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Anyone I can talk to re safeguarding?


mrsbat
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I have an ongoing situation at work and could really do with talking through something with someone if possible - there will be no names etc mentioned .... it's complicated and obviously I don't want to go into it on an open forum...... I know the answer really but for piece of mind I would like to run something past someone if at all possible.... does anyone on here have experience of anyone threatening legal action after referring a child? if so could I could really do with asking a couple of questions......

 

Thank you :)

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You should be able to chat to your LADO who will be able to give you all the advice you need. I've been out of the loop for a while now, but I'm happy to be a sounding board if you need to chat

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I don't have direct experience regarding legal action but can I just remind you that all you have done is your job.

 

I don't know the ins and outs obviously but as a professional if you felt you had to refer a child you were just being the advocate for that child.

 

I've been involved in two quite nasty referrals.

 

One went to a panel because the parents felt that neither the Head or the Chair of Governors had given their version of the story due consideration and they wanted blood!! Mine and a colleagues. It stemmed from social services swooping in to their home and making Dad leave the house....

It went on for months and as I say we had to go individually before a panel as did the parents

It knocked my confidence and our morale

I had to take a rep in with me at the last meeting.

It was really scary and all I did was my job following a disclosure from a child and bruising around his neck.

 

Following this we had another incident and in this case the parent came up to the school shouting and screaming..........

Luckily she listened to what I said when I told her that following a disclosure (and in this case it was nasty bruising a child said her dad had done) we had a protocol to follow and that if I didn't follow the protocol I could get the sack or be disciplined myself for not doing the right thing..... I remember telling her that possibly for every ten children who were referred if we only saved one from an actual terrible situation it was worth all the stress.

She did calm down and that child carried on coming to our nursery. The other child we never saw again.

 

Following these situations I altered our information book and made the safeguarding bit usually seen in a separate policy more implicit and added that as staff we HAVE TO follow certain guidelines.

 

I'm sad that you are in this situation.

Just remember you did your job.

I expect you have paperwork to back you up.

Good luck x

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You have my sympathy as this is not a nice thing to have to face. A very long time ago I had parents who got very angry after we made a referral and we had a solicitors letter about it. We then obviously went to another solicitor who was extremely re-assuring, saying we had made the parents aware of our safeguarding policy from the time the child first came to us; we had acted in the best interests of the child and that, although we had referred, it was social care who made the decision to follow it up. He then sent a response letter on our behalf to the parents solicitor and they did not take the matter any further. The parents did not bring the child back which in one way was sad, but I think the relationship could never have been the same again, so perhaps better in another way. The consultation with the solicitor was free (as most of them offer one session free to explore the situation and if they can help). We did have to pay for the letter but it was not a huge cost and well worth it to deal firmly with the situation

Just remember:

  • you acted in the best interests of the child
  • you made the policy clear to parents in advance
  • it is social care who decide to follow it up / not follow it up
  • you would feel far worse if you had not made the referral and later discovered something untoward had been going on
  • if you should find yourself in the position we were, then go to a family specialist solicitor

I do hope it does not come to solicitors, but hopefully the support it gave us will encourage you. If it would help to talk over this more, please PM me and I'll be happy to try to help more - not that I am am expert of course.

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Thank you all.....Me and Mum have been messaging back and forth - me offering support etc (I know emailing isn't the best way to do things but I didn't want to ignore her messages and at least now I have copies of what has been said) - and she has now said she won't be taking the child out and reading between the lines it is actually the report that ss has written that she is seeing a solicitor about not what I/the setting has done.

 

We'll see how things develop..........

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Oh I do feel for you, hopefully things seem more positive as such now, things get said and emotions run high but you sound like your doing everything you can so well done.

Can I ask does no other areas have a helpline? As reading posts no one has said to go there, we have a dedicated helpline that we access from early years through school etc, it's manned by trainined safeguarding personnel and is in addition to out of hours care and MAST. I use it often and value it's worth but it's got me thinking maybe we are extremely lucky to have it! I know our area is leading in safeguarding within the country so does have outstanding practices that they do and are striving to implement but I kinda guess I presumed other areas have this support too! x

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We can ring the ACCESS centre for advice or to report an issue but to be honest I think in the nasty case I mentioned it was their heavy handed approach that caused most of the issues.

 

They took a long time getting back to us and when they did they were very cross that we had let the child go home with his mum.....

 

I had spoken to mum when she picked up, and the little boy told her the exact same thing he had told us and I explained that I had to pass this information on

 

The access centre sent social services in to the home. Dad was removed until they could investigate.

I only know all this because when the child did not come in to nursery I was concerned and rang the health visitor. It was she who told us what had happened and ultimately it was she who told me the parents blamed us for causing the trouble.

 

Social services never got in touch with us at all to ask if we had concerns prior to this or to talk to us about the boy or his family.

 

I know I did my job but I don't think it was made any easier by the lack of communication from social services

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