Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership
We are working with Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership to provide organisations with the right information and support in relation to safeguarding children and young people.
Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership website: https://www.lscpbirmingham.org.uk/.
This is also the site where providers can find out how to make a referral into Children’s Advice & Support Service. They can also be contacted by phone on 0121 303 1888 or you can email them directly via CASS@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk.
Right Help, Right Time
On the 15th December 2021, the BSCP published the refreshed Birmingham’s threshold guidance ‘Right Help, Right Time’. The updated guidance (Version 5 with a light blue cover), is now available to download. The new version replaces the previous version dated February 2020 (with a lilac cover).
What’s New in the Guidance?
- The importance of Early Help and how to access early intervention is embedded throughout the document.
- We have strengthened the guidance on Contextual Safeguarding, the impact of domestic abuse and school exclusions.
- We have provided greater clarity on the importance of consent and information sharing.
- We have embedded direct links within the Right Help, Right Time guidance to the ‘Family Connect’ and the new revised ‘Request for Support’ forms’ that you will need to complete. You can also type the web addresses directly into your browser to access the forms locations
Key forms you need to complete to access support
Included within the guidance are links to the ‘Family Connect’ and the ‘Request for Support’ forms’. For those families with Universal Plus Needs and requiring Early Help or Family Support, you need to complete the ‘Family Connect’ form. For those families with Additional Needs and/or Complex and Significant Needs you need to complete the ‘Request for Support’ form. To access the forms, click on the links below.
If you have never completed a ‘Family Connect’ or ‘Request for Support’ form, or if it’s just been a while, to support you we have made available guidance on how to complete the forms. We have also included exemplars of what good multi-agency referrals look like.
A new ‘Right Help, Right Time’ eLearning package will be available in the new year. In the meantime, you can access the current Right Help, Right Time’ e-learning training.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. We want every
holiday club to be a safe and happy place for children to be and for parents, carers and families to
feel confident that their child is well looked after and that robust safeguarding arrangements are in
place. As set out in working together to safeguard children, safeguarding is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and
- taking action if you identify children to be at risk of harm.
We expect all providers to take the safeguarding and welfare of all children seriously and that during the holidays issues or disclosures may arise that need dealing with. In the first instance providers should follow their organisations policies, procedures and codes of practice. Any serious safeguarding concerns should be reported to the relevant authorities.
Holiday clubs in school settings
We know that schools are safe places and have robust safeguarding arrangements in place. Where
activities are provided by the governing body or proprietor of a school, under the direct supervision or management of their school staff the school’s child protection policy will apply.
Where the activities are provided separately in the school but by another body, the governing body
or proprietor should seek assurance that the body concerned has appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedure in place. We recommend that anyone involved in the delivery of a holiday club in school settings is familiar with part 1 of keeping children safe in education.
Holiday clubs in out of school settings
By out-of-school settings we mean organisations or individuals that provide tuition, training,
instruction or activities to children without their parents’ or carers’ supervision, but are not: schools, colleges, education settings providing alternative provision, 16 to 19 academies, providers caring for children that are registered with Ofsted or a childminder agency.
These settings generally provide tuition, training, instruction or activities outside normal school
hours (for example, evenings, weekends, school holidays), although some settings are run part-time during school hours to help meet the needs of those in home education.
The guidance for providers running out-of-school settings on keeping children safe during
community activities, after-school clubs and tuition covers advice on what policies and procedures
providers should have in place for health and safety, safeguarding and child protection, staff
suitability, and governance.
Volunteers and DBS Checking
We know that in some settings, volunteers can play an important role in the delivery of holiday
clubs. Under no circumstances should a volunteer in respect of whom no checks have been obtained be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.
For some of the voluntary staff involved in the delivery of the holiday, activities and food
programme in holiday clubs, this work will be done regularly and considered to be regulated activity.
This means they will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check with
barred list information. There may be a very small number of volunteers who do not regularly carry out this role, and so it may not be considered as regulated activity. This means they may not be required to have an enhanced DBS check.
The guidance on regulated activity in relation to children contains definitions of what we mean by
regular and regulated activity. Example; a guest speaker or presenter visits a holiday, activities and
food programme club to deliver a talk on nature. The guest is escorted by staff at the club (who are
DBS checked) while on the premises and is not left unsupervised with children at any time. In these circumstances, we would not expect a DBS check to be carried out.
To provide reassurance to parents, families and carers, we strongly recommend that all volunteers
who are involved in the delivery of the holiday, activities and food programme in holiday clubs
should have an enhanced DBS check (which, where applicable, should include children’s barred list information). We do not recommend holiday clubs using volunteers that are not DBS checked, but if this occurs, it is the responsibility of the provider to ensure that volunteers are not at any point left alone and unsupervised with children in holiday clubs.
All staff who are employed by holiday club providers funded through the holiday, activities and food programme should be subject to an enhanced DBS check with barred list information. Part 3 of keeping children safe in education sets out a clear process for safe recruitment. We recommend
local authorities and holiday cubs providers follow this best practice when recruiting volunteers.
Ofsted Registration and Tax Free Childcare
Holiday clubs may need to legally register with Ofsted depending on the provision they offer, they may also be eligible to register with Ofsted on the Voluntary register or they may be exempt from registration entirely. Both clubs and providers that would require registration with Ofsted, and those that are exempt, can participate in the holiday activities and food programme.
To support the raising of quality and to better meet the safeguarding needs of children and young people, providers can choose to register even if they do not have to.
One of the direct benefits to children and families of providers being Ofsted registered is that families may be eligible for tax free childcare or the childcare costs element of Universal Credit. Through this families may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs if they are attending and paying for extra childcare at Ofsted registered settings.
It is the legal responsibility of individual providers to understand whether or not they should be Ofsted registered and to continue to review their status as and when the provision they are offering changes.
Department for Education have released a guidance document for holiday club providers. It contains some useful information on Ofsted registration, the benefits to joining the voluntary register and how to support your families by them being able to claim Tax Free Childcare when accessing your paid services. Childcare Provider Information and Communications Toolkit.
Photography and Filming
We are sharing StreetGames’ Photography and Filming Policy Statement as an example of what should be in place for all holiday club providers. Please ensure you have the correct, written consent from the parent, carer or guardian of all children before taking, storing and sharing photos and videos. The StreetGames Policy Statement contains some best practice which your organisation may find useful. We recommend you read it and implement your own procedures locally.