Intimate Care Policy
At East Wichel Primary School, we recognise that all children are individuals who have their own needs. We are there to support them at whatever stage of continence they are at and will work with the child, parent/carer and other health care professional to enable them to progress at a rate that is suitable to them, whilst making sure their needs are met professionally, sensitively and in line with safeguarding procedures. We recognise that most children achieve continence before starting full-time school. However, there are exceptions whereby children need long-term and short-term support to gain continence.
We strive to enable all children to gain independence with continence where possible, as this skill is important in a child being able to develop their confidence, independence, and self-esteem. At East Wichel we acknowledge the social, emotional and mental health stresses that incontinence may cause for some children and strive to make sure their needs are met in line with Equality Act 2010 so they are fully included within all aspects of school life. Where possible, adjustments will be made to ensure this, which will include making sure the child has adequate changes of clothes and a space to be changed that is clean and safe.
- Provide help and support to pupils in becoming fully independent in personal hygiene.
- Treat continence issues sensitively to maintain the self-esteem of the child.
- Work with parents/carers and other professionals in delivering a suitable care plan where necessary.
- Ensure that staff dealing with continence issues work within guidelines that protect themselves and the pupils involved and that, where appropriate, specific training is sought.
- Provide a safe, clean space that can be used to change a child where necessary.
- Work using a child-centred approach and in close connection with parents/carers and other professionals where needed, to ensure any particular needs that a child may have will be dealt with sensitively and appropriately so they can access the curriculum.
- Contact parents only in extreme cases where soiling is severe and/or linked to illness e.g. sickness and diarrhoea, or when a child refuses to let a member of staff help change their clothing.
Where a pupil has particular needs (e.g. wearing nappies or pull-ups regularly, or has continence difficulties which are more frequent than the odd ‘accident’) staff will work with parents/carers to set out a care plan to ensure that the child is able to attend daily. The written care plan will include:
- the names of the designated staff,
- the location where any cleaning of the child and changing of clothes will take place,
- the protocol for cleaning and changing a child,
- whether anyone needs to be informed,
- what materials will be used (e.g. cleansing wipes),
- what measures should be put in place to prevent the possible spread of infection (e.g. protective gloves),
- checking that parents/carers have given permission for personal care to take place,
- what needs to be done if the staff member notices marks/injuries on the child,
- arrangements for school trips and outings.
Responsibilities of the parent/carer:
- Agreeing to ensure that the child is changed at the latest possible time before being brought to the setting/school.
- Providing the setting/school with spare nappies or pull-ups and a change of clothing.
- Understanding and agreeing the procedures that will be followed when their child is changed at school –including the use of any cleanser or wipes.
- Agreeing to inform the setting/school should the child have any marks/rash.
- Agreeing to a ‘minimum change’ policy i.e. the setting/school would not undertake to change the child more frequently than if s/he were at home.
- Agreeing to review arrangements should this be necessary.
Responsibilities of the school:
- Agreeing how often the child would be changed should the child be staying for the full day.
- Agreeing to monitor the number of times the child is changed in order to identify progress made.
- Agreeing to report should the child be distressed, or if marks/rashes are seen.
- Agreeing to review arrangements should this be necessary.
By setting out an agreement it should give the parents/carers confidence in the school’s ability in being able to support their child during this time. This agreement will help clearly identify when progress has been made and where additional advice from medical professionals may need to be consulted.
Personal Care Procedures
The staff at East Wichel will follow agreed procedures when attending to the care or continence needs of any pupil within the setting, whether this be a child with a care plan agreement or a child who has had an occasional ‘accident’.
Health and Safety Procedures
When dealing with personal care and continence issues, staff will follow our agreed health and safety policy.
There are no regulations that require a second member of staff to be present when changing continence or wet/soiled clothes or that someone with full DBS disclosure, with up-to-date child protection training, who works for East Wichel Primary School should need to be supervised by another member of staff.
If, at any point, the single practitioner has concerns that they are not safe from allegations, then they will not undertake changing alone in order to protect staff and the child. Students on placement will not change a child unsupervised.
Wherever possible, the same member of staff will change a child on an ‘intimate care plan’. This reduces the risk to the child and promotes their dignity. The care plan will outline back up or contingency measures if the named member of staff is not available.
Monitoring and Review
- This policy will be reviewed bi-annually.
- Any child with an individual ‘care plan’ will be reviewed at least bi-annually and when a need has changed.
- The SENCO will take responsibility for monitoring that agreed procedures are being followed and are meeting the needs of children and families.
- It is the SENCO’s responsibility to ensure that all practitioners follow the school policy.
- It is the staff at East Wichel’s responsibility to make sure that the policy and any care plan is read, understood, and acted upon correctly. Any issues with the policy or contents of the plan should be brought to the attention of the SENCO at the earliest possible time.
- Any concerns that staff have about child protection issues will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
- This policy runs alongside other school policies, particularly Safeguarding Children.
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