Privacy Policy

At Blue Elephant, we collect your personal data via the online form in order to respond to your enquiry. However, you can browse our website without giving us any personal information.

The personal data we collect & how we use it

When you submit your details using our online website form you consent to Blue Elephant to reply to your enquiry by phone, email or post. When submitting a web form you are agreeing to this privacy policy and are consenting to Blue Elephant to process your personal data for the purposes outlined below.

  • We will collect your contact information including name, email address and phone numbers and any other information relevant to your enquiry to understand your needs and provide you with an appropriate reply.
  • We do not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties.

Who has access to your data

We limit the availability of your data only to employees who have a business need for the information. We take commercially reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.

Third-party disclosure

We will never sell or share any of your details with any third party organisation for marketing purposes. We do not transfer personal information to outside parties. This does not include our website developers or web hosting partners and other parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential.

We may also release information when its release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others’ rights, property or safety.

We use google analytics to analyse traffic to our website. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect only anonymous, aggregate statistics. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

Security

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure, however, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place reasonable physical, electronic (SSL) and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect.

How long we keep your data

We only retain this information for as long as we need it to fulfill the purposes for which we have initially collected it. It is our policy to periodically archive data before deletion. This is because often an initial enquiry can be held on file for sometime before it is no longer required.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review and we will place any updates on this page. This privacy policy was last updated on 25th May 2018

Our details

Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy or information we hold about you: By email info@bluelephant.co.uk


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Safeguarding Policy

1.1 Introduction

Blue Elephant Childcare places the young people at the very centre of everything it does and aims to do, towards this end ‘safeguarding’ of our young people is of paramount importance and ‘safeguarding’ should be at the forefront of every staff members thoughts when planning, interacting or observing our young people.

Safeguarding is best achieved when everyone from every agency works together sharing information and concerns openly and professionally. Local safeguarding procedures are available on line at (https://www.proceduresonline.com/swcpp/ ) this is a gateway page which enables you to click on and obtain each individual safeguarding boards individual policy and procedures. It is important to have a general understanding of safeguarding and your basic safeguarding training will give this in a generic way; however, it is important that you are familiar with the local procedure for each young person in your care and this is where this gateway becomes most useful.

1.2 Statement of Intent

Blue Elephant Childcare are committed to the safeguarding of all young people and particularly those within its direct care. The young people who are resident within a Blue Elephant children’s home or are receiving services directly from Blue Elephant staff will have such service delivered by staff who are trained to understand the signs and symptoms of abuse, who understand the procedures they must follow if they suspect abuse, and are committed to the safe and positive care of our young people.

The following elements and principles are important in our safeguarding of the young people in our care;

  • The welfare of the child or young person is paramount
  • Every child and young person, without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of their gender, race, religion, colour, age, disability or sexual orientation.
  • The policy and procedures follow and refer to the current legislation, policy and guidance as available.
  • The whole organisation including the directors agree and support this policy.
  • This policy applies to every member of staff, volunteer, visitors and directors of the company.
  • The company has in place a procedure to review this and all policies and procedures.
  • Every young person, their parents or carers, social workers and guardians, are to be informed of the policy and procedure as appropriate.
  • All concerns and allegations will be taken seriously by the company and action taken in line with this policy. This may include where necessary, making a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and the police.
  • Blue Elephant are committed to safer recruitment, including the selection, vetting and recruitment of all staff and volunteers.
  • This policy is part of a group of policies designed to keep the young person safe and to promote the children and young person’s welfare. These include but are not restricted to the following;
    • Safer recruitment
    • Countering bullying
    • Behaviour management
    • Children who self-harm
    • Whistle blowing & making protected disclosures
    • The use of physical intervention
    • PREVENT

(please note that all Blue Elephant policies and procedures are written with the safeguarding of children and young people at the forefront of the authors thoughts.)

1.3 Designated Safeguarding Personnel

Within Blue Elephant Childcare the designated safeguarding personnel are the Home’s Manager, and the Responsible Individual.

Home Manager: Deirdre Curran 07483 340980

Responsible Individual: Keith Burley 07725 266315

If neither are available the nominated individual can act in their stead until they are available to continue the procedures.

Nominated Individual Keith Burley 07725 266315

All incidents or causes for concern must be raised with the above people immediately.

