Intimate Care Policy
Statement of Intent
Intimate care is any care which involves washing, touching or carrying out an invasive procedure (such as cleaning up a child after they have soiled themselves) to intimate personal areas. In most cases such care will involve cleaning for hygiene purposes as part of a staff members duty of care. In the case of a specific procedure only a person suitably trained and assessed as competent should undertake the procedure.
The issue of intimate care is a sensitive one and will require staff to be respectful of the child’s needs. The child’s dignity should always be preserved with a high level of privacy, choice and control. There shall be a high awareness of child protection issues. Staff behaviour must be open to scrutiny and staff must work in partnership with parent/carers to provide continuity of care to children wherever possible.
This policy supports the safeguarding and welfare requirements of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2012 and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005: CAT Preschools Limited will ensure that:
- No child’s physical, mental or sensory impairment will have an adverse effect on their ability to take part in day to day activities.
- No child with a named condition that affects personal development will be discriminated against
- No child who is delayed in achieving continence will be refused admission
- No child will be sent home or have to wait for their parents/carer due to incontinence
- Adjustments will be made for any child who has delayed incontinence
- Intimate care is likely to be needed for children who join our settings at 2yrs old, who are not fully toilet trained when joining our settings, for children with special needs, and for those who have an injury (such as a broken arm) that means that they temporarily need extra assistance.
- All staff responsible for the intimate care of children will undertake their duties in a professional manner at all times. The child’s welfare and dignity is of paramount importance and all children should be treated with respect when intimate care is given. No child should be attended to in a way that causes distress or pain.
- Most changing and assisting can be carried out in the toilet area of the preschools where nappy changing facilities are provided are able to provide privacy.
- Staff should always wear protective gloves when dealing with a child who has soiled, or when changing a soiled nappy, or is bleeding.
- Soiled nappies will be disposed of appropriately. Nappies will be placed in a nappy sack and placed in a bin designated for nappy disposal.
- Staff who have any concerns about physical changes in a child’s presentation, eg. marks, bruises, soreness, etc. will report their concerns to their Manager/Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.
- If a child becomes distressed or unhappy about being cared for by a particular member of staff, the matter will be looked into and outcomes recorded.
- A home link book will be provided to record what time nappies are changed and by who, and any other relevant comments, for example if the child has been unhappy, or tired, etc.
- All staff engaged in the care and education of children, need to exercise caution in the use of physical contact. The expectation is that staff will work in ‘limited touch’ cultures and that when physical contact is made with children this will be in response to the child’s needs at the time, will be of limited duration and will be appropriate given the age, stage of development. Children with special needs may require more physical contact to assist their everyday learning. The general culture of ‘limited touch’ will be adapted where appropriate to the individual requirements of each child. The arrangements must be understood and agreed by all concerned, justified in terms of the child’s needs, consistently applied and open to scrutiny. Wherever possible, consultation with colleagues should take place discreetly and confidentially and should be documented and reported.
- Extra caution may be required where a child has suffered previous abuse or neglect. In the child’s view, physical contact might be associated with such experiences and lead to staff vulnerable to allegations of abuse. Additionally, many such children are extremely needy and seek out inappropriate physical contact. In such circumstances staff should deter the child without causing them a negative experience. Ensuring that a witness is present will help to protect staff from such allegations.
- There may be occasions where it is necessary for staff to restrain children physically to prevent them from inflicting damage on either themselves, others or property. In such cases, only the minimum force necessary should be used for the minimum length of time required for the child to regain self-control. In all cases of restraint the incident must be documented and reported. Staff must be fully aware of the schools Positive Handling Policy, which should comply with LEA policy.