Intimate Care Policy
This policy supports the work of the school in promoting its mission statement, aims and values.
Like a lighthouse, St Michael’s is a beacon of safety and stability. It takes courage to learn and remember knowledge, develop new skills and allow your own light to shine in the world. We respect our differences and know that working peacefully together allows our lights to shine more brightly.
‘Let your light shine’ Matthew 5:16
At St Michael’s we value every member of our school community and our aims are for every child, whatever their background or circumstances, to have the support they need to:
- Develop their understanding of the value of leading a healthy lifestyle
- Work and play in a secure and safe environment in which they are encouraged to develop moral values and mutual respect
- Experience an exciting curriculum which fosters their enthusiasm, develops an enquiring mind and enables every child to achieve his/her full potential
- Access an education for life which promotes British Values that enable all learners to become effective and reliable members of the wider community
- Foster ambition and expectation to carry through to adult life
To achieve these aims all learners, staff, parents and governors will work together to promote our core values of peace, courage and respect.
Aims and objectives:
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all staff responsible for the intimate care of children will undertake their duties in a professional manner. St Michael’s recognises that there is a need to treat all children with respect when intimate care is given. No child should be attended to in a way that causes distress or pain.
Our approach to best practice
The management of all children with intimate care needs will be carefully planned. The child who requires intimate care is treated with respect at all times; the child’s welfare and dignity is of paramount importance.
Staff who provide intimate care are trained to do so (including Child Protection and Health and Safety training in Moving and Handling) and are fully aware of best practice. Apparatus will be provided to assist with children who need special arrangements following assessment from physiotherapist / occupational therapist as required.
The child will be supported to achieve the highest level of autonomy that is possible given their age and abilities. Staff will encourage each child to do as much for him/herself as he/she can. This may mean, for example, giving the child responsibility for washing themselves.
Individual intimate care plans will be drawn up for particular children as appropriate to suit the circumstances of the child.
Each child’s right to privacy will be respected. Careful consideration will be given to each child’s situation to determine how many carers might need to be present when a child is toileted. Where possible, one child will be catered for by one adult, but a second adult should be made aware that intimate care is taking place.
Wherever possible the same child will not be cared for by the same adult on a long-term basis. This will ensure, as far as possible, that over-familiar relationships are discouraged from developing, whilst at the same time guarding against the care being carried out by a succession of completely different carers.
Female pupils will only be cared for by female staff. However, in certain circumstances this principle may need to be waived where failure to provide appropriate care would result in negligence.
Intimate care arrangements will be discussed with parents/carers and recorded in a care plan. The needs and wishes of children and parents will be taken into account wherever possible within the constraints of staff and equal opportunities legislation.
The Protection of Children
Safeguarding procedures will be adhered to. In line with the school’s safeguarding policy, if a member of staff has any concerns about physical changes in a child’s presentation eg marks, bruises, soreness, etc s/he will immediately report concerns to the appropriate manager / Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection.
Health and Safety
Health and safety advice will be sought through the Health and Safety SLA with the Local Authority provider and through the School Nurse Service.
“Working Together To Safeguard Children”, Inter-Agency Child Protection Procedures. 2018.
Intimate care is any care which involves washing, touching or carrying out an invasive procedure (such as cleaning up a pupil 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 member’s duty of care. In the case of a specific procedure only a person suitably trained and assessed as competent should undertake the procedure (eg the administration of rectal diazepam).
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 parents/carers to provide continuity of care to children/young people wherever possible.
Children Wearing Nappies
The parent should provide nappies and should be made aware of this responsibility. Schools are responsible for providing gloves, plastic aprons, a bin and liners to dispose of any waste.
Health and Safety – changes in circumstances (Covid 19) – During this time it is imperative that any child needing intimate care continues to be safe and cared for.
Staff members will have access to:
- PPE (face mask, gloves and an apron) for use during intimate care
- Nappy/soiled underwear changing is undertaken in the appointed toilet on the changing mat.