1.4 Responding to allegations or suspicions of abuse

Blue Elephant work predominantly with children and young people from the South West peninsula, the local authorities of the South West peninsula have a gateway site for their safeguarding procedures which is https://www.proceduresonline.com/swcpp/ each local authority has its own distinct procedures to follow and staff should make themselves aware of the procedures of the local authority responsible for each of the children and young people they are caring for. (Where this local authority is not part of the South West peninsula they should get their procedures directly from the local authority concerned).

    When an initial concern or incident occurs;

  1. The staff member should clarify in their own minds, without asking questions, if the situation, concern or information presented satisfies the criteria for possible abuse.
  2. If so, the staff member should listen, listen, listen.
  3. They must not;
    • a. Show disbelief, shock or horror;
    • b. Try to give an interpretation of what is been said to them;
    • c. Try and give or suggest information that the child has not offered;
    • d. Agree to keep a secret;
    • e. Introduce personal experience or the experience of other children;
    • f. Make promises that suggest that you can stop the abuse;
    • g. Investigate any allegation or ask any probing questions;
    • h. Assume something that the young person has not told you.
  4. The staff member can;
    • a. Say things that show that you are listening;
    • b. Say things that reassure;
    • c. Ask for clarification about anything that appears vague in its actual meaning;
    • d. Ask open questions but only to establish the basic facts, do not investigate.
    • e. Say that they know someone who can help;
  5. The staff member should;
    • a. Explain to the young person that they will be passing on the information to their line manager and explain what is likely to happen next.
    • b. Record accurately exactly what was said, and should do this as soon as possible after the event making sure that they record the time of the event and the time the notes were made explaining the difference. Record actual words used and do not summarise or interpret.
    • c. Record any actions taken and an explanation as to why such action was taken.
    • d. Consult as soon as possible with their line manager (unless the line manager is suspected of involvement in the incident or abuse).
    • e. Follow the guidance of the senior staff member they have reported to.
  6. Once the member of staff has reported the matter to their senior, the senior member of staff takes responsibility for the matter and the original staff member should take direction from their manager.
  7. The senior staff member must report the matter to the designated safeguarding member of staff as soon as is practicable. (Unless that designated staff member is suspected of involvement in the matter in which case the matter should be reported to the RI or managing director. If the managing director is implicated the matter should be referred to LADO and Ofsted.)
  8. The senior staff member should not investigate they should only respond to the information offered by the child or young person.
  9. Never mention ‘abuse’ to the child or young person or their parents, if necessary inform them that the matter has been referred to social services.
  10. Suspicions should be referred the same day by the designated safeguarding member of staff, if it is ‘out of hours’ the duty emergency team should be informed and followed up the next morning. The social worker of the child or young person should be contacted, again if it is ‘out of hours’ EDT should be informed and then followed up the next day. A record of their instructions should be kept including how they were carried out.
  11. Ofsted should be informed and a NOE completed.

1.5 Definitions of Abuse

There are four main categories of abuse and neglect: Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Neglect.

1.51 Physical Abuse.

Physical abuse is deliberately physically hurting a child. It might take a variety of different forms, including hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating a child.

Physical abuse can happen in any family, but children may be more at risk if their parents have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health or if they live in a home where domestic abuse happens.

Babies and disabled children also have a higher risk of suffering physical abuse.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Physical abuse can also occur outside of the family environment.

Taken directly from HM Government document ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Advice for practitioners’ March 2015

1.52 Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. It is also sometimes called psychological abuse and it can have severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development.

Although the effects of emotional abuse might take a long time to be recognisable, practitioners will be in a position to observe it, for example, in the way that a parent interacts with their child. Emotional abuse may involve deliberately telling a child that they are worthless, or unloved and inadequate. It may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.

Emotional abuse may involve serious bullying – including online bullying through social networks, online games or mobile phones – by a child’s peers.

Taken directly from HM Government document ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Advice for practitioners’ March 2015

1.53 Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. You should be aware that many children and young people who are victims of sexual abuse do not recognise themselves as such. A child may not understand what is happening and may not even understand that it is wrong. Sexual abuse can have a long-term impact on mental health.

Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch 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 commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation doesn't always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point.

Taken directly from HM Government document ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Advice for practitioners’ March 2015

1.54 Neglect

Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, supervision or shelter. It is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s health or development.

Children who are neglected often also suffer from other types of abuse. It is important that practitioners remain alert and do not miss opportunities to take timely action.

However, while you may be concerned about a child, neglect is not always straightforward to identify.

Neglect may occur if a parent becomes physically or mentally unable to care for a child. A parent may also have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, which could impair their ability to keep a child safe or result in them prioritising buying drugs, or alcohol, over food, clothing or warmth for the child. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal drug or alcohol abuse.

