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OJC Safeguarding


OJC and OSJC Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy & Information for Parents/ Carers

This policy is reviewed annually by OJC Management Committee and Council


Oxford Jewish Congregation (OJC) and Oxford Synagogue and Jewish Centre Ltd (OSJC) recognise their responsibility for Safeguarding and Child Protection.




Safeguarding and child protection policy - OJC& OSJC




The Management Committee takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements exist within our setting to identify and support those children who are suffering harm or are likely to suffer harm.


We recognise that all staff and volunteers have a full and active part to play in protecting our young people from harm and that the child’s welfare is our paramount concern.


Our Centre should provide a safe, caring, positive and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child, free from discrimination or bullying, where children can learn and develop happily.


This policy applies to all staff, teachers and volunteers working in our Centre


The aims of this policy are:


  • To support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and resilience


  • To provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties.


  • To raise the awareness with all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.


  • To acknowledge the need for effective and appropriate communication between all members of staff in relation to safeguarding children and young people.


  • To develop a structured procedure within the Centre which will be followed by all members of the staff in cases of suspected abuse.


  • To ensure that all adults within our Centre who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability.


General Guidelines for staff, volunteers, helpers:


  • Treat all children with dignity and respect
  • Try and avoid being alone with a child or small group for extended periods of time
  • If it is necessary to speak to a child alone make sure you tell someone and if possible have someone with you. Think about having the conversation somewhere you can be seen.
  • Think carefully about offering physical affection or comfort to a child as this, though well-intentioned, could be misinterpreted.
  • Make sure another person is with you in dealing with situations involving personal hygiene or if administering first aid if possible.


  • Children need boundaries. However, physical punishment is not permissible. If a child becomes agitated or out of control the other children ideally should be removed from the room or area.


  • It is advisable not to engage in tickling, physical or sexually provocative games.


  • Do not make sexually suggestive comments to a young person even in fun. Do not make scapegoats, ridicule, reject or show favouritism for a young person.


  • Seek parental permission before transporting a child and if possible avoid being the only adult with a young person. If unavoidable, the child should sit in the back seat using appropriate seat belts, car seats or booster seat.


Responsibilities of the Centre


  • The OJC procedure for safeguarding children is in line with Oxfordshire Local Authority (the LA) and Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures, and “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015”.
  • The Management Committee understands and takes its safeguarding responsibilities seriously and has a designated person for Safeguarding.


  • All adults, (including volunteers) who come into contact with children will be made aware of this policy as part of their induction.


  • Organisers of community events and activities for children need to be aware of and understand the need for compliance with the Centre’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.


  • We will ensure that all staff and volunteers understand that there is a procedure to be followed in dealing with child protection allegations made against staff. This procedure must be followed on all occasions. All staff must be made aware of this process and how it differs from other concerns about children.


  • Caretakers will endeavour to minimise risk by locking less frequented areas of the building such as on Shabbat and festivals.


  • All areas will be well lit and easily accessible.


  • Each member of staff, volunteer or helper will have preparation beforehand about their role, expectations and will have a person to whom they will be accountable for their work.


  • The Cheder Lead Teacher, Community Development Worker and organizers of events involving children will meet with staff and helpers beforehand to plan activities and review their work. They will ensure staff and helpers are aware of this policy.


  • The Lead Teacher / Centre Manager/ Community Development Worker should ensure relationships between workers and children remain safe and appropriate


  • The Lead Teacher / Centre Manager /Community Development Worker, will liaise with parents/ carers about any issues or concerns in relation to their children.


  • The Lead Teacher / Centre Manager/ Community Development Worker, can consult with the Safeguarding Lead about any issue if they need advice (01865 514356/ connections@ojc-online.org nb communication with be forwarded to the Safeguarding Lead from this number/email address)


  • Where there is an outside speaker or visiting adult it is the responsibility of the member of staff organizing the event to ensure that they are accompanied by a member of staff at all times when there are children in the building.


Allegations against staff


  • All staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.


  • We understand that a child or young person may make an allegation against a member of staff. If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Centre Manager or the Chair of the Management Committee
  • The Manager on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) before taking any action. Contact details are on the OSCB website.
    • The Centre will follow the procedures for managing allegations against staff or


           volunteers, as far as possible as outlined in ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2015.      


           We will consult with the LADO, Centre Manager, President and Chair of the


           Management Committee should such a situation arise, only sharing information on a


           strictly ‘need to know’ basis.




