Purpose and aim of the policy
This Safeguarding Policy reflects the needs of children under the age of 18 and developing babies in utero. In some instances, Gentle Touch Parenting may work with vulnerable adults, for example in the instance of domestic abuse or learning disabilities, and our commitment to safeguarding also applies in these circumstances.
At Gentle Touch Parenting, we believe that the welfare of the child is paramount (Children Act 1989) and that children have a right to protection from being hurt, violence, abuse and neglect (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19).
Gentle Touch Parenting works using a “whole family” approach, supporting parents to nurture their relationship with their children and supporting babies and children to develop robust and positive attachments to their carers. Using positive parenting techniques and positive touch through infant massage, parents are gently supported and guided, enabling them to gain confidence in understanding their child’s emotional, social, physical and communication needs. This is delivered through one to one support in the family home or through group delivery outside of the home.
Gentle Touch Parenting is committed to supporting the safe and healthy development of each individual child and will work to support families regardless of age, race, gender, disability, sexuality, cultural or religious beliefs. We recognise that disabled children and children from ethnic minorities may be more vulnerable to abuse due to their inability to communicate, and varying cultural norms; this does not compromise our responsibility to safeguard.
Practitioners at Gentle Touch Parenting have a duty safeguard children at all times, and in the event of suspected abuse or neglect, will follow our Safeguarding Procedure. Staff have a personal responsibility to ensure that they hold enhanced DBS certificates (live or updated every three years) and receive Safeguarding refresher training every three years.
All children and families we work with will be treated with dignity and respect; confidentiality will be maintained unless there is a duty to pass information to authorities in order to safeguard a child or vulnerable adult (see confidentiality policy).
Use of photographic Material
Photographic material may be used with parental consent for professional publicity purposes only and personal data will be stored in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (see use of personal data policy).
Definition of abuse
Abuse may be:
- Physical e.g. hitting, kicking, burning
- Emotional e.g. taunting, blackmailing, living in fear
- Sexual e.g. inappropriate touching, exposure to pornography, grooming
- Neglect e.g. failure to provide appropriate clothing, food or a safe place to live
In the event that there is a concern about the welfare of a child, Gentle Touch Parenting will follow this procedure:
- Discuss concern with parent where it is assessed to be safe to do so i.e. the child is not being placed at risk of further harm. NB If a child is at risk of imminent harm, or is at increased risk from talking to the parent, social care and/or police will be alerted without discussion with parents.
- Write down the nature of the concern and/or what is said as soon as possible after the incident/disclosure. All written records will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
- Seek advice from the local Safeguarding Children’s Board, Children’s Social Care Department or NSPCC.
- Families will be encouraged to seek support from Early Help Services if appropriate, and consent to the referral being made. If it is assessed to be in the child’s best interest to refer to social care, this may be done without parental consent. Parents will be informed that this will be the course of action taken.
In the event of an emergency, call 999.
Gentle Touch Parenting October 2016 Naomi Teagles Gentle Touch Parenting provides confidential support to parents and families in and out of their own home.
All information discussed will be treated as confidential and will not be shared with other parties UNLESS individuals are at risk of being harmed (see Safeguarding Policy and Procedure).
In the case that a criminal act or intention of committing a criminal act is disclosed, Gentle Touch Parenting has a duty to inform the police.
Parents attending groups are encouraged to be respectful of each other and maintain confidentiality. In the instance that a member of a group breaks confidentiality, Gentle Touch Parenting cannot take responsibility for their actions.
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