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At Christmas my husband bought me a bar of chocolate with the title "EMERGENCY CHOCOLATE"!

It seems to me that nearly every day I come home and think "Is the day that is bad enough for me to eat it?"

Sadly I am always pretty sure that there s something else to come....

 

So this was a bad day because a parent came in and said that another child had done something (can't really say what) to her child, that certainly would have been a terrible thing. The mother is threatening to "take it further". Problem is this is about the third or fourth time this has happened in one half term that we have had the child, and each time the parent said her child told a member of staff and each time everyone says she certainly did not and they are almost certain that the thing never happened.

 

Also there seems to be personal issues involved between the two parents involved behind the scenes but I only know this by hearsay so can't really repeat it.

 

My question is ....is there anything I can do to protect us from accusations of this type?

 

I need help because I am really trying to diet and that chocolate is calling me!

Jane

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If the parent has made an allegation about something that happened during the session, and that a member of staff was told about this and did nothing, then you have a pretty serious situation on your hands.

 

I agree with Panders - you must fill in an incident form and get all parties to sign, and you should also get staff members to write accounts of what they saw or heard, if anything. However if the 'thing' you mention is a child protection concern then you should at least follow your LSCB procedures and get some advice about how to proceed. Our Local Authority has a named person you can contact to request advice about whether a referral is in order.

 

If there is an allegation that a child has been harmed whilst on your premises and your setting fails to take action then the consequences could be pretty serious - the fact that there are or may be underlying issues between the parents concerned might be masking the fact that children are genuinely at risk of harm.

 

If the 'thing' is more routine and is a matter of normal child behaviour then you probably need to carry out an internal investigation into the whys and wherefores of what has been alleged, when and where and see if any action is necessary to change routines or procedures. You'll need to do this anyway if the parent makes a complaint.

 

Whatever situation you're in, document everything and make sure you get parents to sign forms to confirm that conversations have taken place.

 

Good luck - I'd have eaten the chocolate by now!

 

Maz

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Ugh parents believing their children no matter what is one thing that really irritates me. We had a child seen by a staff member to do something to another child and he swore to his mum that he didn't and she believed him and came and told us in no uncertain terms that he hadn't!

 

How does the parent react when you tell her these things haven't occured? Are you believed?

 

I think a start would be writing an incident report of what the child and parent have said then noting what staff have said when asked if the child told them. This wouldn't be the same as one seen by the parent, just something to show that you had gone and asked the staff and what they had said. Each staff member could perhaps sign to say that it's accurate, just so you are covering every possibility.

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same as bigsue record everything always have another witness to what you tell the parent,

speak to your local early years child protection officer they can offer good advice without making it official

but you do have a duty to report if anything is untoward

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This child has come about 15 times altogether and we already have about 5 different incident sheets about her about things that she said happened that almost certainly did not. Also she left her previous setting in odd circumstances that we had to speak to them about. Once she accused a child that was on the other side of the room and an adult was watching her and saw it never happened.

This "thing" was something that really could not have happened and it was 2 weeks before the mother said the child told her about it which is a long time for a 4 year old to keep a secret. Also she said she had "told her off well" for not mentioning it before which suggest the girl was getting an earful from mum which is a bit worrying.

Also there were 14 children present with 4 members of staff and 2 students all in one fairly small room together so these two children (who have never played together) could not really have spent the time alone long enough to do what has been accused.

We do obsessively write everything down but it still feels like we are at the mercy of anyone who wants to cause trouble.

Jane

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We do obsessively write everything down but it still feels like we are at the mercy of anyone who wants to cause trouble.

Jane

 

 

As long as you have good record keeping try not to let this worry you - detailed explanations on incident/accident forms, are what will "save" you from the worst allegations, especially if the complaints come a long while after the event, if we don't record enough info then we can be at risk by have to rely on our memories.

 

With the extra information you have provided in your last post, it is easy to see why you are wary of what may happen with this family. It makes one wonder what is the provocation behind this child making up stories to tell her mother.

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Thank you all for your help anyway. Think of me tomorrow when I give up my day off to go in and talk to them all again. It isn't great to have to ask the underpaid, over-worked, stressed people that I constantly hassle about one thing and another to remember what they did 2 weeks ago when the happy glow of half term is just starting to wear off!

Wonder where I put the chocolate....

Jane

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What an unpleasant situation!

 

I think I'd be very vigilant, record everything, track her movements and interaction with other children and make sure no member of staff ever alone with her "just in case"

 

Did the previous setting seek support from the Early Years team? Wonder if there is a record of previous allegations held somewhere that may throw light on what is happening?

