young people could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. Also, the power of the coach/teacher over young students, if misused, may lead to abusive situations developing.
Even for those experienced in working with child abuse, it is not always easy to recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has already taken place. Most people are not experts in such recognition, but indications that a child is being abused may include one or more of the following:
Signs of bullying include:
It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, but also that the presence of one or more of the indications is not proof that abuse is taking place. It is NOTthe responsibility of those working at theMSAG to decide that child abuse is occurring. It IStheir responsibility to act on any concerns.
It is not the responsibility of anyone working at theMSAG in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the young person.
This applies BOTHto allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within theMSAG and to allegations/suspicions that abuse is taking place elsewhere.
This section explains how to respond to allegations/suspicions.
We may become aware of possible abuse in various ways. We may see it happening, we may suspect it happening because of signs such as those listed in section 3 of this document, it may be reported to us by someone else or directly by the young person affected.
In the last of these cases, it is particularly important to respond appropriately. If a young person says or indicates that they are being abused, you should:
In all cases if you are not sure what to do you can gain help from the NSPCC 24-hour help line Tel No: 0800 800 500. Alternatively, contact theMSAG DSL – Dr Ashish Mandavia (email@example.com; 07595 960472)
To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. In your recording, you should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you. Do not include your own opinions.
Information should include the following:
All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported appropriately. It is recognised that strong emotions can be aroused particularly in cases where sexual abuse is suspected or where there is misplaced loyalty to a colleague. It is important to understand these feelings but not allow them to interfere with your judgement about any action to take.
TheMSAG expects its team members to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the person in charge of delivering the service, the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.
If the DSL or the management team are not available, you should take responsibility and seek advice from the NSPCC helpline, the duty officer at your local social services department or the police. Telephone numbers can be found in Appendix 1.
TheMSAG are not child protection experts and it is not their responsibility to determine whether or not abuse has taken place. All suspicions and allegations must be shared with professional agencies that are responsible for child protection.
Social services have a legal responsibility under The Children Act 1989 to investigate all child protection referrals by talking to the child and family (where appropriate), gathering information from other people who know the child and making inquiries jointly with the police.
NB: If there is any doubt, you must report the incident: it may be just one of a series of other incidences which together cause concern
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by an employee or a member of our team should be reported to the DSL and the management team, who will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
This will include the following:
Allegations of abuse are sometimes made after the event. Where such allegation is made, you should follow the same procedures and have the matter reported to social services. This is because other children may be at risk from the alleged abuser. Anyone who has a previous conviction for offences related to abuse against children is automatically excluded from working with children.
If you suspect that child abuse has taken place, related to a child’s parents or caregiver, please do not hesitate to report your concerns to theMSAG (firstname.lastname@example.org, 07595 960472).
If the DSL or management team are not available, the person being told or discovering the abuse should contact their local social services department or the police immediately.
Social Services and theMSAG team will decide how to inform the parents/caregivers. Please ensure that you maintain confidentiality, where possible.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser.
All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws.
TheMSAG management team will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries, a Disciplinary Committee will be assigned to assess any cases and decide whether a member of staff can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; especially where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases the Disciplinary Committee must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on the balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.
It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people from working with children. This applies equally to paid staff and volunteers, both full and part-time. To ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children the following steps should be taken when recruiting.
The following measures are put in place by theMSAG to ensure appropriate recruiting with child safeguarding in mind:
All employees and volunteers will be required to undertake an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and volunteers should receive formal or informal induction during which:
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The DSL representative for theMSAG is: Dr Ashish Mandavia.
His role is: Products and Services Director
He is contactable at: email@example.com or 07595 960472
Anyone can make a referral to, or gain advice from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) regarding concerns or suspicions about behaviour towards children by staff or volunteers. The LADO will decide whether the allegation made is a potential criminal offence in which case a referral will be made to the Police. If the allegation indicates a child or children may be at risk of significant harm then a child protection investigation will be undertaken by Children’s Social Care.
The LADO is contacted when it is believed that a member of staff or volunteer has:
A LADO provides advice and presides over the investigation of any allegation or suspicion of abuse directed against anyone working in the school.
Children and Family Services
4 Frampton Street, London, NW8 8LF
020 7641 4000
The MASH is made up of co-located staff from Childrens Social Care, Police and Health from across the three boroughs with named link workers for Probation Housing and Youth Offending Team. A dedicated Education Worker coordinates MASH links with schools.
The MASH operates from 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday, and is based in Frampton Street, London NW8 8LF.
If you have a concern about a child, please make your referral to the relevant local authority front door, and were appropriate, the local authority will refer cases to the MASH team.
For MASH general enquiries please contact the Tri-Borough MASH Team Manager, Catherine Hoy at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think a child is in immediate danger, contact the Police on 999, or call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, without delay.