Purpose
These policies and procedures are designed to fully inform and empower staff in the consistent
reporting of potential abuse. After reading this policy staff should:

  • Be able to recognise all forms of abuse.
  • Understand their absolute duty to report concerns.
  • Be able to understand and follow the reporting procedure and be confident that they can
    implement it.

2. Policy
2.1 Aspens embraces the guidance that states that it is essential to take a comprehensive
approach to prevent young people from any potential source of harm: Every Child Matters
www.ncvys.org.uk
2.2 It is the duty of each member of staff under their contract of employment to report matters of
concern relating to abuse witnessed or suspected. Failure to do so would be considered gross
misconduct.
2.3 Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may cause or neglect a child by
inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family, or in an
institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely by a stranger. They may
be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
2.4 Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 includes definitions of the five broad categories
of abuse which are used for the purposes of recognition:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Neglect

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also a form of child abuse and as such will be dealt with
under the Organisations Child Protection/Safeguarding policy and FGM Policy.

2.6 These categories overlap and an abused child does frequently suffer more than one type of
abuse.

2.7 This policy must be read in conjunction with the following:

  • Child Sexual Exploitation Policy
  • Female Genital Mutilation Policy
  • Prevention of Extremism and Radicalisation Policy

3. Procedure
3.1 Abuse must be reported to the Manager or, if unavailable, to the on-call person or
Safeguarding Lead. If a member of Management is the person suspected of abuse, the member of
staff should report to the next line manager and the Safeguarding Lead should be informed.
3.2 Any member of staff witnessing, suspecting or receiving allegations of abuse must report this
to their Line Manager or above immediately in line with the guidance below;
For Sussex Services; in accordance with ‘Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures’
(Pan-Sussex Safeguarding Procedures/ Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Boards),
http://pansussexscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/contents.html
For Bexley Services; in accordance with ‘London Child Protection Procedures’ (London Child
Protection Procedures and Supplementary Procedures) http://www.londoncp.co.uk/
http://www.londoncp.co.uk/files/part_a.pdf
For Surrey Services; in accordance with ‘Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures’
http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk/
For Kent Services; in accordance with Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children’s Procedures
http://www.proceduresonline.com/kentandmedway
3.3 Staff have a duty to protect the child, not the person suspected of abuse.
3.4 Abuse can occur in any setting or environment and there is a duty of care to report witnessed,
suspected or allegations of abuse wherever it occurs.
3.5 All staff must be made aware and have access to the Whistle Blowing Policy of the
organisation.
3.6 If the service is registered, the Registered Manager must be informed as soon as possible. If
the incident has been reported to the police, the Registered Manager must inform Ofsted within 24
hours of being informed.
3.7 The Responsible Individual and Designated Safeguarding Officer, Samantha Fievez, must be
informed of all allegations of abuse

