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Choosing Services and Activities: Keeping Children Safe

Worried about a child? Call Islington’s Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400. If you think a child might be at risk from harm please tell us so we can keep them safe and support their family. Calls will be taken by trained professionals. You do not have to leave your name.

Using Islington’s Families Directory

The following information outlines what you need to look for and the questions you need to ask when using Islington’s Families Directory to choose a service or activity for a child, young person or family.

It is the responsibility of the user of Islington’s Families Directory to ensure that the services they choose are appropriate for their needs. There is a checklist below which will help users to ask the right questions about safety and health issues.

By using the Families Directory, you confirm that you agree and understand that neither Islington Council nor any of its employees are responsible or shall be liable for any claim, loss or damage resulting from the use of Islington’s Families Directory.

Things to think about and questions to ask before using a service

It is important that you visit the setting or group before a child or young person starts using the group. Find out what they offer and ask to see any leaflets they may have. It’s a good idea to speak to other people using the service. The Islington Safeguarding Children’s Board www.islingtonscb.org.uk has produced a range of leaflets for parents and practitioners.

Here are some of the questions you should ask service providers

Childcare registration and regulation (for under 8’s)

  • Are the staff and volunteers suitable? All staff working with children, young people and vulnerable adults should have a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously CRB check).
  • Are there enough adults to supervise the number of children?
  • Is the service registered with Ofsted? The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is responsible for the regulation and inspection of childcare provision within the UK for under 8’s. For further information about Ofsted go to www.ofsted.gov.uk
  • Has the service been approved by a local authority or professional organisation or quality assurance scheme?
  • You will find helpful fact sheets and booklets about choosing childcare at Coram Family and Childcare

Disabled Children/Additional Needs

How will the service provide for disabled children or those with additional needs? Make sure the service is aware of any medical conditions a child or young person might have.

Child Protection

  • Check that the service has a child protection policy. All services should have one if they work directly with children and young people. This should include a statement on how they keep children and young people safe.
  • Have all staff been trained in safeguarding legislation? When did they last have training?
  • If the service allows children and young people to access the internet, find out how they ensure safe use of the internet.

 Health and Safety

  • Does the service have a health and safety policy?
  • Make sure that the service has your up-to-date contact details and an alternative contact for emergencies.

Behaviour

  • Does the service have a policy about behaviour showing how the service manages poor behaviour?

What to do if you have concerns about a service

  • Listen carefully to any concerns a child or young person may have about a service.
  • Find out how you can voice your concerns to the service in question. Start by speaking to the manager of the service.
  • If you feel you need further help or advice, please phone the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 to find out which department you should contact with your concerns.