 

Sorry I can't help more!

 

Nona

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This "thing" was something that really could not have happened and it was 2 weeks before the mother said the child told her about it which is a long time for a 4 year old to keep a secret.

I know a four year old who kept a secret for more than 35 years. :o

 

There is a lot in your post that concerns me - I would definitely get all your records together and seek professional advice. There may be so many things going on in this family because it sounds like a very complex situation.

 

I hope it all resolves itself, for everyone's sake!

 

Maz

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Jane, just wanted to say that if I was you I would certainly have scoffed the whole bar!!!!

 

On a more serious note, I wanted to say that I fully agree with the advice to document everything. Also call your EY advisor,and explain your concerns. I think being upfront and proactive is your only option as it sounds as though there are some very serious issues here. Could the child be making a false allegation at school, because they are too frightened to mention things that are going on elsewhere in their lives?

 

I hope I am not reading too much into your post, but should the child be making allegations of sexual assault (or worse), this does raise a safeguarding issue as they should at this stage have no real knowledge of such matters. I would call your LEA safeguarding officer for advice if this is the case.

 

Bset wishes...just off to raid the fridge for a choccy as had a crappy day myself!!

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I know being cryptic makes this sound very serious and it is serious but not sexual. Actually it involves an ear and a bead!

What really worries me is the number of things the staff and children have been accused of by this lady insuch a short time. I agree that there does seem to be something to worry about in the child's attitude to other children but we would have happily worked through these things with them if mum was more willing to be open.

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Having been there..

 

more than once....

 

good advice already given,

 

document everything, and can I advise that you have a witness or second persons with you when you speak to parents.. this has proved invaluable in the past when we have had issues with parents which have ended up in the hands of big O or other agencies... I just made a comment that I wanted all documented as we took it very seriously and were worried for the children concerned... so second person was to take notes... in reality they were there to safeguard me or us and our setting...

 

Do some observations during the session for location and who is there etc.. observe the child and see where they play and who with.. etc.. Make them long term.. all session timelines or every 5 mins etc.. to show where they are and what they are doing..

 

We also found asking parents to complete a complaints form made them realise how seriously we took their comments, and they would often not want to do this but we insisted, if they had a complaint to fill in a form... we then dealt with it internally... had few parents wanting to go that far and several backed down from taking it further... not realising how much of an issue it caused us and them. sounds over the top but if it is a complaint needs documenting formally.

 

Often discussion with early years would highlight parents who moved before issues were raised..

 

As usual.. our issue is not the children but parents... makes the job so much harder!!

 

Inge

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This forum is fantastic, you learn so much by reading posts.

 

I agree with all advice given regarding recording incidents and all that has been said by staff, parents etc. I'd like to ask whether, if you record a conversation with a parent, do you need to get them to sign the transcript ?

 

I'd certainly have eaten at least half the chocolate bar by now.

 

I also feel that if at all possible, child's key person should try to have some one to one time with her over a period of time (in sight of other adults) playing in home corner, or with dolls house in case, without any prompting, she feels the need to disclose anything. Record detailed observations, including child's comments.. Give her a camera and ask her to photograph things she likes, does not like etc, see what she likes to photograph, comments she makes. I certainly would get my LA involved in conversation. Maybe child is transferring her fears into a situation she feels confident to speak out in, maybe a call for attention/help ?.

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I do not have anything of major use to add to the posts seen previously on this thread,

 

but just to say we had an incident involving a child (that was a child protection issue) and following the handling of this by the access centre, it was the staff in the nursery who felt the brunt of the parents anger.

 

They wrote pages and pages of terrible things about what we had supposedly said and done..... despite the fact that this childs parents had just increased his hours with us.

 

The effect on the staff, particularly the 2 who were named was awful.

 

I was one of them and we spent alot of time justifying why we had said the things we did ask the parents, and being upfront about the fact that alot of the letter was a fabrication and a result of kick back after the child protection issue.

 

What I am trying to say hear is that because all of the problems we had had with the child were documented and everytime we spoke to the parents was documented when we had to have a hearing in front of the governors we at least had info to draw from and to back us up.

 

The type of situation you are talking about wears everyone down and can have an impact on confidence.

 

Good luck!

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I think a lot of the time, although we know in theory we are doing the right thing, it just helps to hear someone else confirm it.

 

The chocolate is waiting for Ofsted!

Jane x

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I have to agree with earlier posts, a lot of what you have said does not sound quite right, whether it is truth or not........should we not believe the child, speak to a proffessional outside of your setting

 

I would like to know how you got on

 

im sure the chocolate is gone now so hope you enjoyed

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