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Advice needed


Stargrower
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A member of my staff has broken confidentiality over a safeguarding issue.

She is 18 years old and level 3 qualified. She was with us as a student and I employed her in September as a nursery assistant. As a student she was given information both verbally and written on confidentiality. As an employee she was given a full induction including the importance of confidentiality. She has a copy of our confidentiality policy. She has signed her induction document to confirm she has understood the information shared at her induction. She has also signed a tear out page of our staff handbook, which also explains confidentiality and our disciplinary procedures.

She overheard a child make a disclosure. She knows the family and told the child's father what the child had said (the disclosure mentioned the father). The father then came in the following week to 'defend' his actions, saying that the member of staff had told him what his child had said.

The safeguarding concern has now increased and is ongoing.

What advice would you give me as her employer. I've just looked at the ACAS website and feel confused.

Thank you in advance.

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Follow your disciplinary procedures to the letter. Personally, I would suspend her whilst I sought further advice on this.. I would also sit her down and explain, graphically, what harm this could possibly have caused to the child. Did she not consider what action the father might have taken against his child?/ Has she told anyone else............other parents/friends etc?? You say she is 18, her youth is NO defence against this action. She is qualified, at Level 3 to actually run the setting, so she MUST have realised the possible consequences of telling the father about this disclosure. For goodness sake, we are reminded about safeguarding at every turn. What a thoughtless, silly and selfish girl. I would not want her on my staff, as I would not consider her to be safe around the children.

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Did she appreciate that what she had overheard was a disclosure and what you were doing about it?

Should she or could she have been reminded about confidentiality and the fact that this was being treated as a disclosure?

I'm not trying to minimise the importance of this but could there be anything that could/should have been done as you say she overheard and not that a disclosure was made to her?

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I would phone your local LADO (Safeguarding Board Local Authority Designated Officer) as you now have an allegation against a member of staff of breaching confidentiality and they will advise you to the letter what to do. I would suspend her too whilst the matter is investigated.

 

You will have to inform Ofsted too within 14 days and show them you are operating under your policies and procedures.

 

Document everything...dates, times and content of conversations as you may need all of this in the event of disciplinary action being taken.

 

good luck

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Did she appreciate that what she had overheard was a disclosure and what you were doing about it?

Should she or could she have been reminded about confidentiality and the fact that this was being treated as a disclosure?

I'm not trying to minimise the importance of this but could there be anything that could/should have been done as you say she overheard and not that a disclosure was made to her?

Surely all incidents should be confidential - I would not expect my staff to discuss any incidents/conversations that take place within the nursery with anyone outside of nursery. Confidentiality is paramount - reminders should never be needed.

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I do agree with what has been said but just to remember that a L3 training is so variable and sometimes is not as godd, robust and consistent as it needs to be. And although being only 18 is not an excuse, she will not have the maturity or have the experience of someone older. Support is needed even when you are qualified hence supervision.

Ongoing training and if you like reminders around safe guarding or any policies or procedures need to be discussed all the time not just at induction.

Suspension with pay is your only option whilst it is investigated

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