Keeping children safe

Our first duty is towards vulnerable children we work with. Sometimes this duty means we must raise concern about a decision. This page sets out how to do this while keeping in place a safe, learning culture that wants to know when things are wrong.

These can be very stressful situations but the philosophy of this organisation is that children's need for safety should be prioritised. This means at times saying difficult things and hearing difficult things. This process gradually escalates concerns you may have about decisions or the behaviour of others.

This process applies to the behaviour of individuals, to decisions made about children and to the way in which the whole system operates.

1.Is it safe to talk to the person you are concerned about? It is usually best to resolve things at the lowest possible level - think about how you would like the issue raised with you if someone else was concerned. Sometimes you should not approach the person, for example if you suspect they are abusing a child, or you are not confident or feel unsafe. If you believe someone poses a risk to a child you must take this information to a senior manager and/or the police. 
2.Seek the support of someone else. This could be your line manager or another experienced member of the team. 
3.Raise the issue in supervision or with your manager. Don't wait for supervision if the issue is urgent, but talk to your manager and try to think through together what to do. Make sure the discussion is written down and that there is a clear plan about what to do next. 
4.Follow a policy to resolve the issue. There are several policies that are designed to support you in raising concerns, depending on what you are worried about. Please see the links below. 
5.Use the whistleblowing policy. This policy covers all eventualities and as a last resort ensures senior managers hear about your concerns and can investigate. 

Through this process you may feel under considerable pressure. There is support available both through unions and through the Council's confidential counselling service {&local link}. It is a sign of your determination to keep children safe if you access these services - people should not feel isolated for speaking out.

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