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Safeguarding and child protection

Keeping children and young people safe, happy and healthy is a key priority for the team and our partners.

We aim to promote the welfare of children and families, support parents and carers who may need help and advice and offer relevant child protection and safeguarding training to our childcare providers.

On these pages you can find out more about child protection and safeguarding core documents are provided below. Click on the Helpful Links tab to the left of this page for supporting documents and useful contacts.

You can also find out more information about safeguarding and child protection from the Dudley Safeguarding Children Board, details about safeguarding procedures and issues around safeguarding under the Early Years Foundation Stage

Everyone involved in the care of children has a role to play in their protection. As an early years childcare practitioner you are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance. If you have any reason to suspect that a child in your care is being abused, or is likely to be abused, you have a duty of care to take action on behalf of the child, by contacting the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

In Dudley, if you are concerned about a child you can call for advice or make a child protection referral to the MASH.

The number is 0300 555 0050. Hours are 9am–5pm Monday to Friday.

At all other times, contact the emergency duty team borough wide 0300 555 8574

If you have a reason to believe that a child is at immediate risk of harm, contact the police on 999 or 101

All referrals that are deemed to meet the threshold for safeguarding issues will be passed to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). The MASH brings key professionals together in one location to facilitate early, better quality information sharing, analysis and decision making.

  • It is a single point of entry for referrals.

  • The quality of the information included in the Multi Agency Referral form (MARF) is key.

  • Ensure your individual/organisational record keeping remains of a high standard. MASH is only as good as the information it receives.

  • IT systems containing information must be up to date to inform effective decision making in the MASH.

Your Role and Responsibility in Child Protection and Safeguarding

Everyone working in childcare needs to fully understand the content of 'Your Roles and Responsibilities in Child Protection and Safeguarding; Guidance for childcare practitioners'. This purple document is updated on an annual basis.

Dudley Safeguarding Audit Tool for Early Years and Childcare Settings

This “Self Audit Tool” has been designed to help you ensure that the service and your own professional practice are compliant with current legislation (Children Act 1989 & 2004) and best practice as set out in national guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Childcare Act 2006 and the Early Years Foundation Stage, Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.

This audit tool should help you to become knowledgeable and more confident in applying safeguarding.

Whilst it is essential to have child protection policies and procedures in place, safeguarding children and young people goes beyond this. It is about a system of preventative measures that all involved in childcare and education should adopt to ensure the safety and well-being of any child/young person with whom they are working. The system itself must also promote equality and diversity throughout the completion of the document.

This document should be completed by senior managers and practitioners with designated responsibility for child protection, along with whole team involvement. For childminders this can be completed individually. Support and guidance for completing this document is available from the Dudley Childcare Strategy Team.