All allegations will be treated seriously and investigated. The person making the allegation will
be supported. Where the allegation is against individuals who work or volunteer within the settings
supporting children and young people. A referral must be made to the Local Authority Designated
Officer (LADO) within 24hrs by the Designated Safeguarding Officer for the organisation,
Samantha Fievez. (Please see pages 7-9)
3.9 Where there is an ongoing risk to the child, appropriate action must be taken immediately to
ensure that the child is safe from further abuse. Ensure that the service user receives the necessary
support.
3.10 The confidentiality of those involved in the investigation will be protected. If there is a need to
share information with anyone outside the investigation, this will be decided in consultation with
those already involved. This will be on a need to know basis and in the best interests of the child.
Informed consent will be obtained whenever possible. It is not possible to give assurances of
absolute confidentiality that may put other vulnerable people at risk.
4 Reporting & Immediate Situation
4.1 Following disclosure and/or identification of potential abuse, the Manager or on-call Manager or
Safeguarding Lead should be contacted.
4.2 In cases where the child is in immediate danger or where an incident involves an allegation of
physical or sexual abuse, urgent action to protect that individual should be taken by calling the
relevant emergency services (e.g. the Ambulance/Police). A medical opinion must be sought
immediately and photographs taken of any injury if possible.
4.3 Staff must not, under any circumstances confront the person allegedly responsible for the
abuse or alert them to what has been alleged.
4.4 If there is a possibility that forensic evidence can be secured or preserved, protect the
evidence: Do not clean up.
4.5 Staff should record an account of the incident following the guidelines in:
For Sussex Services; ‘Sussex Children Protection and Safeguarding Procedures: 3.2 Making a
Referral’ http://pansussexscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_making_ref.html
For Bexley Services; ‘London Child Protection Procedures’ (London Child Protection Procedures
and Supplementary Procedures) 2.4 ‘Making and receiving a referral’
http://www.londoncp.co.uk/files/part_a.pdf
For Surrey Services: ‘Surrey Safeguarding Children Board Procedures: 4.5 Contact and Referrals’
http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk/zkpqy/managing-individual-cases/contacts-andreferrals/#s1130
4.6 The Manager will contact the duty Social Worker to follow the guidance in accordance with;
For Sussex Services; ‘Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures’ (Pan-Sussex
Safeguarding Procedures/ Local Safeguarding Children Board). According to referral criteria 3.3.23
Aspens Charities
A Company limited by guarantee, ref no. 10342980, England. A registered charity no. 1171448
For Bexley Services; ‘London Child Protection Procedures’ (London Child Protection Procedures
and Supplementary Procedures) 2.4 ‘Making and receiving a referral’
4.7 The timing of such referrals (to Social Services) must reflect the level of perceived risk, without
delay on the recognition of risk. In emergency situations this should be through ‘Out of Hours Team’.
4.8 In accordance with;

For Sussex Services; 3.2.30 of the ‘Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures’ all
professional referrals made verbally must be confirmed in writing ideally using the Inter-agency
Referral Form but in all cases covering the areas in section 3.2.29 by the referrer, within 24 hours.’
http://pansussexscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_making_ref.html


For Bexley Services; 2.4 of the ‘London Child Protection Procedures all new referrals and
referrals on closed cases should be made to the LA children’s social care duty social worker.
New information on open cases should be made to the allocated social worker for the case (or
in their absence their manager or the duty social worker). Referrals should ideally be in writing
unless a child is at immediate risk of significant harm. In these circumstances, referrals should
be made by telephone without delay and the referrer should discuss their concerns with a
qualified social worker. http://www.londoncp.co.uk/files/part_a.pdf


For Surrey Services 4.5 of the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board sub section 4 ‘Making a
Referral’ all professional referrals should be made in one of the following ways:
 For multi-agency partners urgent referrals via a telephone call and followed up in
writing using the Multi Agency Referral Form; All Professional referrers must
confirm verbal referrals within 24hrs, using the Multi-Agency Referral Form
including a body map when appropriate.
 In person or by telephone contact with Surrey Children’s Services in an
emergency outside office hours, by contacting the Emergency Duty Team or the
Police.
http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk/zkpqy/managing-individual-cases/contactsand-referrals

4.9 If a Child Protection/ Safeguarding incident or alleged Child Protection/ Safeguarding incident
occurs in a Registered Service, the Manager of that Service must inform Ofsted Immediately.
4.10 A senior member of staff will inform the next of kin or contact person of the service user
involved within 24 hrs following the alleged incident, should this be safe to do so and having
consulted with ‘Children’s Social Care Team’ investigating the referral.

5. Recruitment
5.1 Prior to commencing employment with our organisation, all trustees, employees, and volunteers
must adhere to the following:
5.1.1 Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check - satisfactory disclosure clearance is
essential.
5.1.2 Both acceptance of and commitment to our Safeguarding Children Policy and Code of
Conduct.
5.1.3 Providing the name and contact information of two character references they have known
for no less than two years, excluding family members. The first must be your current or last
employer.

