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Choosing services safely

 

Disclaimer

Whilst the FIS works with service providers to try and ensure that the information contained within this directory is accurate and up to date, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information. The FIS does not accept any responsibility or liability for the information or links to information on websites supplied by providers or the service that is provided. FIS is an impartial service and does not recommend, support or endorse any services. It is the responsibility of families to choose services carefully and FIS has developed some guidelines to help you that are detailed below.

The FIS also reserves the right to refuse or delete publication of any organisation or information which it believes, or for which evidence has been provided, contravenes the laws of the UK. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Family Services Directory.

 It is important to think carefully when choosing services. When you find a service you would like to use, take some time to find out more about them. It is your responsibility to make sure that the service is safe for you and your family to use.

 Good services will provide you with clear information and welcome your questions. Listed below are some questions you can ask and things to think about before you use the service:

  • Is the service registered with Ofsted? You can view reports: www.ofsted.gov.uk  All childcare settings regularly caring for children under eight are on the Compulsory Register other services can choose to register on the Voluntary Register to find out more look at the Ofsted website or contact FIS Tel: 01273 293545
  • Do staff and volunteers have DBS checks? All staff working with, or having access to children, young people or vulnerable adults should be DBS checked.
  • Are staff and volunteers appropriately trained, supported and supervised?
  • Does the service belong to a professional organisation or quality assurance scheme?
  • Does the service have policies in place for: Child Protection, Health and Safety and Complaints?
  • Do staff make sure that everyone is included? There should be a commitment to equal opportunities.
  • Can you visit the setting before you decide to use the service?
  • Can you arrange a trial session?
  • Speak to other people using the service or ask for references
  • If your children are using the service, ask them questions about their activities and listen to them carefully if they have any worries
  • Ensure that children’s entertainers are DBS checked and that adults familiar to the children are available to supervise
  • Trust your instincts: if you do not feel comfortable about the service do not use it

 For more information about keeping your child safe look at the NSPCC leaflet “Out Alone” within the download documents on this directory or click on this link
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/research-and-resources/out-alone/

 If you have any concerns about a service:

  • Speak to the manager of the service.
  • If the service has a head office or professional organisation raise your concerns with them.
  • If the service is registered with Ofsted contact them on 0300 1231231 or visit www.ofsted.gov.uk
  • If you are worried about a child contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (Social Services) on 01273 294400
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