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Is this for staff turning up under Influence or parents?

 

We have an addition to our Child protection policy or should it be (safeguarding children now) about not letting a child go if we feel the parent is under the influence, cannot remember exact wording but is along the lines of.....

 

"When collecting a child, If we have reason to believe that a parent/carer is considered to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, we will evaluate the implications for the child and will safeguard them at all times. The Children's Act 1989 states that "children should be safe and protected by effective intervention if they are in danger."

 

This may mean that we will keep the child with us until we can either contact a suitable second named contact to come and collect the child or if this is not possible we will have to contact Social Services.

 

In doing so we aim only to safeguard and protect the child concerned."

 

Staff ahve to declare on a Health form if they use drugs or alcohol etc, and on there it states diciplinary action for anyone found unfit for work becfause of same. This statement is also part of our staffing and recruitment policy.

 

"Should a member of staff arrive for work and is considered unfit to work on that day due to alcohol or drugs etc, they will be sent home and a replacement member of staff recruited if needed to ensure adult child ratios are adequate. This will also be followed up with disciplinary action according to our policy."

 

We dont have a policy just for this.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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Dear Inge

I was intereseted to know how you "physically" keep the child when dealing with a parent under the influence of drugs/alcohol. By the time you get hold of the powers that be and relayed your problem I think you would probably have a major falling out with the parent who would insist on taking their child - in which case - what would you do then? From experience I think by the time social services/police turn up the parent is normally becoming quite aggresive making it virtually impossible to stop them, plus the fact that by the time you have realised how bad they are they are normally within the building. Reasoning is not always heard. I think all I could do was to warn them that if they took the child and we felt that they were not capable of looking after them then it would leave us with no choice but to phone social services/police depending on how the person was behaving. What do others think? Even on the emergency number it does take a little time for them to turn up and even 10 minutes is a very long time when dealing with a parent who is playing up. I would be interested to hear what others think? I agree that if it was an isolated instance then an emergency contact should be telephoned to see if they can take responsibilty for the child and the mother, however if it happened on a regular basis and the parents was very disorientated then I think we are looking at a safeguarding issue.

Nikki

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We have the same procedures as Inge but I can see your point Nikki. We had a incident in June. Still waiting for the police to come about it. This was not a minor incident (well I didn't think so.) I will have to review what we have written. Ours is in our child protection policy as well.

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hi,

I recently went on a child protection course and this issue was raised.

The social worker who was taking the course said it is OUR resposibility not to let the child leave with anyone who you fear could put the child at any risk. If we allowed the child to go with that person and anything was to happen, it would be our fault.

Pressure eh.

 

Net x

 

p.s Op went well and am now enjoying a 2 week recoup period

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we were told same as net , our fault if anything happens to child, and Ofsted asked for the above to be added to our policies a while ago now, we were told we had to say we would not let child go. We know the pressures involved but felt a bit like our hands were tied.

 

we are lucky in fact have direct number for police station very close by, ..had to do it once for parent not under influence but other circumstances, and it worked took a few minutes for someone to arrive.

 

 

Inge

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Hi everyone,

Thank you for all your replies regarding the alcohol and substance misuse policy. Some interesting points of view and food for thought. We have added it to our child protection policy. Many thanks again

Tracie.

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