6. Training and Prevention
6.1 Aspens is committed to providing staff with training in child protection. This will take to form
of:
i. Basic training during the corporate induction with respect to awareness that abuse can take
place and the duty to report. Staff will be expected to read and understand the following
policies; Safeguarding Children Policy and Alert Procedure, Anti-Bullying Policy and Whistle
Blowing Policy.
ii. More detailed training within the first six months of employment to cover recognition of abuse
and responsibilities with respect to procedures within the Aspens , London Child Protection
Procedures, Pan Sussex Multi-Agency and Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
iii. The training offered is through online training provider Kwango.com and where appropriate for
service through East Sussex and West Sussex training portals for Children Services Staff.
Online training is undertaken annually, classroom based training will be delivered every two
years. This will include specialist training in Autism Spectrum Condition where appropriate. To
facilitate the following:

  • To develop an understanding of what child protection is and how 'abuse' fits
    into this
  • To understand the vulnerability of disabled children to abuse
  • To identify categories of abuse
  • To identify signs and (physical or behavioural) indicators of abuse
  • To identify appropriate responses to suspected abuse or disclosure
  • To understand the importance of the child's voice within a safeguarding
    context
  • To understand requirements for recording, referring and reporting concerns
  • To develop a repertoire of techniques to support children to stay safe
  • Specialist training for Managers and Investigating Managers.

7. Workplace Measures
7.1 The Manager must ensure that preventative work is in place in each team to reduce the risk of
potential abuse by staff or others. This will include regular supervision of staff, team meetings,
detailed Support/Care Plans and Risk Assessments for each service user. All staff must have
access to this policy during induction.

7.2 For any service user who may be perceived as vulnerable, or who may have a history of
previously being abused, the team must draw up a protection plan.
7.3 This needs to be agreed by the social worker, relevant Children’s Social Services Team,
Manager, their parent/carer/advocate and in accordance with London Child Protection Procedures’
(London Child Protection Procedures and Supplementary Procedures) or ‘Sussex Child Protection
and Safeguarding Procedures’ (Pan-Sussex Safeguarding Procedures/ Local Safeguarding
Children Board). Whichever is relevant to service delivery. In this circumstance it would be agreed
within the individual’s Child Protection Plan.
7.4 In cases when a vulnerable child has a history of making false allegations, the protection plan
may consider specific approaches to investigating allegations, for example whether the Police are
called or not or whether the staff member is suspended or not. However, it is important to
remember that children who have a history of making allegations can be more at risk of abuse. The
fact that they may not be believed could make them more of a target for an abuser, particularly if
they have a form of learning disability.
7.5 In cases of repeated allegations, a strategy must be developed by the Multi-Disciplinary Team
in preparation. The strategy must ensure that every allegation is investigated thoroughly and must
give staff clear instructions on how to respond to allegations.
7.6 When developing this strategy, the views of the child and their relatives or advocates must be
taken into consideration along with those of the Child Protection Officer and any other relevant
professionals. This strategy must form part of the individuals Support/Care Plan.

Safeguarding Children Alert Procedure

Local Authority Contacts when following Children Safeguarding Procedures

Immediately:

  • Ensure the immediate safety of the Individual.
  • Report to your Manager or on call Manager (or to his/her supervisor if necessary)

Aspens ’s Safeguarding Children’s Policy and Procedures, in accordance with the London Child
Protection Procedures’ (London Child Protection Procedures and Supplementary Procedures)
or ‘Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures’ must be followed by the staff
member reporting, allocated Manager or appointed person in each case.

Report to the Children Safeguarding duty team on:

Bexley
Bexley London Safeguarding Board
Phone: 0208 303 7777 at any time if you are concerned that there is a risk of significant harm to a
child or young person.

Out of hours you will be connected to the Bexley Emergency Duty Service

Forms to make a referral to Children's Social Care or the Family Well-Being Service are available
here:

Family Wellbeing Service and how to contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

For allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Surrey, please call the above
numbers and ask to be transferred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This must be
done within 24hrs of allegation being made.

West Sussex
If you need to report a concern during office hours duty Service team please call
Phone: 01403 229900
If you urgently need help outside of office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Service for West
Sussex.
Phone: 033 022 26664
For allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Surrey, please call the above
numbers and ask to be put through to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This must be
done within 24hrs of allegation being made.