- Parents/carers are informed of all nappy changes/soiling accidents.
- A new set of gloves, apron, mask and eye protection to be worn for every nappy/soiled underwear changing.
- The changing mat must be cleaned using anti-bacterial cleaner prior to any changing.
- Child to be placed on a mat during a nappy/underwear change.
- Soiled nappies to be placed in double polythene waste disposal bags which can be securely sealed. This bag should then be placed in a bin (complete with a liner) which is specifically designated for the disposal of such waste (located in the medical room). Staff should be aware of the school’s Health and Safety Policy.
- Any soiled clothes to be sent home in separate double polythene waste disposal bags.
- All cleaning wipes to be placed in double polythene waste bags for disposal.
- Before dressing the child dispose of all personal protective equipment in a double polythene waste disposal bag in the appropriate bin.
- Both staff member and the child must wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before returning to class.
- Changing area/mat should be thoroughly cleaned using anti-bacterial spray and cleaning cloths.
Where regular intimate care is required, for instance, in the case of a medical need, a care plan will be drawn up outlining the procedures to be used with the individual pupil.
Pupils in Distress
The school recognises that there may be times when a pupil is distressed and needs to be comforted and reassured and this might include physical touch such as a caring parent would give. Staff must remain self-aware at all times to ensure that their contact is not threatening or intrusive and not subject to misinterpretation.
Judgment will need to take account of the circumstances of a pupil’s distress, their age, the extent and cause of the distress. Unless the child needs an immediate response, staff should consider whether they are the most appropriate person to respond.
Particular care must be taken in instances which involve the same pupil over a period of time.
Where a member of staff has a particular concern about the need to provide this type of care and reassurance they should seek further advice from their line manager or other appropriate person.
Girls who are in the early stages of puberty may need support from a female member of staff. Where such assistance is required girls will be provided with sanitary towels and treated sensitively.
Physical Education and Other Skills Coaching
Some staff are likely to come into physical contact with pupils from time to time in the course of their duties when participating in games, demonstrating an exercise or the use of equipment.
Staff should be aware of the limits within which such contact should properly take place and of the possibility of misinterpretation.
Where it is anticipated that a pupil might be prone to misinterpret any such contact, alternatives should be considered, perhaps involving another member of staff or a less vulnerable pupil in the demonstration.
Young people are entitled to respect and privacy when changing clothes. However, there must be the required level of supervision to safeguard young people with regard to health and safety considerations and to ensure that bullying or teasing does not occur. When changing for physical activity pupils will be supervised. Where pupils are separated by gender, either both groups of pupils will be supervised at the same time, or one adult will move between the two groups to ensure supervision.
Out of School Trips, Clubs etc
Employees should take particular care when supervising pupils on trips or a residential setting or after-school activity. Although more informal relationships in such circumstances tend to be usual, the standard of behaviour expected of staff will be no different from the behaviour expected within school. Staff involved in such activities should also be familiar with their school’s policy and guidance regarding out of school activities.
To ensure pupils’ safety, increased vigilance may be required when monitoring the behaviour of pupils on trips or after school activities etc
Meetings with pupils away from the school premises where a chaperone will not be present are not permitted unless specific approval is obtained from the head teacher or other senior colleague with delegated authority. Staff should not place themselves in a position where they are in a vehicle, house or other venue alone with a child.
If staff come into contact with pupils whilst off duty, they must behave as though in their professional role and not give conflicting messages regarding their own conduct.
PERMISSION FOR SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE INTIMATE CARE
Child’s Last name
Child’s First name
Date of birth
I understand that;
I give permission to the school to provide appropriate intimate care as per care plan support to my child e.g. changing soiled clothing, washing and toileting.
I will advise the Head teacher of any medical complaint my child may have which affects issues of intimate care
Relationship to child……………………………………………..