Bullying is a safeguarding issue that if left unresolved can become a child protection matter. Our setting will take seriously any bullying concerns and both investigate and take action to protect children where appropriate


Health & Safety


Our Health & Safety policy, set out separately, reflect the consideration we give to the protection of our children both physically within the Centre environment and when away from the Centre when undertaking outside events, trips and visits.


Categories of Abuse


The table below outlines the four main categories of abuse as defined by the Department of Health ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document 2010. (Full definitions can be found in this document) Staff should be aware that the possible indicators are not definitive and that some children may present these behaviours for reasons other than abuse.


Type of Abuse

Possible Indicators


The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairments of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

provide food, clothing and shelter;

protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;

ensure adequate supervision;

ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

Obvious signs of lack of care including:

Problems with personal hygiene;

Constant hunger;

Inadequate clothing;


Lateness or non-attendance at school;

Poor relationship with peers;

Untreated medical problems;

Compulsive stealing and scavenging;

Rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking;

Running away;

Low self-esteem.

Physical Abuse

May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child

Physical signs that do not tally with the given account of occurrence

conflicting or unrealistic explanations of cause repeated injuries delay in reporting or seeking medical advice.

Sexual Abuse

Forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, penetrative or non-penetrative acts and also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.

Sudden changes in behaviour

Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate

Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance

Tendency to cry easily

Regression to younger behaviour – e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby

Unexplained gifts or money

Depression and withdrawal

Wetting/soiling day or night

Fear of undressing for PE

Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.



child being blamed for actions of adults

child being used as carer for younger siblings

affection and basic emotional care giving/warmth, persistently absent or withheld.


Child sexual exploitation (CSE)


The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people, (or a third person or persons) receive something, (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affections, gifts, money) as a result of them performing and/or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidations are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterized in the main by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice, resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability. (DCSF 2009)


Key facts about CSE


  • Sexual exploitation often starts around the age of 10 years old. Girls are usually targeted from age 10 and boys from age 8.
  • It affects both girls and boys and can happen in all communities and social classes.
  • Any person can be targeted but there are some particularly vulnerable groups: Looked After Children, Children Leaving Care and Children with Disabilities.
  • Victims of CSE may also be trafficked (locally, nationally and internationally).
  • Over 70% of adults involved in prostitution were sexually exploited as children or teenagers.
  • Sexual violence or abuse against children represents a major public health and social welfare problem within UK society, affecting 16% of children under 16. That is approximately 2 million children.


Good practice – Individuals

  • Recognize the symptoms and distinguish them from other forms of abuse
  • Treat the child/young person as a victim of abuse
  • Understand the perspective / behaviour of the child/young person and be patient with them
  • Help the child/young person to recognize that they are being exploited
  • Collate as much information as possible
  • Share information with other agencies and seek advice / refer to Social Care


Dealing with Disclosures


All staff, volunteers and helpers have a responsibility for action in cases of suspected child abuse. This document outlines the procedures which should be followed if anyone working with children under the auspices of the Centre suspects a child is being abused, or if a disclosure is made.

Immediate action is required where there is concern about possible abuse. Written records must be made at each stage of the process.

All staff and volunteers are asked to be alert to possible physical or emotional problems being experienced by children and young people.




Always stop and listen straight away to someone who wants to tell you about incidents or suspicions of abuse. Listen quietly and actively, giving your undivided attention. Allow silences when needed. Do not show shock or disbelief but take what is said seriously.




Stay calm, no judgements, empathise. Never make a promise that you can keep what a child has said a secret. Give reassurance that only those who need to know will be told. Reassure the young person that they were right to tell you.




React to the student only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but don’t interrogate for full details.


Don’t ask leading questions – keep the open questions e.g. ’is there anything else you want to say?’


Do not criticize the perpetrator; the student may have affection for him/her.


Explain what you will do next – inform designated teacher, leader, keep in contact.




If possible make brief notes about what they are actually telling you at the time. Keep these notes, however rough they are. If you are unable to make notes at the time write down what was said as soon as you can.


Try to record what was actually said by the student rather than your interpretation of what they are telling you.


Record the date, time, place and any noticeable nonverbal behaviour.




Report the incident to the Lead Teacher (Cheder), Centre Manager, Community Development Worker or the Chair of the Management Committee, Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Playshul Leader as soon as possible and do not tell any other adults or students what you have been told.