East Sussex
Single Point of Advice (SPOA) team
Phone: 01323 464222
If you urgently need help outside of office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Service for East
Sussex and Brighton and Hove.
Phone 01273 335905 or 01273 335906.
F

or allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Surrey, please call the above
numbers and ask to be transferred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This must be
done within 24hrs of allegation being made.

Brighton and Hove
If you need to report a concern during office hours duty Service team please call
Phone: (01273) 290400
If you urgently need help outside of office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Service for East
Sussex and Brighton and Hove. Telephone: 01273 295643
Phone 01273 335905 or 01273 335906.

Surrey

For allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Surrey, please call the
above numbers and ask to be transferred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This must
be down within 24hrs for allegation being made.
If you need to report a concern during office hours call duty Service team
Phone: 0300 470 9100 Email: [email protected]
If you urgently need help outside of office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Service for
Surrey
Phone: 01483 517898
For allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Surrey, please call the
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This must be done within 24hrs of allegation being
made.
Phone 0300 123 1650 Option 3

Kent
For Reporting and Immediate Situation, please see page 2 section 4 of Aspens ‘Safeguarding
Children Policy and Procedures.’
Reference List
1 The WHO definition of Child Abuse as defined by the Report of the Consultation on Child Abuse
Prevention
WHO – 1999.
2 Definition taken from Are you worried about the safety of a child?, NSPCC, 2002, available to
download from http://www.nspcc.org.uk/documents/safetyofchild.pdf.
4. ‘London Child Protection Procedures 5th Edition. http://www.londoncp.co.uk/files/part_a.pdf
3. ‘Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Volumes 1 and 2’ (Pan-Sussex
Safeguarding Procedures/Local Safeguarding Children Board)
http://pansussexscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/contents.html
4. Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015,
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/592101/Working_Toget
her_to_Safeguard_Children_20170213.pdf
5. The Children’s Act, 1989 and 2004, www.dcsf.gov.uk

If you need to report a concern during office hours
Phone: 03000 41 11 11
Text Relay: 18001 03000 41 11 11
Email: [email protected]nt.gov.uk
Out of Office Hours: 03000 41 91 91

Appendix A

Abuse
A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by
failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community
setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused
by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Physical Abuse
A form of abuse which 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 carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Examples of signs or symptoms of abuse – Injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts,
malnutrition

Emotional Abuse
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse
effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are
worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It
may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or
‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally
inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond
a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning,
or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the illtreatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children
frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of
emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Examples of signs or symptoms of abuse – Being nervous, scared or quiet. Self-harm. Desperate for
attention, contact or care. Taking part in terrorist or racist attacks.

Sexual Abuse
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily
involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities
may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or nonpenetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may
also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of,
sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate
ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not
solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other
children.

Examples of signs and symptoms of abuse – Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), unexplained
pregnancy, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s), bruising in the genital area i.e. inner thighs, change in
sexual activity or behaviour, fear, shame, crying.

Neglect
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 as a
result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing
to:
• provide adequate food, clothing and 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); or ensure access
to appropriate medical care or treatment.
• It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Examples of signs and symptoms of abuse – Poor appearance and hygiene i.e. inadequate
clothing no winter coat, smelly and unwashed body/hair/clothes. Health and development
problems i.e. untreated medical injuries including medical, dental issues, thin swollen tummy,
skin sores, recurring illnesses and infections, not treated approximately with medications. Poor
language, communication and social skills. Housing and Family issues i.e. living in an
unsuitable home environment for example dog mess being left or not having any heating, left
alone for a long time, taking on the role of carer for other family members.

Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes
advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under
the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b)
for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have
been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does
not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

Examples of signs and symptoms of abuse – Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), unexplained
pregnancy, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s), bruising in the genital area i.e. inner thighs, change in
sexual activity or behaviour, fear, shame, crying, sudden increase in finances to afford new technology
i.e. smartphones and/or having new technology/designer clothes that they previously have not been
able to afford.