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wwyd? safeguarding issue

(28 Posts)
Jw35 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:45:42

My sister has been a childminder for about 10 years, she asked my advice because I also work with children (but I'm not a childminder)

She was looking after some mindees and a 4 year old girl went to the toilet upstairs (there's no downstairs loo).

My sister called the children for dinner and both the 4 year old girl and a 6 year old boy came downstairs together.

My sister asked where the boy was and he said he'd been to the toilet as well. My sister had a chat with them about going separately in the future

Later that evening the 4 year old's mother called to say her dd had told her that the 6 year old boy had pulled down her pants and kissed her 'on her bits' the mum was understandably upset but wondered whether to call the police?

My sister has never had anything like this before and understands it's a safeguarding issue but is unsure what to do?

She will chat boy's parents obviously and to the children about what's appropriate etc but apart from that, what else might you do?

Hassled Sat 07-Nov-15 12:55:32

I'm not sure that talking to the boy's parents is necessarily a good idea - your sister needs to log this as a Safeguarding concern (because it is possible the boy has seen inappropriate material) and get some outside advice. If she googles county name+multi-agency safeguarding hub she should come up with a phone number to ring.

DoreenLethal Sat 07-Nov-15 12:56:20

Has she been on safeguarding training?

PotteringAlong Sat 07-Nov-15 12:58:41

Call social services and report.

She must have a safeguarding policy though. What does it say to do?

DoreenLethal Sat 07-Nov-15 13:11:01

If she hasn't been on the training, which would tell her what to do - she needs to book herself onto it immediately.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 07-Nov-15 13:12:43

Echoing others your sister must have safeguarding training and a safeguarding policy surely? She needs to follow these.

HSMMaCM Sat 07-Nov-15 16:35:31

Agree with phoning her safeguarding support at her local authority. She will need to log it as a concern and also inform Ofsted (who will probably do nothing more than ensure she is following procedures).

It could be simple children experimenting, but possibly not. I wouldn't contact the boy's parents before taking further advice.

KateSpadeAddict Sat 07-Nov-15 16:35:52

She should record everything that the mother said as soon as possible - her exact wording if possible and contact relevant safeguarding office asap. She should not speak to boys parents as they may change a story or put words into their child’s mouth in order to protect him or he may have experienced something at his home that has made him do this.

Of course on the other hand it could be a complete misunderstanding but these things must be taken very seriously and the proper channels taken. She shouldn’t really be speaking to you about it.

Jw35 Sat 07-Nov-15 16:57:35

Yes of course she has safeguarding training! As do I actually but it's a difficult one!

Why shouldn't she speak to me? She didn't mention names and I don't live near her or know these kids!

Thanks for the advice. I think she may have a duty to tell the boys parents but you could be right about speaking to somebody else first

SplatterMustard Sat 07-Nov-15 17:01:11

You might not live near her but other people on MN might and might well recognise the family.

MooPointCowsOpinion Sat 07-Nov-15 17:05:41

I would be worried for the boy as it's very unusual behaviour for a 6 year old. It suggests he has been exposed to sexual behaviour himself. Both children will need safeguarding, and I wouldn't discuss it with his parents until shes spoken with social services.

LIZS Sat 07-Nov-15 17:06:22

If she has had safeguarding training surely she would have details of who to notify. If not Children's Services at the council or local police can refer her. She shouldn't speak to either of the children or parents as her asking leading questions could prejudice any investigation.

DoreenLethal Sat 07-Nov-15 17:07:39

I think she may have a duty to tell the boys parents

No - the only response is to escalate it. Going straight to the parents goes against all safeguarding training.

Perhaps you both need a refresher. You should be attending updates at least once a year.

Jw35 Sat 07-Nov-15 18:19:45

She's referred it. Thanks all

lushaliciousbob Sat 07-Nov-15 19:01:01

What a horrible situation to be in. Your poor sister and obviously fingers crossed nothing is going on at home with the poor boy.
I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I think you both need to refresh your safeguarding training because you should ABSOLUTELY not tell the boy's parents because if something is going on at home then they could cover his story. Always speak to the official safeguarding people and never raise with parents unless told to.

Snossidge Sat 07-Nov-15 19:07:06

Doreen - in what circumstances are you suggesting you shouldn't speak to the parents?

In every safeguarding training I've ever had the advice is always to speak to the parents, and tell them if you are referring it, unless you think doing so could put the child at risk.

drinkyourmilk Sun 08-Nov-15 13:54:15

My understanding of safeguarding is The only time you don't keep someone fully informed of safeguarding concerns and resulting actions is when someone will be at direct risk of harm. I no longer work in childcare, but I raise at least 2 concerns with social services a month now.
If you do have reason to believe there is a risk of direct harm then you go to the police before social services.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 08-Nov-15 14:04:59

I think it depends on what training "level" you have had as to whether parents should be told or not.

I'd hazard a guess that anyone who is referring the issue up the chain of command is not in a position to make decisions about whether or not to tell parents/immediate risks to child etc. This is the job of the safeguarding officer/the person who would be in charge of getting police/SS involved etc.

When I have had my safeguarding it has been about signs if abuse, how to deal with disclosure, and who to hand the issue onto. It was absolutely not my speak to parents, or make assessments of risk, or question the person etc.

Snossidge Sun 08-Nov-15 15:33:44

A childminder is going to be named safeguarding person and top of the chain in their setting though.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Sun 08-Nov-15 18:27:58

* the only response is to escalate it. Going straight to the parents goes against all safeguarding training. *

This is incorrect.
Parents should be spoken to before any referral is made. Golden Rule of safeguarding. If you speak to a Duty and Advice team or similar they will always ask if you have first spoken to parents. Unless doing so would put the child at risk of harm.

In this situation-
Speak to the children involved and get a better picture of what happened.
Try to establish if this was "experimental" or a result of exposure to inappropriate material.
Speak to parents, if you have decided to refer you need to tell them you are going to do so.

A childminder is the designated officer in their setting and responsible for making the decision about referral.
Your friend really needs to attend a refresher course.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 08-Nov-15 19:28:50

thing is how would you know if talking to parents risks the child

ie, say boy was being abused by parents or seen something hence why he did what he did, then surely informing parents means they may change their story or hide evidence

safe guarding is tricky, you want and need to do the right thing, but sometimes how do you know what is the right thing

esp if some of you say dont tell parents and others say do

maybe report to higher authority and see what they say about telling parents or not

lushaliciousbob Sun 08-Nov-15 20:09:56

Couldn't agree more blondes!!! I think it's worrying that people would tell the parents first. How can anyone be sure this boy isn't being abused? If we knew he was then it would have already been reported! Abusers are clever at hiding evidence.

Snossidge Sun 08-Nov-15 20:13:52

Speaking to the parents isn't instead of reporting it.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 08-Nov-15 22:12:11

Def need to report it but not to speak to parents yet

I've literally done /refreshed safe guarding and the child carer shouldn't tell the parents - for the reasons lush and I said

Snossidge Sun 08-Nov-15 22:19:11

Who did your training?

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