Never attempt to carry out an investigation of suspected abuse by interviewing the young person or any others involved.   This is a highly skilled role and any attempts by you could affect possible criminal proceedings.



Record Keeping


The Centre Manager/ Safeguarding Lead and Chair of the Management Committee are responsible for ensuring that the necessary paperwork is completed and sent to the relevant agency and stored in a safe and confidential place.


If anyone is made aware of an allegation/ disclosure they will liaise with the Safeguarding Lead/ Chair of the Management Committee/ Centre Manager and agree a course of action ie who will follow up the issue with the parent/ carer in the first instance.


We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Social Care with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with Social Care on this point.



  • We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.
  • Personal information about a child or young person will only be disclosed to other members of staff on a need to know basis.


  • However, all staff, volunteers and helpers must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.


  • All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or well-being or that of another.


Reporting Concerns - who to contact


Immediate Concerns about a Child


The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the front door to Children’s Social Care for all child protection and  immediate safeguarding concerns. If there is an immediate safeguarding concern, for example:


 * Allegations/concerns that the child has been sexually/physically abused * Concerns that the child is suffering from severe neglect or other severe health risks * Concern that a child is living in or will be returned to a situation that may place him/her at immediate risk


* The child is frightened to return home


* The child has been abandoned or parent is absent


 You should call the MASH immediately Tel: 0345 050 7666 (This number will take you through to Customer Services who will ask a series of questions and triage into MASH where safeguarding concerns are raised).


A No Names Consultation should not be used for the above scenarios.


Or you can email a report to MASH using the secure email address on: mash-childrens@oxfordshire.gcsx.gov.uk


 Please see the online OSCB procedure for escalation and whistleblowing in Oxfordshire and for further information and reference.


If you are unsure whether to make a referral:


You can contact the Locality and Community Support Service (LCSS) and request a ‘no names’ consultation (meaning you don’t give the child’s name). You can then discuss the situation with them and they will advise you on what to do next. If a referral needs to be made they will advise you of this.


  • LCSS Central (Oxford) : 0345 241 2705


To report concerns about a professional or person in a position of trust


Please contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to report an allegation or concern on: 01865 810603 or email: LADO.safeguardingchildren@oxfordshire.gov.uk


Oxford Jewish Congregation Safeguarding Policy Statement/ information for parents/ carers


The following information is for parents/ carers about the Centre’s approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children while participating at events within the community.


The Oxford Jewish Community is committed to creating, nurturing and preserving the safest possible environment for children who attend the Centre. Children and young people are part of our community. They have much to give as well as to receive. We will listen to them and respect their wishes and feelings. It is the responsibility of all of us to prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse, bullying and neglect of children.


During services and other activities where children attend with parents/carers, they are the responsibility of the accompanying adult.


The OJC accepts responsibility for safeguarding children when acting ‘in loco parentis’, for example at Cheder, at Hill End Camp, Kaytana or when children attend activities at the Centre under the auspices of the OJC without their parents present.


We are therefore committed to supporting, resourcing and regularly training all those employed by the OJC who work with children and young people.


All employed staff and volunteers over 16 who come into contact with children will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check. If a DBS check has not been received in time (or the person is not eligible for a DBS eg visiting from abroad) the individual will be required to sign a Declaration Form as a temporary measure until a DBS can be obtained. This will typically be someone known to us like a parent or student. Under 16's (not eligible for a DBS) will be asked to sign a Declaration Form.


Anyone working or volunteering with children and young people must ensure they have read and understand the recommendations set out in ‘Safeguarding Procedures for staff and volunteers working with under 18’s’ document. Each worker/ teacher will be given a copy of this and will be asked to sign an agreement accepting the OJC’s procedures. This is available to parents/ carers on request.


Anyone concerned about the welfare of a child or needing advice should in the first instance speak to the Cheder Lead Teacher, Centre Manager or Safeguarding Lead. In most situations a discussion will be held directly with the parent/ carer. However, should a child make an allegation about abuse having occurred and, after consultation, they are considered to be at immediate risk we will take contact the Local Authority Locality and Community Support Team or the Local Authority Designated Officer and consult about informing parents/ carers.


We aim to keep all information strictly confidential and will only share information on a ‘need to know’ basis.




Date initially agreed at Management Committee & Council: 2011


Date of last Review - Nov 17  

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