Taken directly from HM Government document ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Advice for practitioners’ March 2015

1.6 Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

1.61 Local Safeguarding Children Board

A Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) is a multi-agency body set up in every local authority.  Each LSCB has  an independent Chair, that is, someone who doesn’t work for social services. However the Chair will work closely with the Director of Children’s Services.

The role of the LSCB is to:

  • coordinate what is done by everyone on the LSCB to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the area
  • make sure that each organisation acts effectively when they are doing this.

The LSCB publishes policies and procedures for child protection in their area.

As well as the local authority, other organisations are represented on the LSCB. They include:

  • the police
  • health services
  • probation services
  • the local youth offending team
  • in England, CAFCASS (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service)
  • in Wales, CAFCASS CYMRU (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service).

The LSCB can also include representatives from other people or organisations in the community if their activities relate to children, for example, the NSPCC or Barnados.

Each LSCB must draw up their own procedures for dealing with child abuse,in line with legislation and government guidance. Because of this, procedures for dealing with child abuse may be different in different local authority areas. You can get a copy of your local procedures from the local authority child protection team. Also most LSCBs have their own websites where you can download information about local policies.

Description from the CAB information website

1.62 M.A.S.H

A Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs provide information sharing across all organisations involved in safeguarding- encompassing statutory, non-statutory and third sector sources. Essentially, they analyse information that is already known within separate organisations in a coherent format to inform all safeguarding decisions.

All partners work together to provide the highest level of knowledge and analysis to make sure that all safeguarding activity and intervention is timely, proportionate and necessary.

M.A.S.H. focusses on three key functions;

  1. Victim identification and early intervention
  2. Harm identification and reduction
  3. Co-ordinating partner agencies

Each home should have the M.A.S.H. contact details for each local authority of each child or young person in their care, although the local authority of where the home is situated should be the first point of contact different authorities have different procedures.

Taken from the Devon County Council website

1.7 Regulations and Standards

The key children’s homes legislation is to be found in;

The Care Standards Act 2000

Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015

Guide to the Children’s Homes Regulations including the quality standards April 2015

The protection of children standard

Regulation 40

The duties and responsibilities of local authorities and others who deliver children’s services with regard to safeguarding children are set out in the statutory guidance “Working together to safeguard children”

The specific responsibilities of the child or young person’s social worker acting on behalf of the placing authority, for safeguarding children and young people who are looked after are set out in “Children Act 1989: Care planning, placement and case review”

1.8 Allegations against Staff and the role of LADO

When an allegation is made against a member of staff this must always be taken seriously and reported to the home manager, who then takes responsibility for the matter. (If the home manager is the one accused the matter should be reported directly to the Responsible Individual and or the Managing Director.

The first priority is to ensure the safety and welfare of the child or young person, and any other children or young people that may be at risk by coming into contact with the staff member, this is why any such concern should be shared immediately and if necessary the staff member concerned moved or suspended, this decision is made by the Home Manager or their line managers.

The matter will be reported to the LADO and their instructions will be followed.

If there is cause to suspect a child or young Person has or is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, and a referral is made to LADO. The manager must obtain the following information:

  • The name of the employee who the allegation is made against
  • The employee’s address
  • The employee’s date of birth
  • The address of the home where they work
  • Date of DBS
  • Date of when they started work for Blue Elephant
  • Date of incident and date allegation made
  • Nature of allegation

The matter will have three related, but independent strands:

  • Child Protection Enquiries (Section 47), relating to the safety and welfare of any children who are or who may have been involved including the alleged person's own children or children within his/ her care
  • A police investigation into a possible offence
  • Disciplinary procedures (including internal investigation) where, where it appears that the allegations may amount to misconduct or gross misconduct on the part of Colleague/s

This consultation with the LADO will aim to establish the following:

  • That the allegation is within the scope of procedures for a LADO discussion;
  • That the allegation is not demonstrably false or unfounded;
  • The nature of the concern, how and why it has arisen, and any previous information about the Child/Young Person /accused person and their relationship with the accused person;
  • Any background information relevant to the allegation;
  • Any arrangements taken to secure the immediate safety of the children or young people including ensuring the individual's own children are safeguarded;
  • Necessity for a Strategy Meeting and whether the police and children's services should be contacted;
  • If the parents/carers of the Child/Young Person concerned are not already aware of the allegation, there will be a discussion about how and by whom they should be informed. In some circumstances, the manager may need to advise parents of an incident involving their Child/Young Person straight away. Thus, consideration on how to consult formally with them about the investigation needs to be agreed, deciding on how this should be done, balancing this with the overriding need to ensure the Child or Young Person 's safety.

Further information can be found in What to do if you are worried a child is being abused (March 2015)

1.9 Prevention of Abuse

The prevention of abuse must be paramount in working with children and young people who live with or receive services from Blue Elephant.

Staff will be trained in safeguarding, including the identification of abuse and what to do should abuse be suspected: however, it is also crucial that staff understand the young people they are working with, including their history and backgrounds, what medications they take and any side effects that may affect them, staff should be aware of each child and young person’s care plan, behaviour plan and risk assessment. By understanding everything available about a child or young person the staff member has the tools available to work in a positive and supportive way, promoting the safety and welfare of that child or young person.

Building a working professional relationship with the child or young person will make them much more likely to be open and honest about what is going on in their lives, especially when they are away from the home, but also what is happening within the home, and relationship issues or episodes of bullying which may not be evident on a first look.

Staff must also be vigilant to the colleagues and their behaviours towards the children and young people and their other colleagues. Working in social care can establish strong friendships but these must be put aside when it comes to the safeguarding of young people. Every staff member must be aware that they may have to report a colleague if their behaviour or attitude falls below the high standards required to work for Blue Elephant.

Staff must be aware of the whereabouts and actions of each young person in their charge and check on them in a non-invasive way at regular intervals. Where a young person is ‘on trust’ regular welfare checks should be made either over the telephone or in person. Children and young people should not be allowed to wander around town centres without purpose as this can often lead to harmful behaviours.

Where a child or young person goes missing every effort should be made to locate them and regular attempts should be made to look for them and to try and make contact using their mobile phone, known friends and acquaintances or social media. When they return they should be interviewed by an independent local authority representative, but the staff should also try and find out why they went missing and where they were when they were missing and what needs to happen to help stop them from going missing again.

Prevention is always better than the alternative when it comes to safeguarding.

Safer recruitment is of paramount importance to Blue Elephant and every staff member recruited to work with children and young people in the care of Blue Elephant will have a vigorous and in-depth recruitment experience. (Recruitment is covered in the recruitment policy)

1.10 Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation is the sexual abuse of children, this policy only separates it from other types of abuse as it is now much more prevalent than previously understood.

Many of the children and Young People we look after may have experienced sexual abuse and remain susceptible to continuing harm, engaging in risk taking behaviours such as continued association with offenders and going missing.

Recent research has identified an increased risk for Young People of sexual exploitation and trafficking, Blue Elephant Childcare are committed to the South West safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

1.11 Prevent

Prevent is one of four work strands which make up the Government‘s counter-terrorism strategy – CONTEST. The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism.

    The Four Strands to Prevent are as follows:

  • Pursue – focuses on detecting, investigating and disrupting terrorist threats to the UK and our interests overseas.
  • Protect – aims to reduce the vulnerability of the UK and UK interests overseas to terrorist attack. This includes aviation security for both cargo and passengers.
  • Prepare – aims to minimise the impact of any attack, manage any incidence of an ongoing attack and recover quickly and effectively
  • Prevent – aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism

All educational establishments now offer a broad and well balanced curriculum which promotes spiritual, moral and cultural development of the learners. All educational establishments take the approach of aiming to protect its leaners from harm and to ensure awareness is consistent with the Law, Government guidance on counter terrorism and understanding of British values.

    As the preventative strand of CONTEST, Prevent will;

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced by the UK from those who promote it
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Work with where deemed necessary a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health) where there are risks of radicalisation which need to be addressed.

All staff will undergo PREVENT training and particularly how to speak to our children and young people in a way which promotes British values without isolating those with differing views, this is particularly important as children and young people who are looked after may have missed significant amounts of education and may not have received the learning around PREVENT, this can make them more susceptible to radicalisation.

1.12 Conclusion

This policy is designed to help keep children and young people in care of, or receiving the services of Blue Elephant safe.

The policy helps staff to work in a safe and positive way with young people and this is enhanced by conducting regular risk assessments both written and dynamic.

Staff will be encouraged to talk to each other to discuss concerns and to celebrate successes, every staff member must be committed to prioritising the children and young people’s safeguarding above friendships of colleagues and must remain professionally vigilant at all times.

If you have any concerns you should raise these with your line managers or the managing director at any time.

August 2020

Review date December 2020



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